Authentic Leadership: Leading through Paradox, Ambiguity & Vulnerability
by Patricia Neal
At the August Transformational Leaders Collaboratory, Heartland focused on discussing important questions such as "What is the magic of authentic leadership?, Why are capacities of ambiguity, paradox and vulnerability core to the conversation?, What gets in the way or stops us from being our authentic selves at work?"
People want leaders who give back, care about others, and foster collaboration. They desire authentic leadership. Authentic leaders build trust and genuine connection and consider the complexities of ambiguity, paradox, and vulnerability as core to building relationships. Our Conversation Starters have stories of how they have shown up as authentic leaders to serve in the best way possible.
"Authenticity is about establishing and showing honesty and integrity between your personality, your words, and your actions."
Heartland hosted three amazing conversation starters...
Heartland hosted three conversation starters, Sherrie Kronforst - Senior Director of Employee Engagement, Comcast Corporation • Peter Bailey - President, The Prouty Project • Amy Ronneberg - Chief Financial Officer, Be the Match and National Marrow Donor Program. Each speaker spoke on their beliefs in leadership. Sherrie Kronforst spoke to the point of humans are the ones to make organizations successful, not vice versa: "The human spirit deserves to do worthy work aligned with each person's talents, gifts, points of view." Peter Bailey enlightened us with his passion for living practicing possibility-thinking. He always shows up authentically and creating opportunities for collaboration and innovation. Amy Ronneberg shared her favorite sayings, "Don't wait for the rain to pass, but learn to dance in the rain." Her qualities of compassion and resilience help her to lead within her position at Be The Match.
After a whole group discussion with our conversation starters, the Conversation Café small group breakouts took the conversation deeper. This group of leaders included: • Yvette Trotman, Metropolitan Community & Technical College • Nausheena Hussain, Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood of Empowerment (RISE) • Mary Beth Lamb, ECCO International Associate; Adjunct Faculty, Carlson School of Management, St. Catherine University Masters of Arts in Organizational Leadership • Tom McSteen, Medtronic, Inc. Each thought leader ran an individual small group discussing their leadership approaches to leading through Paradox, Ambiguity & Vulnerability.
Authenticity is about establishing and showing honesty and integrity between your personality, your words, and your actions. Every organization benefits greatly from innovation, ideas, truths expressed in an environment of possibility, positivity, and creativity.
During the "Big Q" question time, some compelling questions came forward [partial list]:
- What is your true spirit that inspires you to love what you do every day? Why?? (are you so passionate?)
- How do you bring vulnerability and authenticity to yourself every day--even when you don’t want to?
- Considering Paradox, Ambiguity & Vulnerability: what are your (or one of your) most challenging moments? What guided and sustained you? And from your experiences, what do you offer others as a point of light?
- Is what you emphasize as a parent or a business leader changing right now as we are experiencing the pop of a couple of societal blisters of racism and political discord? (maybe throw in gender bias, too) More here
Thank you to all of our speakers, attendees and wonderful convening conversations we had at this TLC. Check out our photos from the August TLC here! If you may have missed our August TLC, check out our updated LinkedIn page full of helpful tips to master the Art of Convening. Are you wanting to collaborate with more productivity within your organization? Call us at 612.920.3029 to schedule your next consult.