Over the years, different theories of leadership were prominent at different times. One can think of the trait, behavioural, contingency, path-goal, transactional, transformational and servant leadership approaches. In present times, as we globally face the challenges of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, authentic leadership has come to the fore.
Authentic leadership means both being consistent in one’s beliefs and actions as well as being accountable for them. Authentic leaders are genuine, self-aware, and transparent. They can inspire loyalty and trust by consistently displaying their beliefs and feelings. Some of the outcomes of authentic leadership influence are –
- positive psychological capacities
- a positive ethical climate
- greater self-awareness
- an internalised moral perspective
- balanced processing of information
- and relational transparency
It is very obvious that how people view and relate to change is key to the efforts to grow fit and capable work organisations as they face the challenges of a fourth industrial revolution. If the goal is agile organisations then agility and cooperation need to be entrenched at all levels. Authentic leadership fosters such cultures.
Authentic leadership has been investigated in the context of innovativeness and creativity. A multilevel study found positive impact of team leaders’ authentic leadership on team innovativeness and individual creativity. The employee perception of authentic executive leadership positively influences change self-efficacy which in turn increases the likelihood of successful implementation of planned change.
Author: Dr Gerhard van Rensburg
Survey result: Thinking about a change initiative in your work organisation, was it implemented with proper planning and preparation? 30% of survey partipants answered “mostly not”.