Authentic Leadership

"We tend to approach leadership as someone at the top dictating and shaping a path forward for the rest of us. Leadership is a verb, not a noun. Authentic Leadership reconceptualizes what it means to exercise leadership. It is not a role or a descriptor, it is embracing all of who are and helping others bring their authentic selves forward. Leadership isn’t exclusive. Everyone has the capacity to lead, but we need to cultivate that capacity. And that is where Authentic Leadership comes in. Because, as contradictory as it sounds, actually embracing your authentic self may not come naturally. And before you can lead yourself, or anyone or anything else, you must know and embrace who you are."

– Sara Minkara, Founder of Sara Minkara LLC and

Creator of the In the Dark Methodology

What is Authentic Leadership™?

Authentic Leadership™ is a framework for daily living and problem solving premised on the inherent value of people living, working, and connecting authentically. Through Authentic Leadership™, we are empowered and encouraged to embrace our true selves and realize our potential. It is the foundation of everything we do at SMLLC. And although it may sound abstract or foreign at first, Sara’s In The Dark Methodology™ provides a structured approach to understanding and applying Authentic Leadership™ for anyone, anywhere.

Authentic Leadership™ charges each of us to lead with intention and compassion, through a lens of curiosity, to embrace and express our authentic selves and to empower others to do the same. This is a departure from how most of us live our lives. In different settings, we mold ourselves to meet expectations that we impose on ourselves and that are imposed upon us. And in curating what we express and what we suppress, we disconnect from our authentic selves and diminish our potential and our value. Just as we may not be cognizant of the adjustments we make to meet social or professional expectations, and the consequences of those adjustments, we participate in the systems that restrict others from expressing their authentic selves in the same way. These dynamics have myriad externalities, from perpetuating systemic inequality to curbing innovation and interpersonal connections. But we can change all of that through Authentic Leadership™.

The Impact of Authentic Leadership™

Authentic Leadership™ promotes individual empowerment, enhanced interpersonal engagement, intentional allyship and innovative problem solving. By rejecting social and structural constraints in the service of developing leadership capacity, everyone benefits. When we live the principles of Authentic Leadership™, by embracing authenticity and creating spaces where others can do the same, we can realize our own value and see the value in others. We can connect more deeply, live and work more creatively, enhance personal and professional fulfillment and develop stronger and more responsive policy and decision-making. Because elevating ourselves doesn’t require erasing or diminishing others; instead, we can all support one another in achieving more, better, together.