What did we learn today?

What is authentic leadership?

It is a form of leadership where the leader has a high level of self-awareness. They accept themselves for who they are and externally act and speak what their true nature is internally. Their focus is being true to themselves instead of trying to live up to others' expectations. Their own ethics guide them. Besides knowing a lot about themselves, they are also keenly aware of the values of others as well and hold up high morals. They are sincere in that what they feel within is what they express on the outside (Erickson, 1995 as cited in Avolio & Gardner, 2005).

What is inauthentic leadership?

When what someone does keeps changing like an actor who is trying to live up to certain stereotypes (Henderson & Hoy, 1983 as cited in Avolio & Gardner, 2005) or demands of others for the new role they are in.

Key Habits of Authentic Leaders?
  • They have psychological capital consisting of hope, resilience & being optimistic as well as having confidence (Luthans & Avolio, 2003).
  • They have good people skills in that their social exchanges with people are positive as they treat others with respect, show trust and emit positive feelings.
  • Help others see the purpose behind what is asked of them so they find meaning
  • unique
  • motivated from within, instead of focusing on recognition and external rewards.
  • High degree of self-awareness: knows their own "talents, strengths, values, beliefs & desires" (p. 324).
  • Very clear about their own views and opinions on issues.
  • Resilience - bounce back!
  • Act based on their internal values & standards
  • Self-regulation.
  • Morals & Ethics high (Luthans & Avolio, 2003).
  • Express their vision : "Articulate a highly desirable future state" (p. 328).
  • Willing to work with a diverse team with strengths that overlap their own weaknesses.

With Respect to Followers, Authentic leaders...
  • communicate openly so it is all transparent, leading to increased trust and motives and goals are known.
  • model what they believe is right.
  • Try to help improve the well-being of followers.

Strengths-Based Organization:
  • To look at your own talents and strengths and match that to a job role or development plan (Buckingham & Coffman, 1999 as cited in Avolio & Gardner, 2005).
(Avolio & Gardner, 2005)


Avolio, B.J., & Gardner, W. L. (2005). Authentic leadership development: Getting to the root of positive forms of leadership. The Leadership Quarterly 16, 315–338.