Authentic Leadership – A Tale of Three Leaders

06.19.13 | Posted in Guest Blog

It’s guest blog time again. Laura Wolfe has written a pithy and compelling blog about authentic leadership….something we need more of in our world! Laura and I share several things in common – ties to Georgia, living in Baton Rouge, teaching at LSU, and we’re both dedicated to coaching and helping to produce the next generation of uncommon leaders through our work. Enjoy her writing and let us hear from you!

Guest Blogger – Laura Wolfe

An organization made the decision NOT to renew the contracts of their contract employees (about 10% of the workforce) for the next year. Managers in one division handled this information in different ways.

Manager 1 let his contract employees know what was going on soon after he found out so they could plan accordingly.

Months later, Manager 2 sent a hasty e-mail to his contract employees telling them because a local news organization got hold of the story and was breaking it at 5 o’clock.

Manager 3 never said a word to his contract employees; they learned their fate on the 5 o’clock news.


Which of these guys would you want as a boss? Which would you want working for you?

This story started me thinking about leadership and some interesting research I came across recently about authentic leadership. Authentic leaders are defined as those who are self-aware, moral, open, and objective. They create environments where employees can express what they feel and where employees are connected with and use their psychological capital (research-speak for inner strength and resources).

This research found that those who reported to authentic leaders perceived greater support but here is the kicker – these leaders facilitated greater performance outcomes in extreme and stressful working conditions.

In today’s dynamic business environment, I think most workplaces go through some extreme and stressful conditions every year or so. It may be short-lived but it happens. Leaders who can successfully handle these situations should be cultivated.

This is not to suggest that authentic leaders can change a circumstance like the one in the story above, they just support their employees through such craziness more effectively

What do you think?

Laura Wolfe, PhD

Thank you Laura for the valuable contribution!

Onward & Upward!

Ed Chaffin

One Response to “Authentic Leadership – A Tale of Three Leaders”

  1. Andreea says:

    Nowadays employees want to rely on their leader ! A leader should be that person with who an employee can talk truthfully and respectfully. It’s very important for a leader to have the power to deal with every kind of situations, even though some issues will put him in an uncomfortable position he has to have the dignity to face the truth. We need more managers like manager 1 !

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