7. Leadership and the Paradoxes of Authenticity

Author : Immaculada Adarves-Yorno

In this chapter Immaculada Adarves-Yorno brings to life the paradoxes of authenticity, from the conceptual to the contextual, and from matters of identity to the journey to authenticity itself. You will become familiar with many of the difficulties inherent in authenticity and be better equipped to develop your own form of authentic leadership. Blending an in-depth understanding of psychology and her practical experience of working within organisations and as a consultant and advisor to CEOs, she applies a broad range of theory and provides pointers to your own development.

  • Paradoxes of Breadth
  • The paradox of depth
  • Conclusion
Questions for reflection and discussion  
  1. How would you describe yourself as a leader? And, how do you think other members of your teams would describe you? Write down as many terms as you can think of that describe your leadership, and then ask others around you to do the same.
  2. Think about the face that you present to others with whom you work. Which aspects of yourself do you offer to your colleagues? Which aspects might you not reveal to them?
  3. Thinking about your own beliefs, what values are most important to you? How completely or incompletely do you live them when you are leading?
  4. When do you find it easy to be at your most authentic? When is it sometimes harder for you to be authentic? What factors may contribute to making authenticity harder to grasp and hold? Write down a list of the latter, and consider what you might do to overcome them.
  5. As a leader, when the environment changes around you, what aspects of yourself do you adapt to meet the change? What remains the same? Does your own leadership style itself change over time?

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