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“Chapter nine. We re going to look at the concept of authentic leadership. Now when when you read this chapter. You might find that it seems a little bit more and unclear compared to the other chapters.
And if that s your case. You are not alone. I find it that way too and i think most people do authentic leadership. Not as developed and clear as some of the other theories are and we ll talk about that especially near the the end.
But what what what can we say about authentic leadership first of all authentic leadership focuses on whether or not leadership is genuine or real. That s what authentic means. It s not super. Sure what that means specifically in a leadership context and we ll look into that there s different versions of this.
But this interest in authentic leadership has increased in the last couple of decades did unethical behaviors of politicians and businesses and just large scale deception that has has occurred and losses of billions of dollars and a lot of shameful behavior. That political leaders have done and in response people claim they want trustworthy leaders now i m not sure that that s true. I think people generally want leaders that share their values and if that leader doesn t share their value. They ll claim that the other person is unethical and to some degree people want a trustworthy leaders.
But i don t see people changing their voting that habits. Very easily at least in terms of politics. Now there are a number of versions of authentic leadership. The intrapersonal perspective look at the inside interpersonal perspective.
Looking at relationships. This practical perspective. By bill. George.
That calls a lot of tips. Authentic leadership. And then the developmental perspective. Which is the main one in the textbook and that s what we ll focus the most time on.
But let s look at the other versions of authentic leadership. Which really don t have a whole lot to do with each other other than emphasizing the idea of being authentic. So first off let s separately enter first and intra personal authentic leadership. So interpersonal means within yourself.
So i sleater ship based on one self concept and how one self conflict. Real self concept relates to one s actions. So your self concept depends on your own history..
The story of the leader. What sometimes is called the critical life events. What made you be what you are and out of how you were raised out of the experiences achievement went through out of the choices that you ve made you have this self concept of who you are and what you believe in and so um. This the authentic leadership in this sense is acting from these convictions.
So authentic leaders lead from their own convictions. They don t do things because other people say that this is what you should do and so i think leaders are original. They don t copy what others do they just do what they think is right so that s the intra personal authentic leadership in contrast. There s the interpersonal authentic leadership.
Where this is alice eglise theories. And where leadership is created by leaders and followers together and it focuses on being relationally authentic communicating clearly and a trustworthy way and this leadership. The reciprocal process because leaders affect followers and followers affect leaders. So that s the interpersonal approach to authen authentic leadership and then a very popular approach to authentic leadership is what the textbook calls the practical approach to authentic leadership.
It s developed by bill. George. Who s a popular business writer and i m he says there s five characteristics of authentic leaders they have a sense of purpose in their life. They know what they re supposed to be accomplishing.
They have strong values and they know what they believe is right and wrong. And what s important in life and they re sure of themselves. They have crusting relationships with others. They ve been able to develop these healthy relationships with people throughout their life and in their work situation they act upon these values and these values are what a direct them in their leadership and they re sensitive to others.
What other people are thinking and feeling and they take other people into consideration now without a doubt this is good practical advice whether it s actual leadership. And if that s leadership is beneficial to an organization s and another question. But it s it s good practical advice in life. If you want to have a good life.
So that s why that s called the practical approach to authentic leadership. Bye bye. Bill george now. The textbook focuses on more of a defendable development developmental approach to authentic leadership.
That s the focus of this chapter. And it s been developed by willem bois and colleagues and we ll have more to say about him near the end. And here s a definition a pattern that draws upon and promotes both positive psychological capacities and a positive ethical climate to foster greater self awareness an internalized moral perspective balance processing of information and relational transparency on the part of leaders working with followers fostering positive self development. Now you might think that definition is not very.
Clear. That s kind of how i think about it too so let s look at it in detail. So we re gonna start off with factors from which authentic leadership is developed so this is the basis of authentic leadership and then these are also things that authentic leadership promotes so they re both antecedents and consequences causes and effects of authentic leadership in this leadership in this framework and there s two big categories..
According to the definitions. There s what s the most positive psychological capacities and that means just being healthy psychologically so authentic leadership. Comes from being healthy psychologically and it promotes psychological health and the psychological health is characterized by confidence in life. Hope that things are going to get better optimism that things are going to work out and this resilience of being able to do well.
Even when things don t go well. So that s what characterizes positive psychological capacities. When people are able to demonstrate these things in their lives. Now the second base and the second thing that authentic leadership promotes is a positive ethical climate or sometimes it said moral reasoning capacities and this is the idea to be able to decide between right and wrong this idea of promoting justice.
The greater good of the organization. The community so in this approach to authentic leadership we look at psychological stability psychological health and this ability to have strong moral values so that in this basic model of authentic leadership. There s four components or four purposes. It s not clear.
If this is what authentic leadership is composed of orwhat authentic leadership is supposed to produce maybe maybe. Both the first is self awareness that means being aware of what s happening oneself reflecting on ones core values identities emotions motives like really knowing. What s going on side inside one s head and one s hard and then there s this idea of an internalized moral perspective. That s the idea that oh i know what s right and wrong and i use those principles to guide my behavior.
That s internalized moral perspective. The third thing is balanced process which means the idea to be able to use information objectively not get overwhelmed by one s feelings or desires. But to look at the information. I have objectively and to listen to other people get their opinions and take them into consideration before making a decision and then the fourth element is relational transparency and that s that s like the interpersonal aspect of authentic leadership being open and honest and presenting one s true self to others.
So those are the four component of authentic leadership were the for purposes of authentic leadership in this model. Now let s talk about some of the strengths and the weaknesses of authentic leadership. When we talk about authentic leadership. It responds to society s needs to trustworthy leadership.
People want trustworthy leadership. So if we talk about authentic leadership or convince people that we re authentic that that makes people happy it fills a void in an uncertain world secondly when you look at approach like bill george it provides broad broad guidelines for those who want to become better. People. And who have a better life.
There s no doubt that bill george has a lot of wisdom in his suggestions for a lavina being an authentic leader like transformational leadership and later. We ll see servant leadership. Authentic leadership. Has an explicit moral dimension.
And it emphasizes. What s right and wrong. Where other versions of leadership..
Don t especially pay attention to what s right and wrong. So some version have a focus on the collective good. What s good for everybody others. Just like okay.
What are your own personal values. And that s what counts you need to act on those and unlike traits that only some people exhibit like this the charismatic transformational leader that transforms the people around them. Everyone can learn to become more authentic and develop some of these strengths that are promoted now. There are some criticisms of authentic leadership first of all the theory is still in the formative stages.
So comes some concepts are not clear or substantiated with data and it s just like oh. This is this is nice thinking. But how does it actually affect organizations. What does it really mean to be authentic.
Why are these different ideas associated with each other so things really aren t too clear with a lot of authentic leadership definitions secondly. It s difficult for people to distinguish between authentic leadership and narcissism narcissism. Is this idea of being really centered on oneself loving oneself and thinking that you re really great and therefore. You have the right to influence and dominate other people leaders high end narcissism will do all they can to convince themselves and their followers that they re authentic and a lot of times.
They do a really good job of it. But really it s just self centered narcissism that leading them and if they can convince people that they re being authentic people will tend to believe that they re being authentic. It s hard to distinguish between the two now a good example. It s a story of greg mortenson in the textbook in the seventh edition of this textbook.
Greg mortenson. Was portrayed as an authentic leader. Because he raised all kinds of money to develop schools for poor people. And just like came across as being super sincere and this wonderful person and shortly after the seventh edition of the textbook came out it all exploded it turned out.
He was just a fake and he really hadn t done the things that he had said he had done and he s an example of someone who was pretty inauthentic and that s that s what happens when you know whenever i see somebody that s really concerned about trying to convince people how authentic they are i m a little skeptical. I want us let see the proof of what their of how they re actually living. Now a third issue especially in this this developmental approach to authentic leadership that the textbook focuses on the rationale for including these positive psychological capacities as part of authentic leadership is not clear. It seems kind of as if random concepts are just kind of stuck together.
And that s because authenticity is not really well defined in most contexts. A good question to pose and a lot of people poses. Question should we just be studying the trait of honesty instead do we want authentic leaders. Whatever that means or do we want honest leaders.
Who say things that correspond to the truth to reality. I m of the personal opinion that honesty is far more important that s really the root of things and i m not and it s a lot more clear. What honesty is compared to authenticity..
Or is authentic leadership. Such as the bill george variety essentially emotional intelligence and purpose and life these these things that are really important to have a good life and have a good relationship. Things just aren t very clear in by what we mean when we talk about authentic leadership. Now another issue that is a super major issue is that one of the researchers of authentic leadership.
Like the main researcher of. I think leadership fred will uh moi has had had many of the papers that he published on authentic leadership retracted what does that mean that means the editors found evidence that what he was saying wasn t really honest that he was making up the data. That he presented in the data now officially they retracted them because he couldn t provide the data upon which these studies were based and he said. Oh yeah.
He s looking for it. And he was sure that he was going to find it. But he just couldn t find it at the time. But because he never found it the editor.
Said okay. These articles were retracting them we don t think that they re really based on the data that they were said they were based on and that is kind of i would not trust somebody trying to talk about authentic leadership. Who is making up their data. So this whole field of authentic leadership is somewhat in a crisis.
Because things aren t clear. There s an awful lot of inauthenticity and hypocrisy going on and we can expect to see a lot of evolution in thought concerning. Authentic leadership in that the years ahead now. As you probably know i like ending my videos with a short biblical reflection.
Because of my own personal convictions. As a as a christian as someone who wants to follow jesus christ. One of the things that jesus taught was it every tree is known by its fruit good trees produce good fruit bad trees produce bad fruit and the idea is the way that we can tell if somebody s authentic and genuine or good and has good values is not by what they say not how persuasive they are but what they actually do in their life. Um.
The apostle paul talks about this also he says love must be sincere the idea of being without hypocrisy hate. What is evil cling to what is good that s a test. If if somebody claims to be wanting to do something good do they hate. What is evil and stay away from that do they cling to what is good and value that be devoted to one another and love being committed to doing the right things to benefiting others.
Honor others more than you do yourself treat others. As if they re more important than yourself. That s the the proof of someone having good moral values. It s the way that they treat other people.
The way that they respond to others the way that they respond to god the way that they humbly come before god and others when they are wrong when they do make mistakes and seek forgiveness and then commit themselves to doing right from that point forward. ” ..
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This video covers Chapter 9 Authentic Leadership in Peter Northouse s Leadership: Theory and Practice, 8th edition. The PowerPoint can be downloaded from: https://www.researchgate.net/project/Leadership-Theory-and-Pracitce-by-Northouse-8-ed-PowerPoints
Leadership, Northouse, Authentic Leadership, Bill George, Chapter 9, Leadership: theory and practice, leadership theory, 8th edition