The Case Against Authentic Leadership: Five Ways to Fake It ‘Til You Are It

The Case Against Authentic Leadership: Five Ways to Fake It ‘Til You Are It

Press Release ( - WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Mar 20, 2017 - Why do people applaud the idea “just be yourself?” In reality, we need to consistently strive to be better then ourselves. Does this make us inauthentic or simply high achievers?

The push towards authentic leadership has been trending for some time. In fact, last year the Harvard Business Review wrote, “authenticity has emerged as the gold standard for leadership.” To some degree this may be true, but is authenticity the magic bullet up-and-coming leaders should aspire towards? Not according to three leading scholars.

   In his book Leadership BS, Stanford’s Jeff Pfeffer stated “the last thing a leader needs to be at crucial moments is authentic.” Herminia Ibarra, INSEAD Professor and winner of the 2013 Thinkers50 Leadership Award says, “we have to find a way to fake it till we become it.” And Wharton’s Adam Grant wrote in the New York Times, “‘Be yourself’ is actually terrible advice… Nobody wants to see your true self…

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