Understanding the fundamental principles of authentic leadership

Posted on January 5, 2017
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The pace of change is speeding up

With everything currently going on – from president-elect Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Wikileaks, questions about information agencies right down to our everyday living – it’s becoming evident that the pace of change is speeding up.

Our challenge is to make sure that these changes are built on a sound foundation with secure pillars that will to support the future – or else we might regret it in the future. This is a call to everyone to become mindful and accept the the challenge of laying a new foundation for fundamental, authentic leadership and quality living that benefits all.

The question is easy: What foundation and pillars can we use to build all these changes on? The answer too is easy:

There is only one of two options: On the one side we have a foundation with values and pillars of honesty, truth, maturity, mindful intelligence, integrity and authenticity. On the other hand we have  a foundation with pillars of ego-driven, immature, mindless, deceptive and destructive self-service values. The one leads to co-operation, success and progress – the other leads to competition, destruction and inevitable failure. Not difficult to distinguish between the two and the choice is ours to make…

cover-cthe-new-leadership-1-2Laying a new foundation

Our challenge is to lay a new foundation for authentic leadership and develop a new generations of authentic leaders helping, guiding and assisting authentic people. A New Leadership DNA is emerging as we speak. This post is all about understanding, laying and securing this foundation, now and for the future. (Please look out for the upcoming webinar training workshops on: Authentic leadership- why you are the new leader we’ve been waiting for)

For now we have to take a look at the fundamental principles of authentic leadership

Fundamental principles of authentic leadership

In order to get to the root of leadership and lay a new foundation, we first need to understand the basic meaning. The word ‘leader’ comes from the word leidð, meaning ‘to show the way by going in advance; to guide by taking by the hand; escort; direct; to go first as a guide; to be at the head of; to act as director or commander’. A leader is a person who influences others to change or move in a specific direction. This influence could be a guide to others on the path of life, business, family issues, sport, politics, economics, or any other context of life. It could also take on a negative direction of crime, negativity and corruption.

What is leadership?

‘Leadership’ denotes a position to influence others to move or change; an office and ability to lead. However, everyone has the power and ability to influence others to move and change. We can directly influence others by taking up a leadership position, or indirectly by voting for leaders to take up leadership positions on our behalf. We also have the collective influence and responsibility to choose worthy, quality leaders, who represent our values, definition of success and quality living.

pi-book-fin-4We could unconsciously influence the lives of every person we meet. This is not determined by our position or possessions, but by the influence and power of who we are. At the moment, we are awakening and becoming self-aware – self-conscious. We are learning about our authentic self and personal power, while re-igniting with our Power Intelligence[i]. This means everyone should be conscious of and educated in the emerging New Leadership DNA, in order to accept responsibility for our collective challenge. We need to become aware of our contribution in creating a quality future that will benefit all. We all need to become conscious of the influence we personally have in placing and maintaining authentic leaders in their leadership positions. Our choice of and support for leaders will reflect our value systems. At the same time, we come mindful of our personal power to influence others. This is what this book is all about.

Leadership and success

Leadership always has to do with the perception of success, quality living, and how to obtain it. Leadership is all about ensuring a specific value system. This could be an individual perception that benefits only a minority, or a collective perception that benefits all. The perception of success and quality living are driving forces behind all leadership endeavors. Leadership is the ability to successfully ignite movement and change in the direction the leader or leaders see as a better quality of life. New Success DNA is therefore a prerequisite for New Leadership DNA[ii].

Personal and collective agendas

All leaders have a personal agenda. Some ask “what is good for me” and “how many people will agree with me and will go along with my vision and value system?” or “what will serve me/mine best?” Some leaders ask different and broader questions: “What will benefit all of us?”, and “how many can we benefit and take along?”, or … “how can I serve?” Identifying value-orientated and constructive or destructive self-serving leaders and leadership styles, starts with the answers to the questions:

Where are they coming from? What is their personal point of departure and value system? What is their personal agenda?

Developing understanding

If we understand where someone is coming from, what their point of departure and personal agenda is, we will also know where they are going and what to expect in the future. There are mainly two points of view. On the one hand, the vision and value system benefits only a select few. This represents an exclusive leadership style. On the other hand, the vision and value system is inclusive and benefits all. This also includes the environment. The vision is determined by the leader’s vision of success and quality living. Followers will support a leader if they believe that they will benefit from the choices and the processes involved. Here we find an alignment and synergy of agendas.

The questions that guide this process are:

What do we want? Why do we want it? What must we do to get what we want? What is success? How do we create a better life for ourselves? (this could be an exclusive or inclusive ‘self’) 

book-cover-new-success-dnaOnce these questions are addressed and the individual and collective vision of ‘successful living’ has been identified, qualified and quantified for those involved – it becomes necessary to get others to buy in to the vision, values and concept. Methods, skills, tools and contexts may differ from person to person, or group to group. In the end, all will agree on what is best for all in the group – be it an inclusive or exclusive group. This has the same relevancy for a group of terrorists, a group of Wall Street businessmen, youth leaders, a group of street children, or the G8 countries. Only the content will differ, and the answers to the questions will vary. The fundamentals always stay the same

The overall concept of leadership is the ability to obtain and secure successful, quality living – whatever the definition may be. Even if hardships have to be endured, the vision will still hold the group together, while they keep on agreeing on the underlying value system. This is the ‘glue’ that keeps everyone together.


Value-systems: The glue that keeps everything
together

If the value system loses its stronghold, the group will lose momentum, become ‘unglued’ and disintegrate. The leader will fall from grace. For decades leaders such as Mubarak from Egypt, Qaddafi from Libya, Mugabe from Zimbabwe, the Chinese government, and others, have ruled their people with an exclusive system that only benefited a select few. Previous governments in America, apartheid in South Africa, leadership in India, the Far and Middle East, and around the globe, all have histories of this inclusive leadership paradigm. Domination, dictatorship, intimidation, suppression, neglect and abuse of the majority are all part of this mindset that secures the quality of life for some at the expense of others. This is based on a scarcity mentality and a mindset of fear and survival. Now all is about to change.

Expanding human awareness

madiba-front-coverAs human awareness begins to expand, people start to ask: “What about me?” In order to maintain their positions, Presidents Mubarak and Qaddafi, the Chinese government, and other African and Middle-Eastern governments, have had to use force to secure their power and leadership positions. We can expect that in the end, they will all be overthrown by the same people who used to follow their lead – as history is currently teaching us … Then there is a different kind of leader … leaders like Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Martin Luther King and others

The questions are:

What is changing and why are these changes occurring now?

Leadership and change

Nothing lasts forever. When we arrive at one point and start to become comfortable, there is always a trigger that initiates something new. New wants, needs and values begin to emerge as people become dissatisfied with the status quo. The new creates a new buzz, and a field of new energy starts to take hold and spread. Change and transformation become inevitable. We are presently in the midst of a power shift, as a shift in consciousness and awareness. A new mindset, value system and level of consciousness are emerging. Even a whole new DNA-migration is taking place. (will discuss this in future posts)

A good leader is a person who can anticipate and even initiate positive change that will benefit all. Bad leaders ignore and oppose these signs or can hijack the changes for their benefit only. Successful leaders identify the course to follow, show the way, and inspire others to buy in and commit to the new vision of success[iii].

slide2New Bridge-builders and way-showers

Authentic leaders are new pathfinders, mapmakers, bridge-builders and way-showers. They can motivate, inspire, assist and guide others to change and move from one position to another. Not only do they give direction, but they can also create a new vision in the minds of others. They can provide solutions and implement relevant strategies in order to secure successful change. A true leader is a ‘change agent’ and a catalyst. Authentic leaders are alchemists[iv] – changing lower-order human awareness into a higher consciousness of success and quality living for all.

The movement and change can either be positive or negative – all depending on the personal qualities and value system of the leader. This means we either have a positive or negative foundation for leadership or a leadership style.

In order to determine the fundamental point of departure of a leader, we need to ask the questions:

Where is this person coming from? Are they coming from a foundation of inner peace and positive values that will benefit all, or … Are they ego-driven, with their value system only benefitting an inclusive group? Are their motives based on fear and are therefore self-destructive? 

Once we know the answers to these questions we can already determine the process and the outcome. There is only one of two possibilities. Our lessons from history, as we have seen in the leadership experiences with the Aztecs, give us some clues.

Keep in touch.

about-auth1

 

 

 

Brenda Hattingh

What you can do:

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References:

[i]  Hattingh, B. 2012 (b). Power Intelligence. Mastering your miracle mind. Currency Communications: Johannesburg..

[ii]  Hattingh, Brenda. 2012(a). New success DNA. What you should know and how to activate it. Currency Communications: Johannesburg.

[iii]  For more information see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadership_studies.

[iv]  Alchemy: A traditional chemical philosophy having as its asserted aims the transmutation of base metals into gold; any seemingly power or process of transmuting; the art of transmutation.

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