Authentic leadership, while stemming from transformational leadership, is an integral part of leadership. As I was reading through the lesson regarding this theory, I found myself thinking of quite a few people, myself included. I’ll explain why.
Authentic leadership is interpersonal. It stems from the relationship the leader has with their followers. This type of leadership comes from having great relationships (Williams, 2018). As in my previous, I’ve mentioned I have been a server for a long time. I was a closing server, meaning I made sure everyone else was doing their jobs, and I closed the restaurant down. I was required to have great relationships with my co-workers, as I needed them to respect me and listen to me to get their job done. If they didn’t respect me or didn’t have a good relationship with me, then who knows how much work would have gotten done. When they respect me as a person, they become better followers.
Secondly, authentic leadership is intrapersonal. The leader has to be able to be true to themselves and to be a leader to themselves as well as their followers (Williams, 2018). I had to be able to lead myself and stay to true to my beliefs, to be the leader that my followers needed. I couldn’t become a leader if I was slacking on my job or if I was making excuses to myself to not get my job done. I had to always pep talk myself to keep my head in the game.
Lastly, authentic leadership is developmental. Authentic leadership can be acquired or learned. Life events that change a person can develop a person’s authentic leadership ability (Williams, 2018). While this doesn’t apply to me in my server example, it does apply to me when I was a child. I always followed my mother, but when my father passed away, I had to step up and become a leader for my little brother. I didn’t want him to see my mom or I hurting, so I had to be strong and help him develop himself, as well as be a leader for him.
As you can see, authentic leadership is a great theory, and perhaps we all have a little authentic leadership in us that just needs to be found.
Williams, Jason (2018). Authentic Leadership. PSYCH 485.