Just finished reading the book, ‘Authentic Leadership’ by Bill George, former Chairman and CEO of Medtronic.

Here’re some great inputs from the book:

* Authentic leaders are guided by qualities of the heart, by passion and compassion, as they are by qualities of the mind. Others follow them because they know where they stand.
* The one essential quality a leader must have is to be your own person, authentic in every regard. Being your own person is most challenging when it feels like everyone is pressuring you to take one course and you are standing alone.
* It is important that you develop a leadership style that works well for you and is consistent with your character and your personality. Over time you will have to hone your style to be effective in leading different types of people and to work in different types of environments.
* Being true to the person you were created to be means accepting your faults as well as using your strengths.

Authentic leaders demonstrate five qualities:
1. Understanding their purpose: Passion
2. Practicing solid values: Behavior
3. Leading with heart: Compassion
4. Establish connected relationships: Connectedness
5. Demonstrating self-discipline: Consistency

Acquiring the five dimensions is not a sequential process; rather, leaders are developing them continuously throughout their lives.

* At some time in your journey you, too, may find yourself in a crucible that tests you to your limits. In this crucible you learn who you really are and what you want to become. Having survived, you will know that indeed you can take on any challenge and come out of it a better person for the experience.
* Leading an authentic life requires openness to all that life has to offer and a willingness to go with the flow of life.
* There are simply no shortcuts to creating long-term shareholder value. Sustainable growth cannot be achieved by a series of short-term actions. Real value can only be created by the hard work of dedicated, motivated employees that develop innovative products and services, establish intimate customer relationships, and build organizations over an extended period of time.
* The key is having people around you who complement your weaknesses and make up for your lack of experience.
* To overcome the many barriers to market leadership, it takes leadership committed with passion for its mission, with a singular focus and commitment to succeed.
* Innovations result from employees with a passion to make a difference in the lives of their customers. By appealing to the hearts of employees, leaders can aspire them to creative results.
* Companies that put their customers first and empower their employees to serve them will inevitably provide greater growth in shareholder value than those corporations that focus primarily on getting their stock price up.
* As a leader, you have the task of engaging the hearts of those you serve and aligning their interests with the interests of the organisation.

Making a difference in the lives of others can bring unlimited joy. Leading a life of significant service can bring unlimited fulfillment. Sharing yourself with others authentically can bring unlimited love.