Rotman Management

Are You an Authentic Leader?

“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

As Shakespeare indicates in this quote from Hamlet, being true to oneself — being authentic — is a pre-condition of being true to others, and has been a sign of moral authority throughout history.

One of the most pressing issues we face today is a lack of trust in our leaders. People are increasingly unlikely to trust a person just because they hold a senior position. Leadership scholars agree that authenticity—or a lack thereof—lies near the heart of the crisis of confidence in contemporary leadership.

In my work I have identified three characteristics that set authentic leaders apart.

Emotional authenticity includes ways to increase your self-awareness through unbiased processing of your strengths and weaknesses, cultivating your passion and transmitting it to others with humility, as well as using parts of your life story

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