We’ve heard it time and time again, the first step in being successful is to be yourself.
To be Authentic.
Ever since I picked this up from Mr. Sinek, I have written about this so many times and believe it to the core:
Authenticity means, the things you say and the things you do, you actually believe.
That is what it means to be authentic.
It follows a natural logic flow:
- Authenticity is needed so you know you have the right set of values and beliefs.
- The right set of values and beliefs are symbols you send out to the world about who you are.
- The right set of values and beliefs are needed so you can find people with the same set of values and beliefs. We have the natural, anthropological need to find people like us.
- When you find people with the same set of values and beliefs and you work with them, a beautiful thing happens – trust emerges.
- And when you work with people you trust and they trust you, they have your back and you have theirs – you are able to take more risks, you are able to perform better and are able to achieve greater things than you would have been able to by yourself.
This is why Authenticity Matters.
The cycle is broken if you are NOT Authentic:
- You can’t say “you always have to be on time” and yet you’re the one always late.
- You can’t say “you have to power through all the challenges” and yet you are the first to give up when things become difficult.
- You can’t say “our people are our most important resource” and then have an executive lounge or cafeteria.
- You can’t say “I am willing to put in the hard work and the sacrifice needed to get this leadership role” and be upset because your vacation leave is questioned or disapproved.
This is the reason why people choose to work, choose a partner who are “like them” because it’s the natural thing to do. The sensible thing to do.
Don’t get in a relationship with someone who likes to party a lot, if your idea of a fun time is sitting down sipping tea while reading a good book. There is nothing wrong with either one, but forcing them on each other will not end well.
Don’t work for a boss, a team, a company or group where hard work and efficiency is the priority if your focus is vacation time or incentives. There is nothing wrong with you if vacation and incentives are your priority, you just need to find a team, a company, a group where that is the priority as well.
If you are not authentic, meaning you fake your values or pretend that you have them, just so you can fit in, get a job, get a promotion, get in a relationship, anything – it won’t last.
Eventually, the environment where the same set of values and beliefs are prominent, they will overpower you, you will be ostracized, they will force you out and you will have broken a key element in any group, company, team or social setting – you will become untrustworthy.
So the lesson here, Be Authentic. It will be for the best.