Thursday, May 13, 2010

Being an Authentic Leader

Last night we hosted the inaugural ATHENA Leadership Forum in Chicago. The purpose of the event was to bring established women leaders together with emerging women leaders to network, discuss leadership issues and of course, to celebrate each other.

The discussions center around the attributes of the ATHENA Leadership Model. The ATHENA Leadership Model identifies eight attributes of leadership that reflect women's unique ways of knowing and leading. It is unique in that it focuses on personal attributes of strong, successful leaders.

One principle that I particularly resonate with is 'Authentic Self' ~ understanding who you are - your values, beliefs and what you stand for and demonstrating behaviors that align with your values and beliefs. A leader who possess a strong sense of her 'authentic self' is one who is ethical in all circumstances, delivers on commitments and accepts responsibility for her actions.

Those at the table had a very lively discussion about being authentic and one of the comments made was to 'only fight the battles that really matter to your authentic self'. I was not at that table but would have loved to hear the discussion around that statement!

So I ask you...What matters to you? What values and beliefs are you willing to fight the battle? What battles are you fighting that aren't really your battles at all?

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