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Authentic leaders are seen as natural or genuine. To become an authentic leader, you should consistently improve the skills that will allow you to perform the leadership tasks required of you. Here are five qualities that all authentic leaders possess:

1. Not Afraid To Learn

The degree of skills required to lead a group of three people is significantly less than the degree of skills and experience necessary to lead a company of a thousand employees. People respond well to leaders who are confident and have experience.

Aside from general intelligence, leaders should be experts in their field of specialization. They need basic information about their jobs. They also need to know what is required to accomplish specific tasks and develop organizational, intrapersonal, and interpersonal intelligence. 

Leadership requires intelligence in making decisions and in dealing with people. To perform these tasks properly, a leader should be rational and levelheaded when thinking about the challenges he faces. You do not need a diploma to have these qualities. Here is another point–just because someone trained at an Ivy League University, does not guarantee that they will be an effective leader. 

To become intellectually qualified for leadership jobs, you need to continuously study the art of leadership and not shy away from personal development.  For authentic leaders, the learning process never stops, as they are lifelong learners.  Great leaders know that people who possess their skills are rare. They know that their leadership qualities are in high demand. If you want to be an authentic leader, you are willing to take feedback from your team and improve your skills. 

2. Has A Keen Understanding Of Human Psychology And Behavior

One of the many things that a leader needs to learn actively is reading people’s behaviors and attitudes. Leaders should be able to understand what motivates the members of the group. For example, an authentic leader can turn a struggling employee into an active part of the team. 

An authentic leader also knows about the many factors that make the team function better. One of the leader’s tasks is to maintain the team’s motivation by being inspirational and leading by example. Without the leader’s dedication and focus, the motivation level in the team might falter. This may affect its ability to reach the team objectives.

 To learn about the factors that affect the team members’ motivation, a leader should try to put himself in each team member’s shoes. The leader should be aware of what is going on in the lives of the people that he is leading. Getting to know each team member on a one-one level is a difficult task in big groups, but it is essential for success. 

3. Has An Awareness Of The Things Happening Around Him

A leader should be aware of the goals and how close the team is to achieve those goals. The leader should have a clear picture of the team’s progress and the challenges in attaining the common goal.

Sometimes, the chaos of big projects may overwhelm some team members. The leader’s task is to remind them of their work, but also make sure the team has a team that is large enough to support their projects. This is where understaffing can be a problem, especially if the staff shortage is persistent.  The leader’s awareness of the events surrounding the project allows them to think objectively. However, the leader does not enable factors like office politics and strong emotions to get in the way of progress. 

A leader needs to direct the collective efforts of the group members toward the goal. Leaders should make sure that the system they develop is efficient and authentic. A leader can only do this task effectively if they know the group’s progress. 

4. Goal-Oriented

A leader can only be effective if they are focused on the team’s goal- and these goals must be clear to all the team members.

It is the leader’s role to realign the team’s priorities but also acknowledges that within a team, there are individuals that can take leadership roles, to support the group as a whole.  Therefore, leaders motivate the team members to strive for the team’s common goal and also encourage the team members to live up to their potential.  If a team leader has this quality and regularly applies feedback,  they will efficiently and on time achieve their objectives.

5. Thinks Positively

A leader should believe that the team will reach its goals, and be there for the process through the highs and lows. This is essential, especially for groups trying to achieve complex tasks. The leader is also responsible for making the team members believe they can reach their goals and providing the necessary training and coaching.

An authentic leader emits a positive aura towards his members. Leaders accomplish this by having a growth mindset and looking at the opportunity in challenges.  To have a growth mindset, the leader ultimately, must make sure they create a culture of wellness in their organization by leading by example.


  • Dr. Tomi Mitchell

    M.D | Leadership Coach| Wellness & Productivity Coach

    Dr. Tomi Mitchell Holistic Wellness Strategies

    Dr. Tomi Mitchell, MD, empowers executives, lawyers, doctors, business owners, and other leaders to eliminate burnout and increase workplace productivity and relationships.  She uses her three-step framework, Embrace, Evaluate & Energize, to empower her clients to have clarity. 

    As a public speaker and trainer, she brings energy to the crowd, captures their attention, and gives them clear, actionable steps to apply immediately to their life. Dr. Tomi Mitchell believes in getting to the root causes of life's challenges, instead of taking a temporary BandAid approach to life. She is a writer, with a book coming out in Summer 2023. She is also the host of The Mental Health & Wellness Show.  To learn more about her framework, check out the following link: Learn More.