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Effective leader and authenticity


Add authenticity if you want to lead with authority and approachability 

IbyIMD+ Published 9 February 2024 in Leadership • 6 min read • Audio availableAudio available

In today’s high-stakes business world, striking a balance between being approachable and authoritative is tricky. Here are seven steps to becoming an authentic and effective leader.

It’s one of the biggest conundrums facing leaders today: how do you balance approachability while maintaining your authority? To empower your team to produce their best work, you need to encourage them to speak up and be creative while maintaining accountability to ensure the project doesn’t overrun. In a quest to balance the two, leaders sometimes swing between a “command and control” management style (issuing orders and checking up) and being overly nice. This is not only confusing for your team, but risks coming across as dishonest. The trick in overcoming the approachable/authority paradox is holding your authority with authenticity. In this article, I outline seven leadership behaviors that will help you to lead with care and courage.

Distinguish between authenticity and niceness

The mistake many leaders make is confusing authenticity and niceness. Authentic leaders are consistent, transparent, and emotionally intelligent, creating an atmosphere of trust and…

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