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Are You an Authentic Leader?

Authenticity was the word of the year in 2023 according to Merriam-Webster.

"Think of your life as a house, with a bedroom for your personal life, a study for your professional life, a family room for your family, and a living room to share with your friends. Can you knock down the walls between these rooms and be the same person in each of them?"

This quote by Bill George from the book Authentic Leadership was the motto of my master's thesis in 2010. I was researching and interviewing leaders about what makes a leader authentic. This curiosity led me to my first full-time job where I contributed to creating a leadership simulation program based on Prof. Csikszentmihalyi's 'Flow is good business' concept. This curiosity got a new momentum this year when I got to coach leaders from startups through growth companies and well-established companies.

What makes me excited is to see the leader in each of the roles of their life. How can you stay authentic as a leader, as a spouse, as a friend, as a person, and as a human? How can you stay true to yourself in all the ordinary and challenging situations you experience?

A dear client of mine said, that thanks God, coaching is not just for the big moves. To use another quote from one of my favorite series, This is us:

"Make the big moves, even if they're small moves. Forge ahead with your lives in any and every direction that moves you."

Sometimes there are seemingly small things that need attention and oh, it's so great to have your coach to feel supported. When you just can't figure yourself how to stand by your team and take responsibility for the company's interest at the same time. When it's been two rough weeks, the new role is not what you thought it would be and all you need is to be reminded of self-compassion.

When you have a hard time at home and you want to gain some headspace to be there for your colleagues. When you need to motivate your team, but your drive is not as high either atm, because the product launch got postponed (again). When your child needs more support and you decide to make an unexpected career choice to be able to be there for them. When you're washing the dishes at midnight to help out your wife, while your plane will depart in six hours to negotiate with the company's biggest prospect to date. When you're postponing an important meeting because there is a family emergency and you choose to stay at home a little longer. 

Authenticity is one of my top three values, right next to wisdom and creativity. I was coached on this today by a wonderful person Jacopo Conficconi. We all can benefit from a good coach to be reminded of what matters to us, and how to stay authentic as a leader, a person, and as a human.


My calendar is open for 2024 for new coaching partnerships. If you feel the calling to walk freely between those rooms, reach out.


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