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Authentic Leadership by George et al. and Ibarra
According to George, Sims, McLean, and Mayer (2007), it is of great importance for leaders to preserve their authenticity not by imitating the models of ideal leaders, but by remaining themselves, “practic[ing] their values consistently, and lead[ing] with their hearts as well as their heads,” or else they would become “personae, not people” (p. 1); therefore, leaders should learn from their own life story, know their self, and lead according to one’s principles and values.
However, the beliefs of Ibarra (2015) are somewhat opposite: this author states that to be effective leaders and adapt to the changing environment both in a company and outside it, leaders should adjust to that environment rather than cling to their self; the researcher stresses that one’s self is continuously changing, so it is almost impossible to be the same all the time, and, consequently, it is better for leaders to instead embrace the new values and responsibilities if they are to adapt to the new conditions and lead their company effectually in these.
Analyzes of own leadership
On the one hand, it would be more comfortable for me to use my own life experience to develop my leadership style, as per the advice of George et al. (2007). I would probably be more inclined towards the democratic style of leadership, where I would listen carefully to each of my subordinates and make attempts to reach an agreement about the decision that should be mare where possible. On the other hand, it is clear that Ibarra (2015) is also right, for one’s lifestyle and views might not completely correspond to the corporate culture of a company in which one is planning to work.
Therefore, I would, of course, prefer to use my own experience and values to lead my future subordinates; however, Ibarra (2015) also made me realize that to become a successful leader, I should also be able to adapt to the demands of the organization in which I will work and that such an adaptation, although initially uncomfortable, might help me become a more effectual leader.
A crucible story in authentic leadership
According to Bennis and Thomas (2002), a crucible story is that in which a leader is faced by severe adversity, and where the values, opinions, skills, and beliefs of that leader are, therefore, put to a test. A leader who can successfully deal with such adversity becomes stronger, more confident, and better able to lead one’s subordinates to success. On the whole, crucibles are related to authentic leadership because, in the process of adaptation to a crucible, a leader is forced to reconsider one’s values and change according to the demands of the new circumstances. Therefore, a leader cannot follow the model proposed by George et al. (2007) but is instead forced to quickly adjust to the new situation, which makes the model proposed by Ibarra (2015) appropriate: to develop one’s authentic leadership style, the leader needs to change his values to match the environment they are in.
Bennis, W. G., & Thomas, R. J. (2002). Crucibles of leadership. Harvard Business Review. Web.
George, B., Sims, P., McLean, A. N., & Mayer, D. (2007). Discovering your authentic leadership. Harvard Business Review. Web.
Ibarra, H. (2015). The authenticity paradox: Why feeling like a fake can be a sign of growth. Harvard Business Review. Web.