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Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value

Bill George

At a glance:

Many leaders desire to be authentic, but uncertain about what that looks like in their day-to-day work.

Bill George, a former CEO and currently a senior fellow at Harvard Business School, argues that authentic leaders are those who lead with their hearts as well as their heads. He lists out the specific qualities of authentic leaders, and how these leaders are able to create more sustainable and successful organizations. These leaders are able to build trust with their employees and stakeholders, create a positive work environment, and make ethical and responsible decisions.

Key takeaways:

- Authentic leaders are able to build trust with their employees and stakeholders, which leads to greater engagement, motivation, and productivity.

- Authentic leaders are self-aware and are able to understand their own values, beliefs, and motivations, which helps them make ethical and responsible decisions.

- Authentic leaders create a positive work environment by fostering open communication, promoting teamwork, and encouraging employee development.

- Authentic leaders are able to balance the interests of different stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the community, which leads to greater long-term success for the organization.

- Authentic leadership can lead to more effective and sustainable organizations, as it fosters a culture of trust and accountability, which in turn leads to greater employee engagement and motivation.

- Authentic leadership is a mindset and a process, not a destination and it takes time to develop and refine, it's a continuous journey.

- Authentic leaders lead by example, they walk the talk and not just by words.

- The book also provides practical advice for leaders looking to develop their authentic leadership skills and real-world examples of authentic leaders in action.


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