The aim of the study was to determine whether teacher-mentees perceive their mentors as authentic leaders and if so, how these perceptions affected their leadership strategies. The sample included 60 Israeli teacher-mentees from different school levels and different sectors, who volunteered to participate in the study. Semistructured interviews were conducted to explore participants' perceptions of mentoring processes that had influenced them professionally. Based on a confirmatory approach in qualitative analysis, using ATLAS.ti 5.0, we found that the influential mentors were perceived as authentic leaders who acted within four dimensions that were consistent with authentic leadership theory: self-awareness, balanced processing, relational transparency and internalised moral perspective. In addition, it was found that the influential mentors had contributed to the mentees' development of leadership strategies that included envisioning, engaging, evaluating, reflecting and monitoring. These findings may contribute to the development of preparatory programmes that can focus on development of authentic leaders among mentors, and may assist in developing middle-level leadership among their mentees. The present study indicated that mentoring characterised by authentic leadership could contribute to the broadening of leadership circles and to the construction of middle-level leadership through advancing mentees' leadership strategies within their educational spheres.
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© 2015 Taylor & Francis.
- Authentic leadership
- Leadership strategies