What Does It Mean To Be An Authentic Leader? – Part 2

scotty sanders


You cannot be an authentic leader unless you are your own person. I have known other leaders who were too responsive to the wishes of others. They had a hard time making difficult decisions for fear of offending. The advice I have given to thousands of leaders is to be you.




  •  Being an authentic leader means you lead with your heart. Some leaders behave as if they have no compassion for anyone. It is your life experience that opens up your heart to have compassion for the most difficult challenges people have along life’s journey.
  •  The capacity to develop close and genuine relationships is one mark of an authentic leader. Many leaders believe their job is to create the vision strategy and organizations structure. They have a detached style of leadership. If you cannot or will not connect with the people you lead, you will find it hard to be effective.
  •  Self-Discipline is a critical quality of an authentic leader. Without it you cannot gain respect of the people you lead. If a leader has good values but not the self-discipline to put them into action, they lose trust. Also, know that none of us are perfect so when we fall short it is important to admit our mistakes.

To be an authentic leader you must practice consistency and self-discipline. Learn how to handle the pressure of leading.

Becoming an authentic leader requires many years of hard work, some pain and suffering, and the wisdom that comes from experiencing life at its fullest.

Mother Theresa was a compelling example of an authentic leader. Many think of her as simply a woman who reached out to the poor yet by 1990 she had created an organization of 4,000 missionaries operating in a hundred countries. Not only did she have a purpose, clear values, and a heart filled with compassion, but she also had a very close relationship with people and exercised self-discipline. She was a great example of authentic leadership.


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