Leading Blog






07.09.09

The Natural Authority that Comes From Being Authentic

A thoughtful framework from which to view leadership was revealed in an interview and presented in Leading for Success by Andrew and Nada Kakabadse and Linda Lee-Davies. Sr. Judith Zoebelein, a Franciscan Sister of the Eucharist, makes a clear statement about the dynamics of authentic leadership. It also underscores the fact that no one can or should be the “leader” all the time. She states:
I do believe that everybody has authority. Living in communities you really come to recognize the gifts and the leadership of each person in different areas. That person may not be the superior and in charge of the house, but if for example, I need someone to come out and help feed goats, I know exactly who I am going to ask, because that Sister has a giftedness with animals. She has the knowledge and intuitive sense about animals that perhaps I don’t have. We call this “authority,” an authority that is authoring life, opening up a new awareness in others. When I work with her, I gain a lot; understand through her something new which is not natively mine to understand.

It means that God gives each of us a certain capacity and giftedness, because of who we are, our genealogy, past experiences, and who our family is. It is up to us then to develop these talents. These become our set of gifts. As we develop those gifts more and more, people come to trust us in these areas. We are an “authority,” a kind of native authority.

So I do believe the older we get the more we trust that in ourselves and the less that you try to pretend we’re something else than we really are. Then our authority has a certain resonance and people see us as a leader because we are really who we are, we have what we have been given and we don’t try to act outside of our own essential gifts.

Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:03 PM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Leadership Development



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