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The Art of Authenticity: Tools to Become an Authentic Leader and Your Best Self

ISBN: 978-1-119-15342-9
240 pages
March 2016
The Art of Authenticity: Tools to Become an Authentic Leader and Your Best Self (1119153425) cover image

Description

Leverage your authentic self into a valuable leadership strategy

The Art of Authenticity is a guide to becoming a better leader by achieving your best self. All people bring different sides of themselves to various situations. This book will show you how to broaden and deepen your effectiveness by presenting the most appropriate side of yourself. Dr. Karissa Thacker is the management psychologist called on by over two hundred Fortune 500 companies to work with high potential leaders. This book provides you with her expert guidance, based on validated psychological research and artful application of psychological principles to actual business situations, to help you become an authentic leader. You'll learn how to lead through reflection, action, and conscious choice, and how to maintain your guiding principles while effectively leading your team. By replacing habitual reactions with authentic ones, you'll find that you're modeling good behavior and effective decision-making—and that authenticity is contagious. This guide equips you with the tools and skills you need to be the catalyst of positive change your organization needs.

How do you remain authentic while being an effective leader? This book argues that the question isn't a duality. Authenticity is the best way to lead, and the only way to maintain sustainable success as an organization. This insightful guide shows you how to find your authentic self, and leverage that into an effective, executable leadership strategy.

  • Become authentic in a way that befits your values
  • Show loyalty, honesty, ethics, and consideration
  • Maintain authenticity in leadership roles
  • Make conscious choices instead of blind reactions

Some are born to lead, other must be taught, but all leaders must work to retain their own values and basic sense of self. A simple pause can mean the difference between a knee-jerk reaction and an authentic decision, and the effects ripple throughout your organization. The Art of Authenticity is your guidebook to finding the true authentic leader within, and leading from the inside out for the long haul.

 

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Table of Contents

PREFACE xi

Part I A New Vision of Authenticity 1

Chapter 1 The Digital Era of Freedom and Fear 3

The Call to Authenticity 4

On Becoming More Authentic 5

The Particular Challenges of Now and How Did We Get Here? 8

The Dawn of the Digital Age 11

Digital Era = Fear + Freedom 14

Responding to the Challenges of Freedom and Fear 15

The Workouts 16

Chapter 2 Signature Contributions vs. Conformity 18

Celebrate Your Quirks 20

The More Experiments the Better 22

The Upside of Your Weaknesses 25

Meaning Matters 28

The Workouts 32

Chapter 3 Truth, Lies, and Authenticity 33

Seeing the Multiple Choice Questions 34

Killing the Dead Bug View of Truth 35

Big Fat Whoppers and Sweet Little Lies 40

The Truth About Authenticity 44

The Workouts 46

Part II The Science of Authenticity 49

Chapter 4 Followers Beware . . . of Charisma 51

The Perceived Power of Charisma 52

Two Flavors of Charisma 55

Conversations That Matter 58

The Authenticity Continuum 67

The Workouts 68

Chapter 5 Self-Awareness or Is It Selves Awareness? 70

Selves Awareness and the Case of the Bossy CFO 71

Are You a Chameleon? 74

Fixed Traits, Free Traits, and Real People 78

The Ideal Self, the Current Self, and Lots in Between 81

The Workouts 83

Chapter 6 Balanced Processing and Collaborative Decision Making 85

What Is Balanced Processing? 86

Get in Balanced Processing Gear or Not 89

Three Tricky Words for Leaders 91

Hire a Brilliant Antagonist or Three 93

Know and Own All Your Biases 95

Have a Big Ego and Put It on the Shelf 99

The Workouts 101

Chapter 7 Relational Transparency and Honest Conversations 102

The Value of Honest Conversation 104

Transparency That Creates Business Results 105

Emotional Transparency Matters, Too 107

The Myth of Total Transparency 109

The Age of Transparency 111

General Practical Rules of the Transparency Road 113

The Challenge of Transparency 116

The Workouts 117

Chapter 8 Internalized Moral Perspective/An Active, Unique GPS System 118

Prisons, Orderly Stages, and Elephants 122

Putting Up Psychological Guardrails 129

The One Thing 131

The Workouts 132

Part III The Master Class 133

Chapter 9 The Centrality of Conscious Choice 135

Debunking Popeye’s Version of Authenticity 137

The Reality of Authenticity 139

Choosing Authentic Action 140

Choose to Experiment 142

Choose to Notice the Novel 144

In Closing 146

The Workouts 147

Chapter 10 How to Read Culture Like an Anthropologist 149

Practical Anthropology Via iPhone 150

Is the Organization Working to Be More Authentic? 154

Figuring Out Fit 155

The Mind-Set of a Corporate Anthropologist 157

The Workouts 164

Chapter 11 How to Make Peace with Paradox 166

Who Are You (Really)? 171

Three Selves That Won’t Magically Align 173

Authentic Leadership Is a State of Mind 175

The Workouts 180

Chapter 12 How to Ferociously Seek the Truth (When Everyone Is Framing and Spinning) 182

The Truth Serum Question 184

The Trust Meter Is Always Running 188

In Search of a Virtue Buzz 192

Self-Defining Moments 197

The Workouts 198

Conclusion 199

NOTES 201

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 209

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 211

INDEX 213

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Author Information

Karissa Thacker is the founder and president of Strategic Performance Solutions, Inc., a management-consulting firm focused on creating innovative solutions in the space of human performance and satisfaction at work. She is a widely respected management psychologist who has served as a consultant for over 200 Fortune 500 companies including UPS, Best Buy, and AT&T. She also serves as adjunct faculty at the Lerner School of Business at the University of Delaware.

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