Many different researches have been done, many books have been written, and many lectures have been given on different styles of leadership. A combination of passion, consistency, confidence, hope, and compassion, along with other important qualities are essential for a person in order to become a good leader. It is important to mention, that with some of these qualities a person is born, other can be taught throughout life. As a formative phase of a development, the leader of any kind must live by example. Nowadays, more than ever, real leadership is very important in all aspects of life. In the following project I will discuss what exactly is authentic leadership and what does it mean to be an authentic leader.
Leadership is necessary in every household, every neighborhood, every community, state, and country. In many occasions we can see lack of good leadership, or on the contrary a great examples of exceptional leadership. It is important to say that not everybody is born a leader or can be made into a leader - not everybody can lead. To be a leader requires honesty, integrity, and charisma. According to Northouse, "Leadership" (page 255), the definition of authentic leadership is: "A leader is a person that exhibits genuine leadership, lead from conviction and is original and not a copy." Three different viewpoints have been developed on the authentic leadership - intrapersonal perspective, interpersonal process, and developmental perspective.
Intrapersonal perspective refers to how the leader behaves internally, and how is his or her decision making process affected. It integrates leader's self-knowledge, self-regulation, and self-concept. The leader can make up the decision based on the events of the past.
Interpersonal process brings to the table also the question of leader's relationship with his subordinates and how can they affect the leaders ability to accomplish certain task and vice-versa.
Developmental perspective tells us how the leader can be formed and trained, rather than being born with certain qualities and traits. As mentioned before not everybody has the ability, skills and characteristics to become a leader.
Leaders can become great, but not necessarily because of their power, but rather because of their ability to empower others. Good leader needs to be supportive; hence, people are the most valuable asset in a company. Equipment, machinery, tools, software, buildings, and land are all tangible assets that can be bought on the open market, thus they do not offer any competitive advantage. It is always people that make the most obvious difference. Leaders must use their position, relationships, and productivity to invest into their subordinates and nurture them into becoming leaders in their own positions.
In the particular area of authentic leadership, there are two different approaches that need to be discussed. The first one is practical approach and the second one is theoretical approach. Many of today's CEOs, directors, presidents, governors, and community leaders are very leadership-knowledge "hungry." They strive to become better leaders, to better serve the people around them, to become an inspiration, and to be honored and remembered by their followers.
Practical approach to authentic leadership focuses on the actions of the leader and his leadership team. This approach is also called Terry's approach. The main goal is that the leader has to always strive for what is right. Integrity and moral views are unmistakably present in the practical approach to leadership. Leaders change lives of the people they lead in one way or the other. For example leaders like Dalai Lama, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, or Lech Walesa changed the lives of his followers for the better by showing compassion and strong charisma. On the other hand leaders like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, or even Fidel Castro have taken advantage of strong followership to...
References: Leadership, Northouse, Peter G. Sage, Inc. 6th edition
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