Image: Wikimedia Image: Wikimedia

As the Trump administration gets underway in the United States of America; leadership, trust and authenticity have become watchwords in homes and businesses around the world.

A new report released this week by the Institute of Leadership & Management, the professional membership body for leaders, managers, coaches and mentors, demonstrates how crucial authenticity is to good leadership.

The research identifies a number of indicators of authenticity: being true to your values, acting ethically, leading with integrity, and inspiring trust. But do leaders conform to these key elements of the authenticity agenda?

Speaking to over 1,200 UK workers, the Institute of Leadership & Management found that over a fifth of leaders rarely or never inspire trust in their workplace. The findings also suggested that over a quarter of leaders are judged to use their position for personal gain and 40 per cent show favouritism in the workplace sometimes or frequently. Worryingly, when asked whether their leader allowed their mood to dictate the climate of the workplace, the response was almost half and half between frequently or sometimes and rarely or never.

Speaking about the findings of the research Phil James, chief executive officer at the Institute of Leadership and Management, said:

“Real authenticity is not measured by the amount of outrageous things you can say to appeal to your target audience. It’s not about saying what people want to hear. Authenticity and its role in leadership runs much deeper - it is far more nuanced.

“Leaders can practice the fundamentals of authentic leadership by being self-aware and making time for self-examination, taking note of lessons learned through challenges, and carefully considering and integrating feedback from others.”

The research identifies how authentic leaders understand their own values and live them throughout their business practice. To live and show this; Integrity, ethics, challenge, self-knowledge, communication and delight all factor as key attributes.