Authentic leadership: What does it really mean?

gabrielledolanGabrielle Dolan, is the opening keynote speaker at the IABC World Conference, happening 11–14 June 2017. She has worked with thousands of leaders around the globe helping them to embrace authentic leadership and business storytelling. She has published several best selling books including Stories for Work: The essential guide to business storytelling, which was published in March 2017.

“Gabrielle epitomizes the concept of authentic leadership,” says Georgia Russell, head of inclusion and engagement at National Australia Bank. “She has worked alongside our most senior leaders to give them the capability and courage to be their real selves and communicate in a way that truly connects and inspires.”


Here’s what Gabrielle says about authentic leadership.

What does authentic leadership look like?

Authentic leaders are prepared to be themselves. As a result, the gap between who they are at work versus their personal lives is minimal. Authentic leaders embrace vulnerability and are comfortable with not having all the answers or admitting when they make mistakes.

Another key trait of those who embrace authentic leadership is making decisions guided by personal values. By standing true to your personal values, it is easier to make decisions on what is right as opposed to what is popular.

You will also notice authentic leaders talking in a more genuine way. This includes being prepared to use personal stories and real language to avoid hiding behind jargon and management speak.

Why authentic leadership matters

Information overload is not new but it is not going away. Consequently people are not looking for more information; they are looking for leaders to make that information meaningful and relevant for them, or in other words to uncomplicate the complicated. With this in mind, the way leaders communicate is vital and they need to move away from using jargon to being genuine.

By 2020, Generation Y will be the most dominate generation in the workforce and they are demanding to be led in a more inspiring way. Employees are looking for leaders with communication skills that connect with them and engage them with purpose. As the number of employees looking to be inspired increases, authentic leadership will empower leaders to achieve this with success.

Learn more about Gabrielle Dolan.

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