The Authentic Leadership
Coaching Institute

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Authentic Leadership by Bill George
a Review

3 Reasons to Review a Book After 13 Years

“In the last 10 years, authenticity has become the gold standard of leadership. This is a sea change from 2003 when I wrote Authentic Leadership. Back then, many people asked what it meant to be authentic.”

From an article Harvard Business School in Working Knowledge by Bill George

3 reasons why it is necessary to write a summary review of a book that is 13 years old.

Reason #1 - Still confusion about the word "authentic"

Reason one is that still today people are believing that “authentic” means you can act any way you want.

As one person said to me recently, “the workplace is the last place you want to be authentic.”  Authentic almost being synonemous with the behaviors of a bull in a china shop.


Reason #2 - Authentic includes your potential

It is even more critical today for individuals to develop authentic leadership skills but understand the greater signifigance of what the word “authentic” means.

Take the word apart from the ancient Greek and the beginning of the word “authentic” is from “auto” or “self.”

Someone who has a sense of self with knowledge of strengths and knowledge of shortcomings and builds authentic leadership skills.  Bottom line the authentic you has a huge amount of POTENTIAL.

"....being the person you were created to be." Bill George

Reason #3 - In addition, there is new information

Thirteen years ago we did not have the knowledge of how men and women are naturally different from each other in how our brains function naturally. 

Developing authentic leadership skills now desparately needs to include an understandimg of those difference to communicate with authenticity. Gender intelligence is a key part to authentic leadership.

Bill George in reviewing his book in 2015 for Working Knowledge for Harvard Business School summarizes

Authentic leaders demonstrate these five qualities:

·         Understanding their purpose

·         Practicing solid values

·         Leading with heart

·         Establishing connected relationships

·         Demonstrating self-discipline

 These have only changed in the past 13 years by becoming more critical. For example,

Understanding purpose - more books are on the market and more seminars being conducted on finding your purpose.  A popular one is Simon Sinek's book and TED talk on WHY.

Values - if you talk to anyone who has been involved in an interview for a positon, one of the key areas of focus are the behavioral questions. In other words, if this or that happened, what would you do or what did you do? The answers are driven by your values and how you act on them.

Heart - this is quite interesting because Bill George talks about compassion and now added to it is all the research showing that from your heart are energy waves connecting to other people.  Check out the company HeartMath.

Connectedeveryone needs to learn the appropriate ways to connect with the opposite gender as we have learned from recent science and connect with value through gender intelligence. 

Self-discipline - use to be driving yourself harder to work more hours and get more done.  Now it seems an even more difficult self-discipline is required and that is the self-discipline to live a balanced life.  

This brief review of Authentic Leadership by Bill George has focused on its increasing importance in this 21st Century and will likely to continue to increase in its significance as more programs are offered to support people in developing authentic leadership skills.  

We need to be authentic to our true nature.



Your impact hangs on your image.