Authentic Leadership Program

Holding Authentic Challenging Conversations

Nick Craig & Grady McGonagill
Harvard, Massachusetts

“You can discover your Authentic Leadership right now. You do not have to be born with the characteristics or traits of a leader. You do not have to wait for a tap on the shoulder. You do not have to be at the top of your organization. You can discover your potential right now.”

- Bill George “Discovering Your Authentic Leadership”
Harvard Business Review, February, 2007

There are many leadership models, each offering a cure-all prescription of skills, competencies, strengths, or intelligences. Yet during the last two years, over 2600 CEO’s were fired in the U.S. Existing models of leadership development clearly do not suffice. Our research and practice has shown us that each person has a unique expression of leadership, and you show up as a leader when you tap into it. Instead of trying to become a copy of Jack Welch or Larry Bossidy, what would happen if you fully understood and were operating from your unique expression, your genius as a leader? We call this your Authentic Leadership or True North.

 ALI's mission is to guide our clients in identifing and consistently operating from their own unique True North

Leadership at the core is for those who want to operate more consistently as an Authentic Leader (True North). This workshop synthesizes the latest approaches from True North Authentic Leadership at Harvard Business, with work in the area of accessing states of high performance, the new breakthrough research on neuroscience, and the latests Robert Quinn’s work on the normal versus the fundamental state of leadership.

Our research demonstrates that leadership models can define what good leadership looks like. The research does not, however, explain how to achieve the internal mindset one needs. In our work, we have found that each of us has a unique gift as a leader, and we have developed techniques that activate the mindset to lead.

“The foundation of leadership is not thinking, behavior, competencies, techniques, or position. The foundation of leadership is who we are -- our identity or foundational state. When people alter their interior world, they also alter their exterior world. Leadership is first about who we are.”

- Robert Quinn, Walking on the Bridge While You Build It

We have all had moments were we “showed up” to a presentation, meeting, or event and successfully demonstrated all the elements of leadership. In this place, we are uniquely ourselves and we are a powerful expression of what others attribute to good leadership. At times when we needed to “show up” to a meeting and did not, or we had the same presentation, meeting format, etc., but a very different experience for us and those around us.

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to enter your unique True North by choice. Thus, we take you through the place of knowing or understanding your Authentic Leadership style, values, and motivations, and into the place of operating from your unique Authentic Leadership. Now you will be able to consistently “show up” when needed to have the desired impact.

 Program Outline

We will guide you through a process of deepening your ability to operate as an Authentic Leader. The course introduces tools and exercises allowing you to deeply experience and access your Authentic Leadership.

Discovering the Key to Your Authentic Leadership

Authentic Leadership is not just a set of capabilities and traits. It is a mindset. From this mindset, all our strengths and capabilities become available to us. We all have times when we have been in the flow and we easily navigate through a challenge with clarity, wisdom, and impact. In this place, we listen, we feel empowered, and we create a legacy that is lasting. Other times, with the same PowerPoint slides, stories, jokes, and script, we are “off” and everyone knows it. You will deepen your understanding of who you are as an Authentic Leader. Through understanding the latest research and experiential exercises, you and your fellow participants will begin to experience each other’s Authentic Leadership.

Accessing Your Authentic Leadership

In our work, we have found that for each of us there is a specific trigger that allows us to more easily access our Authentic Leadership. Knowing this allows us to understand when we have “shown up” and why. In addition, we learn how to create the conditions that enable us to find our Authentic Leadership. You will work through a series of exercises to uncover the key trigger and begin to discover the conditions that have supported your most successful experiences as a leader.

Experiencing Authentic Leadership

It is one thing to talk about being an Authentic Leader; it is another to actually experience ourselves and others showing up in the moment. When we see others demonstrate their authenticity, it helps us see ours. As you see each other as Authentic Leaders, you will be able to find and speak from your Authentic Leadership. The power of this element of the program that everyone can experience in their gut the difference between when someone is an Authentic Leader and when they are not.

The Art of Accessing Your Leadership State When It Is Most Needed

Neuroscience shows us that our brains are made up of complex maps. Each map defines how we experience and react to the external world. We all have a “focused”, “resourceful”, “vacation”, and so forth. map that, when accessed, defines our reality. Based on frequency of use, we each develop a set of default maps which usually are the first line of defense in our lives. Many times these are not the Authentic Leader we know we are but some other default map: “cautious”, “intellectual”, etc. Through examining the latest research and examples from sports psychology, we begin to see how we can use the techniques athletes use to master high performance and to invoke the mental map that is our Authentic Leadership. You will work through a set of exercises to learn how to invoke your Authentic Leadership by choice.

Addressing Limiting Beliefs

The underlying beliefs that drive a set of behaviors designed more for protection than authenticity form a strong barrier to our ability to operate from our Authentic Leadership.. Through an approach designed by Keagan and Leahy from Harvard University, we help you to uncover the key limiting belief that can override your Authentic Leadership.

In most cases the limiting belief is a strength that has been overused. The goal now is to help realign our internal system so that this strength and our Authentic Leadership can coexist and reinforce each other, rather than working against each other. (We have all known leaders who are fabulous one moment and then destructive the next; this is an example of what happens when the Authentic Leader’s mindset and limited belief are both active without any integration.)

Through a breakthrough process, you can transform a limiting belief into a powerful ally aligned to support you in being the Authentic Leaders you know you can be.

What people have said about the program

"Leadership is hard. It is not a natural state for many of us. Leadership at the Core helps us recognize that there is greatness in us all, and that by discovering the source of our greatness, we can tap into our leadership role whenever we choose."

— Alan Mond, Vice President, Sales, Vectron International

"Nick Craig’s workshop is at the absolutely cutting edge of thinking about leadership. It’s also run in a way that brings you into deep contact with this cutting edge within yourself. You just can’t get this kind of experience anywhere else."

— Jerry L Fletcher, author Patterns of High Performance

"Nick Craig is able to awaken leaders to their true purpose and gifts. He has the remarkable capacity to draw out the best in people, and through that to enhance our leadership capacity. After working with Nick, I find myself making better, more fearless business decisions, and engaging and leveraging the leaders on my team more fully. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to do this work, and to bring it to my organization."

— Karlin Sloan author Smarter, Faster, Better: Strategies for
Effective, Enduring, and Fulfilled Leadership

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