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Leader Qualities: Authentic

cat-usdownResearch shows there are 11 key Leader Qualities with one having a sub-set of 8 characteristics. Of the 19 Leader Qualities, 7 of them are ‘Trust Factors’. These are listed again below, together with a fuller description for Trust Factor: Authenticity.The Trust Factor Leader Qualities are:

  1. Reliable & Consistent
  2. Accepts responsibility
  3. Discrete
  4. Walks the talk
  5. Authentic
  6. Supportive of colleagues
  7. Interested in colleagues.

Trust Factors are special because any lapse in these Leader Traits may lead to intractable relationship- and performance- issues for the leader, their team and those interacting with them.


Authenticity is not the same as Walking the Talk. Authenticity requires something beyond just doing or acting a role. It requires a state of being within a job. This state of being needs a leader to bring the best of ‘self’ into their role thoughtfully and with integrity complete honesty. When we achieve that, we are total believable.

Thoughtfulness here means thoughtfulness or attention directed both at what we do now, and to what we could be doing. This attention needs to be active during every step of our working days.It is self-challenging how we think, how we communicate and how we make decisions. In this way, we become evolving leaders.

Great leaders distinguish themselves from other leaders by developing into ‘what they choose to become’

Self-challenging leadership is dynamic and requires a dynamic mind. Leaders are never complacent about how much they know, they are mindful of how little they know and then strive to narrow the gap.

The change and growth in leaders is a journey of self-discovery and growing awareness of the different needs of others. It requires self-challenge and an individual sense of being rather than an individual sense of doing. Doing the ‘correct’ thing does not necessarily make you a leader that people want to follow. Being a leader has human dimensions beyond acts. It is underpinned by authentic thoughts, values, beliefs and a sense of identity that is leadership.

The journey is improved with coaching. We can self-challenge (I have a book with John Wiley with ‘Self-coaching Leadership in the title!), but we are always blind to some important aspects of self – hence ‘AHA!’ moments. A coach helps you to seek these out so you can choose to focus and change faster. It is interesting… the international leaders who self-select to be coached by me are, already, some of the most inspiring leaders on the planet.

Interesting? Schedule a Conversation with Angus McLeod.

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