Authenticity is the subject of this second episode in our three-part series, The Triple A’s to Nurture Educators: Advocacy, Authenticity and Alignment. Host Carole Dorn-Bell is joined once again by Diane Egbers of Leadership Excelleration (LEI) and co-author of The Ascending Leader.

Carole asks how advocacy, the first topic in the series, works with authenticity. Diane says a key role for superintendents is to create a sense of community around their schools—and one of the ways to accomplish that is through authentic behavior.

“It’s pursuing things with purpose, having clarity, creating alignment, having impact in a way that encourages people to be connected with you as a leader,” Diane says.

Passion is important to authentic behavior, and it comes from clarity of purpose.

“When you think about authenticity, it’s really getting others connected to your passion,” Diane says. “And in order to do that, there’s some work that leaders have to do.”

The first journey for leaders is a journey within, to figure out what you care about, what your purpose is and why you are passionate. Diane says that gives you a very authentic place to come from as you’re engaging and connecting with others in your community.

Carole asks how to approach authenticity. Leaders grow into authentic behavior. The more they know themselves and each other, the better the outcomes tend to be.

Good leaders are living values every day and this leads to high-performing culture.

“Leaders who are authentic are very in touch with the deeply held values,” Diane says.

Asked about the challenges around authentic behavior, Diane says people don’t always know why a certain decision is being made.

Diane recommends the resources True North, by Bill George, and Centered Leadership: Leading with Purpose, Clarity, and Impact, by Joanna Barsh.

Carole recaps the conversation by noting the importance of purpose, clarity and alignment, and saying that you have to be clear about who you are as an organization to have true authenticity.

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