“Leaders must be able to put on a show, to display energy and pay attention to others, regardless of how they may feel at the time” writes Jeffrey Pfeffer in ‘Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time‘
He continues: “In fact, being authentic is pretty much the opposite of what leaders must do. Leaders do not need to be true to themselves. Rather, leaders need to be true to what the situation and what those around them want and need from them. And often what others want and need is the reassurance that things will work out and the confidence that they are on the right track.”
It is true that I have found that the advice of being authentic as a leader is not always the best way to perform the role. On the other hand, sometimes being authentic allows a real connection with the people or the team, and that is also worthwhile. The issue here is to know when to be authentic and when to put on a show. And most of the time it is about putting on a show for the team.