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The Power of Authenticity

July 7, 2010 18 comments

power authenticityThere are a lot of things in life that will gladly wield power over you – if you let them. Money. Expectations. Fear. The weather. Snarky people. But, there are certain things within your own power that – if you embrace them – will give you the upper hand in life and leadership.

One of them is Authenticity.

Here are a few reasons why choosing authenticity is such a powerful decision:

1. People trust what’s real. We’re all wary of – or repulsed by – people who don’t appear real. The salesperson filled with pat answers. The politician with the plastic smile. The CEO that says everything’s fine when it clearly isn’t. Ugh. What we really want is a raw, unpolished, honest human being–someone willing to be honest with us and with themselves. Authenticity is the essential ingredient to engendering trust in others.

2. It’s more efficient. Time and energy are two of our most precious resources. Trying to keep up appearances, maintain your reputation, and seem like you’re someone or something you’re not takes up an awful lot of time and energy. Accepting, embracing, and growing who you really are frees you up to invest your time and energy in more important things.

3. It makes you valuable. No one else has lived your life or sees the world from your personal perspecitve. That, coupled with your specific set of traits, talents, and skills, is what makes you truly unique – and truly valuable. When you fail to step up to the line of who you are, you end up cheating yourself, your followers, and your community.

So how do you seize the power of authenticity? Here are 10 tips for becoming an authentic leader, a post I wrote in response to Michael Hyatt’s 5 Marks of Authentic Leadership.

Who is the most authentic person you know?