Press Release: Three Critical Elements of Authenticity

  • Authentic leaders display a consistency between words and deeds. Leaders who do what they say – who practice what they preach – are more likely to be seen as “genuine” and therefore authentic.
  • Authentic leadership is the capacity to display coherence in role performances. In other words, despite the unavoidable need to play different roles at different times for different audiences, authentic leaders communicate a consistent underlying thread.
  • Authentic leadership involves a kind of comfort with self, which is perhaps the hardest aspect of all to attain. This is the internal source from which consistency of role performance is drawn.

Three Ways to Sharpen Your Situation-Sensing Skills

  • Foster meetings in informal contexts, such as lunch, a hike or a weekend picnic, to foster a greater understanding of the critical individuals in the organization, including their motives, values, skills and passions.
  • Knowing the groups you are leading is a continuous, never-ending process. A group is more than the sum of its members–don’t neglect group dynamics. Pay attention to the subtle dimensions of team structure and process.
  • Understanding the organizational context and constraints within which you must operate is essential. This involves understanding the complex social architecture to which the leader must adapt in order to obtain traction in the organization.

Quadrophenic Cultures: Four Fundamental Types of Organizational Culture

  • Networked cultures exhibit high levels of sociability but relatively low levels of solidarity. They are often characterized by a friendly, family-like ethos.
  • Mercenary cultures display high solidarity, and low sociability. In organizations with this kind of culture there is often a heightened sense of competition and a strong desire to win.
  • Fragmented cultures, low on sociability and solidarity, are unusual but in some contexts can survive and flourish. The freedom given to individuals in these cultures can generate substantial benefits yet can be undermined by too many individuals driven by their own personal agendas.
  • Communal cultures are high on both sociability and solidarity. These are companies that are passionate about a cause with members working together in a tightly knit team atmosphere.

5 Ways Leaders Fail to Balance Distance and Closeness

  • When too much closeness gets in the way of addressing performance issues.
  • When closeness is premature.
  • When leaders fail to recognize accountability.
  • When leaders are distant even though closeness is appropriate.
  • When a leader finds a good technique but pushes it too far.

Effective Leaders

  • Communicate sufficient pressure for change.
  • Communicate a clear and compelling vision.
  • Signal where capability challenge lies.
  • Communicate actionable steps.
  • Provide effective rewards for those who follow.


  • Demand authenticity: they want leaders to show us who they are–to reveal some of their human differences.
  • Need to feel significant: they need recognition for their contribution.
  • Need a sense of excitement: they need to be inspired to higher levels of effort and performance.
  • Want to feel a part of a community: human beings are hardwired for sociability–and desire solidarity.

What Leaders Should Expect of Followers

  • They are prepared to speak up, even if this involves significant personal risks.
  • They are prepared to complement the leader. They understand what they do best and when.
  • They have a skillful appreciation of change and timing. Skillful followership inevitably involves acceptance of some degree of ambiguity and uncertainty

For more information on this topic see our Gareth Jones and Robert Goffee Interview.


If you want to interview Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones, please contact Sue Blake.