Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Your Authentic Self

Do you have a "work" self and an "off-work" self?

Do you feel like you need to behave and act one way at work and a different way with family and friends?

Why can't you be your authentic self in the office?

Too many people act the way a boss should act or speak the way a leader should talk ,while losing their team in the process.

Perhaps the culture of your company prevents your authentic self.
The CEO needs you to toe the line, using typical rhetoric in the process.
You, in turn, relay that to your team, knowing too well they'll never buy what you're selling - and you see the team pulling away before your eyes.

When you behave this way, you must think those around you are either dumb, unsophisticated, naive, or worse, not really worth your personal investment.
Most of people that you've invested in to work at your company aren't any of those - so why treat them that way?

Is it because you're scared to show them you don't know all the answers or you may actually need their help?
Vulnerability isn't a weakness, it's a strength, because now your team can empathize with you.

Your authentic self has a place at work.  Your life experience, your successes and failures, and your weird hobbies make you a complete person in the office.  The term "empty suit" is a result of too many bosses blowing hot air without any context or character behind it.

You have many choices in how you behave as a leader.  Let your authentic self be your foundation - that's at least the one thing that can't quit on you.


hitesh sahni said...

It's sad that there are also scenarios where people aren't authentic even outside of work, let aloe at the office. Not only authenticity is a key ingredient of leadership, but any form of social interaction. Great post Seth!

Even my post here argues the same point. Hope you'll enjoy it.

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Seth Berkowitz said...

Thanks for the comment and the compliment Hitesh. Sorry for the late reply. The link to your post isn't working, but I'd love to read it.