Authentic Leadership: Instilling Passion and

Ensuring a Legacy [National Assembly
Session Recap]
Lindsey Snow, PRSSA at Elon University

Session: Peer Leadership:
Today a Leader, Tomorrow a
Presenter: Robert “Pritch”
Pritchard, APR, Fellow
PRSA, PRSSA National
Faculty Adviser; David Lee
Watta, Vice President of
Regional Conferences; Dea
Pennington, Vice President
of Professional Services;
Laura Daronatsy, PRSSA
Publications Editor in Chief

National Committee members led a session encouraging members to
pursue authentic leadership. Photo courtesy of Laura Daronatsy.


Recap: Attendees of this session participated in a leadership style quiz,
leadership ideation activity and discussions. We discussed how now — more
than ever — there’s a vital need for authenticity in peer leadership.
Attendees learned about several different types of leaders: autocratic,
participative, delegative and situational. Each have their own strengths and
weaknesses. Autocratic leadership can be compared to dictatorship and is
criticized for being too stringent, but thrives in moments of crisis. On the other
hand, participative leadership is much more democratized and is arguably the
most effective style, as it makes team members feel excited and motivated.
Delegative lets people thrive in their individual roles and responsibilities, but can
be ineffective if people are unsure of or unqualified for their role. Situational
leaders are very rare. They’re resilient and adaptable in all different kinds of
No matter what style of leader we are, one element of our leadership remains
true — authenticity.
Authentic leaders are genuine, enthusiastic, transparent and own up to their
actions. They find the ideal balance between saying “yes” and “no.” They
understand how much “no” can hinder a creative environment and know how to
offer constructive feedback. We discussed how being an authentic peer leader is
all about remaining approachable while still holding others accountable and
maintaining kindness. As Pritch explained, these leaders set clear guidelines but

they don’t micromanage. Now, more than ever, we need authentic leaders to
instill passion and creativity and ensure a long-lasting legacy. Being genuine,
trustworthy and transparent is not only a breath of fresh air but also key to being
an effective leader.
Ø Leadership is an inter-dependent relationship between the leader and the
Ø Failure is part of being a good leader. Recognizing your failures and
working to build from them is key to leadership.
Ø Modesty and humility are at the core of effective leadership.
Ø A lasting legacy is built on a firm foundation of principles and purpose.
Lindsey Snow is the Director of Recruitment of the PRSSA Chapter at Elon
University. She is a senior strategic communications major and hopes to work at
a public relations firm or advertising agency post graduation. Feel free to connect
with her on LinkedIn.