The past few years have been challenging, especially for educational workers and school leaders. The onset of the pandemic displaced many children from schools, requiring staff to navigate the world of online teaching and remote education. As if that is not enough, there has also been a great deal of tragedies in our school systems.
Many school leaders are struggling to maintain a positive mindset and a prosperous environment for children in K-12 schools. At the end of the day, a school is a place for education, support, and mutual collaboration. It’s an ever-changing ecosystem of leaders, students, teachers, and staff all working towards a common goal.
One thing has remained a positive force and guiding light through hard times: authentic leadership. In this article, we will explore more about authentic leadership and its ability to transform schools back into an uplifting, enriching environment.
Authentic Leadership: Challenges Beget Productive Change
There is a lot of pressure on individuals in leadership roles during challenging times. However, adversity is an opportunity for development and necessary advancement in schools. It’s essential that leaders understand how to leverage challenges as a motivation to work towards goals with efficiency.
Genuine leaders are able to step up to the plate during hard times and create a positive environment of optimism and hope. This all starts with school leaders unlocking abundant confidence in their role and their abilities as a leader.
Authentic leadership is a style of leadership that exemplifies honesty, creativity, and resiliency. Leaders are able to show up as their authentic selves and work collaboratively with staff to harbor positive change. Instead of creating a team of followers, authentic leaders serve as role models that inspire all employees to unlock their inner potential.
By fostering self-awareness, connection, and purpose, authentic leaders transform the entire ecosystem of the school. When tumultuous times strike, there is a foundation of strength to guide both leaders and staff through adversity with resilience.
Qualities of the Authentic Leader
Authentic leaders have a high moral character and a deep awareness of self. This allows them to build genuine connections in the workplace that make a deep, positive psychological impact on staff members. When leaders guide with authenticity at the forefront, they encourage employees to self reflect and awaken their own professional/personal growth.
Overall, authentic leaders are confident in their abilities and the abilities of their entire team. They focus on maintaining a positive work environment backed by purpose. Instead of acting like an untouchable higher-up in the workplace, they are actively engaged and deeply invested in their work.
When leaders have a reclaimed sense of purpose, they are able to expedite timelines to reach goals efficiently. This is greatly due to the fact that everyone benefits from having an authentic leader, including the leader themselves.
Authentic leaders treat employees like humans, which is something that’s greatly lacking in most professional environments. In sum, authentic leadership embodies three primary leadership styles: transformational, ethical, and servant leadership. The philosophies and principles of these styles work synergistically to restore the leader’s capabilities in the workplace.
Step Into Your True Potential as an Authentic Leader
School leaders have a lot of responsibilities on their plate. In time of stress, burnout, or adversity, every leader needs a toolbox to lean on that sets them up for success. Authentic leaders are able to help others because first, they have helped themselves.
Instead of pretending to be someone they are not, they become confident in what makes them authentically valuable in the workplace. This is the energy that guides the authentic leader every day.
Everyone in a leadership position deserves support and guidance to help them find true fulfillment in their professional role. If you are a school leader that struggles to step into your true power in the workplace, it’s time to give yourself the self-care you need.
In my opinion, the greatest gift of authentic leadership is the freedom and confidence to be yourself. I am a former leader and now support leaders to have autonomy and purpose in their careers. Consequently, leaders are able to increase their productivity and enhance their mental wellbeing.
If you are looking for professional school leadership coaching or consulting, book a free discovery call with me today. I offer transformative coaching services for individual leaders and leadership teams. I can’t wait to help you get the MOST out of your career so you can make the impact you’ve always dreamed of!