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Authentic Leadership: 5 Big Mistakes that Can Derail Your Influence

By | Karin Hurt |

Impactful authentic leadership requires careful judgment and context.

Authentic leadership matters even more during times of stress, uncertainty, and change.

Of course, you want your team to be real with you. You can’t help them if you don’t know what’s really going on.

And if you’re not real with them, they won’t be real with you.

And yet, authenticity, like any other leadership competency can wreak havoc at the extremes.

I can’t tell you how many times a manager has come to me for advice after they’ve made a technically authentic, but clumsy move:

  • Storming out of a staff meeting in anger.
  • Telling their boss (in front of everyone) how dumb their idea is.
  • Over-sharing confidential information.
  • Prematurely sharing a decision without all the details of the bigger impact.
  • Or, commiserating with anyone who will listen about ALL THE THINGS (how they dislike a co-worker, a policy, customer, change, or process).

I suppose all these moves could be technically considered an attempt at “authentic leadership,” after all, they are speaking their truth. But, they don’t do much to build a leader’s influence, reputation or impact.

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