If the change leader is perceived to be honest and authentic, then the message is likely to be heard—no small task in our information overload world. Authentic leader(s) display their true selves throughout the changes of context that require them to play a variety of roles. Authentic leaders also nurture their relationship with followers by highlighting their strengths, while revealing human weaknesses; they maintain their individuality while conforming enough to hold the organization together, and they establish intimacy with followers while keeping enough distance to command respect. 1
Related to the notion of authenticity is the ability of the change leader to listen well. Warren Bennis and Bert Nanus state, “A leader must be a superb listener, particularly to those advocating new or differentimages of the emerging reality. Many leaders establish both formal and informal channels of communication to gain access to these ideas.” 2
A third and final characteristic of the change leader is his or her credibility with the rest of the organization. As we discussed in the trustworthy leadership dimension, credibility brings trust. What we add in this chapter is that this credibility-induced trust also facilitates communication and information sharing.