Authentic Leadership – the philosophy

The philosophy of Authentic Leadership was created by Bas Blekkingh. Here you will learn more about the philosophy, the 7-layers model, mission and Ego.

What is authentic leadership?

We believe authentic leadership is leadership where your most profound motive (mission) and core values lead your behaviour. Your deepest motive is always focussed on ‘growing your environment’. This applies for individuals, their teams as well as organisations. People often lose sight of their deepest motive or are still searching for it.

Leaders and organisations who act from authentic leadership create a higher level of engagement and pride and have proven to be more successful in achieving their goals.

What is not authentic leadership?

The philosophy of authentic leadership is not some vague ‘just be yourself, and everything will be okay’ theory. That would mean tolerating anti-social, selfish and manipulative behaviour because ‘it is so authentic’.

Authentic leadership also does not mean ‘act spontaneously, doing whatever comes to mind’. Being authentic does not always mean spontaneous. Sometimes, authentic behaviour is very deliberate and extremely well considered. Basing your actions on your mission is not always simple. Sometimes it requires courage and perseverance. We work with the 7-layers model to achieve this.

What we believe

We believe that people are on this world with a reason, a deeper meaning. We call that a Mission. A Mission is already known or can be discovered,

We also believe that people who live and act from their mission, are happier. Part of your mission is that you can feel more fulfilled if you make impact on the happiness and growth of someone else. That will make you feel strong and beautiful from the inside. That is your authenticity. 

We also believe:

  • That it is possible to take complex issues to the essence, so they are easily and directly solvable.
  • That you don’t necessarily need to go to the past to learn lessons for today and tomorrow
  • That everything can be discussed if you use the right tone of voice and start from a positive intention. That positive intention is more important than the right (coaching)technique alone. 
  • That every person is intrinsically searching for a sustainable connection with others.
  • That there is always more potential than shown from the outside.
  • That as a person you are vulnerable and want to protect yourself, like everyone. And that it is all fine. But if you protect yourself too much, the protection will turn against you and the beautiful within won’t show. Then your Ego becomes more important than your authenticity. In the long run this will lead to a lonely and unhappy feeling.

We take the role to let you discover your mission. So you can make more impact on the environment, which makes you feel more fulfilled. We work with individuals, teams and organizations. It makes us happy to see them grow.

The 7-layers model

Why the 7-layers model?

It turns out that leaders have difficulty finding the right abstraction level when searching for a solution to a problem. Which costs a lot of time and energy. Treating an issue on the correct layer will increase your fulfilment, effectiveness and problem-solving skills. Not every problem goes deep, while sometimes, you should search for a solution on a deeper layer. We help leaders to become more successful and more fulfilled by supporting them to deal with problems faster and more effectively. For this, we use the 7-layers model. While exploring your seven layers, you will also learn more about yourself.

Find your core

Your exploration from outside in will bring you closer to your core, your authenticity. What is your deepest motive, and what mission lies behind all those layers? Once you’ve found your own core, you can work from the inside out to live this mission. Your mission will guide your behaviour. Your problem statements will immediately gain a new meaning. Go to ‘Discover your mission’ to get started right away.


Egos are successful survival mechanisms which you have developed in your early years. Some Egos can strengthen you: they can help you to achieve your mission. However, if your egos get the better of you, they can turn against you. Do you recognise yourself in these Egos?

The load of Egos

Although it is the most natural thing in the world to have an Ego, the word “Ego” often has negative connotations. You may regard an ego as one of your (sub)personalities. You actually have several Egos. Your Egos aim to position themselves in a certain way towards others. You want people to see you in a particular way. An if you succeed, it feels comfortable, often even good. Ultimately, this contributes to your sense of security. ‘If I act this way, everything should be just fine.’ The past has proven that.

Using your Egos happens most of the time unconsciously. In the long term, you as a leader can get stuck in one specific Ego; instead of dealing from authenticity, your Egos have taken over without even noticing. This is what we call an exaggerated Ego.

Together to a higher level

Using an Ego effectively in a group is not a problem. However, an exaggerated Ego is more complicated. You might not notice them yourself, but others do because you start to bother them. You do not achieve what you want to achieve.  This often leads to a negative self-fulfilling prophecy: jeopardising your position in the group. By gaining insight into each other’s Egos, you and your team can advance to a higher level by giving each other feedback when exaggerating. A level where you   work together from your shared missions.

Are you curious to find out about your Egos? 

Discover and live your mission

People are creative human beings. Your deepest motive is to create something you will be proud of. Creating this is your mission. It’s not something you have to do, but something you like and want to do. Leaders are very effective and fulfilled if they can spend most of their time doing this.

Every human being has a mission, maybe even more than one. However, we don’t often realise this or perhaps are somewhat detached from it.

Authentic Leadership helps you in (re)discovering your mission so that you can live with your mission leading you. Using our Mission Statement Form, you can already take one step closer to living your personal mission. Try it out right away!

Make your Mission Statement
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