The Power of Authenticity
Authenticity – being authentic in all that we do, in all facets of life, with family, community, at work, at play, everywhere, is what it’s all about. It’s where we have the most impact. It’s why people trust us, believe in us, respect and admire us – why they follow us.
But authenticity is not always an easy road to travel. There will be times when you have to forsake some short term reward or gain because you have stayed true. Stay the course. Don’t let easy temptation and cheap compromise chip away at your integrity. People of integrity, authentic people, will see you for who you are and respect it. Even more importantly, you will see yourself for who you are and respect it. Authenticity is its own reward.
Authenticity in business demands we have the integrity to say and do things which don’t always come easily. Authenticity is not about being liked or disliked; it’s about knowing your conscience and acting upon it. It’s about being present, in the moment, giving the people you are with – family, friends, colleagues – the real you, not some facsimile version.
When we were younger, we were not always sure of our authentic selves. Many of us try on masks, identities we can slip in and out of almost at will. To be included, to be accepted. This is only natural. In fact, it’s part of the journey to authenticity. We test who we are, stretch our identity in various scenarios and against different people. And there’s no mandated age at which we are handed the keys to our own authenticity. For some it’s sooner; while others may never find the power of their authenticity.
We most commonly perceive someone’s authenticity through their words and actions. But there are other ways too – wrinkles, for instance.
Have a look at this brilliant video, created by It’s The Thought That Counts, an outstanding creative agency whose principals Ron Mather and Christine Barnes are leaders in the industry providing extraordinary value and thrilled to say closely connected to The CEO Circle. It was the winning pitch on the season finale of ABC TV’s The Gruen Transfer. It’s a really beautiful piece of work and perfectly illustrates the power of wrinkles and authenticity. The brief for the ad was “Make wrinkles sexy” – the ad does that and a lot more.
I promise that when you view this video you will think differently about wrinkles. They are part of us. They tell a story. They are part of who we are, our real selves. They should be celebrated, respected and admired. This does not apply to just wrinkles; it applies to us. Each and every one of us.
Stay true to yourself. Don’t compromise your values or beliefs for anything or anyone. Don’t change because others around you are, don’t be pressured, be you – just you. Be proud of who you are and what you stand for.