Friday, 21 September 2007

In Search of Authenticity

So finally the quest for Authenticity begins....I had a call and an invitation to the Lead India Group discussion for their initiative effort to find a better leader from the mass. Ofcourse I am excited to be there and see how the process is going to take place and how the leader would be found simply becuase my definition of leadership in the past few days had been shattered completely.

To me leadership had always been a strong character who had a drive and passion to achieve something with the help of the vision that was shared and action that involves making the hands dirty and all of this without expecting that the fame and money will come to you. While I still believe that all of the above with several other things can make a Strong leader I am still in a dilemma over the authenticity of those leaders who are away from these things in reality however pretend to be great leaders...

So how will we authenticate the best and not consider the toxic leaders ... who just want to go high with a COMPLETE SELFISH ATTITUDE and are no where close to the fact that leadership is generating success and not acquiring it?

There are ways to do this specially... and in the past I have done this and I for sure have removed several people from my "Ideal Leaders" list..

1. Do they have a vision that has meaning?
Many leaders specially the hybrid leaders talk about the vision that is more of theory and stolen ideas... These type of leaders always create a vision that is not showing enough visibility to anyone including the visionary himself. The easiest way to track is see if the vision is ready to be shared...

2. Do they build Trust or enforce it?
A Variety of commodity leaders try to enforce trust by faulty promises , mis use of authorities and by touching the soft corners at personal levels to build trust... well these things are good as far as sales are considered but not leadership... A leader builds trust based on what he lets his Team do by letting them do what and how they want to do it.... trust is built in the formal case it is enforced belief.... for instance XXX is the best person in this office doesnt build trust but a fear.... leaders believe in trust yet dont like people to be afraid of them...

3. Do they empower?
Well empowering is been mis-understood by many, several occasions I have seen leaders under the name of empwoering really want to keep control and direct what one should do and in what way... empowering needs trust not only from the leader but also from the person who is getting empowered..... The least of the belief I ahve seen is empowering is misunderstood to be an opportunity... a leader who sells empowering with opportunity is a salesman and not a leader.... empowerment requires compassion, sensitivity psychological insight, trustworthiness, consideration, and the ability to teach, evaluate and coach.

I wont talk more of the important tasks of Authentic leader here like Management, Vision, Trust, Action, Politics and feedback.... I will leave you to define on each front how would you like to find the authenticity making use of the expected characteristics of the Ideal leader....

several other factors and characteristics of the leaders can be used to trace the authenticity... but before you look for authenticity of a leader be sure that you are looking at the right guy...

In search of authenticity you would really like to evolve yourself whether you need to be a leader yourself or follow the right leader.... and If I am not mistaking the worlds greatest sinners were also leaders.... its upto us to decide whether they are commodity leaders or reality leaders...