Police officers kneel during a rally in Coral Gables, Florida, on Saturday in response to the death … [+]

Following on from yesterday’s post I have read a number of articles displaying another side of the U.S. police force showing their support for the fight against police brutality and the anti-racism movement.

Following recent events, in Honolulu, HI, a young African American boy asked a police officer if he could have his photo taken with him. The young boys mother took the photograph while shedding a tear because she said that she was taking the photo for both of them. The police officer is quoted as saying: “I among many police officers are sick and tired of racist, hateful, ego bearing cops tarnishing our good hard work…. The thin blue line isn’t about covering for one another when one of us does wrong. Little man showed compassion for me that day…”

It is these small acts of compassion that can create change and support people to continue to ‘fight the good fight’ and of its essence fighting is not always about being nice. Due to a long history of racism and inequity, along with a modern U.S. gun culture and countless senseless killings, righteous anger is now spilling out across U.S. streets and cities. Author, Toko-Pa Turner, writes “Anger arises when your heart has been offended, your values have been wronged, your beloveds are threatened, or somewhere, justice has been denied.“

Toko-Pa writes: “Once you know what your instincts are telling you, you can begin to make the necessary changes in your life. You can set limits against other people’s rude or inconsiderate behaviour, defend yourself or others in a constructive way. You can finally speak the unspeakable.” [1]

It would seem the tipping point has been reached and peoples instincts are telling them to ‘fight back’ because there is no sense of authentic leadership that is standing with them in their fight for justice. The following article in The Conversation describes what authentic leadership is and what it isn’t and it is worth quoting.

Authentic leadership doesn’t just mean “being true to yourself”. This notion has led some to describe the likes of Donald Trump as authentic but authentic leaders are not simply callous, self-serving individuals with no social filter.

  1. Authentic leaders know themselves

Authentic leaders manifest the Ancient Greek maxim to “know thyself”. They know what truly matters to them, and their own strengths and weaknesses. Our values are often hidden assumptions; revealing them requires an active and honest process of personal reflection. Before we can lead others, we must first lead ourselves.

2. Authentic Leaders Follow a moral compass

Authentic leaders have the courage to stand up and act on their values, rather than bending to social norms. Doing what you feel is right is rarely easy, especially when lives are on the line, but that’s when it matters the most.

3. Authentic Leaders appreciate their own biases

Authentic leaders are aware of their own biases and strive to see things from multiple viewpoints. We cannot know all sides to an issue and must work to understand and respect others’ perspectives before forming opinions or making decisions. Acting in the best interests of the collective requires a lucid and compassionate understanding of how our actions affect other people.

4. Authentic Leaders are Open and Honest

Authentic leaders cultivate open and honest relationships through active self-disclosure. Dropping one’s guard and letting people in isn’t always easy, especially in the workplace. Yet only when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable in front of another person can they open up to us in return. [2]

The power of authenticity is to unite people behind a collective cause but relationships built on mutual trust and shared values are the key. Now more than ever we need authentic leaders with the power to unite. Both the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the new Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, are posing fresh alternatives to right-wing populism. We just need more of them.

[1] https://toko-pa.com/

[2] https://theconversation.com/open-honest-and-effective-what-makes-jacinda-ardern-an-authentic-leader-132513