The need for authentic leadership is greater than ever (2023)

Putting company values ​​into action to give people meaning

Take a moment to confirm thisYour resilience in this challenging year.

As we approach the one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, thecontinueFor making a difference in everyone's lives, we all really deserve a pat on the back for staying the course. It was not easy. The street was windy, with unexpected surprises around every corner. And although we still have a long way to go, fortunately the end is already near.

If ever there was a time in our lives when the world needed strong, authentic leaders to reassure us that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel, it is definitely now.

Interestingly, when the world stopped when COVID-19 first appeared, it gave us a moment to stop and think about the "big picture". It forced us to stop projecting ourselves into the future and focus on solving real problems here and now.

(Video) What is Authentic Leadership?

This was especially true for companies and their executives. Everything formerly known as “business as usual” has gone out the window during the pandemic. For the first time, teams worked 100% remotely, relying entirely on technology to facilitate collaboration, communication and productivity. But as wonderful as technology can be, it soon became clear that employees needed something else to keep it going; They needed a true sense of purpose to stay motivated amid all this uncertainty.

So they turned to their business leaders for inspiration and motivation. And what did the smartest leaders do? They have adopted their company values ​​as a source of inspiration and a framework for navigating their organizations through the ups and downs of the pandemic. This is a perfect example of authentic leadership at its finest.

The importance of authentic leadership in times of crisis

At the onset of the crisis, no one, not even business leaders, had all the answers. Incidentally, today we still learn a lot as we walk. But despite it all, they knew that providing employees with a "North Star" was crucial to keeping the business running. Whether it's giving employees a glimmer of hope or simply reminding them that despite all the chaos going on in the world,Every employee still had an important role in a company's future.

This is truly the essence of authentic leadership, defined as a "leadership style that...emphasizes transparency, authenticity, and honesty in the workplace."

(Video) Why Authentic Leadership Is More Important Than Ever - Nicholas Barnett

“With these behaviors, authentic leaders can build strong, honest relationships where team members trust and follow the leader. Authentic managers can often inspire confidence and motivation in their employees through a consistent and authentic presentation of their own leadership.

What is authentic leadership?In fact

There are manyFactors that identify authentic leaders, more frequently:

  • Strong moral compass:Put the needs of the company, its employees, customers and partners ahead of your own.
  • Balanced Processing:Be open to all points of view, including those that contradict your own views, and consider them wholeheartedly in the decision-making process.
  • Transparency in the relationship:Build respect by valuing honesty and transparency in the workplace, whether it's celebrating wins, providing constructive feedback, or even acknowledging your own mistakes.
  • Self-awareness:Admit your strengths and weaknesses, don't be afraid to seek feedback from across the organization, and show real empathy in word and deed.

So why is it important? To answer this question, we really must look at theOppositeof authentic leadership. First, bad leadership hurts everyone within an organization. This turned out to be the caseUninspiring leaders generate little engagementIncrease turnover between teams and track direct reports20% less productive in their jobs.

(Video) Authentic Leadership for the Future | Irving Washington III | TEDxBallStateUniversity

In times of crisis and even when life is returning to “normal”, there is too much at stake not to embed authenticity in everything we do. This applies to leaders, managers and individual contributors. Therefore, authenticity is not a top-down strategy:Althoughmany of us look to our managers for role models and for the willingness and openness to give ourselves fully to our work every day. A big part of that also meansTo hearamong us, without ever losing sight of our personal and organizational values ​​in our words, our thoughts, our behavior and our actions. All of these can strengthen the sense of purpose.

Authentic leadership goes hand in hand with corporate values

There is no single way to be a true leader. What works well in one corporate culture may not translate literally to another. So when in doubt, many leaders look to their company's values ​​to rekindle their teams' purpose, passion, and perseverance. Here are some examples of corporate values ​​we live by:

  • Tonys Chocolonely

According to Tony's marketing director, Thecla Schaeffer"Tony is a team on a mission"and has struggled to stay that way during the pandemic. From not laying off contract or freelancers to cut costs, to allowing all employees to work from home, to taking drastic measures to move most business operations online for the safety of all employees, Tony's takes a proactive approach to dealing with with the many challenges of COVID-19. And while this exemplifies how they have adopted their corporate values ​​to guide their decision-making during the pandemic, it reinforces what we already know to be true: the companies that thrive during and after the COVID-19 pandemic are the ones they are looking for new opportunities. unleash the potential of every employee.

  • blood

The social media giant is known for many things, but that's how it is internallyFlexible working policies and #OneTeam mindsetare integrated into its core values. And by fully embracing these values,Twitter was one of the first companies to allow employees to work from home forever.if they so choose, even after the dust of the COVID-19 pandemic has settled. But more than just corporate value, Twitter's decision is a sign of the times: because technology has the power to move teams and companies forward, something that has been proven over the years, and there's no longer any reason to hold that belief. this jobOnlyIt can happen at the office. And while the company has long been known for its flexible work policies, the pandemic has been an opportunity to rethink business as usual and set new standards that support the way people work.helloand adapt to the future of work for years to come.

(Video) Great Leaders Need Authenticity | David Simnick | TEDxCollegeofWilliam&Mary

  • Microsoft

Shortly after the first COVID-related lockdowns began to reverberate around the world,Microsoft boss Satya Nadella wrote an open letter to employees, with a clear message: "We are steadfast in our mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more... by working together to turn the tide of COVID-19." since then, the company has adopted a “first responder mindset” to help and support people on the front lines beyond technology in dealing with the challenges posed by this pandemic. Fortunately, our team has had the pleasure of working closely with Microsoft to develop ourMicrosoft Teams-Integration. It's a solution that has not only helped teams collaborate and communicate in real time, even when everyone is working remotely, but has also become an example of how smart technology can reinvent the way businesses work.

  • Patagonia

Before anyone knew the extent to which COVID-19 would shake the world,Patagonia has decided to closenobusiness operations– including your warehouse and online operations – to protect your employees in times of heightened uncertainty. As a company that values ​​activism, diversity, equality, environmental protection and integrity in everything it does, this decision set a perfect example for it.“Unusual Business” value systemin action. Unlike many other retailers at the time who decided to stay in business by shifting their focus to online, Patagonia put its people and values ​​first. And while they have long since resumed business operations, their determined, if slightly unconventional, but wholly human-centered decision-making is a model of business (and spiritual) transformation in a post-COVID world.

Authenticity matters more than ever

This year has reminded us that authentic leadership is absolutely necessary. It's not just a tactic to overcome moments of crisis. It's an enduring strategy for bringing teams together around an inspiring sense of purpose rooted in a company's values. And it also produces positive results.

make sureDownload our latest ebook,Finding Clarity in the Chaos: HR Trends and the New World of Work in 2021, where we take a closer look at what authenticity means for businesses todayjits impact on its growth and development in the coming years.

(Video) Authentic Leadership


Why do we need authentic leadership? ›

Authentic leadership tends to promote stronger collaboration and more effective communication across teams as well. This contributes to a positive work environment where employees share openly, celebrate success, and identify challenges in time to be addressed.

How does Bill George define authentic leadership? ›

According to Bill George, authentic leaders are driven by a moral and ethical purpose and never lose sight of their core values and principles. They lead with their hearts, cultivate long-term relationships and demonstrate excellence through self-discipline.

What is the power of authentic leadership? ›

Authentic leaders have a positive outlook on life and are truthful and open in their interactions with others. They build trust with their subordinates and generate enthusiasm for project which enables effective individual and team performance.

Is authentic leadership better than transformational leadership? ›

They are often seen as more visionary and innovative than authentic leaders, and they tend to be more effective in rapidly changing or chaotic environments. While both styles have their strengths, transformational leaders are generally more successful in achieving long-term goals and inspiring lasting change.

Why is authentic leadership important in early years? ›

They acquire truthful self-concepts, which further promote openness. By building trust and engendering enthusiastic support from their followers and/or subordinates, it is said that authentic leaders are able to improve individual and team performance (George, 2003).

Is there more than one way to become an authentic leader? ›

Activities such as identifying your values, being mindful of your impacts on others, being truly present and listening to others and focusing on being honest in your transactions with others can all help you transition towards authentic leadership.


1. Empowering Industry Podcast Episode 142: Navigating the Pathway to Authentic Leadership
(Empowering Brands)
2. What Is Authentic Leadership? And What Isn't It?
3. Daniel Goleman: What I learned about authentic leadership from Bill George
(Key Step Media)
4. Authentic Leadership
5. Authentic Leadership - Meaning, Components, Characteristics, Steps and Examples of Authentic Leaders
6. Authentic Leadership | Niket Karajagi | TEDxKLSGIT
(TEDx Talks)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Reed Wilderman

Last Updated: 03/16/2023

Views: 5814

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (52 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Reed Wilderman

Birthday: 1992-06-14

Address: 998 Estell Village, Lake Oscarberg, SD 48713-6877

Phone: +21813267449721

Job: Technology Engineer

Hobby: Swimming, Do it yourself, Beekeeping, Lapidary, Cosplaying, Hiking, Graffiti

Introduction: My name is Reed Wilderman, I am a faithful, bright, lucky, adventurous, lively, rich, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.