Written by Telana Simpson

There are seven Leadership criteria, according to the work by Dr Hall, and three of these seven are being criteria.  That is, they are about how you be in the world, and not what you do. And all three of these being criteria are about being truthful in some way.

These criteria are:

  • Authenticity: being and acting from one’s true self without masks and personas
  • Integrity: being as good as one’s word, impeccably honest and fair-minded
  • Congruent: applying the principles to self so that one walks the talk

The Authentic Leader is true to herselfThe actress Ellen Page of Juno fame, is an example of these criteria, in her recent coming out as gay speech. And she highlights some interesting points that might hint towards the journey of how to become more and more authentic.

A discussion with a client recently helped highlight too that there is a progression that we might go through, and it all starts with us being strong enough within our selves to face our truth, and then to be strong enough to live it with others – to be real.

The path starts with facing our own self, an inner journey of absolute honesty. It might then lead to lying by omission rather than a straight forward denial to others, and then it can grow into feeling strong enough to state our truth to others, matter of factually, and with total acceptance and peace.

Society has conditioned us to believe that a certain materialistic and conformist way is the path of success, and when we can see beyond our conditioning, and begin to question the ideals that distract us from Truth, and keep us locked in our own inner prisons, we are half way there on the journey to being authentic. As Ellen explains:

“It’s weird because here I am, an actress, representing – at least in some sense – an industry that places crushing standards on all of us.
Not just young people, but everyone. Standards of beauty. Of a good life. Of success. Standards that, I hate to admit, have affected me.
You have ideas planted in your head, thoughts you never had before, that tell you how you have to act, how you have to dress and who you have to be. I have been trying to push back, to be authentic, to follow my heart, but it can be hard.”

Ellen is an example of someone who is on the journey to step more and more into her authenticity.

In this speech there is no pretense, no dishonesty or lack of honesty by omission. She points out how others have given her hope, and it appears her inner strength to lead out in this way comes partially from the community she is addressing who have inspired her to be real.

Her emotion is raw and shows the depth of congruency she feels about her message. How she leads out from here and lives her life will show her integrity and her depth of congruency with her message.

I would follow her as a leader, because the type of leader we need in this world is a human one. One who is authentic, real, honest and fallible. And one who draws on her followers for purpose and inspiration (rather than selfish greed), and is eloquent enough to put into words the gap between reality and the vision with true emotion, and inspire action that leads to us being better human beings.

So where you are on the scale of being authentic and real?

How true do you act on your own beliefs and opinions? Are you even aligned with your values and visions?

Can you stand in your truth and be honest, even when your culture and society around you is putting pressure on you to conform to some (unobtainable) ideal?

And how do you react to and treat others who are attempting to be more real and authentic? Because it’s not only your example of authenticity that we need, it’s also your support of others being real that is needed.

May Ellen Page’s words lead you to be more authentic and a better human being:

“…this world would be a whole lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to one another. If we took just 5 minutes to recognize each other’s beauty, instead of attacking each other for our differences. That’s not hard. It’s really an easier and better way to live. And ultimately, it saves lives.”


About the Author:

Telana is a dynamic, transformational Personal Coach and Blogger who specializes in communicating and relating.  She is fascinated by consciousness evolution and how it and communication enhances  Leadership.  She offers Leadership Coaching (based on the 7 Leadership criteria) and training programmes to help individuals develop their ability to express themselves and their potentials and improve their relationships, and is a host of an online TV show.