Skip to content

Authentic Leadership: The true story of you

15 February 2017

News and media


Authentic Leadership: Can we both ‘do good’ and ‘do well’? will be delivered in Melbourne, 10th March. This is a free event but registrations are essential.

Concepts of leadership and power are shifting dramatically in response to the complexities of our contemporary environment.

Retired Brigadier General and Harvard Professor Dana Born exemplifies this shift, and is coming to Australia and New Zealand in March to participate in several events, including a free seminar in Melbourne (see details below).

Her work on leadership will hearten those who came into the public service to make the world a better place and those who believe that what counts is authentic, values-driven leadership which empowers others and reflects our true selves.

Writing in the strategy and leadership section of S+B Blogs, Mr Eric J. McNulty said, “One of the most effective and courageous exercises in exploring the fullness of a personal story that I have witnessed was demonstrated in an executive-education session by my colleague, retired Brig. Gen. Dana Born.

Born, who had a successful career in the U.S. Air Force before coming to Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, used a technique taught to her at the Authentic Leadership Institute, with which she is also affiliated.

She first introduced herself with a recitation of the high points of her impressive background. Just when people were beginning to think that she was quite full of herself, she stopped.

Born then began again, this time using the experiences one doesn’t usually share — the disappointments, failures, pain, and regrets of that career. When she paused, the room was silent. Her point was crystal clear. The true story of you has two equally important parts. Your essence is woven from your good and your bad experiences.”

Demonstrating how authenticity, courage, personal and professional clarity can help us both ‘do good’ and ‘do well’, Dana will be delivering a free lunchtime seminar in Melbourne on 10th March. Challenging conventional assumptions about leadership, she will demonstrate how an understanding of one’s personal story can assist in leading effectively and finding leadership purpose.

Authentic Leadership‘ an ANZSOG Executive workshop, will be delivered in Melbourne, 2–3 March. Alumni events with Dana Born will take place in Wellington, 27th February and Brisbane, 6th March.This piece contains an excerpt originally published in S+B, September 19, 2016.