They say leaders are made and not born! Well I disagree with that statement, because leadership is something that we are all born with and it is enhanced when we are in alignment with our life’s mission. To be in alignment with your life’s mission, you must discover what you value and what you are passionate about. Passion is the starting point of authentic leadership and clarity is what gives motion to your life’s mission.

According to Gary Zukav, authentic power is when you are able to align who you are (or who you become) with what you have come to do in the world. Therefore, authentic power is the kind of power that can never be taken away from you, hence it enables a person to lead from within.

The main question is how does authentic leadership move a nation?

When we look in history books, the name Nelson Mandela always comes up as a man who led authentically and according to many, he had a utilitarianism leadership style. Utilitarianism is a family of consequentialist ethical theories that promotes actions that maximize happiness and well-being for the affected individuals. Utilitarianism could motivate individuals within the organization/nation to take initiative, become more responsible, and act in ways that enhance the organization’s or nation’s reputation rather than tarnish it.

I do not know how Nelson Mandela (and other great leaders) inspired citizens to willingly offer their best and highest contributions, but according to Komai who wrote an Economic Theory of Leadership, leaders have no special talent but are leaders simply because they are given exclusive access to certain information. Komai further states that a single leader induces a first best outcome if his incentives are aligned with his subordinates. Maybe the idea of a free South Africa was a more than enough incentive for South Africans.

I might not have Nelson Mandela’s magic yet, but I do know you are reading this because you’re intrigued by the authentic leadership concept, and I’m here to inspire you to unleash the authentic power. There are three types of people, first are the people who don’t know their passion- they just come to earth and leave like they never existed. Then there are those who know what their passion is but blame society and everything else for not following their passion. Lastly there are those who know their passion and practice it.

Let’s face it, most people know their passion but make excuses about their limitations, and society is so complacent with this type of mediocracy because its comforting to suffer in solidarity. This mentality prevents us from becoming who we were meant to be, and the truth is our lives reflects what we settle for. We need to individually identify what we value, create a clear vision of our life mission, engage in continuous educational self-improvement and most importantly raise our standards.

I have personally vowed to stop being selfish and give what I have been given, because my gift is not mine but the people I serve. I have realised that my failure helps no one, but my success has the ability to move nations. Authentic leaders serve people in alignment with their life mission.


Byars, S.M. & Stanberry, K. (2012): Utilitarianism: The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number. Texas. OpenStax.

Available from:

Chris, J. (2015): 5 Nelson Mandela Leadership Style Secrets. Joseph Chris.

Available from:

Komai, M. (2004): An Economic Theory of Leadership. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1-108.

Available from:

Zukav,G. (1989): The Seat of the Soul. New York: Simon & Schuster.

3 Responses

  1. Mothekgi Dombeni says:

    Agreed.Let us consider in the past our struggle was for liberation which could not be achieved individually hence authentic leadership moved the nation. The focus of people has moved from that to an economic stand point, every one wants to be rich and live a good life. Consequentialism is based on moral actions which has less influence on today`s environment.

    Don`t you think the incentive of money has overtaken passion, just look at our leaders they are in it for the money. Should we not re-define authentic leadership to be inline with the 21st century as information is no longer that exclusive and is easily accessible. How would we define authentic leadership in today`s climate?

    Let us all engage, it would be lovely to hear people`s views.

    • Kea says:

      The best and authentic leaders are present but find themslves muddled in organisations and environments that do not allow for their leadership to prevail. Think of most of the leaders that have come and gone in SOE’s all because the work environments did not allow for their suggested reforms to be implemented. All that done in the name of self enrichment. Good leadership is exactly that until the leader is set up for failure.

  2. Naj says:

    I believe the best leaders will be aware of and responsive to their people’s need through resourcefulness. This does require special information and a special love for and understanding of your people.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: