Authentic Leadership. Lori Fitterling LI863. Questions?.
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Authentic Leadership Lori Fitterling LI863
Questions? Have you ever said that a person is a born leader? Have you ever noticed how some people seem to be more authentic about themselves than others? Is it instinct, an in born personality trait, or is authentic leadership learned? What special qualities do authentic leaders possess? How come there are so few? How is authentic leadership recognized? Can one really become an authentic leader? Can we assume that authentic leadership is the best type of leadership for all situations and can we find authentic leaders in the field of library science?
These are some of the questions that went through my mind as I read about leadership from the Daniel Goleman text, Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence (2002). Most of the material for this presentation is from this text. I had time to consider authentic leadership when I visited the west coast this past month with my daughters.
It is one thing to recognize authentic leadership and another to become one. According to Goleman, people with high emotional intelligence are the most effective leaders. Developing emotional intelligence begins with an understanding of four leadership competencies: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Management.
Let’s begin by: • Defining authentic leadership • Demonstrating authentic leadership • Discussing leadership competencies • Identifying ways to build authentic leadership within ourselves • Applying authentic leadership to the field of library science
What is Authentic Leadership? The definition of the word “authentic” is credible, genuine, reliable, worthy of trust or not fake. A leader is someone who rules, guides or inspires people; takes the initiative to devise a plan of action. An authentic leader has knowledge of their own strengths and weaknesses, is guided by a set of values and beliefs, and gains faith and trust from others. An authentic leader takes responsibility for their own actions. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams
Definitions of Authentic Leadership • Self-awareness • Genuine, visionary, able to see the big picture • Worthy of trust, reliable, persuasive, leads by example • Not fake, not out for self-aggrandizement • Pure, real, takes responsibility for decisions • Initiating people to follow in a shared direction • Influences people to accomplish a shared goal
Demonstrating Authentic Leadership Authentic leaders are able to: • Align people around a vision • Demonstrate consistent support and empathy • Are available to others • Deliver on commitments they make • Recognize their own weaknesses
Examples of Authentic Leaders There are many examples of authentic leaders: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi, Eleonor Roosevelt, Mother Teresa. In today’s world, authentic leaders are not as visible to us as they are in history books, but they live amongst us. They are our neighbors, our coworkers, our daughters, and sometimes, ourselves.
Leadership Competencies Personal Competence: How we manage ourselves Self-Awareness Self-Management Social Competence: How we manage relationships Social Awareness Relationship Management
According to Goleman, leadership competencies are not innate talents but are learned abilities. By developing these competencies one can become an emotionally intelligent leader. Our competency level determines what kind of leader we are.
Self-Awareness • Emotional Self-Awareness is the ability to read your own emotions and recognize their impact. It is often referred to as “gut sense” or an intuition. • Accurate Self-Awareness is knowing your own strengths and weaknesses. • Self-Confidence is knowing your own abilities and limitations and commanding a sense of your own self-worth.
Self-Management • Emotional Self-Awareness or the ability to keep emotions under control. • Transparency by displaying honesty, integrity and trustworthiness. • Adaptability by being flexible to change; to overcome obstacles. • Achievement or the ability to demonstrate a drive to improve performance and meet personal standards of excellence. • To take Initiative and act when necessary; to seize opportunities. • Optimism by embracing the positive.
Social Awareness • Using Empathy to be sensitive to others’ needs; sense others’ emotions and be understanding of their perspectives; to take an interest in others’ lives; to listen. • To have an Organizational Awareness of currents, decision networks, and politics on the organizational level; the ability to view circumstances from a broader perspective. • A commitment to Service; monitoring the needs of customers and facilitating the needs of people.
Relationship Management • Inspirational Leadership by encouraging a compelling vision. • Influence through persuasion. • Developing others by bolstering others’ abilities through feedback and guidance. • Being a Change Catalyst by leading in a new direction. • Resolving disagreements through Conflict Management. • Using Teamwork and Collaboration to ensure cooperation and team building.
Building Authentic Leadership Within Ourselves “The price of greatness is responsibility” Winston Churchill
Leadership is a choice. You can choose to become an authentic leader by developing leadership competencies. An authentic leader encourages people to become the best they can be and leads by example. They spend their time building bridges instead of tearing them down.
Leadership Development Stepping forward through: Developing skills in: • Education; leadership training • Seizing opportunities to exercise leadership • Challenging yourself through new assignments • Working with a wide variety of people • Mentorship • Problem solving • Setting an example • Trusting others to do assigned jobs • Accepting responsibility for projects • Growing from mistakes • Caring for co-workers
Authentic Leaders have Developed these Skills Listening: learn to be empathetic to those around you or that you supervise. Focus completely on what individuals are saying, without distractions. Communicating: always tell the truth, be honest but use compassion and understanding. Acting: actions must reflect your values. You cannot say one thing and do another. Sharing: celebrate the successes of those around you.
Authentic Leadership in Libraries Libraries as places of information management are structured in a way that is conducive to growing authentic leadership. As “people places” libraries invite a wide range of opportunities for leadership: reference, access services, technical services, administration, online services and through global initiatives that drive standards on a broader level. Here are some examples of how authentic leadership can be grown in the library environment.
Reference Services • Promoting the library and it’s mission in every aspect of service that you give. • Placing the needs of the patron first; service before self. • Practicing self-control, emotional strength and discipline when working with angry patrons. • Strive for excellence, finding the right answers. • Give positive and constructive feedback to staff. • Join professional organizations. • Establish open communication with those you work with.
Access Services • Always begin service with a smile; make yourself approachable. • Step up to offer help when a patron is hesitant. • Create a positive environment in the daily work with coworkers or patrons; bring out the best in those around you. • Always remember the bigger work that libraries do as you perform the more mundane tasks such as library checkout or shelving. • Be a bridge to information.
Technical Services • Forming partnerships with coworkers that have expertise in different areas such as acquisitions or cataloging. • Keeping up with changes in LC standards and being the first to look ahead at implementation (ex. RDA). • Participation in education, training, and working with new employees. • Creating guidelines in the work that you do; pushing to make the “job” better.
Administration: Deans, Directors, Coordinators, Supervisors • Developing strong communication channels with associates. • Using various leadership styles dependent on the situation and the people involved. • Making sure that associates understand their value and institutional role. • Be informed and involved in all aspects of the library. • Making yourself available to associates and constituents.
Online Services • Website presence that is representative of the defining characteristics of your library. • Using leadership competencies in answering email and chat responses. • Using new technologies and software for online services; keeping abreast of online capabilities. • Implementing feedback forms for ways to improve online services.
Global Initiatives • Leading in community service; community outreach. • Following the policies already established. • Drafting policies specific for your library. • Membership in library organizations; ALA, MLA. • Regional and local networking. • Collaboration with other libraries; interlibrary loan. • Librarians without boarders; helping libraries in times of disaster.
Websites About Library Leadership • Library Leadership Network: http://www.libraryleadership.net/ • Winning with library leadership website: http://www.winningwithlibraryleadership.com/leadershiptools.html • LIS Future: http://lisnews.org/node/28708/ • PALINET Leadership Network: http://pln.palinet.org/wiki/index.php/PLN_Home
Importance of Authentic Leadership • Brings out the best in ourselves • Makes the organization better • Sets an example of positive behavior for those around us • Drives quality performance through leadership competencies • Builds honesty • Establishes integrity • Promotes fairness • Demands respect • Takes courage
References Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R., and McKee, A. (2002). Primal leadership: learning to lead with emotional intelligence. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. Morales, P. (n.d.) Authentic Leadership for Sustainable Development. Retrieved June 9, 2008 from http://info.worldbank.org/etools/capacityDay2007/docs/powerleadership.doc. Olson, C.A., Singer, P.M. (2004). Winning with library leadership: enhancing services through connection, contribution, & collaboration. Chicago: American Library Association.