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VIDEO: What is authentic leadership?

What does it mean to lead authentically? Tribe asked their clients and own consultants what they thought.

Defining leadership can be tricky. Defining authentic leadership can be trickier. Tribe, a behavioural safety consultancy practice, asked some of their clients and own consultants what it means to have authentic leadership, receiving an array of different theories, thoughts and ideas.


What emerged was a trend around selflessness. “You’re not the only one in the team,” affirmed Philip Houtermans, Global Health and Safety Director at Arcadis, You need to realise there’s a team of people that is basically doing a job. You need to hear everyone’s voice and you need to get everyone’s buy-in and everyone’s input and show that they are valuable and their opinion matters.”

Using a wonderful metaphor, Ratna Morjaria, Lead Consultant at Tribe, said: “Be a lighthouse, so that people know where they can go to for what the vision is for what they want to be, and who they want to follow.”

Keeping it simple

And of course, sometimes keeping things simple can be the most effective. Charlotte Philips, Health, Safety and Environment Manager at Portakabin® urged people to just be “honest and to lead by example”.

Watch the full video below…



From this insight, Tribe has collated five key factors that it feels an authentic leader must nurture and provide:

Trust: When a leader is authentic, they are seen as trustworthy and reliable. This is particularly important when it comes to safety, as employees need to trust and believe in their leaders to follow safety protocols.

Communication: An authentic leader is able to effectively communicate with employees, explaining why safety measures are in place and how they need to be followed. This helps to create a culture of safety where everyone is on the same page.

Responsibility: An authentic leader takes responsibility for their actions and decisions, including safety decisions and receiving feedback. This sets a good example for employees and encourages them to also take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others.

Curious: An authentic leader is not afraid to try new things, find innovative solutions to safety issues and wants to continue their growth and learning. This can help to improve safety protocols and create a safer work environment.

Collaboration: Through  strong relationships and encouraging teamwork, a leader can create a sense of shared purpose and can empower others to achieve their full potential.

Overall, an authentic leader within a health and safety culture can help to create a work environment where safety is a top priority, trust and communication are encouraged, responsibility is embraced, and continuous improvement is pursued.

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