Often the most important trait a person can posses is to be aware of their surroundings. If someone is aware of their surroundings on a physical, mental and emotional level, they have the power to fully immerse themselves in their experience, without hesitation or limitation. In Saidiya Hartman’s memoir Lose Your Mother, the reader is presented with an orator who lacks complete awareness of their surroundings, which later translates to a lack of self-awareness, while in both Jamaica Kincaid’s and Caryl Phillips respective memoirs the reader is presented with authors who are fully aware of their surroundings and thus self aware as well.
As leaders whom practice self-awareness, are able to not only have confidence in their ability, to lead when facing difficult decisions or moments of dire stress in the workplace. Accepting and knowing these feelings can ultimately provide the user with useful information about difficult decisions when answers are not available through external sources.
Leadership many times can be misinterpreted by many individuals. Leadership is an ability that not everyone is meant to have nor develop. In fact, many can be called, “leaders” but that does not imply that their leadership role plays a positive impact on others. At times, some people seek leadership in a form to only obtain power and abuse it for their own self-interest. While there are others that create great influences to following generations. For instance, there are those like Plato and Thomas Jefferson who have established philosophical thoughts that for past centuries, have revolutionized many people’s ideals. Through their principles many people have identified, what they consider can exemplify, true characteristics that make someone have successful leadership qualities. In their own way, they have influenced others, with the purpose to communicate a foundation of important ideals which have helped guide many. Whether it is one or a group of individuals. Many people should consider in practicing and adapting to those philosophical principles, manifested in Plato’s, “The Allegory of the Cave” and Thomas Jefferson's, “The Declaration of Independence” essay who illustrate certain ideals and aspects of leadership in their own unique way.
The purpose of the study was to determine how people can become an authentic leader. Over the years, studies were conducted to establish the characteristics and personalities of an ideal leader. However, researchers failed to develop a clear idea of an authentic leader. In addition, in the past five years people had developed a deep distrust of leaders. Consequently, after people read Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value by Bill George, they wanted to know how they could become and remain authentic leaders. So, a research team was sent out to answer this question. As a result, researchers concluded that people life stories is what developed them into a great leader.
The concept of effective leadership is a topic that has been widely debated by individuals and professional leaders in many societies. In Kevin Cashman’s book, Leadership from the Inside Out: Becoming a Leader for life, the author reveals that leadership is defined through a person’s understanding of their internal nature, rather than the values, beliefs, and morals a society claims that a leader should possess. Even though Cashman does acknowledge the importance of the societal view of leadership, he argues that true leadership is defined by an individual’s understanding of their internal essence. In each chapter Cashman strongly debates that leaders lead by virtue of who they are. He defines this outlook on leadership as the Inside-Out Leadership Method. This is a method that allows an authoritative figure to develop a strong understanding of their physical, mental, and spiritual essence to lead others towards a mutual goal.
In the process of being a leader, Kinneeveauk emphasized the importance of not losing oneself, “of being you, being comfortable with your skin.” A large number of leaders have no idea who they are; they recognize what they are and live according to the expectation of their position. To him, 50% to 60% of being a leader is recognizing “who you are” and not living to the expectations of the job. Knowing who you are and becoming who you are as a leader [and learning over time the “what” of the job] – encapsulates the trait approach of a leader.
The theory of authentic leadership has continued to develop since 1966 (Gardner, Cogliser, Davis, & Dickens, 2011). This is a relative new leadership theory and there is no single accepted definition of authentic leadership (Northouse, 2010). Authentic leadership can be defined using three different perspectives to include intrapersonal, interpersonal, and developmental (Chan, 2005). These perspectives include looking at the authenticity of the leader, the relationship between the leader and the follower, as well as the impact of the leader on the follower. For purposes of this study “Authentic leadership” is defined as
Self-evaluation or “self-leadership” (Runn, 2011) forms a critical part of a leaders repertoire and some key blocks of the foundation for this persons leadership. If someone can ultimately say that they fully understand themselves, they will find it much easier to understand others around them.
Towards the end of the program, the DNP student’s mentor, Dr. Marie Etienne handed out an Authentic Leadership Self-Assessment Questionnaire created by Walumbwa and Associates to all participants. This self-assessment questionnaire assessed these four components: self-awareness, internalized moral perspective, balanced processing, and relational transparency. Participants were able to identify based on their score if they had a strong or weak authentic leadership. Scores ranged from very high, high, low and very low. The DNP student had a high authentic leadership
"To write to be a writer, I have to trust and believe in myself as a speaker, as a voice for the images. I have to believe that can communicate with images and words that I can do it well. A lack of belief in my creative self is a lack of belief in my total self and vice versa- I cannot separate my writing from any part of my life. It is all one" (95).
“To write to be a writer, I have to trust and believe in myself as a speaker, as a voice for the images. I have to believe that can communicate with images and words that I can do it well. A lack of belief in my creative self is a lack of belief in my total self and vice versa- I cannot separate my writing from any part of my life. It is all one” (95).
Before this class, I had a very primitive and vague definition of leadership. Not only did I define it as per my views and ideologies, but I also said that each individual has their own definition of leadership. My initial belief was that leadership does not have a clear cut definition, but there were well defined leadership traits which made an individual. I also initially believed that personal traits did not translate into leadership traits with no strong correlation. After going through the various modules this class offered, it is safe to say that I have significantly redefined leadership and underwent a strong personal assessment. This paper talks what I took back from each of the class activities, assignments and how my self-assessment compares to the perception of others.
Authentic leadership emphasizes that leaders must practice self-awareness, optimism, resiliency, balanced processing (valuing others’ input and all relevant information prior to making decisions), and relational transparency (being one’s self in all interactions). The authentic leader values bringing out the best in others and continually ensures that his/her behavior is both ethical and moral at all times (Laschinger, Borgogni, Consiglio, & Read, 2015). In order to be an authentic leader, a person must request and receive feedback with an open mind and take advantage of opportunities to explore one’s self, which often results in the individual feeling vulnerable (Kerfoot, 2006). Vulnerability is uncomfortable for many due to our society’s emphasis on being autonomous
Inscribed on the entry-wall at the ancient Greek Temple of Apollo at Delphi are the words “know thyself”. Can a leader be truly effective without knowing one’s self? Although it has roots in previous times Authentic Leadership is a concept that began to emerge in its modern form in the 1960s. It wasn’t until 2003 when Bill George wrote about authentic leadership and its connection to ancient Greece that it became a popular leadership concept (Clark, 2014). Bill George is senior fellow at Harvard Business School, where he has taught leadership since 2004. He is the author of four best-selling books: 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis, True North, Finding Your True North, and Authentic Leadership, as well True North Groups. His newest book, Discover Your True North, was published in August of 2015 along with its companion workbook, The Discover Your True North Fieldbook. He describes authentic leadership as a style of leading that is consistent with the core values and personality of the leader and one who leads from an honest, ethical and practical perspective. It is through the leaders authentic self, and not just the concept of self but more importantly the actions of the leader and how that is perceived by others that determines whether they believe the leader is authentic. It is through honest relationships and ethical actions that help to maximize the efforts of others in achieving the goal (George, 2016).
This case study is an analysis of leadership as exhibited by Rebecca S. Halstead. The article published at Harvard Business School by Boris Groysberg and Deborah Bell details the traits, motivations and leadership style that Halstead exemplified. Through the analysis of this article I hope to not only document the achievements of Rebecca Halstead but also document and assimilate the leadership lessons imparted by her. An important observation I have made from the progress of time I this course is that study of leadership is synonymous with studying great leaders. The study of science involves experiments & making observations based on results. However, leadership is not an absolute science, there are various approaches. Every leader has a different style & combination of traits. Aspiring leaders & scholars of leadership must find their individual combination to succeed.