The book I just finished reading:
Authentic Leadership by Bill George
Bill George suggests we are in a corporate leadership crisis where leaders of America (think the Enron Scandal) are plagued by “short-term-itis” and possess a proclivity towards malign self interest rather than an interest in creating healthy corporations with long term value.
This book addresses the need for Authentic Leadership and its importance as new generations of leaders are made.
As a consumer, student and millennial, I have noted that in the 21st century it is imperative that companies learn how to “tap into people’s hearts-their passion and desires” in order to make a difference through work. Consumers are looking for depth and real values. Consumers, especially millennials, seek brands that speak to them as individuals (you don’t pay attention to anything you don’t care about, do you?). For this to happen, we need new leadership. Authentic leaders who are fully committed and have the highest level of integrity. Leaders who act with not only their heart but their head.
I believe leadership requires having a mission and vision. A mission that has become more than an inspiring set of words and a belief that has become very real to you. I believe authentic leadership begins after understanding yourself: your passions, your motivations, your purpose. Without a real sense of purpose, leaders or people in general are easily swayed by ego and impulse. Without knowing your own purpose and direction, why would anyone else follow you and more importantly, why are you doing what you’re doing? (This all sounds similar to advice about living a fulfilling life, no?)
I can happily say that after being thrown in the jungle that is NYC for 3 years, I am the new and improved version of my freshman self. I have been put into many situations where my values have been challenged. I have also been paralyzed by the fear of making mistakes. Both have helped me to learn and grow and as today marks the beginning of my final year, I look forward to learning as much as I can, on and off campus, making the mistakes I need to realize my authentic self and consequently become an authentic leader.
In the mean time, I will keep Bill George’s advice in mind:
“Be motivated by your mission, not your money. Tap into your values not your ego. Connect with others through your heart not your persona. Live your life with such discipline that you would be proud to read about your behavior on the front page of the NY Times”
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