Authentic Leadership enjoyable to reach about because for me I feel like I can really relate it to real life. According to our commentary (PSU, Lesson 12) there are 3ways to define authentic leadership. Authentic leadership is interpersonal, meaning there is a relationship between leader and follow that is strong, and genuine.
Authentic leadership is about being true to ones-self, or ‘authentic’. This makes sense because in order to be an authentic leader, one should probably be authentic in emotion and thought. It’s critical for a leader to be self-aware, and understand their place in the relationship between leader and follower. Authentic leadership is also development. This style relates to dealings with life events that take people out of their ‘comfort zone’, “life events cause the leader to use their authentic leadership skills (PSU, Lesson 12).
When considering an authentic leader, my father is the first one to come to mind. My dad has had the biggest impact on my life by far compared to anyone else. He was a single father, and raised me almost solely on his own. He did this and immigrated to the United States with nothing but a few garbage bags full of clothes. My dad taught me a lot of things, like many parents, but at a very young age I was living in a very real world. He showed me with his actions what hard work could get, how to be respectful, and he made sure I understood where we were coming from and how easy it would be to take the wrong turn in life. My Dad went from single, homeless father, to successful business owner over the course of 15 years. He went from food stamps to freedom, and lives a very happy, stress free life. I believe that to truly understand authentic leadership, one must have a good grasp and understanding of their life. The story of one’s life really provides a framework for one’s experiences which someone can use to find the inspiration to leave an impact on the world.
In my opinion, it’s one’s personal account their life that really matters, not just the literal facts of one’s life. Your personal life account is something that you draw from to make decisions, take actions, and generate opinion. We attempt to make sense of our lives and find our personal place in the world. While the ‘life stories’ of an authentic leader of course vary from one case to the next, including the positive experiences with their parents, coaches, mentors, school teachers, etc. many times a leader cites difficult or troubling life experiences as their source for inspiration and motivation. One of my mentors is author, serial-entrepreneur, and billionaire 30 year old Ryan Blair. His book his called “Nothing to Lose” and it’s a great story of overcoming difficult circumstances to gain success. To me, Ryan Blair is also an authentic leader, because the principles he shares are to use for one’s own personal success. Ryan Blair truly cares about other entrepreneurs their success and time freedom.
An authentic leader, like my Father or Ryan Blair usually have experienced transformative effects of personal tragedy, illness, job loss, etc. and also describe feeling rejected by society or their peers or being excluded. But instead of seeing themselves as victims, an authentic leader uses these negative experiences to give their lives certain meaning. To give them motivation and inspiration to help others see the same success. These types of individuals overcome these events and rise above roadblocks and later discover a passion to lead others. I must say, I think it’s a very motivational type of leadership to follow. I really enjoy the understanding of authentic leadership, it’s been one of my favorites thus far.