4 Authentic Leadership Traits

By Abdulafeez Olaitan, UNILAG

According to Harvard Business Review, leadership demands the expression of an authentic self.

Authentic leadership theory is a set of qualities, values, and skills someone should possess if they want to be an effective team leader; team leader in the many senses of it, whether project manager or business director and more.

Regardless of the situation leaders encounter, authenticity requires them to be true to themselves and those they lead. This further helps to instill trust and to command respect. Here are 4 traits peculiar to authentic leadership:


Emotional Intelligence as Authentic Leadership Trait

Having clear motives for every action is very important for authentic leadership. An emotionally intelligent leader will find it easier to build trust and strong relationships. This is because emotional intelligence helps to understand how to connect to people in ways that make them feel valued, not used.


Strong Sense of Morality

The moral compass of a leader guides in making helpful decisions. Honesty, patience, transparency, integrity, discipline, determination, humility, gratitude, compassion and more; these traits cannot be overemphasized as qualities an authentic leader should possess. Also, these qualities bring about the consciousness of fairness and equity.



A leader should know themselves best. This includes personal evaluation and public evaluation. An real leader takes into consideration how others see them and how their actions affect those around them, positively or otherwise.


Effective Communication

Strong and effective communication skills are expected from a leader. A leader should be an exquisite orator and this is achieved through the wisdom garnered from years of thoughtful listening.

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