Authenticity at a glance
Harter (2002) defined authenticity to mean that a person’s thoughts and feelings are consistent with their actions. Bass & Steidlmeier (1999), Luthans & Avolio (2003) and May et al., (2003) have all indicated that “authentic leaders are guided by a set of values that are oriented toward doing what’s right and fair for all stakeholders” (Michie and Gooty 2003 p443).
Recent research asked over 332,000 bosses, peers and subordinates to identify which characteristics have the greatest impact on a leader’s success at any level (Zenger and Folkman 2014). ‘High integrity and honesty’ was rated the second most important. Research into emotional intelligence in executives supports this (Cooper and Sawaf 1997). In fact, “Integrity – acting openly, honestly and consistently – sets apart outstanding performers in jobs of every kind.” (Goleman 1998 p90).
'Trustworthiness' and 'fairness' figure prominently in the literature on building successful psychological contracts with and engaging staff, i.e. motivating employees to want to make extra efforts to achieve their organization’s goals. (Conway and Briner 2005, Purcell 2006, Saks 2006, Den Hartog and De Hoogh 2009). Palanski and Vogelgesang (2011) link leader integrity positively with employees’ creativity and willingness to take risks. The trustworthiness of its leaders is also important to an organisation’s long term stability (Dietz & Gillespie, 2009). James H. Quigley, Global CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, emphasised the importance of trust in the professional success of an individual: 'Simply put, those who bend rules are not considered trustworthy, and without trust an individual’s value is severely diminished. Without trust and confidence, markets do not function, and value is destroyed.' (Quigley 2007 p9).
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Self-awareness is a component of Authenticity. Within Self-awareness, we also cover key topics including Spotlight on Personality Types, Spotlight Leadership Styles and Spotlight on Emotional Intelligence.
Ethics is a component of Authenticity. Within Ethics, we also cover key topics including Spotlight on History of Ethics, Spotlight on Ethical Leadership and Spotlight on Acting Morally.
Integrity is a component of Authenticity. Within Integrity, we also cover key topics including Spotlight on Personal Mission Statements, Spotlight Walking the Talk and Spotlight on Moral Courage and Office Politics.
Conversation is a component of Authenticity. Within Conversation, we also cover key topics including Spotlight on Listening Skills, Spotlight on Story Telling and Spotlight on Conversational Leadership.
Supporting is a component of Authenticity. Within Supporting, we also cover key topics including Spotlight on Health and Safety, Spotlight on Fun and Humour and Spotlight on Bullying and Harassment.
Aligning Values is a component of Authenticity. Within Aligning Values, we also cover key topics including Spotlight on Corporate Values, Spotlight on Know your Values and Spotlight on Purpose.
Challenging is a component of Authenticity. Within Challenging, we also cover key topics including Spotlight on Presenting a Case, Spotlight on Empathy and Spotlight on Comfort Zones.
Building Trust is a component of Authenticity. Within Building Trust, we also cover key topics including Spotlight on Importance of Trust, Spotlight on Earning Trust and Spotlight on Fixing Broken Trust.