Eagle Communications - Leadership For The Future


The Authentic Leadership Model, developed in 2003 by PhDs Bruce Avolio, Wm. Gardner, Fred Luthans, and other leadership researchers, focuses on developing ethical, authentic, and courageous leaders who focus on making a positive change for society through ethical leadership. Authentic Leadership is developed over a lifetime and requires personal and professional development. These principle-centered leaders utilize self-awareness to develop self-regulation that they then use to positively model authentic and ethical behaviors for followers that ultimately will lead to authentic and sustainable cultures and outcomes for themselves, their institution, and society as a whole.

Authentic leadership is on a continuum from inauthentic to authentic to more authentic to highly authentic. Those who develop to the highly authentic level (usually after the age of 40) are the Authentic Leaders capable and willing to take courageous principled-action during unethical, immoral, and illegal situations even when taking such actions will subject them to institutional pressures that trigger personal inhibitors to action.

The Distinguished Leadership Model, developed in 2005 by Margaret Meacham, MBA focuses on four leadership dimensions: leadership qualities, leadership skills, leadership expertise, and leadership legacy. Leadership Qualities include: self-awareness, paradigms, ethics, agency, transcendent values, intrinsic motivation, congruency, Spiritual Self, and genuineness (authenticity). Leadership Skills include: credibility, reputation, leadership style, leadership vision, confidence to act, and acting solely for the social good. Leadership Expertise includes: people, culture, organization, profession, and society. Leadership Legacy includes: other's self-awareness, acceptance, realignment of values, reciprocal relationships, set the standard, and passing it on. Also included: 3 Tenets of Integrity, 15 Transformative Principles, and 7 Megatrends for Women’s Leadership, as well as The 4 Cornerstones and The 4 Hallmarks of Distinguished Leadership.

The development of the Distinguished Leadership Model was independent from the study of Authentic Leadership (AL was studied after this model was developed), but was instead validated by the study of Authentic Leadership. Distinguished Leadership focuses on the qualities needed to be an authentic person, the skills needed to develop into an authentic and effective leader, and the expertise required to become a distinguished leader in today's complex and high-risk culture. Finally, positive long-term leadership impact (legacy) is visualized to support the life mission of those who aspire to be Distinguished Leaders.

Distinguished Leadership is not a model for the masses; it is a leadership model for those self-actualized leaders who wish to transform individuals, cultures, organization, professions, and society as a whole. It is about the choices made and the ability to see that which could be. Vision is required to see that which could be and moral courage is required to take the actions required to make that vision become a reality. Distinguished leaders are visionaries; they are inspirational; and they are holistic with their approach. They have chosen a role of leadership and have worked personally and professionally to perfect the qualities, skills, and expertise they need to leave a leadership legacy worthy of the effort.

Few people are willing to look within themselves deeply to become self-aware, to question their values and ethical beliefs, to be honest with themselves and others, to tap into their courage, and to then take actions that will make a universal difference. Everyone is capable of being a Distinguished Leader and influencing others. Yet few accept the challenge. Those who do are capable of influencing the many to work toward the social good. They Distinguish themselves.