What is the truth about authentic leadership?

Updated: Jun 3




It continues to surprise that after so many decades of a multibillion-dollar leadership development industry, that includes thousands of leadership development experts with tens of thousands of conferences, books, courses, and programs, that the world still has a leadership dilemma.


A glimmer of hope dawned with the emerging of ‘authentic leadership’ with the 2003 book Authentic Leadership by Bill George. Since then, ‘Authentic Leadership’ became a buzzword. The authentic leadership industry has grown with many new experts, books, and courses now available. Authentic leadership has subsided into a slot of another leadership perspective or theory. However – the leadership dilemma still prevails. The world is still in turmoil. Fundamentally, not much has changed.


This means that now – more than ever – we need real, authentic leaders to stand up, take in their place, and show the way. The questions are, Who are authentic leaders? How do we develop real, authentic leaders?


It’s time to get back to basics. The challenge is to lay a whole new for leadership and leadership training and development. We need to find the answer to the question: What is the truth about real, authentic leadership?

In the process of laying a new foundation for leadership in general and authentic leadership in particular, we need to start with a few basic questions:


What is a leader?

Leader comes from 'leido' meaning, someone who shows the way.


What is leadership?

Leadership is the process of showing the way. The question is - from where to where? This will be determined by where the leader is coming from, where he/she want to go, and why? The point of departure will determine the direction.


What is authenticity?

Authenticity is the truth. Authenticity is the original blueprint. It is represented by the original thought, plan (blueprint) - the facts. There is only one truth. The rest is perceptions, speculations, assumptions, and opinions. When you are in search of authenticity - you are in search of truth.


Who is the authentic leader?

An authentic leader is someone who comes from an inner place of consciously and mindfully searching for and connecting to the truth. They are connected to, identify with, and are one with authenticity - the authentic self. The foundation for authentic leadership is determined by the quality of the connection to honesty, truth, and integrity. Authentic leadership is the result of the connection to truth and authenticity. The rest will flow from this sound foundation. An authentic leader is someone who has learnt to master their own shadow ego-self and coach their ego-self in order to stay on the path of authenticity, honesty, and integrity. Either a leader has this sound foundation in place - or not.


What is authentic leadership?

Authentic leadership is the process in which an authentic leader sifts through all the information, disinformation, truth, lies, assumptions, speculations, and perceptions in order to base their final decisions, that will take them forward, on facts, honesty, truth, and integrity. They are aware that where they come from and what they use as a foundation for their decision-making process – will determine where they are going and what the outcome will be.


What does DNA have to do with authentic leadership?


We have an original DNA-blueprint of who we are as a real-me authentic person encoded into each cell of our body. Our authentic self holds the blueprint of our unique potential, our purpose, and our ability to be fully functional, productive, and of service. In short – we all have an inborn DNA blueprint of honesty, truth, integrity, and authenticity. Here we find the keys to our health, wealth, happiness, success, and prosperity. Here we find the foundation for peace, health, wealth, happiness, success, and prosperity - that benefits all - including our planet.


Why is the world then in turmoil?

We became disconnected from our original, authentic self and DNA blueprint. A shadow ego-self developed out of this disconnection and confusion while creating a delusional world of survival, corruption, fear, anger, conflict, discord, and disintegration. The main aim of the shadow ego-self is to survive in the urban jungle. Up and till now the shadow ego-self has maintained control in the world.


The shadow ego-self and the authentic self represent opposite sides that are in constant conflict. The authentic side is built on a foundation of honesty, truth, and integrity that leads to peace, happiness, and success. The shadow ego-self is founded on the lie and the delusion that leads to chaos, confusion, and destruction. Each person needs to mindfully and consciously choose what side they will support - in themselves and in others.


Why do we have this leadership dilemma?


Most of our current leaders, including the current leadership development industry, have, and still are building their leadership careers and coaching and training professions on the perceptions, theories, opinions, and assumptions, of their shadow egos-self and that of others.


At the same time, the shadow ego-self has mostly taken over the topic of ‘authentic leadershp' in an attempt, to maintain control over the industry. The reason is – there is and was no sound foundation for 'authentic leadership' - up and till now. This means that the shadow ego-self is multiplying and duplicating its message of disconnection purely out of ignorance and by omitting the truth about authenticity and the connection to the DNA blueprint. Half-truths, disinformation, speculation, perception, and opinions, and subsequent ignorance and therefore destruction, keep on flourishing without anyone even being aware of this continuous process.


The world and its global community cannot continue down this destructive path any longer. It has to - STOP! The question is, How? What part should you and I play in this process?


The truth about authentic leadership

The truth about authentic leadership is that it is a connection to the authentic DNA blueprint in every cell of your body. Once this connection is established, the rest will flow with clarity, honesty, and integrity. All you need to do is to reconnect, recover your DNA leadership-blueprint, become the authentic leader you were always meant to be while taking in your rightful place, on the platforms of life.


If you are serious about your position as leader, enroll in our free introduction course. Recovering your DNA success blueprint, now


Resistance from the shadow ego-self

However, one warning. The shadow ego-self will not let go without a fight, resistance, struggle, and opposition. The mere survival of the ego depends on you maintaining the delusion and the lie while it feeds off the conflict and turmoil. The ego needs power, and control over others, to survive. It feeds off misinformation, lies, untruths, schemes, and deceit. Today we have the BIG Lie infiltrating, penetrating, and trying to solidify its place at the highest level of governments, leadership, and the global decision-making processes. Egos are flourishing in this environment and will keep on flourishing unless something radical, and fundamental happens to stop this invasion.


It is time for authentic leaders to stand up and take in their place as only they can.


What can you expect?

In the next blog post, we will focus on the following topics

* The three most important questions an authentic leader will always ask

* How to lead an ego-driven person and/or group

* Five building blocks of the foundation for authentic leadership

* Ten characteristics of an authentic leader

* How to determine if you are an authentic leader or a place keeper?

* How to identify the value system of an authentic leader versus an ego-driven leader

* How do we develop new authentic leaders?

* and more ...


Till next time ... Stay safe - stay connected


Brenda Hattingh


* From the series: Authentic Living and Leading:

* See Book 3. Authentic leadership. Recovering your DNA leadership-blueprint

* Get your free introduction Course, Recovering your DNA success blueprint here