Fundamentals of Being a Leader -- Authentic and Inclusive Leadership; Networking and Building Strategic Relationships

You have completed your Leadership Circle 360 Profile, which gives you greater insight into how you are perceived as a leader and what you may want to develop. You also have completed the Behavioral Styles Assessment, which describes how your “default” behaviors affect your work focus, results orientation, and interpersonal relationships with colleagues and peers. In this Module, you will develop a greater understanding of three fundamental pillars of leadership in the 21st century:

  • how to be an authentic leader – clarifying your leadership identity and deepening both self-awareness and self-acceptance,
  • how to be an inclusive leader – valuing and leveraging diverse experiences, perspectives, and contributions, and
  • how to be a connected leader - developing and nurturing strategic relationships that are vital to your continued development and success.

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For each section below:

  • Read the articles and view the videos indicated (see links above).
  • Consider the reflection questions. You may wish to write out or make notes on your responses.

Defining Authentic Leadership  

Reflect on the first two readings (“The Authenticity Paradox” and “How to overcome impostor phenomenon”) and the first two TED Talks listed above (Washington and Robotham) and answer these questions:

  • What does “being authentic” mean in your life?
  • How would you describe your most authentic self? What will others see or hear when you are being your most authentic self?
  • Have you ever paid a price for being authentically “you” as a leader? What did you learn from that experience?
    • What tools do you use to become self-aware?
    • Have you experienced the ‘imposter syndrome/phenomenon’? What have you done to manage it?
    • What kind of support team do you have in your professional life? How can your support team enable you to be a more authentic leader?
    • What specific actions do you take to create an environment where others on your team and/or your colleagues feel comfortable being their authentic selves? What else could you do?
  • How does your leadership experience reflect Ibarra’s conclusion: “The only way we grow as leaders is by stretching the limits of who we are—doing new things that make us uncomfortable but that teach us through direct experience who we want to become.”

Defining Inclusive Leadership

Reflect on “The 5 Disciplines of Inclusive Leaders” and the second two TED Talks (Pollock and Stovall) and answer these questions:

  • Who are your leadership role models? What did they do that inspired you to do your best work? How did they demonstrate inclusive leadership?
  • What lessons from them are you now incorporating into your own leadership, as part of your own leadership legacy?
  • How would you assess yourself through the lens of the Korn Ferry white paper?
  • How do you currently apply the 5 disciplines of inclusive leaders to your job and work environment?
  • How else might you contribute to an inclusive culture in your workplace and to a sense of belonging in your colleagues and team mates? What might you do to invite and make space for diverse perspectives and lived experiences?

Defining Connected Leadership

Reflect on the readings “How Leaders Create and Use Networks,” Looking for Your Next Mentor Outside the Legal Department,” “Committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion? Audit Your Personal Network to Find Out,” and “The Power of Networking: Jim Villa,” and answer these questions:

  • How would you describe your approach to developing your strategic relationships up to now?
  • Do you intentionally take the time to identify and cultivate strategic relationships based on your key goals and objectives?
  • In your current network, do you have the right mentors, sponsors, advocates, and peers who know your value and support your aspirations and goals? If not, how might you expand your network to include them?
  • Are your mentors within or outside of the legal department or both?
  • How diverse are your current mentors? How much do they support you in expanding your knowledge within different parts of your organization?
  • Are you a sponsor and mentor for others?


  • What ONE or TWO personal insight(s) or challenge(s) did you take away from the pre-work readings/videos?
  • Now that you have completed the Leadership Circle Profile assessment process and have developed at least a preliminary Development Plan, discuss with your cohort:
  • Were there any surprises in your results?
  • 1 or 2 of the goals that you have set for yourself for which you want the members of your cohort to be your accountability partners.



By the end of our day and a half session, you will be able to:

  • Differentiate between leadership and management and define what a leader does, especially in the context of today’s complex, fast-changing world.
  • Clarify your authentic leadership identity, deepening self-awareness and self-acceptance.
  • Enhance your ability to be an inclusive leader, valuing and leveraging diverse experiences, perspectives, and contributions.
  • Evaluate and expand your strategic relationships to include colleagues and mentors who support your leadership goals, aspirations, and effectiveness.
  • Identify specific behavioral changes and strategies you can use to enhance your authentic, inclusive, and connected leadership.

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