As a leader, how 'authentic' are you?
The staff's reaction to me and to my way of leading was largely negative, and my newness contributed to my own uncertainty. I began to believe I would need traits other than the ones I had, in addition to all the competencies I needed to master as a principal. To veil my uncertainty, I thought I needed to present myself as having an assurance that I frankly didn't yet have. I thought I needed to act "as if" until I got there. I sought to become a principal they would respect and value, yet I wasn't sure how to do this. I mistakenly had confused being nonauthoritarian with being authentic, but authenticity does not mean abdicating authority. In addition, being authentic was even more of a challenge when so many people had their own, different expectations about what I should do and be.
I knew who I was as a person, but I needed to learn what it meant to be authentic as a principal. It would not work to define my leadership by the traits other people had used to define their leadership. I would be an authentic leader only if I used the attributes I already had to become the principal I aspired to be. With the help of mentors and other allies, I found the support I needed to once again feel and display the self-confidence I had had before becoming a principal. I was moving closer to true authenticity as a leader, which required claiming the authority of my own experience, claiming my own thoughts and feelings, and sharing them.
From: Are you Sure you're the Principal by Susan Villani
Published by: Corwin Press