So what's the difference then between Authentic Leadership and 'pseudo' Authentic Leadership? And why should anyone care?
Well, for those of you have studied, and remember, your leadership theory, of all the significant leadership theories that exist, Bass’ Transformational Leadership theory best links the concepts of leadership and authenticity in that it emphasizes the role that authenticity and morality play in the way that leaders transform organizations and lead their followers to higher levels of performance.
Bass suggests that authentic transformational leadership is particularly grounded in a leader's deeply held personal moral convictions and he contrasts this with pseudo-transformational leadership where such moral character is lacking and a leader only 'pretends' to hold certain moral convictions because they want to achieve the benefits that being a transformational leader can give them. The emphasis here with Bass as you will probably have noticed, is on the TRANSFORMATIONAL aspects of leadership rather than on AUTHENTICITY of the leader per se.
Bass & Steidlmeier in their 1999 paper, Ethics, character and authentic transformational leadership behaviour. (in) The Leadership Quarterly, 10, pp.181-217 make the point that the literature surrounding Transformational leadership has been consistently linked with historical literature on virtue and morality, such as those exemplified in the writings surrounding Confucian and Socratic philosophies. Therefore the moral character exemplified by authentic leaders is consistent with the Transformational leadership model.
However, as I will explore in future blog entries, the concept of Authentic Leadership goes beyond that of merely being transformational in Bass’ terms.
My best wishes as always,