Every Tuesday morning, I review a book that I read recently. If you missed any, you can read past reviews here. This week’s book is True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership (kindle version) by Bill George.
What makes this book so interesting is that it not only came from an enormous study of leaders from a wide variety of fields and ages, but it contains so many stories from the leaders in the study.
The goal of True North is to help a leader understand what drives them, how they are wired as a leader, where they came from and how that shapes their leadership and how best to lead while staying true to their values and personality. It is something that especially pastors can grow in. Too many pastors seem to be trying to be someone they aren’t, following the lead of a board instead of leading out of their passion and vision.
According to the author:
True North is the internal compass that guides you successfully through life. It represents who you are as a human being at your deepest level. It is your orienting point – your fixed point in a spinning world – that helps you stay on track as a leader. Your True North is based on what is most important to you, your most cherished values, your passions and motivations, the sources of satisfaction in your life.
According to George, there are 5 dimensions of authentic leadership:
- Pursuing purpose with passion
- Practicing solid values
- Leading with heart
- Establishing connected relationships
- Demonstrate self-discipline
Here are a few things that jumped out to me:
- The role of leaders is not to get other people to follow them but to empower others to lead.
- Where you are right or not, there is a price to be paid for arrogance.
- Only when leaders stop focusing on their personal ego needs are they able to develop other leaders.
- Gaining self-awareness is central to becoming authentic leaders.
- Authentic leaders are constantly aware of the importance of staying grounded.
- The more integrated your life is, the more you embrace your humanity, the more effective you become as a leader.
- A leader is someone who brings people together to pursue a share purpose.
- Gaining alignment around purpose is the greatest challenge leaders face.
- Without results, credibility suffers and influence is lost.
If you struggle to know what drives you as a leader, what makes you passionate or staying true to those things, this a book worth checking out. It is also good for a gut check and reminder if you already know those things.