If you’ve ever been to the About tab on my site, you’ve seen the Statements of Belief, which give an overview of the values off of which I base my writing, speaking, and consulting work. Over the coming days and weeks, I will be writing about what they really mean and why they are significant to me.
Statement of Belief #1: Authenticity is Irreplaceable.
This value is #1 for a reason. At the foundation of every meaningful interaction and relationship we have is authenticity. I think Simon Sinek does a great job defining authenticity as when “...the things you say and the things you do are actually what you believe.” It is this foundation of alignment across belief, claim, and action that allow for trust, and trust is what allows teams to work more effectively, even when action may seem to be outside of an individual's immediate self-interest. Sinek goes on to explain this: “…the importance and value of being authentic is that it’s in your long-term interest. People will support you and stand by you. People will put up with your failures. People will help you, if for no other reason than that it helps them.”
When we meet people, we immediately try to judge if someone is trustworthy or not—this tells us how to proceed in a relationship. As an author, as a consultant, or as a speaker if I act outside of my beliefs & claims, you will likely not trust me, even if what I say is true. Therefore, it’s in my long-term self interest to be authentic, even if that costs me a possible paycheck every now and then. This is why I only work with clients and partners that I also feel are authentic. There is no ambiguity around intent or values, and therefore, trust can be complete.
At the end of my days, I will have lived a good life if upon my tombstone is inscribed: “Here lies a man who was exactly as he appeared to be.”