Let’s face it, “authenticity,” is the new empowerment. Websites, HR departments, blogs, and convertible driving consultants are all talking about authenticity and sometimes I just want to gag when I hear the word (even though I am a convertible driving consultant, but I am really a biker at heart so it does not count).
Most people talk about authenticity with a shallowness that defines irony.
Lawyers use weasel words.
Marketers use spin.
Managers lean on bullet points.
Senior managers pontificate pointing to a dusty framed vision on the wall.
HR pros end every sentence with either "no" or "fair and consistent manner."
Teachers give passing grades to students who memorize letters and spaces but who have not learned a thing except how to memorize letters and spaces.
We are all so well trained at saying one thing while meaning quite another or saying nothing at all and speaking volumes.
What a victory it would be if we were all really real for just one hour a day.
I cherish the few moments and relationships I have where authenticity reigns. I would do anything for these colleagues, friends, and clients. Anything. And I am not holding myself up as a model, I speak on the surface way too much too.
Am I being a bit of a downer? You could take it that way or you see it as an opportunity.
Your employees, coworkers, managers, friends, family, and even your adversaries are aching for realness.
For many, getting real takes courage. It's true, don't you think? Doesn’t it seem a bit odd that being real – being authentic – requires courage? Why is this? What have we done to ourselves and others that makes being real an action that requires courage?