Being an authentic leader means being real and genuine with all people in all
situations. When you are authentic, you say what you mean—what you believe and
think—and mean what you say, inside and outside of meetings. You are known as
being honest and consistent. Being authentic and telling your truth need not mean
that receivers of your messages feel uncomfortable or diminished in any way. Even
constructive feedback can be given from a humanistic perspective, helping the
receiver feel whole and appreciated.
Being humanistic is the opposite of being egocentric—believing that “It’s all about
me!” Humanistic leaders value human dignity and are concerned about the interests
and welfare of others. They work and interact from a center of kindness and
compassion for colleagues.
When you behave as a humanistic leader, you see yourself as being part of something bigger than yourself—the organization. You believe that the organization’s success depends on how well you and your coworkers serve, cooperate and collaborate with each other. You believe that the organization is stronger when the thoughts and ideas of all employees are solicited and valued and when the external (not internal) competition is encouraged and reinforced.
As a humanistic leader, you work hard to shape an organizational culture that wins the
hearts and minds of employees so they routinely volunteer discretionary effort—
“want-to” rather than “have-to” behavior. In each interaction you have an
opportunity to be authentic and humanistic or not. The choice is yours.