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Leading with Integrity

Why Authentic, Kind Leadership is Vital for Business Success

In today's landscape, leadership is more than just directing a team and achieving financial success. Authentic, kind leadership is necessary to make a lasting impact on your business. Authentic leaders are individuals who prioritize high standards of integrity, take responsibility for their actions, and make decisions based on principle, rather than short-term success. They prioritize building meaningful relationships with their team members as they work towards goals related to their organization's mission and purpose. Genuine headship can enhance employees' job satisfaction, positively impact work-related attitudes and happiness, and lead to a more positive working environment.

The Cost of Toxicity & Why Authentic Leadership Is Vital in Business

Benevolent leaders can have a positive impact on a workplace, but the opposite is also true, as Taylor Dunn, Victoria Thompson, and Rebecca Jarvis document ex-Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes. Managers and supervisors who lack authenticity and kindness can create a venomous work environment that leads to negative outcomes for both employees and the organization as a whole. When leaders prioritize interim success over principle and integrity, it can erode trust and respect among team members, leading to lower morale and job satisfaction. This can result in a higher turnover rate, which we know is extremely costly for companies in terms of recruitment and training costs.

Additionally, leaders who do not prioritize building meaningful relationships with their teams may struggle to inspire their employees to work towards the organization's mission and purpose. This lack of motivation can lead to lower productivity and a decreased sense of purpose among your staff. When employees do not feel valued or respected by their leaders, it can also create a hostile work environment, resulting in increased stress levels and lower productivity. Ultimately, failing to employ kind and compassionate leadership can have a ripple effect throughout an organization, negatively impacting everything from employee morale to the company's bottom line.

Authenticity is Key: How Kind Leadership Can Drive Business Success

The success of a business is often attributed to the leader at the helm. Authentic, kind leadership drives growth and builds a strong organizational culture. Prioritizing your beliefs and values above personal gain and leading with integrity and empathy are effective skills that will make a lasting impact in your office, and it’s not a complicated process:

1. Gain Awareness of Your Current Image: Focus on revealing your personality and humanness. Let go of tight limits and expectations of how you should appear as a leader. Seek feedback from your colleagues, boss, direct reports, friends, children, and significant other to gain awareness of your current image and leadership brand.

2. Increase Your Self-Awareness: To do this, clarify your values, likes, dislikes, and weaknesses. This can be challenging, especially if you struggle with societal norms and conditioning. Boost your self-awareness by asking yourself questions about your skill-level, knowledge, and perception.

3. Assess and Evaluate: Decipher how aligned your behaviors are with your values and ethics. Determine what's most important to you, and set goals that line up with your principles. Remember that your choices will likely change at various points in your life, and there are no "right" trade-offs to make.

4. Take Supportive Action: Implement small steps to align your behaviors with your beliefs. Avoid making sweeping changes, as this can be viewed as inauthentic. Instead, commit to making minor, daily tweaks over time. Seek support from trusted colleagues and friends who can provide feedback and be sounding boards. Finally, have faith in your own judgment about what's right for you and your leadership style.

5. Strive for Effective Communication: Communication is key. Tell engaging stories, master your message, leverage networking, use vocal variety, focus on "we," smile, and consider visual impact. Remember to avoid anything that doesn't align with your values, ethics, and intentions. Building an authentic leadership image means recognizing genuine aspects of yourself and projecting them to others.

Authenticity and kindness are vital for business success. Failing to employ compassionate direction can have a ripple effect throughout an organization, negatively impacting everything in its path. It is essential to gain awareness of your current image, increase self-awareness, assess and evaluate, take supportive action, and work on effective communication. iCOR would love to discuss how these leadership methods will enhance your organization.

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