Authenticity – adjective
1. not false or copied; genuine; real:
2. having the origin supported by unquestionable evidence; authenticated; verified: an authentic document of the Middle Ages; an authentic work of the old master.
3. entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy:
The word authentic is so important as a leader because without it you can’t be one. The reason I have decided to write a short blog is because I had to ensure I kept it in my mind over the last two weeks.
Firstly to be authentic all the time is hard. Being authentic to me means that what I say, feel, think and do are the same and if I say I am going to do something I deliver to the appropriate standard, preferably above that standard.
Over the last Month I have been very busy and my diary was starting to overlap. I then looked at what I could take out, sadly all of the commitments were important. I thought about cancelling and making an excuse as to why I couldn’t attend some of them.
Theses commitments were very important to the groups and whilst I was very tempted to cancel a little voice in my head sent the correct trigger to my conscious mind and asked “how is that being authentic”. “Not very: was the answer. Hmmm………
It can be easy to justify to ourselves why we have decided not follow one of our values. We can tell ourselves that we are mostly authentic and on this occasion it is not so bad to fall below that standard.
the person in the mirror
We need to check ourselves every now and again on the values we want to be judged by. I have been working with many leadership teams of late and this word is used a lot but when we break that down into the behaviours we expect to see we may not meet that threshold consistently without a lot of effort.
The most important element is do not promise if you cant deliver and if you do promise ensure that you make every effort to succeed. The benefit to me of not cancelling was some outstanding meetings and it has also made me go back over all those promises I made and ensure I have delivered (albeit a little late in some cases). I have a bit of extra work to do this weekend……