Photo courtesy of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/file:Nelson_Mandela-2008 (edit).jpg
Today, in celebration of Black History Month, I want to talk about Authentic leadership. Authentic leadership is often considered a process, approach, or style. By definition, Authentic leaders are confident, hopeful, optimistic, resilient, transparent, future oriented and focused on developing others to become leaders. They lead with their core values and have courage and self-discipline. They understand the importance for establishing trusting relationships and they are driven by a purpose.
South Africa was ruled by a white minority government for almost two centuries, while blacks made up over 75 percent of the population. Nelson Mandela, tapping into the frustrations of his people, began to focus on overturning the prevailing domination. On trial in South Africa, he said “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the idea of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an idea I hope to live for and to achieve. But if need be, it is an idea for which I am prepared to die.”
He was sentenced to life in prison. Throughout his imprisonment he rejected offers to be released. He would ultimately be released from prison on February 11, 1990. After being released, he got involved in the political process to end white minority rule and was elected ANC President in 1991. Nelson Mandela, would vote for the first time on April 27, 1994. He never wavered in his cry for democracy, equality and learning, despite his experiences. He is an inspiration for all who have been oppressed and deprived. He remained authentic to his values and purpose. Please visit https://www.nelsonmandela.org/content/page/biography to learn more about his life.
Authentic leadership is important, when you look at the impact you have in your home, workplace, school, church, etc. Followers take a look at your words and your values. They want to see if your talk matches your walk. As you think about yourself today, determine the authenticity of your leadership, and evaluate how that impacts your organization or those you have influence over.
If you are struggling today with vision or identifying your purpose, I end this post with this quote, “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times, I fell down and got back up again” – Nelson Mandala. Sometimes when we experience adversity, it is preparing us for greatness. Therefore, “fall forward your purpose is waiting for you.” – Dr. Regina Banks-Hall.
Please visit http://www.rbankshall.com to learn more about our leadership development programs. Let’s make 2019 a banner year for leadership.