Authentic leadership approach

Authentic Leadership

"The most powerful experience I have ever been through…truly remarkable."
Terry Ward
Principal & Co-Founder of Commskills Group

Authenticity is at the heart of the Rewire Leadership approach. Shifting from survival strategies to more successful and enjoyable thrive responses is core to authentic leadership. This shift requires rewiring our brains. Because our brains are wired for survival, we have immediate knee-jerk reactions to anything perceived as threatening. Rewire Leadership provides understanding and skills to diminish our defensive reactions and replace them with constructive, authentic responses.

Authentic leaders are more effective, find their work more rewarding, and are able to create happier, more productive teams.

What is Authentic Leadership?

Authentic Leadership has received wide attention in leadership and business journals during the last 15+ years. Courses and trainings on authentic leadership have sprung up worldwide. Some leadership researchers suggest that the focus on authentic leadership has recently emerged, because “the unique stressors facing organizations throughout society today call for a new leadership approach aimed at restoring basic confidence, hope, optimism, resiliency, and meaningfulness.”[1]

Authentic leaders are aware of:

  1. their own deepest values
  2. the impact of their behavior on others
  3. their strengths and challenges
  4. when to ask for support vs. when to do something on their own
  5. their more shadowy characteristics such as greed, envy, or ego-centrism and, as a result, are less likely to act these out unconsciously
  6. the specific contexts in which they operate

Authentic leaders have aligned values and behaviors. For example, if they espouse direct, transparent communication, they make sure to carry it out. If they say that they are open to hearing alternate views, they have not yet made up their minds. They are committed to building trust and respect by encouraging diverse viewpoints and taking the time and effort to consider these differing perspectives.

Ultimately, authentic leaders inspire others to behave with greater awareness, optimism, trust, care, confidence, and resilience. In fact, research on the positive impact of authentic leaders on followers’ attitudes and behaviors has revealed that followers experience greater trust, hope, and positive emotions. This contributes to greater job satisfaction and performance, engagement, commitment, and meaningfulness. The positive influence of authentic leaders helps create far reaching influence—impacting other leaders, colleagues, customers, and stakeholders. Over time, the principles of authentic leadership form the basis of an organization’s culture.

Our Perspective

Authenticity is at the heart of the Rewire Leadership approach. Authenticity originates inside an individual, even if it’s inspired from others. While we may admire a particular authentic leader and can use that person as a model or mentor, the moment we attempt to copy that person, we experience a moment of in-authenticity. However, as we learn to focus our attention on ourselves, to develop the necessary mindset and skills, we are in the process of rewiring the authentic leader within.

In fact, our purpose at RL is to help all people develop their inner authentic leader. We believe that authentic leadership starts at home. If someone wants to lead others, best make sure that you are able to lead yourself well. We believe that everyone will thrive as people rewire themselves to be more authentic.

At Rewire Leadership, this means:

  • Learning how to discover more about yourself

  • Recognizing and diminishing your own defensive survival reactions

  • Developing the skills to remain or return to equanimity and calm

  • Communicating well—both listening and expressing

  • Broadening perspective so that diversity is welcomed

  • Cultivating your inner witness

  • Finding joy, fulfillment, aliveness, and peace from within

  • Learning how to use all aspects of yourself constructively

  • Initiating and celebrating change inside yourself

The first steps to becoming an authentic leader are part of the PeRL – awareness, understanding, acceptance, appreciation, etc. As you nurture the authentic leader inside you, consider that even though you may not be leading others in the workplace, you can utilize these skills with your friends, children, pets, partner, or your parents.

At RL, we find that people who are already in leadership roles at work appreciate the rewards that come from focusing on themselves first. After gaining awareness, perspective, and skills, they are then ready to apply this approach to their work leading others. RL supports leaders to develop their unique talents and genius while enjoying their journey.

[1]: Avolio, B., Luthans, F., & Walumbwa, F.O., (2004). Authentic leadership: Theory-building for veritable sustained performance. Working paper. Gallup Leadership Institute, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

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