Clashes, Convergences and Coalescences
Edited by Donna Ladkin and Chellie Spiller
Chapter 12: Essay: authentic leadership and the status trap
I approach authenticity as an actor, perhaps not a good one and without doubt not a natural one, but after years of training certainly a reflective one. That means that I am not concerned here with the idea of an ‘authentic’ self, nor indeed with the philosophic issues that the idea of authenticity raises. Rather I am concerned with the moment-by-moment relationship I have with other actors and the audience. I want that relationship to feel ‘real’, ‘honest’ and ‘genuine’. I want the other actors and the audience to believe that I am the character in some embodied felt way, even as they intellectually know that I am not that character. Everything I know about acting is focused on how to make those relationships feel authentic to others. One of the most useful acting techniques for making the relationships with other actors feel authentic to the audience is to consciously play status (Johnstone 1979). By playing status I mean consciously trying to raise or lower my own status in relationship to the other actors. Why does playing status create authentic relationships? The short answer is that playing status is how actors enact the micro-dynamics of power relations that fill our social world (or perhaps even constitute it), and relationships that don’t have those constant, ongoing micro-dynamics don’t feel real – they just don’t feel authentic. The longer answer, and what that means for authentic leadership, is the subject of this chapter.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.