“Engaging authentically with people is the first task of genuine leadership.”
Authenticity is not an innate quality—that is, you are not born with it. Second, being an authentic leader is not something you can say about yourself; it must be attributed to you.1 Some believe that to be authentic, you have to present yourself the same way in every situation. At first thought, this notion seems reasonable, but when you really think about it—not so much. The way you interact with your boss is not the same way you need to interact with your family, peers, team members, or clients. It is not only okay to present yourself differently in various situations but crucial to being perceived as authentic.