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Leadership begins with self-acceptance
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Leadership begins with self-acceptance
18.01.2023
Leadership begins with self-acceptance
Leadership is always the focus of managers' interest because it is undoubtedly one of the components of effective management.

However, despite the apparent relevance of the topic, there is no single approach or at least agreement regarding the definition of the concept of "leadership" today. On the contrary, there are many definitions. Concepts are changing rapidly. One of the rather fruitful modern approaches is the notion of authentic leadership, the basics of which are taught at kmbs as part of the author's course of the MBA program by the head of the EMBA, an expert in organizational development and team management, Olena Zhyltsova.

Since leadership is characterized ambiguously in modern science, students of the "Authentic Leadership" course are offered a selection of different definitions and several perspectives from which to try to understand the meaning of leadership as a starting point.

Based on the definition of a leader by the well-known management consultant Peter Drucker as someone who has followers, the concept of "charisma" as followers' impression of a leader is brought into further consideration. The majority mentions charisma in the list of the main qualities that a leader should have. However, as practice shows, charisma rarely affects the actual effectiveness of a manager. Moreover, due to excessive attention to charisma, we ignore other, much more important indicators of leadership potential.

Suppose we try to take a closer look at other traits traditionally used to endow a leader: the ability to charm people, authority, and self-confidence. In that case, we will find out that they are pretty superficial and are not fundamental characteristics of a leader.

"Heroic leadership will rarely turn out to be an effective way of behaving today," concludes Olena Zhyltsova and the participants. — Teams where the participants are the leader's apprentices, his extensions, and executors of his will, will not be very effective. Complementary teams will be fruitful, where the participants' abilities complement and strengthen each other, and specialists are self-aware and self-sufficient. Teams that are devoted not to the leader personally, but to the idea."

Thus, authentic leadership naturally emerges, i.e., "when leaders practice true, transparent, truly authentic behavior to build trusting relationships, and as a result, effective interaction and achievement of the goals of the company and team members."

But to build relationships based on trust and better understand other people's emotions, beliefs, values, and worldview, one must first understand oneself, one's emotions, beliefs, and values.

In the words of Woody Allen, "the essence of successful leadership is not to regret being you." Therefore, the discovery of a leader in oneself logically begins with acceptance and exploration of oneself.

Self-awareness and self-awareness are what an authentic leader must practice. And here, he has a lot of techniques and tools to help him. For example, David Allen's matrix of self-organization, which the teacher suggests to the participants simply during the class.

Another practice was working with values. After all, it is essential to realize one's values and honestly answer how they correlate with life goals and how they are discovered.

Other characteristics of an authentic leader include mission orientation, long-term focus, transparency in relationships, fair and balanced approaches, and the ability to bring out authentic leadership in others. After all, a leader should not just inspire other people. He should create opportunities for the realization of their talents. And then authentic leadership emerges as "a process of socially constructive influence that maximizes the sustained efforts of others toward a shared meaningful Vision."

This view of leadership was offered to the MBA participants by Olena Zhyltsova. Still, each should decide whether such a vision resonates with them and whether they can implement it in their teams. Participants should think about this as homework.

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