I do not remember when I watched it the first time, but the story of Bob Chapman always fascinated me. Simon Sinek describes how he created a trusting environment not by doing the obvious; but by thinking out of the box and being transparent about this. For us this is an example of Authentic Leadership. The story about Bob Chapman starts at around 08.20 min:
The way Bob Chapman lived to his values around Truly Human Leadership got me thinking. Combined with what I learned working with different leaders or discussing with other Agile Coaches & Consultants at various conferences or retreats, I identified 4 pillars a leader should work towards to create a similar environment as Bob Chapman did: Vulnerability, Empathy, Integrity and Adaptability (then called Continuous Improvement).
I started to present the topic at conferences, and at some point, my friend Marco Passuello thought: This is interesting. He wondered if there is scientific proof of what I am saying.
So, Marco and I started digging deeper and formalizing our leadership approach. We call it the 4 Pillars of Authentic Leadership.
It is very well researched, that one of the biggest components of high-performing teams is the trustful environment within the team. If the team has a propensity to trust the leader and vice versa, great things can happen. Self-organization and mission-driven outcomes become the norm. But be aware, there is also a danger towards innovation when there is too much trust.
Marco discovered in literature, that trust connects mostly with so-called Authentic Leadership. If a leader acts authentic, for example, does not try to appear better than they are (sometimes as a reaction of an impostor syndrome), or is not afraid to be transparent about themselves in their position, then, teams tend to trust their leader more than someone, who tries to keep control over every aspect of the team.
But how do authentic leaders behave? There is a clear connection between authentic leadership to each of our Pillars: vulnerability, empathy, integrity and adaptability.
In the following, we will define each of the 4 Pillars in a brief description. In future blogs, we will try to dig deeper into each of them:
Do you want to learn more on how you can use the 4 Pillars to your advantage and build a united team thanks to higher authentic leadership? Then join us for one of our 4 Pillar Trainings. These are reflective and introspective journeys through all the 4 Pillars.
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