Authenticity is a key concept within Existential thought and practice, yet despite the growing interest in the field of Authentic Leadership, very little has been written that brings together these two fields. This paper explores the existing work that does attempt to bridge these two areas, specifically considering how Existentialism might relate to the actual development of Authentic Leadership. It examines the tension behind the two opposing epistemologies of science’s rationalist approach to Leadership and Authenticity and philosophy’s phenomenological perspective. It argues the effectiveness of an existential approach to Authentic Leadership Development and proposes a phenomenological model of Authentic Leadership Coaching and illustrates how this might address the key existential issues pertinent to Authentic Leadership such as authenticity, values, meaning, purpose and finitude.
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