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Importance of Being Yourself—Awareness and Understanding in Leadership

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Part of the Responsible Leadership and Sustainable Management book series (RLSM)


The current startup ecosystem creates leaders with whom people need help connecting to because they need to see themselves represented in their leaders. For example, in Europe, the demographic is commonly white males who look and act the same. This sends a message to anyone different that they are unsuitable to do the same work or be in that position. This often makes people feel like they are not enough and have to re-create themselves to fit in and be accepted or have credibility. Having the confidence and freedom to be authentically yourself, however, opens the doors to becoming a leader that can impact others to do the same. The challenge with traditional DEI is that it is not a silver bullet. Leaders need to be aware of themselves and understand what gets in the way of them being excellent, and impactful leaders often create diverse startup ecosystems and companies. This includes their own beliefs, thoughts, fears, and emotions. This chapter contains examples from experiential learning environment, who are impactful female leaders and torchbearers for other women and develop high-performance teams.


  • Leadership diversity
  • Bias
  • Stereotype
  • Self-awareness
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring

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Correspondence to Peter Griffiths .

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© 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.

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Griffiths, P. (2023). Importance of Being Yourself—Awareness and Understanding in Leadership. In: Sen, K., Routray, S., Mitra, N., Braña, Y., Ćorić, G. (eds) Diversity and Inclusion in the Start-Up Ecosystem. Responsible Leadership and Sustainable Management. Springer, Singapore.

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