Why the World Needs You to Be an Authentic Leader


When I first started out online, I spent a lot of time looking for the insider tips, tricks, and secrets to getting myself noticed.

And I quickly learned something – as I’m sure you have too.

There is no one secret.

As much as I love the blogosphere, it also has its downsides. Like not-so-subtly suggesting that there are easy answers, sure-fire guru formulas, and so-called secrets of quick success.

In reality, those things don’t exist. At least not in an “instant success” kind of way. Sure, there are sometimes simple answers to individual problems. There are for sure shortcuts in a lot of situations, and there are tips and hacks that can make things happen faster.

But silver bullets and magic wands? Not so much.

That being said, if I was allowed to share only one tip with you on how to succeed, my advice would be this…

Be an Authentic Leader.

Yes, it’s simplistic. You might even call it vague. But I promise you that long-term, Authentic Leadership is more powerful and potent than any glitzy secret formula you’ll find online.

And it can make the difference between your eventual success or failure.

10 Tell Tale Signs of an Authentic Leader

Leadership is a word that comes with a lot of preconceived notions in that it automatically conjures pictures of big bosses, bigger board rooms, and fancy suits. And that’s too bad because real leadership is so much more than that.

An Authentic Leader is a different animal than the usual leadership stereotype. You immediately recognize an Authentic Leader when you see one because…

Authentic Leaders:

  1. Have open, honest relationships – both personally and professionally
  2. Value and solicit other people’s input
  3. Are highly ethical in word and deed
  4. Don’t believe or behave as if they’re better than the people they lead
  5. Recognize and attack problems – but are generally warm, positive people
  6. Are self-aware enough to recognize and acknowledge both their talents and their weaknesses
  7. Are success-minded, and invite everyone along for the ride
  8. Aspire to excellence in everything they touch, but allow for imperfection along the way
  9. Have a long-term focus and don’t get tangled up in urgent minutia
  10. Bring people together and build communities

Now that sounds like someone worth following, doesn’t it?

So where do leaders like that come from? Everywhere. There’s one in the nearest mirror.

How to Harness the Power of Authentic Leadership

We all have countless opportunities to practice Authentic Leadership.

It doesn’t require an office, a title, or any sort of official appointment by a higher power.

By definition, a leader is someone who leads. That’s it.

And the opportunity to lead presents itself to each of us every single day.

Who needs a leader?

A company, an event, a social group, a company, a movement, a family, a community, a campaign, a team, a revolution… the list goes on and on.

So while an Authentic Leader can be a guy wearing a suit in an office somewhere, don’t limit yourself to that image.

You’re a leader already – whether you know it or not.

Someone in your life sees you as an example. It’s possible a lot of people see you that way and you don’t realize it. They take notice of how you present yourself, the decisions you make, and how you react to both good fortune and adversity.

The world is already watching, because you’re already a leader.

The question is: What kind of leader will you choose to be?


When you think of the people you look up to, what makes them worth following?

What makes you worth following?

Let’s talk about it in the comments…

About Gary Korisko

Gary is a battle-tested sales and marketing pro, copywriter, coach, and business strategist who teaches how to create worthwhile work on Reboot Authentic. Connect with Gary on Google+ and Twitter.

10 Replies

  1. Greetings Gary, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I would say a key ingredient of a leader that I would follow is TRUST. Can they trust themselves, and the others they are serving. I would also add that as a leader, I must learn to trust. If I can’t trust – I won’t be trusted. The whole leadership thing sorta breaks down at that point. Great post!

    1. Hey Mark! Good to see you. Spot on with the “trust” being important – and it’s an underlying quality in every one of those 10 qualities in the post. It’s foundational for sure. Nothing good happens without trust. Thanks for speaking up!
      Gary Korisko recently posted…Why the World Needs You to Be an Authentic LeaderMy Profile

  2. Hi Gary,
    Great post on authentic leadership! As I was reading I kept nodding my head and thinking “Yep, this is exactly what I want to be” and I am working on each of these traits daily 🙂 Thanks for sharing these awesome tips!!
    Joan Harrington recently posted…How To Engage Your Target Market Like Never BeforeMy Profile

    1. Hi there, Joan. I’m glad you found it useful – and that you’re working on those qualities. Me too! Always good to see you here.
      Gary Korisko recently posted…Why the World Needs You to Be an Authentic LeaderMy Profile

  3. Hi Gary. Excellent points on what defines authentic leadership. Have a great weekend.
    Carina recently posted…ThanksgivingMy Profile

  4. Hi Gary,

    I enjoyed reading every bit of this post and I must say it’s spot on.

    You’ve listed 10 spot on signs of an authentic leader but there’s one sign I admire the must which is the willingness to learn especially from people below you.

    Yes, I agree with you, we are all leaders. I choose to be the kind of leader that is willing to serve and learn and one worth following.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post with us.

    Have a great day.
    Kore Duke recently posted…4 Ways to Thwart Comment Spam Once and For AllMy Profile

    1. Hi Kore! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. It’s easy (and even fun) to follow someone who has the greater good in mind, isn’t it?

      I hope we see you here more, too! 🙂
      Gary Korisko recently posted…Why the World Needs You to Be an Authentic LeaderMy Profile

  5. Hey Gary , Great post. I am working very hard on becoming an authentic leader. I appreciate the 10 tips and I will bookmark them to read often. Thanks!
    Vivian recently posted…So You Wanna Blog: Start HereMy Profile

    1. Excellent, Vivian! Good for you. You just gave me an idea. What if I created a PDF of the ten qualities? Think that would be useful?
      Gary Korisko recently posted…Why the World Needs You to Be an Authentic LeaderMy Profile

  6. This is one good blog! Very helpful especially for the aspiring leaders out there. This is a great guide.

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