The Art and Science of Effective Authentic Leadership


Effective leadership is a crucial component of any successful organization. Leaders play a vital role in guiding their teams towards achieving the set objectives. Great leaders are not born but rather are trained and developed over time. But these skills can be really hard to grab a hold of since they aren’t as tangible as IC or front line managers might have. The KPI’s of leadership are foggy at best.

Here we will highlight some of the key qualities and practices that make an effective and authentic leader and talk about how you go about measuring for success.

Clear Communication

Clear communication is one of the essential qualities of an effective leader. Leaders need to communicate their vision and goals in a way that is clear, concise, and easy for everyone to understand. Effective communication ensures that everyone is on the same page and understands what is expected of them. Leaders must also be good listeners and encourage open and honest communication between team members.

To achieve clear communication, leaders need to establish open lines of communication with their team members, listen actively, and encourage feedback. There is a tendancy to overcomplicate when it comes to communication so always K.I.S (Keep it simple). The ability to communicate effectively with team members is critical, especially when it comes to delivering feedback. Effective leaders should provide constructive feedback that is specific and timely which is delivered in a way that allows the team member to fully embrace the redirection and take constructive action.

The measurements of clear communication can be measured by the engagement of your team. How many conversations are you having about the same thing to the same people? How are you delivering your  communications? Are you using the right form of communication for the right message? How resistant is your team to new ideas? How often are you giving both constructive and redirective feedback? How comfortable is your team in giving YOU feedback? These are all KPI’s for measuring your clarity of communication.

Empowerment and Delegation

Empowering and delegating tasks to team members is another critical aspect of effective leadership. Leaders should trust their team members and provide them with the necessary resources and tools to accomplish their tasks. Delegation allows leaders to focus on critical tasks while also providing opportunities for their team to grow and develop their skills.

Empowering team members means giving them the autonomy and authority to make decisions and take action. Leaders should provide guidance and support, but ultimately, the team members should be responsible for their work. Delegation helps to build trust and confidence among team members, knowing that their leader trusts them to complete their tasks.

Here’s a great resource describing The 5 Levels of Remarkable Effective Delegation published in for more on how to do this effectively.

Both empowerment and delegation are easy to measure if you are paying attention. As you delegate as a leader, you are able to spend more time thinking strategically and you will see your direct reports grow in ability and confidence. Check in on the support you are giving to your team because as you empower your team to do the work, you will notice that they become more productive.

Leading by Example

Leading by example is another key quality of a successful leader and one that is forgotten. Leaders should set a good example for their team members by demonstrating the behaviors and values they expect from their team. Leaders who are consistent in their actions and decisions gain the trust and respect of their team members.

Leading by example means showing up on time, meeting deadlines, and being accountable for one’s actions. It also means taking lunch breaks, enjoying holiday time off, and unplugging from your work email after hours. Effective leaders should also be willing to admit their mistakes and take responsibility for them. By demonstrating these behaviors, leaders create a culture of accountability and responsibility within their team. The don’t-do-as-I-do-do-as-I-say method isn’t an effective leadership style (any more than it is an effective parenting technique).

Here you get to set your own KPIs. Find the things that move the needle in your business unit the most and start to model behaviours that exlemplify how you want your team to engage. To set yourself up for success with this area of leadership, set up your own goals and be honest about tracking them.


Empathy is another essential quality of an effective leader. Leaders should be able to understand their team members’ perspectives and appreciate their strengths and weaknesses. Empathy helps leaders to connect with their team members and create a positive working environment.

Leaders who show empathy create a sense of belonging within their team, which can lead to increased motivation and productivity. By understanding their team members’ needs, leaders can provide the necessary support and guidance to help them succeed.

Empathy is a muscle and you must be willing to practice, and fail at. Set up your intention to practice empathy in certain situations or with certain people if this is brand new to you. And take the time to reflect on those times when you used empathy (or was that sympathy?).Brene Brown has this fantastic RSA short about Empathy and Sympathy to help you more clearly see the difference.


Effective leadership is essential for any organization’s success and figuring out what kind of leader you are, is essential to your leadership success. Clear communication, empowerment and delegation, leading by example, and empathy are just a few of the qualities and practices that make an effective leader. By developing these qualities and practices, leaders can create a productive and motivated team that is capable of achieving their goals.

In conclusion, effective leadership is not about being perfect, but rather about being able to learn and grow from experiences. By focusing on the qualities and practices discussed in this blog post, leaders can create a positive and empowering work environment that fosters growth and development.

Looking to level up your leadership in a truly authentic way? Let me help you get what you want most from work without killing yourself in the process.

Reachout and book a call.

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