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    Leadership & Team Advisor

    Improving Leadership ROI through daily leadership and team development practices. Mark McCatty, Inc - Leadership & Team Advisor

    Practices of Authentic Leadership

    By, Mark McCatty, Leadership & Team Advisor with Mark McCatty, Inc. Authentic leadership describes the character and intentions of the leader. These traits compel the leader to work to remove obstacles – not impede progress – for those who trying to accomplish the vision. They engender feelings of comfort and competence from those that are lead. These leaders help others see what is possible.

    Leaders that lead intentionally and with authenticity have a sense of purpose that extends beyond their own person benefits. These leaders build positive relationships and connect with others. They lead from their heart and operate with the right motives. They have a clear understanding of their values and they discipline themselves to hold to these values.

    Sense of Purpose

    Leading is a difficult assignment – whether the leadership is formal or informal. People look to the leader to model the right behaviors and make the tough decisions. Having clarity around their purpose and knowing “their why” allow leaders the confidence required to lead authentically. Having this sense of personal clarity helps the authentic leader demonstrate the inspirational leadership traits that are the hallmark of authentic leaders.

    Confidence that comes from personal clarity makes taking action easier.  Creating a culture of caring for others make it easier for others to accept the hard decisions when they come. The culture of caring can be developed by sincerely expressing appreciation and by participating in quality, high-value conversations. Whether the conversation is pointing out good work, or coaching an improvement opportunity, the leader is consistent and sincere in helping others discover where commitments align for common purposes.

    Build Relationships and Connections

    Influence is built upon the foundation of quality relationships. The difference in the quality of the relationship can be the difference between commitment and compliance. Leaders that intentionally act with authenticity connect emotionally with others through shared values. They are able to garner commitment to excel with a set of actions and not simply achieve a minimal level compliance.  These leaders are actually able to multiply the talents of others by building upon untapped strengths. Contrasting, leaders who do not make these personal connections with others, and who push their own agenda, may actually cause people to hold back, become cynical, and resist buying into the vision.

    Lead with the Heart

    The heart reveals a leader’s character. By seeing a leader’s behavior we begin to understand their motives. The heart of an intentionally authentic leader is driven by a desire to help others find purpose and value in their effort.  The leader’s intention is to find shared points of interest that align around common values. It is from these shared points that the leader can develop a vision that is strong enough to compel commitment and motivation.

    Sure, there will always be conflict because people are unique with a set of divergent experiences, personalities, and beliefs. And because people are so complex there cannot be a single, cookie-cutter answer for every situation. Yet, the authentic leader acts in ways that minimizes potential conflicts, does not avoid conflict when it presents itself, and is able to handle conflict when it arises. Authentic leaders don’t run away and act like the conflict does not exist.

    Have Firm Values

    Firm values come from solid beliefs. These authentic leaders have certainty in knowing what they think, they know why they think it, and they have clarity about what they want. This certainty does not prevent them from hearing other viewpoints, and exploring the ideas of others, though. They are not intimidated by the perspectives of others. Their ability to be open and listen to others shows respect and builds trusting relationships.

    A significant threat to anyone’s opportunity to experience success is lack of confidence. Authenticity allows for higher self-worth.  The ability to let go of failures – and wins – quickly, allows for greater opportunities for learning and gaining from past experiences.


    It is important for a leader to have a good sense of personal strengths and limitations. Building a supportive circle of supportive individuals that will complement strengths and compensate for weaknesses is a key to success. Having self-awareness allows an understanding for where these opportunities lie. This insight and awareness allows the prospect to be more accurate and intentional in finding the best possible support.

    Self-discipline is strengthened by clarity of purpose. Self-discipline displays as confidence and will be attractive to others. A leader who unmistakably knows their purpose, strengths, and has a precise vision can build a coalition of committed supporters.

    It takes real authentic, intentional leadership character to attract and maintain the commitment needed from others to weather the conflicts, storming, and friction that is inevitable when people work together on any other worthy endeavor. Be the leader who can keep the focus on the greater vision while developing the commitment required seeing the vision through to completion.

    Mark McCatty, Leadership & Team Advisor

    Improving Leadership ROI


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    As a leadership and team advisor, I have helped numerous organizations, through speaker presentations, group training, and individual coaching, to meet the challenge of creating engaging and purposeful work environments. 

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