At the International Leadership Association meeting in Palm Beach, Florida in October, Professor of Psychology Libby Williams presented with colleagues from James Madison University, George Washington University, and Deakin University Australia on their research "Authentic and Sustainable Leadership: An International Qualitative Study of Leaders."
Despite increased interest in and scholarship on authentic leadership, limited research exists on its sustainability in a global context. Williams and her team conducted an exploratory study to investigate this issue with an international sample of leaders using Consensual Qualitative Research (Hill, Thompson, & Williams, 1997). The results of the analysis suggest that authentic and sustainable leaders are collaborative, value integrity, and see leadership as service. They rely on a number of resources, such as feedback from mentors and trusted "frenemies" (leaders at competing organizations), and are challenged by the difficulties of being a change agent and balancing their own values with those of their organizations. The team will be using the results of this study to develop a measure of Authentic and Sustainable Leadership (ASL) so that they can examine the development of ASL skills in a variety of contexts.