Whether you are looking for a promotion or are already in a leadership position as a CIO, you’ll be aware of some of the skills that are required to be a ‘good’ leader. Honesty, integrity, ability to communicate and self-awareness among others. But is being ‘good’, good enough?

Becoming an Authentic Leader

The official definition of authentic is ‘representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified’

In fact, most of us already recognise the term authentic. But how does authenticity apply to leadership and how can being authentic help you to become a better leader?

What is Authentic Leadership?

The authentic leadership theory was created by Bill George in his book Authentic Leadership published in 2003 and so is still relatively new in the business world.

Authentic leadership is about being true to your values, beliefs and purpose and the people who work with you in order to become a better leader.

Authenticity goes beyond the behaviours, practices and attitudes of a leader – it is about the essence of who you are as a human being.


A sense of purpose

Demonstrating your passion for your work in an authentic way will transfer your team and create a sense of purpose.

As a leader, showing authentic passion and interest in your work and your business's overall goals sets an example for your team. If you aren’t excited about the projects you are working on, or the business you work for, then how can you expect your team and the people around you to do the same?

Share that excitement and passion with others to inspire them and to help fuel their passions.

Becoming an Authentic Leader (1)

Distinct Values

Values can also be seen as integrity. As a leader, if you can show unwavering values that are consistent, then your team and the people around you will respect that integrity.

If you have two-hour lunches but expect everyone else to put the work in, then morale is only going to dive as you aren’t showing that you truly value hard work. Behave in a way that demonstrates your values. This puts trust both in you as a leader and the ethos of the business.

Relationship Building

Develop real and authentic connections with employees and colleagues.

This is what makes good leaders great. Take an interest in colleagues and employees and their lives. Share details about your own interests and hobbies. Leaders who build authentic relationships with those around them are likely to receive far more respect than leaders who keep themselves to themselves. 

Goals and self-discipline

It’s very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day which can limit your growth. Set yourself a simple morning routine so that you can prioritise those self-development goals.

A Genuine heart

Self-awareness is a term that a lot of people are using more and more to demonstrate great leadership.

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Being aware of others' feelings and needs, and helping them in whatever way you can shows strengths in emotional intelligence. Having a genuine heart is a great way to categorise all of those skills. For example, understanding when co-workers are not working well together, and how to deal with those situations when they arise makes a good leader great.

If you enjoyed this blog then you will love our latest free ebook ‘Top 5 Leadership Traits of a Modern CIO’. Download the Ebook now and take advantage of our free CIO Circle membership.

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The CIO Circle Editor
Post by The CIO Circle Editor
June 3, 2024