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Leadership Development , Effective Leadership and Authentic Leadership
Posted: 11/10/2009 | Leadership Comments
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What is authentic leadership? As leaders, how can we strive to present and live from authentic leadership? How can we take leadership development to the next level? How can we create more effective leadership?

I have some ideas about leadership development, effective leadership and authentic leadership. The following paragraphs come from a comment I wrote on Nancy Marmolejo’s Facebook page about being an authentic leader:


Thank you Nancy for provoking more thoughts and questions around the subject of the James Ray incident as well as give us the Native American perspective. I feel very strongly about this and have written more on my blog titled, Leadership and Guru Addiction. (see budurl.com/4rrv and budurl.com/pny7). I did get inspired today to write some other thoughts…

I want to say again how profoundly sorry I am for the friends and family of the people who died and those still injured.


This event has given all of us a great opportunity to reevaluate and question ourselves as students and leaders. We have an opportunity here to help leadership development through authentic leadership. This could be a truly effective leadership that comes out of a commitment to authenticity.

We can look at this from so many directions… From the personal level, I can’t say this strongly enough, as leaders we must continue to stay steadfast on the path of rigorous self-discovery and professional growth. Having well-trained helpers keeping us honest about the places inside of us that still need more attention. Helpers meaning mentors, qualified peers or well trained psychotherapist, outside of our bubble of admirers that can confront us when we are off. It is also up to us to watch if we buy our own press or need the admiration of our students to feed our still unhealed egos.


When someone is dedicated to personal growth or any field a long time, after many years there comes a point that a person often wants to share what they have learned. This wanting to give back to others is a natural progression in becoming an expert in something. Giving back or teaching is the next step in the path.  But everything is to be consciously observed as food to further our authenticity.  In the interest of being able to serve better and teach better, it would be wise for leaders to ask questions like the following:

What aspects of this subject I’m teaching do I still need to learn more about?

In what ways might I improve my teaching over all?  

How am I triggered by certain students?

What do I need to look at from my own childhood and past that needs      understanding and healing so that I’m not so easily triggered?


As leaders our growing can never stop. We are still on the path.  As human beings we are all still on the path.  Being truly authentic means leaving no personal stone unturned.  For all of us it simply means identifying which stone needs to be turned over next.  This cultivates humility leaving less room for unconscious blind spots or arrogance.  This produces emotional intelligence leadership.


As students we need to take responsibility for looking at our leaders and teachers with an informed and discerning eye.  If we are so ready to give our authority over to another, it is important for us to understand why.  Even if we feel empowered, are we truly being empowered or disempowered by this leader or teacher?  Does the teacher readily admit that they don’t know certain things?  Do they demonstrate empathy and are they kind?  Are they projecting some kind of perfectionistic, super-human image giving the impression the have no human foibles and struggles?


May we all learn from this and everything that occurs in our lives, not in order to be perfect or super-human but in order to be more compassionate, loving, and real.

I'm interested in hearing more from you. 


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