What is Authentic Leadership, and How Can Leaders Implement It?

Effective leadership promotes teamwork, inspires staff and promotes the overall production of a business. It creates a better work environment and brings out the best in employees. Authentic leaders cultivate relationships with their staff and strive to maintain strong connections with those around them within the organisation. In this article, we'll explore what authentic leadership is, the benefits of this approach, and strategies leaders can use to implement it in their organisations.

What is Authentic Leadership?

Authentic leadership emphasises genuine relationships, honest communication, and active listening. It seeks to build trust, respect, and understanding between a leader and their followers. Authentic leaders are open, honest, and transparent in their communication with their team, and they focus on creating a positive work environment. Here are some benefits of authentic leadership:

  • Increased engagement: Authentic leaders work to create a safe and trusting environment for team members. This openness can lead to increased engagement as team members feel comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions.
  • Improved decision-making: Authentic leaders will listen to different perspectives and make decisions based on facts and data. 
    Increased productivity: Authentic leadership motivates team members and improves production by setting clear goals and expectations for each staff.
  • Improved communication: Authentic leaders can build a culture of open communication to reduce misunderstandings and conflicts.

Components of Authentic Leadership

There are four key components of authentic leadership: self-awareness, relational transparency, balanced processing, and a strong moral code.


Self-awareness is the ability to understand and appreciate one's strengths and weaknesses, one's behaviour, and its impact on others. It allows leaders to recognise their biases and blind spots and how these might impact their decisions and interactions with others. It also allows them to understand their team's strengths and weaknesses, enabling them to support and motivate them.

Relational Transparency

Relational transparency is the ability, to be honest, and open about one's thoughts, feelings, and intentions. It is about being open and vulnerable with one's team, without the fear of judgement or criticism. It also allows leaders to be honest about their own mistakes and shortcomings, and to learn from them.

Balanced Processing

Balanced processing involves considering multiple perspectives and assessing situations objectively. A leader must be able to make decisions and stick to them amid opposition while being capable of accepting and evaluating various opinions before deciding on a course of action.

Strong Moral Code

Moral codes ensure a leader understands when to prioritise the organisation and its clients over the needs of themselves and their team. Leaders must be able to act per their values and beliefs and be willing to make tough decisions when necessary.

10 Ways to Become a Better Leader

Here are 10 ways to become a better leader by embracing authentic leadership:

  1. Engage in honest, open communication: Listen to your team's ideas and be transparent in your communication.
  2. Connect with your team members: Take the time to get to know your team members on a personal level. Show genuine interest in their lives.
  3. Encourage personal and professional growth: Show your team members that you believe in their abilities and motivate them to pursue their professional and personal goals.
  4. Keep a positive attitude: Model a "can-do" attitude for your team and be a source of encouragement.
  5. Teach employees instead of giving orders: Explain the reasons behind your decisions and help your team understand how to apply them.
  6. Set clear employee goals and expectations: Ensure your team knows what you expect from them and how their work contributes to the bigger picture.
  7. Give direct feedback about performance: Provide your team with honest, constructive feedback about their performance.
  8. Ask for feedback on your leadership: Show your team that you value their opinions by asking them for feedback on your leadership.
  9. Be open to new ideas: Encourage your team to come up with new ideas and be open to different perspectives.
  10. Understand your motivation: Reflect on your motivations and why you're driven to lead.

Implementing authentic leadership takes time, energy, and commitment, but the rewards far outweigh the effort. With the right dedication, any leader can become an authentic leader and reap the benefits of improved morale and increased productivity.

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Tim Hatari

Tim Hatari helps businesses improve performance, creating strategic development plans and establishing structure via the 5PX Executive Business Coaching System. As CEO and Founder at TMD Coaching, he oversees the vision setting process with clients, leading on sales acquisition, the drive for operational excellence and market leading innovation. For Tim, helping others is the most rewarding part of the role. Follow or connect with Tim on Linkedin - www.linkedin.com/in/timhatari

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Topics from this blog: Coaching, CPD

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