Many businesses used to look at leadership as a very straight forward, cut and dry concept. There was one main “boss” with all the answers, and a myriad of followers. This outdated view on leadership in business has evolved throughout the years. Companies now seem to focus more on the social and behavioral aspects of leadership rather than just economic prowess and results. This idea of authentic leadership, outlined in the scientific journal “The Leadership Quarterly“, highlights the importance of social development with in leaders.
Authentic leaders are described as “those who are deeply aware of how they think and behave, and are perceived by others as being aware of their own and others’ values/moral perspectives, knowledge, and strengths; aware of the context in which they operate; and who are confident, hopeful, optimistic, resilient, and of high moral character.” The authentic leader must possess a positive moral perspective, and when making decisions they draw upon reserves of moral capacity, resilience, and courage in addressing ethical issues. Authentic leadership also requires heightened levels of self awareness. A true leader must be able to recognize their own abilities and understand their personal strengths and weaknesses. Self regulation is another important factor in authentic leadership. A leader must have the ability to exert self control and set internal standards. All of these factors are essential in a successful leader, and key in creating a work culture and environment that allows all levels to function optimally.