After writing and posting the previous post, I am devoting this entire week to the importance of authenticity. I took a rather simplistic approach in the first approach and received some solid feedback.
Thank you for replying and emailing me. I appreciate it!
So today, I wanted to just touch on the importance of authenticity in our companies and in how we go about our daily work life. Then Friday, if you are so inclined, the faith workout this week will focus on what authentic faith looks like. There you have it a week sponsored by becoming more authentic!
I need to use that word a little more often – let’s be authentic!
There is a huge reason that businesses and teams fail. They just are not authentic. They go after the wrong customer (and going after every customer is going after the wrong customer). You cannot be all things to all people and still be true to yourself. You can treat all people well, and show them the respect they deserve, but you cannot be all things to all people and be successful.
Part of being authentic with your business as a whole is knowing what you stand for, what you represent and what is going to truly be something that represents you. If you create something that is not you, then you will hate it. There is no amount of blood, sweat and tears that will make you love something that does not accurately represent you.
I am sure that many of us have left jobs because something was off. I am sure many of us have stayed in jobs because we needed to put food on the table, but we also kept our eyes open for something that was more in line with who we were at the core. Authenticity in your business is important to your customer as well.
I work as a personal trainer and a small business adviser. It is what I love to do. When I have my trainer hat on, I only work with people that I know I can be authentic with. This means that I have had to tell people that I would not work with them. There are times when I have had to do this because my skillset was not adequate for what they needed to accomplish. Other times, our values were drastically different and we just would not click and be as honest with each other as would be necessary to have a successful partnership.
When I work with a small business to help them get started or moving in the right direction, I start with finding out who they are and how their product or services fit within who they are. Then we start cutting and removing everything that does not line up or connect with their authentic self. We work on interacting with the customers on a real level and adding meaning and value to the products and services.
We stop trying to be something we are not. Your business has to come from this place or your customers will see right through it. Greed, sadly, is an authentic trait. If the quest for money is all that drives you, you will probably find money, but I am not sure what else you will find. I would hope that money would be a secondary bonus as your business grows to represent the authentic you.
If you do not run your own business, authenticity is dying in the workforce. People just don’t know how to be real and own who they are. An authentic employee is a blessing to have. They are comfortable with who they are. They are willing to stand up and be themselves. They know what drives them and what terrifies them.
For me, an authentic employee or co-worker is that person that actually appreciates their job and work because they know it represents them. They are also able to answer the question “why” without much hesitation. They understand their motives and are not scared to put it on the table. And when they mess up, they own it.
I want authentic people on my team. I don’t want yes men and yes women. I want people that know themselves and are not afraid to let that person out and into the world. All of our jobs and businesses would be in a better position if we quit trying to be the same and were just our authentic selves.
More than likely we would find ourselves in better jobs that we enjoyed because we quit trying to be something we are not. Our teams would accept us and better know how to relate to us because we are not hiding behind our masks of insecurity and doubt. Our relationships with peers and customers would be stronger because we are not trying to guess who they want us to be, but rather they already know who they are dealing with.
Don’t be afraid to bring authenticity into your business…your customers are looking for you!