“Leaders influence others through authentic presence in their relationships". Influence is related to being fully present in relationships that are authentic and have a clear and mutually beneficial moral purpose. Presence has a number of facets and qualities that help to enhance the purpose, quality and depth of relationships and can thereby greatly increase the potential for leaders to influence what really matters and make a difference.
Maxwell (2005) states that, " the true measure of leadership is influence - nothing more, nothing less". It is not uncommon for a teacher to identify the ‘leaders’ among a cohort of students by looking to see which students have influence amongst their peers or to notice the climate of a class change when one student with influence is absent. Sometimes, however, it is less obvious where the real influence is in a school community because it may not always reside with positional authority.
One of the themes of Duignan's work is the idea of authenticity: authentic leadership, authentic relationships and authentic learning. George (2003) says that leadership begins and ends with authenticity (Duignan, 2012, p.13), while Sarratt (2004) claims that authenticity can be learnt and built by 'the cultivation of virtues'...
Duignan argues that a new kind of leadership paradigm is needed to lead authentic learning in twenty-first century schools. Current measures of successful leadership that are based on improvement in educational outcomes for students, focus on the easily measured outcomes that are usually some kind of test score. Such measures fail to adequately capture many things that count but cannot be measured.