Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

Authentic Leadership: How ‘True’ Are Your Actions?

April 30, 2015 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

What is authentic leadership? It’s a question we are hearing more frequently from participants in our training courses. Not surprisingly, as today’s organizations place more and more emphasis on transparency, being truly “authentic” is a real must for all leaders.

To gain better understanding, I encourage you to take a look at the opening paragraph of this 2013 Forbes article. I think it’s a striking way to describe the very real need for true and authentic leadership in today’s business world.

Ouch! What stood out to me is the line about leadership “being an act.” Because, as we already know, that’s one thing great leadership definitely should not be! In fact, because leadership behaviors are the key to earning employee trust and have a direct and lasting impact on employee engagement, it’s critical that leaders consistently display actions that are authentic and genuinely represent their “true selves.” 

At Disney Institute, we believe that leadership is a verb, and therefore, great leadership depends upon the actions one takes with respect to personal and organizational values. We call this “values-infused leadership.” And, in our Disney’s Approach to Leadership Excellence professional development course, we teach participants that if leadership is demonstrated through actions, then ultimately, every leader is telling a story about what he or she values in the way they behave. 

So then, how, can we as leaders ensure we are consistently behaving in a manner reflective of “who we really are?" According to the Forbes article, there are four ways to demonstrate authentic leadership

How are you demonstrating authentic leadership today? What opportunities have you identified for personal growth?

We’d love to hear from you! 
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Posted in Leadership Excellence | Tagged Leadership, Authentic Leadership, Leadership Training, Employee Engagement, Bruce Jones

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