Leading with Authenticity

This past Wednesday, HRDQ-U and Dr. Kerry Bunker hosted a free webinar entitled, Leading with Authenticity in Challenging Times. Bunker is a senior fellow and faculty member at the Center for Creative Leadership as well as a senior fellow in human capital at The Conference Board. He is widely recognized for his experience and expertise in helping organizations to develop authentic change leaders for challenging times. Bunker has authored and co-authored more than 50 publications, including Leading with Authenticity in Times of Transition and Leading Through Transitions. He holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of South Florida.

More than 230 people tuned in to listen live. If you were not one of them – have no fear. You may listen to the recorded webinar here.

The agenda of the session was as follows:

  • The demand for authentic change leadership
  • Missing ingredients for leadership in tumultuous times
  • Lessons learned from large-scale interventions
  • Balancing paradoxical skills of authentic change leadership
  • Getting started in your organization

We began with a survey. Are these statements accurate?

  • We have been living through constant change and uncertainty
  • There is a tremendous amount of ambiguity about key aspects of ______(fill in the blank)
  • Everyone is running as fast as they can while attempting to do more with less
  • Yet many seem more compliant than committed to where we are going
  • Leadership hasn’t always handled the human and emotional issues effectively
  • Talent is taken for granted because our people don’t have options right now

A survey of participants said yes! Nationwide, in all different fields of work and study, the issues are universal.

There is a great deal of emotional context in those statements as well.

Next up was the iceberg analogy. If you look at an iceberg head-on, all you see is the surface. That indicates surface change. What you cannot see is the emotional change on people, the demands for new learning, what people must “unlearn” and let go of in order to continue to learn and the deep “stuckness” that applies in learning and leading.

“At the end of the day, it all comes down to learning.”

There are many emotions associated with powerful learning experiences. Excitement, challenge, pride…to name a few. Bunker argued, however, that fear and frustration and anxiety and stress are also very much present in a new learning experience and often those feelings come first. Do you agree?

It is a challenge as both a leader and a learner to balance your emotions.

“If you want to lead others somewhere new, you need to meet them where they are.”

We often use the word “communication” to convey a variety of elements. In this scenario, communication and connection could be interchangeable. In order to successfully communicate, you must be able to connect to your audience.

The bar has been raised for authentic leadership.

We expect:

  • Tough and Empathetic
  • Courageous and Vulnerable
  • Passionate and Compassionate
  • Pillars of Strength and Regular Folks
  • Self-Reliant and Trusting of Others
  • Change Agent and Conserver of the Past

People expect their leaders to be superhuman. Yet they also want them to be just like them. Can we have it both ways?

Listen and watch here to learn more on how to be authentic while leading. The webinar is just under an hour long.

Click here to purchase the Deluxe Facilitator Set of Leading Through Transitions.

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