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In my new book, Yours Truly: Staying Authentic in Leadership and Life, I invite you to develop your unique style to lead people and build an authentic workplace. You will find a practical toolkit of the 9 competences behind the 3 Hs of authentic leadership. Yours Truly uncovers where you have strengths and areas for developing your authenticity in leadership and life following the 3Hs –Heart, Habit and Harmony.

How do you play the authenticity cards?


Play the card of emotional authenticity. Heart is the emotional factor that characterizes authentic leaders. Learn to look inside yourself to find and cultivate passion. Emotional authenticity includes ways to increase self-awareness, to stay humble and to share parts of your life story with others.

  • Passion: Our life stories are the most powerful source of our passion. Do things that are important to you.
  • Humility: Stand by what you believe in, but be quick to admit your mistakes.
  • Storytelling: A truly inspiring story encapsulates the meaning of what your company does.

Part 1 of Yours Truly shows that when leaders play the heart card, employees report higher engagement at work. Research has found that happy people make others happier.


Play the card of behavioral authenticity. The habit of learning is the key behavioral element of authentic leaders. Seek out honest feedback and develop a growth mind-set. It is not easy, but through certain mental exercises, a kind of “mind-fitness,” you can teach yourself to think differently.

  • Growth Mindset: Think of a time when you overcame a learning struggle and solved a problem.
  • Optimism: Create a safety culture for learning, by turning bad news into opportunities and by looking at the return on failure.
  • Resilience: Write a letter to your younger self about a learning-related struggle to develop mental toughness.

Part 2 of Yours Truly explains how becoming authentic is a work in progress. Staying faithful to yourself in business and life requires constant work; learning new skills, taking risks and adapting to new situations.


Play the card of social authenticity. Harmony is the final characteristic of authentic leaders that guarantees the social enrichment of teams and organizations. Social authenticity describes ways to look after others.

  • Exemplarity: Be true to many stakeholders by showing a sense of presence. Walk the talk and lead by example.
  • Community: Seek harmonious unity around shared company values to create authentic workplaces for others to shine.
  • Legacy: Keep in mind the future while thinking about your legacy today.

Part 3 of Yours Truly illustrates how leading by example, building a community and leaving a positive legacy contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth.

Calibrate which of the nine attributes behind the 3Hs of authentic leadership match your goals and the culture of your workplace.

Author Margarita Mayo

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