Prince William Co. leadership specialist: ‘Great Resignation’ calls for ‘authentic leadership’

This is part of WTOP’s continuing coverage of people making a difference from our community authored by Stephanie Gaines-Bryant. Read more of that coverage.


Good economic news — employers added 372,000 jobs in June, the unemployment rate remained at 3.6% where it has held steady since March and the private sector has regained the jobs it lost during the pandemic.

Sherrie Johnson, a Woodbridge, Virginia author and organizational leadership specialist, said that in the wake of the great resignation, employers may need to host a better work environment that starts with “authentic leadership.”



“An authentic leader is someone that is open, honest, transparent and communicates well with employees,” Johnson said.

In her book “Authentic Leadership in the Workplace,” she shared how employers can keep employees from getting fed up with their job and becoming one of the thousands handing in a two-week notice.

“They are simply not going to stay in a place where they are not happy, where they are not valued, and where they are not heard,” She said, adding that employees are looking for leaders who are looking out for the team. “They are basically making decisions for the entire organization, not just decisions that benefit themselves.”

Authentic Leadership in the Workplace by Sherrie Johnson will be available on July 13. (Courtesy Sherrie Johnson)

Likewise, Johnson said employers set the tone, especially when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion.

“An organization is stronger when it has different perspectives at the table, ” Johnson said, highlighting that this post-pandemic period is a great time for organizations to encourage diversity within senior leadership, “because employees want to see people who look like them and people who understand ‘difference.'”

The Woodbridge, Virginia, resident is the founder and CEO of Sherrie Johnson Communications, LLC. She’s an “authentic leadership” speaker who also consults and coaches individuals, companies and universities on how to communicate more effectively.

Johnson received her undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in Communications and a doctorate of education at Grand Canyon University in Organizational Leadership.

“Authentic Leadership in the Workplace” will not come out until Wednesday, July 13, but you can pre-order the book on Amazon.

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