Authentic Leadership Essay
1. Learning about oneself is an essential step in becoming an authentic leader. What role did self-awareness play in Sally’s story of leadership? Throughout her journey, Sally’s self-awareness made her into an authentic leader she is. Self-awareness is having a personal insight of one’s self, and as Sally was being aware of her strength and weaknesses; she understood herself and what she clearly wanted. She was able to grasp her traits and characteristic, both her assets and flaws to her advantage. Sally also concentrated on her values, emotions, goals, motives and who she really was deep inside. And as she did so, she was able to familiarize herself to the situations she was in. She learned to be a chameleon that adapts to the current surroundings. After her second book, she rose to more fame and finally adjusted herself to be presented as who she really is in front of her audience. After finding oneself along those years of professional experiences and risks she took, she learned to present herself as simply an author, and not a social science expert who took advantage of what she has to offer.
2. How would you describe the authenticity of Sally’s leadership? Her authenticity comes from simply portraying herself, not pretending or conforming to what is the trend in leadership. Sally takes her internalized moral perspective, not allowing the pressure or what’s happening around her affect her but leaning on towards her core values and moral standards guide her behavior towards situations. Her experiences in different aspects of life were able to shape her into a genuine person, and that what makes her an authentic leader. She wasn’t simply conformed into following the flow of reality in her life, but she was determined to wait and figure out the vague spots in her verve. She knew what to follow without needing any help or advice, because as said earlier she was aware of whom she really is and what she really want. She had the sense of spontaneity in her probably in result of her inspiration in life who was Holly Golightly, a character known for her instinctiveness, in contrast to structured leaders who confide to theoretical knowledge.
3. At the end of the case, Sally is described as taking on the “mantle of leadership.” Was this important for Sally’s leadership? How is taking on the mantle of leadership related to a leader’s authenticity? Does every leader reach a point in his or her career where embracing the leadership role is essential? Yes, I personally think it was an important part of her leadership. She was evolving and maturing in her leadership as she wasn’t anymore an “outsider looking in” but someone who embraces the role she has. It is related in a leader’s authenticity because taking the mantle of leadership makes you know what you’re stand is among the community or the organization you are in. You are knowledgeable to what you should do, what you can do, and what are the needs of your followers are as a leader. You won’t be able to lead well if you are not confident enough to take on the shoes of responsibility and walk on it, it takes courage and commitment to do so.
However, not every leader has the same approach and style in his/her leadership. Some are very hesitant to fully embracing and getting their hands dirty in the process, not being able to take risk as they don’t have a great sense of confidence in themselves. While others, like Sally are able to put their selves out in the open, taking the role and responsibility of an authentic leader and bringing their originality in leading.
CASE 10.2 MOVING MOUNTAINS FOR EDUCATION AND PEACE
1. What are the driving forces behind Greg’s leadership? Which of George’s characteristics of authentic leaders does Greg exhibit? When Greg gave up on his attempt to scale “The Savage Peak” as a way to honor his late sister, it showed the lack of his commitment in reaching his goal. Greg got separated from his group and lost his way on his way down to the mountain, he went missing for seven days until he was found and aided by the villagers of Korphe, Pakistan. He was able to witness and experience the love and care that the villagers were providing him even though he was just a mere stranger plus a foreigner in the land. This incident became the starting point of the force that driven his leadership, it was the need in his heart to be able to give back to the village that once helped him when he was left exhausted, weak and disoriented. From then, he was able to discover more about the differences of their culture in contrast to the culture that the Americans were brought up. And as he observed and learn more about the Korphe village in general, he became more engrossed and attached to it.
These forces were able to drive the once lacking-in-commitment man he was to a man behind 78 schools (by 2008) in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Greg exhibited the fifth characteristic of an authentic leader, which is having the passion about one’s mission. Everything that Greg did was an act from his heart and not to satisfy any selfish ambitions. He simply started by offering his expertise as a nurse to the village after recovering from the exhaustion of being lost. He then promised to come back and build a school for the people of Korphe, after learning that they couldn’t afford a decent education. Greg began asking for donations and even reached to a point of donating everything he owned. But after all the effort and passion that didn’t go unnoticed, he was finally able to give back and make his promise into a reality.
2. In the chapter, we discussed moral reasoning and transparency as components of authentic leadership. In what way is each of these components a part of Greg’s leadership? Greg exhibited his transparency in numerous of ways in his leadership. He was decisive in revealing his true self to the villagers and was honest to disclose the matter of the promise he needed to fulfill when he came back from Korphe to his relatives, friends and even celebrities. He was also able to share his motives and disposition in an appropriate matter with politicians and even religious leaders without spurring a conflict in between. Greg was able to show both his positive and negative trait, as a result of being transparent; but this transparency and openness in communication became a huge factor for him to be able to meet the needs of the people not only in Korphe but also reaching to Afghanistan and the rest of Pakistan.
As the name of Greg Mortenson became rapidly known of, he had achieved in gaining the trust of various people; from Islamic religious leaders, government officials, military commanders and tribal chiefs. Not only those influential people who help position but also those individuals who Greg randomly interacts with, these individuals greatly helped him in his endeavors. His effort weren’t appreciated by everyone; he received death threats and hate mails that reached to a point of having him held at gunpoint. However, Greg used these happenings to his advantage and used to it as a channel for his avocation in regards to education and peace. He was able to make an ethical decision during an unlikely situation to be in, which I think is a characteristic of moral reasoning. This kind of strategy led Greg to make ethical decisions one after the other, that resulted into 78 built schools by 2008, but I must say that he wasn’t able to give justice in exhibiting moral reasoning in contrast to his exhibition of transparency.
3. In pursuing his goals to build schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Greg faced enormous challenges. What role did authentic leadership play in helping him meet these challenges? Did being an authentic leader always have a positive impact on his work? Greg Mortenson’s authenticity in leadership was probably the result of a critical life event in his life. When he got lost in nowhere on the way down to the mountain and when he got frustrated but got a comeback of a life changing lesson with the chief village, these two were on of his life altering events. He not only became a stronger individual, but also a strong leader. It has triggered all the right characteristics in him that brought the authentic leader out of Greg. As Greg was shaped after the events of his life one after the other, he then knew how to handle the challenges he was faces not confiding in anything or anyone but just doing what he knows best. In the passage, there were a few instances that his authenticity in leadership weren’t well-received.
When he was first starting the project of building the school, he was struggling to in searching for thr budget of 12 grand. After the help of a doctor and a good friend of him, he got the budget and started to put his promise into action. However, he encountered problems in regards to the supply and the case of building the bridge. After the success of building one school after three years, he continued doing his work and encountered quite a few more impacts. Greg was an authentic leader, meaning he was a leader whose traits were just merely based one his self, his influence and inspiration. He was not trained or taught how to be a leader and more importantly how to handle certain common situations. This was one of the downfalls of being authentic in Greg’s leadership.