EVS Logo

Authentic Leadership Workshop


Much is written in the popular leadership press about leaders needing to be 'authentic.' But what is 'authentic' depends on your values. Managers manage from their own values but leaders have to manage people with different values than their own. What is authentic to you, most likely will not be authentic to all your colleagues.

This workshop will help you understand what authenticity means to you, your team and people that are not like you (who you may even not like). The workshop can take a variety of forms but ideally consists of a pre-workshop phase of an on-line values survey, followed by a values training workshop. A values training workshop depends on the requirements, but in general focuses on providing a framework, exercises and research to understand the nature of values and how they apply to managers' outlook.

This gives a context for discussing the value systems in one's team, organisation and self. Insights into natural pairings and values dissimilarities within the team are benchmarked with the general executive population. How to lead employees with different values is explored with exercises. Finally, research results on the performance impact of executive values' direct and interaction/alignment on other strategic leadership variables provide the 'big picture'.

Click here for an outline of a previous authentic leadership workshop as an example.

Vignette: Authentic Leadership?

An IT company put the heads of their businesses through strategy training to help them complete their strategies in preparation for an IPO. The Client Director providing the strategy training wanted to re-enforce the importance of 'authentic leadership', defined as alignment between the executives' values as leaders with the values and goals of the organisation.

EVS was asked to give a half-day authentic leadership workshop to cover research into executive values and goal alignment and to tailor it to the company situation. A context was given to explain:

  1. what is 'authentic' depends on ones values, and
  2. one can never be in alignment with an organisational culture - the dynamic between the values of the leader and the employees. This was not a contradiction of the Client Director's view of authentic leadership but a refinement.

True leaders can motivate a whole culture by understanding and speaking the language that will make sense to people with different value systems.

A framework to help delegates discover different value systems other than their dominant value-set will enable them to see their leadership and organisational issues through different lenses. One executive commented, "Now I know why no matter how many times I repeat the strategy they (staff) still don't understand it." Delegates could then identify better ways to communicate and motivate their people to get the most out of them. The training was underscored by research results that found executive values significantly affect performance.

(Click on the following link, if you want to read more about the research into the performance impact of executive values.)