Written by Josh Fisher

Authentic leadership is about being true to yourself and your values and using that authenticity to inspire and motivate others. When we lead authentically, we build trust and credibility with our colleagues and contribute to positive, productive workplaces.

Being genuine is a critical component of authentic leadership. It means being honest, transparent, and vulnerable with our teams and showing up as a real human being. When we are genuine, we build strong relationships and foster a culture of empathy and understanding.

In today’s fast-paced, high-pressure work environment, it’s easy to get caught up in trying to impress colleagues, prove yourself, or achievement at all costs. But this all-outcome approach can come at the expense of authenticity and genuineness. When we lead from a place of authenticity and connection, sustainable and strong performance is possible.

Here are a few best practices for leading with authenticity:

  1. Lead by example: Modeling the behavior you want to see in others is a powerful motivator. Authentic leaders are transparent, accountable, and honest. They set the standard for integrity and encourage their team to follow their lead. This type of leadership builds trust and fosters a positive work culture.
  2. Encourage feedback and active listening: Authentic leaders are open to feedback from their teams and actively listen to their team’s concerns. They create a safe environment for their team to speak up and provide constructive feedback. This allows for open communication, which is critical to building trust and fostering a culture of collaboration.
  3. Embrace vulnerability: Authentic leadership requires vulnerability. Leaders must be willing to show their human side, admitting to their mistakes and acknowledging their shortcomings. By doing so, leaders demonstrate humility and gain the respect of their team. This allows for greater trust and helps build a team that is more resilient and better able to face challenges.

I encourage you to lead with genuine compassion and empathy. That’s the path to building workplaces that prioritize human connection and foster cultures of mutual respect.

Founded in 2004, Lead Star is the company behind New York Times best-sellers SPARKLeading from the Front, and Bet on You. Lead Star supports professionals to reach new levels of success through an innovative coaching program, Year to Rise.