I often wondered where the quote “don’t let the truth, spoil a good story” came from. The quote comes from a lady called Isabelle Stewart Gardener. She was a millionaire Boston Bohemienne” described by a reporter as “She is the leader of the smart set, but she often leads where none dare follow… She imitates nobody; everything she does is novel and original.” Isabella began collecting rare books and manuscripts, beginning with early editions of Dante’s works. In 1899 she began building an arts museum.
For 20 years, Isabella spent her time acquiring work of art and get dedicating her time to building a museum. She died in 1924, leaving a museum “for the education and enjoyment of the public forever.” She provided an endowment to operate the museum, stipulating in her will that nothing in the galleries should be changed, and no items be acquired or sold from the collection.
It is interesting that as a leader of her time and probably one of the most authentic,it was Isabella who came up with the quote above.
So what is authentic leadership?
Authentic leadership is a style of leadership that emphasizes being genuine and transparent in order to build trust and collaboration with those you lead. It involves having self-awareness and understanding of your own motivations, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as the ability to recognize the same in others. An authentic leader is someone who takes responsibility for their own actions and decisions, while also demonstrating an openness to new ideas and diverse perspectives. They have a clear vision for the future that they’re able to communicate effectively to those around them.
To be an effective authentic leader, it’s important to first focus on developing your own sense of self-awareness. This means taking time to understand how you think and feel about yourself both internally and externally. What are your values? How do you want people to perceive you? What drives your decisions? Answering these questions can help you better determine what type of leader you want to be by giving yourself an opportunity to reflect on what makes you unique.
It’s also important that an authentic leader foster an environment of open communication between themselves and their followers or team members. When everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions, it allows for creativity and innovation within the group which in turn leads to better results overall. Additionally, by being consistent in their behavior an authenticity leader can demonstrate consistency which further builds trust among their followers.
When it comes down to it, being an authentic leader requires courage because it requires leaders step outside of their comfort zones from time-to-time when faced with difficult decisions or situations that aren’t popular with everyone involved. Authenticity also allows leaders to stay true to themselves even when faced with adversity – something that’s essential for effective leadership over time.
The importance lies in how authenticity can help foster collaboration amongst teams as well as inspire others through example; it helps create a more united front against challenges instead of one where each individual is competing against each other for power or recognition. By being genuine about one’s motives and intentions, leaders are also more likely gain respect from their team members leading them towards greater success in achieving goals together rather than separately.
Isabella is certainly a leader of her time and authentic though for the time she was described as eccentric,” “original,” the “leader of the smart set,” and “one of the seven wonders of Boston” — not at all what was expected of a proper Victorian Boston lady. She stepped out of her comfort zone.
She had a very clear vision bring art to Boston. She dedicated her own time to developing a legacy for the people of Boston.
Her motto through life, which appears above the central portal of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, was “C’est mon plaisir” (it is my pleasure). and indeed it has been my pleasure to read about this fascinating female leader and share with you this blog.
Author: Ciara Moore