Daily Archives: March 12, 2012

Is your leader fake–or authentic?


There are a lot of managers who just ‘talk the talk’, pretending to be authentic, pretending to be a good leader. 

You suspect that they are frauds – but you can’t quite put your finger on exactly what it is that makes you uneasy.

The Eblin group have hit the nail on the head here with this post about authentic leaders and how to spot the fake.  Just like spotting the social media snake oil salesman, there are several tell tale signs that show who is the real deal…

Clichés:  Buzz words are used in every office.  Paradigm Shift, Outside the box, Heads Up, leverage, Pushing the Envelope.  There are hundreds and hundreds of buzz words and clichés.  The intelligent leader doesn’t need to use these buzz words, but explains himself clearly and succinctly

Transparency:  Does your leader share his/her vision?  Do you exist in a ‘need to know workplace or do you feel an integral part of the company?  Obviously certain things do need to be kept quiet – such as financial information in advance of public listing etc. – but leaders that are open, honest and transparent get more loyalty than leaders who keep everything to themselves and expect everyone to follow blindly

Honesty:  If things are bad, say so. If things are good, share the information.  Workers will appreciate your candour and will work together to help where they can.

Authority: Do other leader respect your leader?  Are they a respected member of the community or are they talked about in a negative way.  If you hear less than complimentary comments about your leader, then they might not be leading lights in the business community.

If your leader is not all that you expected, and you no longer have faith in their leadership then there are a couple of things you can do.

If your organisation has an anonymous poll once per year then you can give your feedback on the poll feedback.

You might be brave enough to talk to your manager and express your concerns about the leadership of your company..

Or you could move onwards to another company that values your contribution, where the leader is the right sort of leader for you…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

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