We live in the age of digital activism, business unpredictability, and accelerated competitiveness. There was never a more intense need felt for Authentic Leaders by the Corporate World than it is now. Any lack of authenticity demonstrated by individuals or organizations will instantly result in the Doppelgänger effect; a social media activity and impact that will troll any lack of integrity in the digital medium with irreparable damage to their credibility.
Authenticity means merely, absolute genuineness across all the dimensions both material and subtle. It starts with the inner understanding that success is an outcome of being one with the Universal process of Cause and Effect. Successes or failures are an outcome of the instant or delayed effect of this predictably unpredictable ever-eternal law, which reacts without bias, to our actions. It takes experiential wisdom to ultimately align with this absolute sense of conscientiousness, as it is easy to question it and thus deviate from it. Therefore, conscientiousness is the essential virtue of Authentic Leadership.
Authentic Leadership starts with the discovery of our personal uniqueness and the unfair advantage that nature has bestowed upon us. In our individualistic composition of intelligence, we process our inimitable cognition, which is called our Mental Function. This cognition has many elements, infinite in its permutations and combinations. It is all about the inner knowing of what is it that we are naturally intelligent about. It is that attribute where our cognition peaks; as it is in line with our Personality Type as per Karl Jung and his work MBTI. When we do not align with our Mental Function, we take to the path of mediocrity and boredom. The first key, therefore, is to understand our cognitive prowess.
Once we understand our unique unfair cognitive advantage that we are endowed with, it is essential to discover our area of natural expertise which complements our cognitive strengths. This is our Passion and essence that brings us fulfilling success. It is one yearning that we enjoy and is a meditative work therapy that triggers rejuvenating positive emotional attractors in us. It is a natural flair that rejuvenates us every moment we direct it. Many people do not make the choice of aligning with their Passion. They thus do not allow their Personality to express itself in its complete profoundness and settle with the acquired skills over the years post their mid-life crisis. The second key, therefore, is to discover our perfect sweet spot.
Once the essence of Passion is discovered it is imperative to convert it into a Sense of Purpose. This Passion must now be mobilized in a unique benevolent way to transform it into a Cause. This thus becomes our Unique Sense of Purpose that we dedicate our energies to. The actualization of this Sense of Purpose into a Cause is the beginning of our entry into the world of Authentic Leadership. A lack of presence of a cause creates a life of programmed behavior with material goals without the accelerated use of our unique Mental Functions. Passion when engaged for improving quality of life in a given area of contribution converts to a Cause. The third key, therefore, is that the “Cause” that must be our driving force in life.
Once we mobilize ourselves through the Sense of Purpose and the Cause, it is now essential to focus our energy on the study of what we are genuinely committed to. We have to raise our competence and skillsets in the sphere of work that we choose. The quest for Personal Mastery in line with our Passion and Sense of Purpose creates an unparalleled advantage that differentiates this Leadership trait from the rest. What we study always grows is the rule of mobilizing passion. With a lack of Sense of Purpose, one does not see the need for personal development. The fourth key, knowledge is the powerhouse of Authentic Leadership
As we surge ahead with this “Calling of the Heart,” it is now vital to hone up our beliefs and values, which reflect our attitudes in the form of behaviors to the outside world. Work on success behaviors is key. Altering our derailing behaviors through receiving feedback and self-awareness is also a vital element. We must always emerge congruent with our Cause to give velocity to our Sense of Purpose. Most individuals do not work on this congruence as the calling of the heart is not practiced. The fifth key accordingly is to invest in transforming our inner alchemy towards congruence.
Now that the congruence sets in, Authentic Leadership starts manifesting itself as a transformational power that is infectious. People start joining this Mission and shared leadership starts emerging as a phenomenon of collective success. The quest for Personal Mastery distinguishes the Authentic Leader ahead of others in this journey of collective Purpose. The significance is that all great outcomes have always been a collective contribution. Authentic Leaders act as Mentors & Coaches to other Leaders and also are open to reverse Mentoring. The sixth key is to activate the Mentor in us and invest in designing success of others.
Authentic leadership is thus aligning with our exceptional Mental Function, and unique Natural Strengths with a clear activated Vision converted into a Cause accelerated through Personal Mastery for the ultimate expression of our Personality in the most Conscientious way perpetually engaged in improving Quality of Life around us. I have seen these Authentic Leaders be very high on Spiritual and Emotional Quotient.
In this unforgiving intensely competitive techno-savvy world that we now experience we must prioritize Authenticity. Remember Authentic Leaders build Authentic Organizations & Ecosystems. Authentic Leaders also create Authentic Leaders. Find them, invest in them, reward them, deploy them strategically and you will soon build Unicorn Organizations. As for Self, Authentic Leadership becomes a critical differentiator for being a Leader amongst Leaders.