How to Become an Authentic LeaderAuthentic leadership is a style that is consistent with a leaders’ personality and core values, and that is honest, ethical, and practical.

“I believe authentic leadership does not come from title, social stature, or the size of one’s paycheck, but rather from how you live and the affect you make around you,” says Faisal Hoque in a Fast Company article.

Author Bill George popularized the concept of “authentic leadership” in his 2003 book “Authentic Leadership” and developed further in the later book “True North.”

Hoque shares some fundamentals to become an authentic leader.

Look at the Big Picture

The future is full of promise. If a door closes, a new one always opens. You may not have all the answers at your fingertips right now, but they will come. If you focus on one thing rather than the big picture, ask yourself what else is at play. You might discover ways to connect it to other areas of business.

Learn Valuable Lessons from Bad Times

“It’s often only through hardship that we discover our inner strengths and capabilities,” says Hoque.

Leaders can be effective in both good times and bad. When times are hard, effective leaders need to inspire and engage their teams.

Surround Yourself with the Right People

Hoque says, “The people we surround ourselves with make the difference between failure and success.”

Avoid people who waste your time and bring you down. Surround yourself with a strong base of talent and trust they will get things done.

Commit to Excellence

Authentic leaders constantly push the envelope and raise standards. Don’t seek perfection. No human being is perfect and it sets you up for failure.

Be Flexible

Authenticity comes from the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and situations.

Understand and assess a situation, modify plans, rally your team, and change a course of action.

Flexibility allows one to go with the flow, to keep stress levels manageable, and to maintain relationships that are critical for overall success.

Be Comfortable when Uncertain

Hoque says this is the mantra of an authentic leader. They are someone who does not follow in someone else’s footsteps. Their comfort with uncertainties drives them to make a difference.

To become an authentic leader requires a commitment to discover and develop your leadership style.

Bill George suggests, to begin to develop your authentic leadership style, you should begin by assessing yourself against the five qualities of an authentic leader: Understand your purpose, practice your values, lead with your heart, establish connected relationships, and demonstrate self-discipline.

What is your leadership style?