Leadership is an expansive term with many definitions and applications. Over the years, adjectives have been applied in an effort to further define and narrow its scope and application, i.e., transactional, transformational, and servant. The term authentic leadership is no different. However, what sets it apart as a field of study and method of practice is both its definition and innuendo. Defining authenticity in terms of values, ethics, and self-will delineate its meaning in terms of its application and relevance amongst contemporary theories. Furthermore, identifying it as a brand of leadership will demonstrate its value — both intrinsic and external. Authentic leadership is a generic term that connotes genuineness. That is, it conveys to the follower the leader is the real thing as compared to others. This article explores the meaning of the term authentic in terms of values and ethics and identifies it as part of a personal branding process in regard to leadership.

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