Archive for the ‘Activity’ Category

Fostering Authenticity
July 1, 2012

Authenticity can be fostered through training and education by:

  • Thinking about possible consequences of leadership decisions
  • Enhancing your perspective taking through discussion and training
  • Being exposed to common moral dilemmas to help you recognize the ethical issues you will face
  • Building your belief in your ability to follow through on choices
  • Developing strategies for adapting and coping with new ethical challenges
  • Observe authentic behavior firsthand by shadowing a moral leader


Johnson, C.E. (2012). Meeting the ethical challenges of leadership: Casting light or shadow, 4th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.


Self- Assessment Questionnaire
July 1, 2012

Authentic Leadership Self-Assessment Questionnaire

Created by Walumbwa and associates

Instructions: This questionnaire contains items about different dimensions of authentic leadership. There are no right or wrong responses, so please answer honestly. Use the following scale when responding to each statement by writing the number from the scale below which you feel most accurately characterizes your response to that statement.

Key: 1 = Strongly disagree 2= Disagree 3= Neutral 4=Agree 5=Strongly agree

  1. I can list my three greatest weaknesses.                                 1  2  3  4  5
  2. My actions reflect my core values.                                            1  2  3  4  5
  3. I seek others’ opinions before making up my own mind.   1  2  3  4  5
  4. I openly share my feelings with others                                    1  2  3  4  5
  5. I can list my three greatest strengths.                                      1  2  3  4  5
  6. I do not allow group pressure to control me.                         1  2  3  4  5
  7. I listen closely to the ideas of those who disagree with me.                                                                                                                               1  2  3  4  5
  8. I let others know who I truly am as a person.                       1  2  3  4  5
  9. I seek feedback as a way of understanding who I really am as a person.                                                                                              1  2  3  4  5
  10. Other people know where I stand on controversial issues.                                                                                                                               1  2  3  4  5
  11. I do not emphasize my own point of view at the expense of others.                                                                                                                  1  2  3  4  5
  12. I rarely present a “false” front to others.                                  1  2  3  4  5
  13. I accept the feelings I have about myself.                                1  2  3  4  5
  14. My morals guide what I do as a leader.                                   1  2  3  4  5
  15. I listen very carefully to the ideas of others before making decisions.                                                                                                             1  2  3  4  5
  16. I admit my mistakes to others.                                                   1  2  3  4  5


  1. Sum the responses on items 1, 5, 9, and 13 (self-awareness).
  2. Sum the responses on items 2, 6, 10, and 14 (internalized moral perspective).
  3. Sum the responses on items 3, 7, 11, and 15 (balanced processing).
  4. Sum the responses on items 4, 8, 12, and 16 (relational transparency).
  5. Sum the responses on all items (authentic leadership).

Total Scores


Internalized Moral Perspective:______

Balanced Processing:______

Relational Transparency:______

Authentic Leadership:______

Scoring Interpretation

This self-assessment questionnaire is designed to measure your authentic leadership by assessing four components of the process: self-awareness, internalized moral perspective, balanced processing, and relational transparency. By comparing your scores on each of these components, you can determine which are your stronger and which are your weaker components in regard to your overall authentic leadership score. You can interpret your authentic leadership score (the total score) using the following guidelines: very high = 64-80, high = 48-64, low = 32-48, and very low = 16-32. Scores in the upper ranges indicate stronger authentic leadership, whereas scores in the lower ranges indicate weaker authentic leadership.

If you would like to print this assessment, please access the PDF of this here: Authentic Leadership Questionnaire.

Northouse, P.G. (2010). Leadership: Theory and practice, 5th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

July 1, 2012

Think of all the rich experiences and genuine attributes that comprise you and your life story.

How do these inform how you lead?

Developing Authenticity in our Leadership
July 1, 2012

As we previously discussed, authentic leadership is composed of four components: self-awareness, internalized moral perspective, balanced processing, and relational transparency (Northouse, 2010). These are traits that can be nurtured and developed, which is why we think this blog will have positive, tangible effects!

The following study from New Zealand is based on the research of Maree Roche and shows an example of how students can learn authenticity in leadership through their personal experiences.

The students in this study kept a reflection journal, they dug “into their own history investigating their own path as a leader and reflect on major (and minor) life experiences and values and assess how they have learned about behavior, its outcomes for themselves and their own leadership” (Roche, 2010).

They were asked to were asked to “incorporate into the reflection and experience aspects of ‘learning leadership’ times when they believed they acted with authenticity and also when they viewed their ‘authenticity’ may have been challenged.” At the end of the class they had compiled 20 journal entries, quite a substantial amount of information and self-reflection. From this breadth of information they then condensed these journal entires into one final entry, a “Best Authentic Self” narrative. This narrative described “their experience/s of ‘being authentic’; times where it had grown or thwarted, why this was so, and any goals they wanted to set from there…The developing leader then has a point of view regarding their own authenticity that is personal, developed from personal experiences, personal refiection and personal meaning, with the opportunity to set personal developmental goals.”

While this particular exercise was time-consuming, it provides a concrete, and deeply personal, link between the theory of authentic leadership and practice and reality. If you don’t have time to create 20 journal entires regarding your personal experiences to culminate in the comprehensive creation of a “Best Authentic Self” profile, please take a moment to reflect….

  • Think of a few life experiences that you feel affected you and your leadership.
  • Think about how you can develop further in leadership from your past.
  • What goals do have for yourself and your leadership?

If you would like to read Roche’s study, please follow this link: Learning Authentic Leadership in New Zealand

Northouse, P.G. (2010). Leadership: Theory and practice, 5th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Roche, M. (2010). Learning Authentic Leadership In New Zealand: A Learner-Centred Methodology And Evaluation. American Journal Of Business Education, 3(3), 71-79.

July 1, 2012

The leader always sets the trail for others to follow

The influence that a leader has to affect followers is one of the reasons why it is absolutely vital for leaders to be exemplary, authentic, and genuine.

What Goes on Within the Leader
July 1, 2012

  • Does Julia Roberts’ character, Erin Brockovich, exhibit any of the four ‘authentic leadership’ characteristics?
  • What behaviors, actions, and/or statements can be linked to these characteristics?
  • How does the life story of the leader, Erin, and the meaning that she attaches to her life experiences affect her leadership?

The first step to becoming an authentic leader is to look inside yourself at your personal your “self-knowledge, self-regulation, and self-concept” as our actions are related to these.

The four components of authentic leadership (as explained by Northouse) are:

  1. Self-Awareness: personal insights of the leader
  2. Internalized Moral Perspective: self-regulatory process where individuals use their internal moral standards and values to guide their behavior rather than allow outside pressures to control them.
  3. Balanced Processing: is also a self-regulatory behavior. It refers to an individual’s ability to analyze information objectively and explore other people’s opinions before making a decision.
  4. Relational Transparency: being open and honest in presenting one’s true self to others.

These four components are the basis for authentic leadership. While this leadership approach has a tremendous amount of focus on us as individuals, this large amount of personal work on ourselves will aid in the positive development of our characters both personally and professionally.

As I’m sure you have noticed, this approach to leadership is deeply personal, as many good things are. It requires both contemplation and work to grow and learn how to become truly authentic. Don’t be discouraged! This is a lifelong process that can be nurtured and developed to inform your decisions and actions for what is ‘right’ and ‘good’ for you, your staff, NU’s students, and ultimately, society.

Northouse, P.G. (2010). Leadership: Theory and practice, 5th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

What is Authentic Leadership?
July 1, 2012

The practice of authentic leadership has become incredibly relevant in our current society…

This is a result of all the upheavals and uncertainties in our society. Leadership expert Peter G. Northouse explains that “People feel apprehensive and insecure about what is going on around them, and, as a result, they long for bona fide leadership they can trust and for leaders who are honest and good.

People’s demands for trustworthy leadership make the study of authentic leadership timely and worthwhile” (2010).

Authentic Leadership must begin with you! Authenticity check-in; ask yourself if you can honestly answer ‘yes’ to the following questions in every situation:

  1. Do you currently exhibit genuine leadership?
  2. Do you lead from conviction?
  3. Are you original, not a copy?
  4. Do you base your actions on your values?

These are four questions you will need to ask yourself from time to time as a quick diagnostic for whether or not you have been exhibiting authentic leadership characteristics.

Northouse, P.G. (2010). Leadership: Theory and practice, 5th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.