5 Ways to Cultivate Authentic Leadership

4 min read

Education & Career Trends: February 8

Curated by the Knowledge Team of  ICS Career GPS


Authentic leaders are guided by a purpose that extends beyond personal gain.

Original article by (Dr.) Shanoli Ray, published on LinkedIn.com.


Have you ever wondered why some leaders are more effective at engaging their teams than others? Well, according to a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, employees working under authentic leaders are 3.5 times more likely to feel engaged at work.

But what exactly is authentic leadership, and why does it matter?

Let’s delve into this concept and uncover its power in driving organisational success.

The Essence of Authenticity:

Authentic leadership goes beyond mere words; it’s about embodying genuineness and staying true to oneself. When leaders embrace their authenticity, they foster an environment of openness and vulnerability where trust can thrive and creativity can flourish. Authentic leaders set an example by showcasing their humanity and embracing both their strengths and weaknesses.

Take, for instance, Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks. His genuine passion for social impact transformed the company into a global symbol of corporate responsibility. Schultz’s authenticity inspired employees and customers alike, catalysing meaningful change within and beyond the organisation.

Leading with Purpose:

Authentic leaders are guided by a profound purpose that extends beyond personal gain. They are driven by a desire to make a positive impact within their organisations and in the lives of those they serve. By aligning their actions with their values and vision, authentic leaders motivate others to join them on a purpose-driven journey toward a common goal.

Consider the example of Indra Nooyi, the former CEO of PepsiCo, whose commitment to purpose-driven leadership revolutionised the company’s business model. Under her guidance, PepsiCo embraced sustainability initiatives, championing environmental responsibility and social impact while fostering growth and innovation.

Embracing Authenticity in Leadership:

So, how can you cultivate authentic leadership in your path?

1. Cultivate Self-Awareness

Begin by deepening your understanding of yourself. Reflect on your values, strengths, and areas for improvement. Authentic leadership starts with self-awareness, enabling you to comprehend your motivations, behaviours, and their impact on others.

2. Lead with Integrity

Authentic leaders prioritise honesty, transparency, and ethical decision-making. Lead by example and uphold your values even in challenging circumstances. Your integrity forms the cornerstone of trust and credibility with your team and stakeholders.

3. Embrace Vulnerability

Authenticity necessitates vulnerability. Don’t shy away from displaying vulnerability or admitting mistakes. Authentic leaders acknowledge their imperfections and view them as opportunities for growth and learning, fostering an environment where others feel comfortable doing the same.

4. Foster Empathy and Compassion

Authentic leaders recognise the importance of empathy and compassion in building meaningful connections. Take the time to actively listen, understand others’ perspectives, and demonstrate genuine care and concern for their well-being. Empathy strengthens bonds and cultivates a supportive atmosphere where everyone feels valued and respected.

5. Inspire Purpose and Meaning

Authentic leadership transcends mere goal achievement; it’s about inspiring others to embark on a purposeful journey. Clearly articulate your vision, values, and purpose, and empower your team to contribute their unique talents and perspectives. Inspire a sense of purpose and significance in your work, and witness your team’s motivation to achieve greatness collectively.

As we embark on the journey of authentic leadership, let’s remember that titles or positions don’t define true leadership; it’s about the impact we create and the legacy we leave behind. Let’s strive to lead with authenticity, purpose, and an unwavering belief in our ability to build a brighter, more compassionate world for future generations.

“Authenticity isn’t just a characteristic; it’s a guiding light that leads us toward our true selves and empowers others to do the same. Let your leadership radiate with the brilliance of authenticity and purpose.”


Have you checked out yesterday’s blog yet?

How AI Can Help Humans Become More Human


(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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