Today, we are bringing you an expert interview with the wonderful Elisabeth Cassels-Brown. Elisabeth is an international speaker, consultant, facilitator, trainer, executive coach, and senior instructor of GLOMACS – a professional consulting, training and coaching firm.
You may have heard of Elisabeth’s fantastic & popular training sessions, Authentic Leadership Courage, Coaching & Ethics, but today she is here to give us some insight and advice into respectful, and effective leadership.
So, without further ado, we would like to introduce the expert: Elisabeth Cassels-Brown
♦ What does Authentic Leadership have to offer leaders?
A lot of managers these days feel they are up against the limits of their influence. They want to move people—their direct reports but also their own managers—in the right direction, but the people they’re trying to lead don’t always want to go in the right direction. Authentic Leadership is about broadening one’s sphere of influence to achieve desired, ambitious results.
♦ Why don’t leaders just use their power to push things through?
I would argue that there are different ways of exercising power, and that each way gets different results. Your question implies that people work best when their leaders tell them what to do and push them until they do it. In a best-case scenario, such a leader will achieve compliance but not true engagement. In a worst-case scenario, they create a situation where their people try to sabotage them just to get rid of them. Not an inspiring thought!
♦ Then, what is Authentic Leadership exactly? And how is it different?
A very brief way of looking at Authentic Leadership is to say that it is using the power of who you are as a person to connect with others and build the foundation of the influence already mentioned. This particular course, however, is built around a specific model of Authentic Leadership namely the one published by Fred Luthans and Bruce Avolio. They define Authentic Leadership as a “confluence of positive psychology, transformational leadership, and moral / ethical leadership”.
♦ What does that mean?
Positive psychology focuses on consciously identifying and intentionally generating positive emotion in oneself and others. For leaders, it’s about bringing the power of optimism, hope, enthusiasm, and engagement—to name a few—into the workplace and reaping the benefits of that more positive energy.
Transformational leadership is best seen in contrast to its counterpart, transactional leadership. In transactional leadership, motivation is mainly extrinsic—you reach these targets, I’ll give you a bonus. There’s a transaction involved. This form of leadership is suitable for getting standardized results and compliance but rarely delivers the really high-level performance and engagement that organizations need in order to thrive in today’s business environment. Transformational leadership, on the other hand, is about growth on both sides—how can we work together to become the best that we can be.
Finally, because this kind of leadership—Authentic Leadership—cannot work without trust, the third element Luthans and Avolio defined is moral / ethical leadership, where the focus is on implementing decisions that bring benefits long-term for all stakeholder groups. As time and performance demands grow ever greater—to achieve ever higher results in ever less time—pressures to overstep ethical boundaries are growing yet organizations and leaders who ignore this element find themselves achieving only unsustainable, short-term results—and this at the cost of their reputations and credibility.
♦ What does all that mean for delegates who attend this course?
I always say that the style of leadership you apply depends on three factors: who you are as a person, who the other person is, and the situation you’re in. (Emergencies require a different style of leadership from, say, brainstorming sessions.) This course is an opportunity for delegates to take a step back from their everyday work lives and to get new perspectives about and new possibilities for managing these three points. Additionally, delegates have the opportunity to try out these new approaches in a safe space. This is all designed to strengthen their influence in their organizations and beyond.
♦ What benefits await delegates who attend this course?
Delegates to the Authentic Leadership course leave with a wider range of options for engaging and inspiring their people to excellent results. Because of the practice exercises built into the course, they also leave with skills they need to implement these options. This means they go back to work equipped to get ever better results together with their people in their daily work lives.
♦ Well said! Thanks for stopping by, Lisa – it was lovely to have you here. Thank you for the interview.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to talk about Authentic Leadership with you.
Elisabeth’s upcoming training sessions are now available on GLOMACS, as well as other popular Management and Leadership & Strategy and Planning themes . If you’d like to find out more information about an upcoming event or if you have plans to schedule a customized coaching session exclusively for your team , get in touch with us. Visit our website for more information on our programs. Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at +971 (04) 425 0700. We would be pleased to discuss whether and how we can be of help for your specific situation.