On Flair’s quest to learn more about Authenticity in Leadership – we sought out Amy Katz, PhD a social psychologist, a co-owner of executive coaching firm Baker & Daboll, LLC, as well as facilitates a national on-line community of women business owners called Daughters in Charge.
Amy Katz: “I thought a lot about it because authenticity is a new word being used in conjunction with executive presence. When people hear executive presence, they imagine always being in charge of themselves and being unflappable in some way, but for leaders, authenticity is the unlearning of the guard of leadership, that shield that everyone thinks they should have and the capacity to treat people as you would anywhere. You need to be mindful that you are in the spotlight and that people pay attention to you at work in ways that you would never imagine, but try to let that go and be truly in the moment with people.
Authenticity is about being genuine and the capacity to have doubt. So often leaders think they aren’t supposed to show their anxiety, concerns and vulnerability, but a doubt about something can open the door for other people to doubt, question and be their authentic self too. The trick of a leader is to let others be themselves, then you get a more varied and deep and thoughtful look at the situation”.
As a social psychologist, Amy shares how roles play into our authentic self. Our role in the community, parenting and business can bring out different sides of our self. She suggests this is where we can find opportunities for growth, or as she calls it, paying attention to surprises. Amy’s suggestions of self-discovery around the surprises, Ask yourself:
- What am I complaining about?
- What am I struggling with now?
- What am I frustrated by?
- Listen to yourself. These can be growth opportunities, transition opportunities and could be you wanting to say no to something.
Of course Flair asked about confidence. As you listen to the podcast, you will hear that a huge source of confidence and how important friends have been to her Amy. She mentions friendships who push her and let her push them. She encourages us to seek those who see our potential and our blind spots. She cannot separate her friends from her Jewish heritage. Her faith isn’t only ceremony and worship, but also the network of friends and community that she knows will support her and she feels responsible for supporting as well. An ancient saying she lives by and shares with clients is being “slow to anger” – it allows her to pause, reflect, manage your own turmoil. At Flair we often encounter people seeking community, regardless of religion and faith. You can hear from Amy’s voice how grounded, confident, stable and comforted she is from this community. We pray you seek until you find yours too!