I was recently paid one of the best compliments I have ever received. It was at lunch with a new friend. She has had a wonderful career impacting change in large organizations and coaching Executive Leaders to reach their greatest potential. As we got to know each other, she said to me, your secret weapon is, and will be, how authentic you are.
I was understandably flattered by the compliment. After lunch I began to reflect on what it meant. I started to really think about the impact of authenticity in business and in life.
When I started TransForm with my father 5 years ago, it was a big FIRST for me. The first time I had started a business, the first time I had partnered with my dad (I had worked for him before when I needed cash ☺), the first time I wrote a business plan, basically everything that came with TransForm felt like a first.
I had many moments when I thought – how can I do this? I don’t know anything about running a business. But, I realized there is always a starting place with everything we do. There is always a moment where you begin and you don’t know as much as you will in the middle of the journey and surely at the end.
What I also realized was that being authentic helped build credibility in the relationships I was building. I didn’t pretend to know anymore than I did and I didn’t pretend to know any less. What I consistently expressed was my passion to connect people to purpose whether I knew what a P & L was, or market segments, or how to do sales projections.
Being authentic allowed people to see my vulnerability and connect to their own vulnerability. Being authentic created a connection. Creating a connection ignited trust.
And without trust, it’s really hard to build any kind of relationship – business or otherwise.
Authenticity is a bit of a buzz word these days. But I know a lot of people have a hard time with being it. I think it’s about vulnerability. Understanding what vulnerability really is.
These are my thoughts. They’re not complete. In fact I want to continue to explore the topic and would love your feedback and your thoughts. What does authenticity mean to you?
Until next time……