How Do Authentic Leaders
Convey Credibility?

Authentic-leaersI’ve been exploring how authentic leaders build authenticity by addressing five areas: self-awareness, respect, connecting, credibility and trust.

How do authentic leaders come across as truly credible? For one thing, people don’t believe leaders who exhibit questionable behavior. If a leader shows flexible morality in one arena, they are not going to be perceived as 100% ethical in others. Being true, inwardly and outwardly, avoids this potential pitfall. Read More »

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Authentic Leaders Earn Respect

Authentic-Leader I’ve been exploring what it takes for leaders to develop into more authentic leaders. Being respected begins with showing respect to others, both upline and downline in your organization. Model respect for everyone and it will be contagious.

The phrase “leading by example” is more than a suggestion. Leaders who model the behavior they want their organization to exhibit make the most effective strides in establishing a healthy culture. Employees respect leaders who “walk the talk” and regard them as authentic. Who doesn’t want to follow someone who displays noble values in decisions and behaviors? Read More »

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Why Authentic Leaders Need to Be Self Aware

Authentic-leadersIn just about every article and book I read about authentic leaders, we learn how self-awareness is a cornerstone to authenticity. There are good reasons for this.

Authentic leaders know themselves well, notes Brenda Ellington Booth, a clinical professor of management at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business.

When leaders are self-aware, they recognize their limitations and weaknesses, and they can openly admit to them. This leads to being able to learn to compensate for faults in order to find workable solutions. Focusing on self-improvement, with an emphasis on asking others to assist, is as authentic as it gets. Read More »

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Are You the Authentic Leader
Your People Need?

Authentic-leaderAre you really the authentic leader your people want you to be? Many leaders are unaware of how their lack of authenticity chips away at people, breeding dissatisfaction, distrust and disloyalty. Organizational effectiveness and productivity suffer when workers view leaders as inauthentic.

One out of three people distrusts his or her employer, according to the 2017 Edelman “Trust Barometer.” Four out of five don’t see authenticity in their leaders’ performance. When only 20 percent of leaders come across as genuine, they risk handicapping their organizations with insufficient influence, poor worker engagement, and ultimately, disappointing corporate results. Read More »

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Leadership Dishonesty:
When Is It Right for Leaders to Lie?

Leadership-DishonestyIn my last post, I wrote about leadership dishonesty and asked the question, “When, if ever, and under what circumstances, is it okay for leaders to lie?” I’m interested to know what your experience has been. And I’m curious about author Jeffrey Pfeffer’s contention that the ability to misrepresent reality is a crucial leadership skill.

In Leadership BS, Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time,  (HarperBusiness, September 2015) he writes:

“Simply put, there are occasions when you have to do bad things to achieve good results.”

“Sometimes survival demands that you do what prevails in the ecosystem in which you are competing.”

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Leadership Dishonesty: The New Norm?

Leadership-DishonestyEveryone agrees that leadership dishonesty is wrong and that candor, honesty and transparency are essential to leaders of all organizations. When leaders lie, no one trusts them—not their subordinates, their own bosses, their colleagues, or their customers. You can’t have effective leadership without trust.

Worse, when leaders lie, others do the same. Almost no one can be sure to have accurate information about what is really going on and decisions are faulty. It is impossible to learn from experience and make better choices when there isn’t full disclosure and transparency. Read More »

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When Teams Lack Focus on Results

focus-on-resultsWhen team members trust one another, engage in healthy conflict around issues, commit to the decisions they make, and hold one another accountable, there’s a pretty good chance they will succeed. And yet… sometimes they don’t.

When teams manage the first four dysfunctions of teams that commonly cause project failures, they still might fail. Why does this happen? Human nature.

We have a strong tendency to look out for ourselves before others, even when others are part of our families and teams. And because teams are made up of fallible human beings, they often stumble. They lose sight of the ultimate measure of a great team: Achieving the results they were designed to achieve. Read More »

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When Teams Lack Accountability

AccountabilityAccountability is a term that gets overused in the workplace and thus loses some of its power. Here’s a good definition from Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (Jossey-Bass, 2002).

“When it comes to teamwork, I define accountability as the willingness of team members to remind one another when they are not living up to the performance standards of the group.” ~ Patrick Lencioni

Here’s why this is so important:

“Peer pressure and the distaste for letting down a colleague will motivate a team player more than any fear of authoritative punishment or rebuke.”

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Dysfunctional Teams Lack Commitment

Dysfunctional-teamsDysfunctional teams cannot be blamed for all business failures, but they play a major role in unsuccessful projects and missed goals. In his acclaimed bestseller, organizational consultant Patrick Lencioni identifies The Five Dysfunctions of a Team:

  1. Absence of trust
  2. Fear of conflict
  3. Lack of commitment
  4. No accountability
  5. Lack of attention to results

No team functions well without trust in their leaders. Equally important is trust among team members. Without trust, people don’t openly debate the issues and explore new ideas. Read More »

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When Team Conflicts Are Ignored

Team-conflictsWhen teams avoid conflict at all costs, it impedes their effectiveness. A survey found that 91 percent of high-level managers believe teams are the key to success. But the evidence doesn’t always support this assertion. Many teamwork-related problems remain hidden from view, including fear of conflict, the second dysfunction of Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (Jossey-Bass, 2002).

Fear of Conflict in Teams

Lack of trust within a team inevitably leads to fear of conflict, confrontation, criticism and/or reprisal. When teammates and leaders are seen as potential threats, people adopt avoidance tactics. This sets up an artificial harmony that has no productive value. There is no true consensus, just a risk-preventing sentiment of “yes” feedback. True critique is avoided. Genuine solutions are not explored, and the team functions poorly.

I’ve seen this dynamic at work when I’m consulting in businesses. Everything looks good on the surface, but feelings and resentments build because people don’t feel free to express disagreement. Read More »

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