What is "authentic leadership"? "Isn't that what are taught in seminars and nobody does afterwards?" This is the disarmingly honest reaction of a personnel manager responding to my attempt to win him over for our new seminar concept.
This dialogue preoccupied me for a long time. It wasn't as if he doubted that authenticity was the core of effective leadership. Excellence can only emerge if I can put my trust in my supervisors. Then I'm willing to go the extra mile to achieve a goal that was previously unattainable. So why is authentic leadership so rare? What makes authenticity in business so difficult?
For several years I shelved our seminar concept. And then other and different exercises, originally developed for the seminar, popped up in other places my work .I observed the day-to-day life of leaders. What does leadership consist of? What is management? What happens to leaders who dare to be authentic?
I have learned that to experience authentic leadership we must peer below the surface of things. What drives us? What motivates us? We need to identify what prevents us from doing what is important to us. What is really important to us?
Years later, I again offered a workshop on "authentic leadership". It is a seminar where we delve into these questions and try to find answers. We begin with a clear rational analysis and identify unconscious motives of our thoughts and actions. From this standpoint, the participants can take steps to becoming more authentic as leaders. Its a way of making to make their leadership more effective, so as to lead with passion and make leadership meaningful.
“The Authentic Leader workshop allowed for our management team to really begin to grapple with what it means to move beyond just managing the day-to-day operations. It allowed them to move into what it takes to lead an organization with a clear vision while being honest about your current reality. This workshop has become a regular part of our annual training for new employees who join our management team.”
“I know that by applying what I have learned at Authentic Leader, I will show up as a much more powerful leader in my organization and a more authentic person in every area of my life.”