How to be an Authentic Leader

By: Sonia Di Maulo, Feedback Enthusiast

First time here? Download the Free Self-Assessment Form (free tool to get you on fire to inspire).


Life’s blows can’t break a person whose spirit is warmed at the fire of enthusiasm. Norman Vincent Peale


A great leader has achieved self-actualization

In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (below), this great leader must have it together at all levels to be able to inspire through feedback. Aim to offer and ask for feedback that is moral, creative, spontaneous, solves problems, is free from prejudice and sticks to the facts! 

  • Where are you in this chart? 
  • Which of your needs are being fully met?
  • Which of your needs are not? 
  • As a leader, what can you do to ensure your needs are met so that you can lead with passion and offer powerful, inspiring feedback?



An interpretation of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, represented as a pyramid with the more basic needs at the bottom.


Maslow’s 10 tips below can help you help others reach self-actualization.


  1. We should teach people to be authentic, to be aware of their inner selves and to hear their inner-feeling voices.
  2. We should teach people to transcend their cultural conditioning and become world citizens.
  3. We should help people discover their vocation in life, their calling, fate or destiny. This is especially focused on finding the right career and the right mate.
  4. We should teach people that life is precious, that there is joy to be experienced in life, and if people are open to seeing the good and joyous in all kinds of situations, it makes life worth living.
  5. We must accept the person as he or she is and help the person learn their inner nature. From real knowledge of aptitudes and limitations we can know what to build upon, what potentials are really there.
  6. We must see that the person’s basic needs are satisfied. This includes safety, belongingness, and esteem needs.
  7. We should refreshen consciousness, teaching the person to appreciate beauty and the other good things in nature and in living.
  8. We should teach people that controls are good, and complete abandon is bad. It takes control to improve the quality of life in all areas.
  9. We should teach people to transcend the trifling problems and grapple with the serious problems in life. These include the problems of injustice, of pain, suffering, and death.
  10. We must teach people to be good choosers. They must be given practice in making good choices.

  From Psychology – The Search for Understanding
by Janet A. Simons, Donald B. Irwin and Beverly A. Drinnien
West Publishing Company, New York, 1987

Take 5!

Start your self-actualization journey here!

Is there someone you know that can benefit from the weekly Self-Assessment Plan (SAP)? You can embark on this journey together. Get them on board too!

It’s an easy process:

  1. MPj03093440000[1]Download the Free Self-Assessment Form (and read the easy instructions if this is your first week).
  2.  Plan to invest 5 minutes for yourself: do this for you and the benefits extend to your entourage.
  3. Locate the current week on the form.
  4. Sit still, close your eyes,  breathe deeply, and focus on yourself… your inner core (I place my hands on my stomach as I do this, it helps)
  5. Think about how you felt mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically this past week. Be honest; remember the goal is to learn how to listen to your inner signals.


The ultimate goal is to be on fire! On fire to inspire…



Sonia’s Self Assessment!

   SAP Jan 17

I knew I was having a tough week, but I didn’t realize how tough until I did my self-assessment. I realized this week that I am stretching myself too thin.  I want to do it all and be there for everyone… my spirit is overly enthusiastic!

So this past week I made changes and asked for help: delegation helped!  I also took a Twitter break and reorganized my office, like I said I would.  My office is now an oasis of peace, even my kids like it! 

The assessment helped me understand what I need to work on this coming week.  My overall energy is low therefore I will work on only one aspect: Physical!  In focusing there, I hope to also boost my mind, emotion and spirit (always thinking efficiency!).  And since I tend to throw myself into many great projects, focusing on only one thing will be a good test for me! 


What will I do to be on fire to inspire…? Commit to working out every day!


What will you do based on your scores? 


For more info…


Enthusiasm releases the drive to carry you over obstacles and adds significance to all you do. Norman Vincent Peale


 Blackboard-Now Ready



 Sonia Di Maulo is a Feedback Enthusiast, Professional Speaker and Performance Improvement Consultant. Current mission: Helping people to offer and ask for powerful inspiring Feedback. Are you ready?

She would love to hear from you… share your feedback stories and successes!

 Tags: , , , , , , ,   Posted in: Authentic Feedback, Authenticity, Get to Know Yourself!, Leadership

3 Responses

  1. Nancy Arruda - January 18, 2010

    I thought this was an excellent post. I realized that I am missing a couple of vital “needs” on Maslow’s Hierarcy of Needs in order to give effective feedback.

    I also learned a very important lesson about feedback this weekend from Sonia herself. NEVER OFFER IMPORTANT FEEDBACK IN AN EMAIL! I almost lost a precious friendship this way. Sonia’s advice …
    (1) Keep your email short if you must write one
    (2) ask the person to meet or call you!
    (3)Put yourself in the other person’s shoes … what are they going through?
    (4)Emails are dangerous because there is no dialogue or emotion and are easily misunderstood.

    Thank you Sonia for helping me do DAMAGE CONTROL! … the response was neutral but I have hope 🙂

  2. Sonia Di Maulo - January 18, 2010


    Thanks for the comment… I am glad that Maslow’s Hierarcy of Needs has helped, I knew it might. Great summary of the tips we shared over the weekend… they have worked for me over the years – thank you for sharing them here!

    I am thrilled that the strategies we discussed to “control the damage” made you feel better and helped you on your path to self-actualization.


  3. Why a leader with a bad mood can be good for business | Scientific Management - January 26, 2010

    […] good post: Sonia Di Maulo on being a more authentic leader. Bookmark It Want more great management articles? Sign up for free […]

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