Authentic leadership emphasizes those who are highly moral or ethical, self-aware, just, and balanced in how they make decisions and how they exercise transparency in their role as a leader. Candor, likewise, relates to leadership ideals that foster leadership behaviors such as openness, honesty, sincerity, and frankness in their interactions. Such leaders are expected to convey to their followers what they know while displaying a high level of consistency in their words and deeds. Leaders who achieve a high level of behavioral integrity are those who connect their expressed values to behavior and actions and are then seen as more authentic and genuine by others.
The social identity approach has emerged as an increasingly important frame of reference for understanding and engaging with key aspects of political theater. Leaders commonly use coded phrases that will endear them to on group or another. Building on work of two influential social psychological theories – social identity theory and self-categorization theory – the core insight of these approaches are that key forms of organizational behavior reflect and arise from people’s sense of themselves as group members as much as, if not more than, their sense of themselves as unique individuals. Leaders are more likely to be endorsed by followers, and influence them in desired ways, to the extent that they are seen to be representative of a common group. When leaders are embodying “who we are” their leadership stimulates followership. Leaders who lack authenticity become chameleons as they consistently will promote the discourse of the day based on their audience of the day.
Doug Heath on Ethical Climate. Watch above!
On the national stage, actors appear to more concerned about social identity than transparency. Our political parties have lost the ability to objectively govern. There appears to be no direct communication channels in our political system. Politicians use media outlets as communication channels and then conflict arises because each outlet has a social identity! Unresolved conflict can always be traced to a lack of communication. Conversation is lacking because neither side will relinquish their identity. We need politicians to come to the realization that we must change the way we govern. Politicians from ALL political affiliations must become stewards who are open, honest, genuine, and candid in their dealings. An authentic leader’s emphasis is constantly mindful of the nation’s purpose and the need for practicing justice in relation to others, this comprehensive conceptualization of contemplative political leadership provides a means through which to bridges of understanding can be created.
No matter who is leading the most powerful country in the world, we each have a choice to be kind. We can all treat those around us with acceptance, love and respect. That will never change. We must lead with hope and not fear. Because we are all in this together. Let’s build a bridge to a new day paved in kindness and respect for others. And then cross it together.