#012: The 5 Marks of Authentic Leadership [Podcast]

In this podcast episode, I talk the essence of authentic leadership. What is it? Is it simply influence or is it something more.

012 - The 5 Marks of Authentic Leadership

I have always been fascinated by this topic. Perhaps because I enjoy creating models that try to explain something people want to know about.

Click to Listen


Episode Outline

In the last few weeks, I have been interviewed several times: at the Chick-fil-A Leadercast, the Catalyst Dallas Conference, and then a couple of interviews for my new book, Platform. Because I my blog is mostly about leadership, the interviewer inevitably asks, “So how do you define leadership?”

Most experts I know define leadership as influence. Certainly, I think that is one aspect of it, but I don’t think it’s the whole story. Instead, I suggest that authentic leadership has five marks or characteristics:

  1. Authentic leaders have insight.
  2. Authentic leaders demonstrate initiative.
  3. Authentic leaders exert influence.
  4. Authentic leaders have impact.
  5. Authentic leaders exercise integrity.

If we are going to maximize our leadership, we have to pursue all five of these characteristics. It all begins by leading ourselves well.

Listener Questions

  1. Question #1: Carrie Jones asked, “Is there ever a time that authenticity disqualifies you from leadership?”
  2. Question #2: Chris Stevens asked, “How do I set myself up as an authentic leader from the get-go of a new job?”
  3. Question #3: Donny Vaughn, asked, “Is it possible to be a leader without being vocal?”
  4. Question #4: Perry Holly asked, “What are the top two or three obstacles that get in the way of us becoming authentic leaders?”
  5. Question #5: Randy Peterman asked, “How do you become an authentic subordinate, given workplace politics?”

Next week, I will be talking about “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World,” the topic of my brand new book. If you have a question about that topic, please leave me a voice mail. I’d love to hear from you.

Special Announcements

  1. My new book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, started shipping on April 25th. However, I am once again asking that you refrain from buying it yet.

    Why? Because I want to register as many sales as possible during the first official pub week of May 21–25 in order to have a shot at driving the best sellers list.

    To make the wait worth your while, I have put together a bonus package of seven FREE BONUSES worth $375.98! To get this special bonus offer, all you have to do is buy the book. I can’t tell you more yet, but you can signup here to be notified when this special offer is available.

  2. I will be speaking at the BlogWorld & New Media Expo in New York City on June 5–7. I will be leading one of the “Super Sessions” on Thursday, June 7th, at 9:00 a.m. You can register here.
  3. We will be offering the next SCORRE Conference in Vail, Colorado on October 17–20, 2012. The last one sold out in about a week. If you have ever wanted to come to SCORRE, or ever thought about becoming a professional speaker, or just want to communicate more professionally, this is your chance to grab a ticket before we sell out.

Episode Resources

I mentioned the following resources in the show:

Show Transcript

You can download a transcript of this episode here.

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe:

RSS Feed

Your Feedback

I want to hear from you! Please leave me a voicemail with your question. I may use it on the next episode of my show. If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Questions: Do these attributes mark your leadership? Where can you improve? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Get My New, 3-Part Video Series—FREE! Ready to accomplish more of what matters? 2015 can be your best year ever. In my new video series, I show you exactly how to set goals that work. Click here to get started. It’s free—but only until Monday, December 8th.

Get my FREE video series now!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • http://www.skipprichard.com/ Skip Prichard

    Mike, I love your 5 marks of an authentic leader. I hadn’t thought about the influence/influenza connection before.  And I do agree it starts with leading ourselves well.  Jim Rohn once said, “work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” I see the wisdom in that more and more each year. When we work hard on ourselves, we become more valuable to everyone we serve.
    Here’s to a great big release of Platform next week!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Skip! It was fun talking about this topic with your team.

      I appreciate all your support on Platform!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Skip, the influence/influenza connection hit me hard as well. In fact, I was driving with my 15 year old son in the car while listening, and it struck him, too. If only we would be game-changers like the flu!

  • http://www.michaelnichols.org/about Michael Nichols

    Great post as always – and great resources!

    Interesting – my post today is on defining leadership. ;) http://www.michaelnichols.org/what-in-the-world-is-leadership

  • http://www.thegeezergadgetguy.com/ Thad Puckett

    Authentic leadership.  There should be no other kind (but I know some leaders misuse their influence).  

    Authentic leadership is influence that leads people to be better than they were, and more focused on a larger goal or goals.  Authentic leadership is influence implemented.

    • Jim Martin

      Thad, I like the way you express the meaning of authentic leadership.  “Authentic leadership is influence that leads people to be better than they were . . .”

  • Toufic

    What if someone, os struggling with one of the five point you mentioned on is life?
    what about that a leader is a learner, could we join it to one of these, or it is not to be considered as a caracteristic?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You make a valid point. You never really arrive. Leadership is a journey not a destination.
      Thanks for pointing this out!

  • Fulllamp

    Great, practical stuff, Mr. Hyatt.  Thanks for the reminder!

  • http://www.CareerCoachJeff.com/ Jeff Melvin

    Loved this podcast Michael, especially your reference to LTC Hal Moore – a classic example of a leader. I was a proud member of 1st CavalryDivision for 6-years and heard reference to LTC Moore many times.

    Your response to one of the listener’s questions resonated with me and that was the fact that the “solutions to our problems are outside our comfort zone.” I find this very true when dealing with people who’ve been unemployed for a while. Many are unwilling to move outside their comfort zone – like attending networking events, using a new resource like social media, etc. It reminds me too, that I need to be willing to move outside my comfort zone.

    BTW – can’t wait till next week with the release of your new book!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jeff. I appreciate the encouragement. LTC Moore really inspires me!

  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    I haven’t listened yet, but now I have to! I loved “We Were Soldiers,” and am interested to hear your thoughts on it. Your 5 characteristics of leadership are great, (SCORRE’d even), making it easy to recall them. Thank you for your leadership!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Kelly. Isn’t it funny how once you learn SCORRE you can’t NOT use it?

  • Jplynch04

    Hey Michael,
    Just wanted to say thanks for all you do and particularly this message.  I listened in the car on the way in to the office and it was both convicting and inspiring.  I am reminded of two books my boss made me read when I started my first job.  The first was “A Letter to Garcia” and is all about initiative and the second was about Ernest Shackleton.  Shackleton’s was trying to get to the Southpole when his ship, I believe, got stuck in ice.  One particular story was told where he instructed everyone to leave all they had except the essentials.  Shackleton pulled from his pocket a golden pocket watch and dropped it on the ice cap.
    This has been for me the picture of leadership.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for this encouragement. I appreciate it.

  • johnmurphyinternational

    Michael, really appreciate this post. It is on the money. I particularly like the comment about  leaders exerting influence. You cannot exert influence positively unless there exists a high level of trust and I believe that trust is a critical attribute for leaders.
    Continue the great work!

    • Jim Martin

      Very, very true.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Thanks for mentioning the trust factor, John. Integrity supports and furthers the other four.

  • http://www.coffeeandcarrie.blogspot.com/ CarrieJones

    thanks Michael!  Gret podcast.  I really appreciate your wisdom.

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    Another great podcast Michael and some points that I’m working on with my leadership!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Which is getting most of your focus right now, Kimanzi? Any tips or insights you’re learning along the way that you’d care to share? For me, I’m focusing on taking initiative, being willing to take that first step into the unknown. And I’m learning that doing it wrong the first time is still better than doing nothing.

  • http://dalemelchin.wordpress.com/ Dale Melchin

    Mr. Hyatt, I just want to point out that you alliterated your podcast this week.  Does this have anything to do with your time in the ministry?

    Seriously though, Michael, I loved this podcast.  However, I have some follow up questions.  I’m in a position where I am not an positional leader, but I’m trying to expand my circle of influence as it were, and I’ve gotten an OK handle to less than ok handle on leading myself (need work, I’ll admit it.)  But what would be some how to steps to expanding your “circle of influence” after you’ve systematized leading and managing one’s self.  

    This is something that I’ve struggled with and when I’m at my best, I’ve gotten a few followers either organizationally or just in terms of the relationships I cultivate.  I hope my question makes sense.

    Thanks again for all you do!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The alliteration may have indeed come from that.

  • http://www.robinsonleadership.com/ Toronto strategy consultant

    In my vision, I think that a good leader should have self-confidence in his own forces, be responsible for everything inside the company and his team members. Also, I’ve learned that we must communicate quite a lot if we want to have success with our businesses plus that we should have many other important leadership skills. 

  • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

    I love the story about the $3,000. I am assuming the check he gave you was his own personal check? Great story—one of my favorite that you have told!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, his own personal check.

  • innerspirit

    I have found in order to make a positive difference in your life, you may find making a positive difference in someone elses may be the key.

    Please check out this link and “like” it if you feel the same.

    Thank You for Your Time,InnerSpirit


  • Pingback: Questions | Here am I, send me…()

  • Pingback: MCR 028: Are Life Plans Crap? - Man Cave Radio()

  • http://www.mancaveradio.com/ ManCaveRadio.com

    This was a very inspirational episode! And thanks to Michael, I now recognize that while there may be no “I” in TEAM, there are 5 “I’s” in LEADERSHIP. ;)

    Seriously, it inspired me to not only recommend the episode to several friends, but also to talk about it on our show this week at http://www.mancaveradio.com/mcr-028-are-life-plans-crap

    And I’m very much looking forward to your bonus offer launching this coming week! Yesterday I finished reading PLATFORM and am looking forward to buying a few copies for friends and colleagues.

    All the best, Jesse

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jesse. I appreciate the shout-out!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      By the way, listening to your show now. Love it so far!

      • http://www.mancaveradio.com/ Jesse @ ManCaveRadio.com

        Michael, thank you for checking out our show! If you have any suggestions for improvement, we are all ears.

  • upicsolutions

    Not sure if I have a bad link in iTunes.  This episode will not download for me via iTunes subscription.  Have downloaded and listened to all of the shows so far and really appreciate your blend of organized topics and conversation.

  • Pingback: How Much Did Your Word Cost? Or Earned? « Leadership Lessons and Practical Christianity()

  • Madhan

    HI Michael,
    First off thanks for the great podcast. Love your message. I had previously read your blog post on the same topic and I have shared with my colleagues. I wish you had re-assured Randy Peterman that he is a LEADER when he said “I am not a leader yet”. I know he meant he is not a ‘positional leader’ but still that differentiation makes a whole lot of sense to me. Many people think they have to get the position first in order to be a leader but positions are just a result of one’s personal leadership !. Leaders are followers too. as @ThadP:disqus mentioned Authentic Leaders are inspirational and help grow other leaders. Thanks again for your great work !! – Madhan

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Great point. I wished I had too. I missed an opportunity there. I agree with everything you said. Thanks.

  • Pingback: How Are People Left When You Leave Their Presence? | Michael Hyatt()

  • http://deloresliesner.com/ Delores Liesner

    Sign up where to be notified when your book comes out?  The link ‘sign up here’  goes to a page with links to buy the book at various outlets – nothing I could see to sign up for notification.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Sorry. That’s because the podcast was recorded before the book came out. However, the book is now out, so you can buy it at any major book retailer, including Amazon.

  • Pingback: Leadership Is Much More Than Influence » Mexxer()

  • Pingback: A Liderança é Muito Mais Que Influência » Mexxer()

  • http://fartilfem.com/ Marcelino Gauguin

    It was great to listen to this episode once again during the morning run. Thanks a lot, Michael, for your inspirational thoughts.