Jack Welch said that. You know who else said that? Anyone who knows anything. The reality is “authenticity is a huge deal.” It’s kind of the whole deal in a lot of ways. Over the past decade of startups and the chaos of the storm I have come to whisper that sentence (and at times scream it) over and over and over.
It’s easy to forget. It’s easy to get caught up in the “what’s the best way to say something” or “what will get you what you want right now.” You can tell yourself “it’s just a temporary front” or “this is what we have to do to get through this.” I get it. These sentences feel so real at the time. It’s hard for you to take a step away from whatever you’re working through and realize…
There is no excuse. Authenticity is a huge deal.
It’s also not easy, but it’s necessary for good living. For kindness. For heart.
I’ve been told I “tell it as it is” and at times that has caused trouble. I’ve been harsh, or too upfront at times. My bar seems too high, my transparency too much. People want me to sugar coat it, or lie for the better of the moment. God I wish I could. I wish I could look you in the face and tell you it’s okay to sell out, or okay to lie to them for the better of the company, or it’s okay you are misleading someone. But it’s not. It never will be.
We expect more. Life does. The whole damn human race expects you to be authentic. We demand it of you.
Every year as we wrap up another calendar year you can feel the world start to reflect – “am I living the life I was meant to live? what can I do better?” No matter what your tangible answer is (go after my real dream, leave them for someone who appreciates me, spend more time with friends and family, take better care of myself, etc.), the true north of it all is – be authentic. To yourself, to your dreams, to what you — and only you — can offer this world.
I think about this stuff way too much, in fact I wonder sometimes if my idealism is slowly killing me. But just when I am wavering I am reminded – “authenticity is a huge deal.” I’d rather be authentic and struggle then be inauthentic and cruise through life. Cruising is overrated. No one remembers cruising. Ain’t nothing stunning in still water. It’s the ripples and the waves that capture us in their rhythms.
Anyway. Ramble and reminder for you all as we begin to wrap up the year and kick off a new one…
Authenticity is a huge deal. If in doubt, follow it home.