Posts Tagged ‘leadership power’

Authority Reveals True Leadership Authenticity

leadership-authenticityThe recent challenge to current Speaker of the House, John Boehner, reveals true leadership authenticity if the reports from some Republican Congressmen are true. History, however, has provided how authority can diminish leadership through these often repeated phrases:

  • My way or the highway
  • You mess with the bull; you get the horns
  • Get in line, or face the consequences

Authentic leaders do not lead by fear or force. Instead they lead through positive core values, open dialogue and a extreme willingness for self-reflection and personal accountability.

Speaker’s Boehner’s first mistake was not investing in self reflection two years ago when his Speaker of the House leadership was challenged.  If he had, those against his style of leadership would have decreased not increased.

leadership-authenticityAuthority in and by itself is not leadership. What authority really is, is granting permission to someone or something to have control over your behaviors or the behaviors of others.  In this instance, Boehner has authority over Congress as permitted through the U.S. Constitution.

People have the leadership power to vote as to whom they wish to give authority.  In Boehner’s example, some did not want him to have this authority or believed his past leadership skills were insufficient.

History has also provided people who lack any authority and yet their leadership authenticity shined through all the noise.  Individuals like Martin Luther, Mother Theresa, Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King just to name a few come to mind.  Of course those with authority sometimes give under false promises, ignorance and misconceptions can just as easily be named including Hitler, Stalin and Idi Amin.

Today’s leaders must not allow authority to take over and create a culture of distrust through retribution and other negative, reactive behaviors. Speaker of the House Boehner has potentially demonstrated the significant cracks in his leadership authenticity.

My free advice to Congressman Boehner and to other leaders who have faced a leadership uprising is to take the high ground and immediately:

  1. Honor their earlier statement of no reprisals from anyone who disagreed with them
  2. Immediately connect with those who disagree and establish areas of agreement
  3. Work with all in their organizations to find areas of agreement
  4. Do not confuse agreement with consensus or compromise
  5. Create a rotating 360 accountability process where they meet with all stakeholders to receive feedback
  6. Hire an executive coach to work through this feedback and to improve his executive leadership skills
  7. Be willing to turn over their authority if others find a lack of sustainability in their behaviors and leadership skills as well as for fresh ideas

When leaders recognize authority comes from the power of others and is not theirs forever and forever, they have indeed taken the first baby step toward true leadership authenticity.

So how do you rate as a leader?  The first step is to understand your own leadership skills  (talents) and this talent assessment provides incredible accuracy and clarity as to how to gain that understanding.

 

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