“Can you see the real me?” A self-based model of authentic leader and follower development

William Gardner, Bruce J. Avolio, Fred Luthans, Douglas R. May, Fred Walumbwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1155 Scopus citations


To address present and future leadership needs, a model of authentic leader and follower development is proposed and examined with respect to its relationship to veritable, sustainable follower performance. The developmental processes of leader and follower self-awareness and self-regulation are emphasized. The influence of the leader's and followers' personal histories and trigger events are considered as antecedents of authentic leadership and followership, as well as the reciprocal effects with an inclusive, ethical, caring and strength-based organizational climate. Positive modeling is viewed as a primary means whereby leaders develop authentic followers. Posited outcomes of authentic leader-follower relationships include heightened levels of follower trust in the leader, engagement, workplace well-being and veritable, sustainable performance. Testable propositions and directions for exploring them are presented and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-372
Number of pages30
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • Authentic followership
  • Authentic leadership development
  • Engaged organizational climate
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation


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