Authentic Leadership in Contemporary Time
The ongoing problems in healthcare system over the past years have heightened the need for a new kind of leadership in the 21st century- a kind of leadership that calls people to lead in building enduring organizations not only with the use of brilliant minds but with the use of great hearts as well. The simple definition of leadership wherein it is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal has changed to broader scale. Leadership just like any other area of expertise has been called to a higher and deeper stage of performance to be able to converge with the challenges and demands of nursing leadership in modern time.
Just recently, Authentic Leadership was proposed as another theoretical model to give on elements on effective leadership. Authentic Leadership was derived from various concepts of efficient leadership but the theory was created for authentic leaders to share transparently and to act with integrity which requires self-awareness. Having said this, these leaders function with activities that will always reflect their core values (George, 2003).
In today’s situation, there has been the frequent test of a leader’s self integrity in knowing one’s stand in different crisis that may confront him especially in the all-encompassing nature of the nursing profession. This model shows the importance of authenticity in every leader. This is for the reason that before one can find his purpose, he must first understand himself, his passions, and his underlying motivations (Bass & Steidlmeier, 1999). No one can be authentic when someone is just presenting a façade of someone else, just being a replica and not being genuine. This brings us back to what Hildegard Peplau have contributed to psychodynamic nursing and when she stressed the importance of nurse’s ability to understand his or her own behavior first because it is only after this that one can help others in identifying their perceived difficulties. Another is one of the adaptive modes that Callista Roy has identified in her adaptation model, the self-concept mode. She explained that the self-concept mode or the need to know who one is has great importance as it is through this that one can be or exist with a sense of unity, meaning and purposefulness in the universe.
The journey to authentic leadership begins with understanding the story of one’s life. One’s life story provides the context for their experiences, and through it, they can find the inspiration to make an impact in the world (George, Sims, McLean & Meyer, 2007). Authentic leaders are genuine people who are true to themselves and to what they believe in. They engender trust and develop real connections with others. Because people trust them, they are able to motivate them to high levels of performance thus, being able to meet the goal of the whole team. Rather than letting the expectations of others guide them (authentic leaders), they are prepared to be their own person and go their own way (George & Sims, 2007). Its importance nowadays is seen as ethical and moral issues continue to arise because a positive moral perspective is fundamental to authentic leadership and as leaders, they are expected to engage in ethical and transparent decision-making. Authentic leaders draw on their moral capacity, courage, and resiliency (May et al., 2003) to address ethical issues and achieve moral actions. Furthermore, Authentic Leadership has also found great function as one of the 6 standards necessary to establish and sustain healthy work environments in healthcare according to American Association of Critical-Care Nurses last 2005 wherein they also expanded definition of authentic leadership and its attributes (eg, genuineness, trustworthiness, reliability, compassion, and believability).
Authentic leaders furthermore work hard at developing self-awareness through persistent and often courageous self-exploration. However, there have been the persistent questions on how to really measure self-consciousness. Denial can be the greatest hurdle that leaders face in becoming self-aware, but authentic leaders ask for, and listen to, honest feedback. These leaders make time to examine their experiences and to reflect on them and in doing so, they grow not just to become better individuals but as enhanced leaders as well.
Please take time to respond through the follow-up questions, thank you
1.Having stated what authentic leadership is, can you give additional advantages of what people/healthcare team can benefit from an authentic leader?
2.What do you think are the opportunities/areas to where the authentic leadership theory may improve? (cite any biases or weaknesses)
3.In your opinion, is the authentic leadership theory really of significance concerning nursing leadership in current time?
1. George, W. (2003). Authentic leadership: Rediscovering the secrets to creating lasting value. San Francisco7 Jossey Bass.
2. Bass, B. M., & Steidlmeier, P. (1999). Ethics, character, and authentic transformational leadership behavior. The Leadership Quarterly, 10, 181–217.
3. George, W. , Sims, P., McLean A., Mayer, D. (2007) Discovering your authentic leadership. Harvard Business Review, 85(2), pp. 129-138.
4. George, W., Sims, P. (2007). True North: Discover your authentic leadership. Retrieved February 1 2007, from Authenticleaders.org Website: http://www.authenticleaders.org/book.htm
5. May, D.R., Chan, A., Hodges, T.D. and Avolio, B.J. (2003), “Developing the moral component of authentic leadership”, Organizational Dynamics, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 247-60.
6. The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses 2005. AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments: A Journey to Excellence
From Aliso Viejo, Calif. American Journal of Critical Care. 2005;14: 187-197