Why Authenticity is the Most Important Buzzword in Leadership Right Now

Why Authenticity is the Most Important Buzzword in Leadership Right Now

Why Authenticity is the Most Important Buzzword in Leadership Right Now

If your goal is to become an influential person in whatever field you are in – whether you are running your own business or looking to scale the heights of senior management in your industry – then understanding the values and behaviors associated with good leaders is extremely important. The latest thinking on leadership hints at a strong demand from both businesses and employees for leaders who demonstrate ‘authenticity’. This is in contrast to notions that have become outdated about how one’s professional persona needs to be quite different from one’s true self, and one should leave a lot of their individuality at the door when considering professional situations. We hope that this Why Authenticity is the Most Important Buzzword in Leadership Right Now post inspires you. 

Why Authenticity is the Most Important Buzzword in Leadership Right Now

Why Authenticity is the Most Important Buzzword in Leadership Right Now

Of course ‘authenticity’ is an easy word to use, but a much harder one to understand. If somebody says that they value authenticity in their managers and professionals, or that they like to buy products and services from people who seem authentic, then how can you as a leader or professional know whether you are demonstrating that authenticity yourself? Here, we are going to look at what some of the behaviors of authentic leaders are, and conversely, what kind of patterns come across as inauthentic in a professional. 

Morals and Ethics

One key factor identified as being present in authentic people in business is that they consider their morality and ethics in their decisions. This is because giving up what you think is right because you think it’s better for business, or because you think it is required of you in the professional situation you are in is not being true to yourself, and authenticity is all about bringing your humanity into your professional life. 

Leaders who stay true to what they think is genuinely the right thing to do and avoid doing things they are morally uncomfortable with gain the respect of the people who work for them, as they know they will be treated fairly, and also gain the trust of the partners and clients they work with. Authentic leaders tend to think through ideas to ensure there is nothing in there that is anti-consumer or that involves misleading other parties – treating other people in their professional sphere in the same way they would treat people they value in their private lives. They tend to be against backstabbing, harmful gossip, and shady practices, and for courses of action that benefit their customers and employees.

On the flip side, people who do not seem to consider their sense of what is right or wrong when making leadership decisions and instead seem to be willing to very easily sacrifice that to make short-term business gains (for example overworking their staff, or misleading clients or customers) are seen as inauthentic, and as a result, much harder to trust or rely on.



As this article explains, which goes deeper into authenticity, how someone treats the boundaries between themselves and the people they deal with in their professional lives is important to how authentic they seem. People who respect other people’s boundaries and have the self-respect not to impose on other people and make them feel uncomfortable are seen as far more authentic than those who overshare, or who make people feel pressured to share personal information with them. 

Managers who give the impression of being nosey and prone to gossip are hard for people to trust, and in turn, this makes people feel even more uncomfortable about talking to them when sensitive information does need to be shared. Equally, people who don’t respect other people’s boundaries and come across as ‘needy’ or unstable can seem unprofessional and inauthentic, because they are not interacting with the people in their professional life in an appropriate and considerate way.

Learning the appropriate way to remain authentic while respecting boundaries is all about being self-aware. When an authentic acting person has a personal problem that is beginning to affect their ability to focus on the professional matter at hand, they do not pretend everything is fine and do a sub-par job – this would be inauthentic. But equally, they don’t tell everybody in the meeting the details of their drama either.

They would instead be self-aware enough to see that for everybody’s benefit, they should postpone the meeting, or consider taking time off and delegating some of the work they were having trouble with, revealing enough information about their circumstances for people to understand they are having difficulties, but not enough to make others uncomfortable. They would also know which people within their professional sphere they have close enough relationships with to share more, being self-aware about their interactions with others.

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Willing to Learn from Mistakes

Another key factor in authenticity is the ability to accept failure and learn from your mistakes. People often think that people expect to see those in leadership positions as infallible, but since that’s not something anyone would expect in any other walk of life, it is inauthentic to try to appear as though you always have the right answers and never make any mistakes on the path to where you are now. 

Being too afraid of looking like you are sometimes wrong also leads to being overly resistant to risk and innovation. What is important is that you are always reflecting on the outcomes of things you have done and looking at what can be learned from them. Authentic people seek growth no matter what stage in their career they are at, and they also accept help and input from others, rather than being too proud or worried about looking like they don’t know what to do.

Authenticity is not something that you can achieve all of the time in your actions; rather, it is something you should be striving to demonstrate wherever you can. This too is part of the self-awareness and self-reflection that is valued in authentic professionals. As well as aiming to be authentic yourself, you should also encourage authenticity from those who work with you, creating a positive working environment. We hope that this Why Authenticity is the Most Important Buzzword in Leadership Right Now post inspires you. Good luck!

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