Corresponding Author

Louise Kelly

Streaming Media


This qualitative study explores the role of crucibles, life-triggering moments, parents’ life mottos and definitions of success, and holding values in the lives of authentic leaders. This research used the life-story approach to explore the experience of such concepts on authentic leaders. Self-identified leaders with more than five years of experience in a leadership position or in a role of managing and developing others were invited to this research. Qualified authentic leaders (between 65 to 80 in ALQ) were invited to a qualitative interview utilizing the life story approach to explore significant forming factors of their leadership qualities. An inductive coding method was used in analyzing the transcription of interviews. Significant themes and codes show that life-triggers, crucibles, parents’ life mottos, their definition of success, and holding values play a significant role in authentic leadership development. Leadership scholars should emphasize the forming experiences of authentic leadership in their leadership development studies. In other words, the experienced dynamics of parents (life mottos and definitions of success), the experience of crucibles are suggested as antecedents of authentic leadership. The research shows that parents’ dynamics, crucibles, and life-triggering moments resonate with Erikson’s stages of development on authentic leadership development.