There is so much buzz around Authentic Leadership but what does it really mean and why does it matter?
Authenticity is the healthy alignment between internal values and beliefs and external behaviours. We lose our alignment when we compromise our values and personality. When we say and do one thing, but we think and feel another. The more misaligned we become from our ethics, our values, and our personality the unhealthier we become. Authenticity is not just a nice to have but a necessary prerogative for a healthy, balanced life.
When it comes to business, Authentic Leadership is as important as in our private lives. Leadership success starts with authenticity. People who have an authentic leadership style bring their whole selves to their jobs and participate fully and honestly in their workplaces. They foster authentic behaviour and empower their teams. They create psychologically safe cultures. The organizations they work for flourish and the employee morale raises.
By contrast, inauthenticity can become disruptive. In an organization, inauthenticity can be recognized by the level of uncertainty, distrust, and lack of passion among employees which in time will reflect in the financial results. An inauthentic leadership style at the top can create an inauthentic culture. Left unchecked, this can spread in the whole organization creating an unhealthy environment for all. That is why it is so important for us leaders to take an honest look at ourselves, and, with care and compassion, to unravel what fears, old believes and patterns of behaviour are holding us back from being authentic.
For us at Adaptaa, it is all about Authenticity. Being authentic with each other and role modelling authenticity to our clients is one of our core values and highest priorities. It is so close to our hearts that recently we have launched a brand-new programme, Programme Artemis, in which we shine some light in the deepest, most protected corners of our consciousness, to unravel where and how inauthenticity can creep in. And to be honest with you, we coaches take this work very seriously, not only for our clients but also for ourselves. It is a lifelong endeavour to get closer to our own true selves and show up in the world openly and authentically.
We structured Programme Artemis on 3 pillars: Energy, Power and Legacy. A few days ago, the first session was all about Energy. I love this insight from one of our program participants, highlighting the connection between authenticity and energy.
So true! When we are inauthentic, we feel exhausted and dissatisfied. Often, we find ourselves wanting to please others and doing things which are not in alignment with our own needs and wants. We do so when we are acting from a place of fear not from a place of love. And Fear is exhausting. It leads to frustration, disappointment and overwhelm. It can even lead to burn-out and depression. By contrast, acting from love, from a place of heart brings us joy, fulfilment, and happiness. In doing so we feel up our Energy reservoirs and manage to keep the fuel for a longer time.
Remember: One indicator of inauthentic behaviour is our level of Energy. It is showing us if we are reacting from fear or acting from love.
Take a few minutes to reflect on your own Energy level.
What is giving you energy and what is draining you of energy?