Authenticity is such a powerful word – just being who we are, not pretending to be something or someone else and just doing what we promise to do.
No one likes a fake as this can deliver very disappointing outcomes. Personally I often question whether I go around with the word MUG stamped across my forehead, why?……. because I always believe what people tell me. If someone says they are going to do something, then why should I believe differently. We can all forget from time to time to do something we promised, I think that’s excusable, to a certain extent. However, every now and then we are let down, worst case ripped off, or left with a feeling of what happened there.
Generally speaking I believe that most people are authentic, thinking otherwise can lead to cynicism, judging others too early and intolerance.
It’s a massive area and so much has been written on the subject, thinkers, philosophers, historians and scientists. As with most things I like to keep things simple – being comfortable in your own skin and who you are is a great place to be – for many it takes a long time to get there. When we align, what we believe with what we do and who we are, then behave in that way – the resultant effect is authenticity.
I sat in a meeting the other day and at one point I thought I was in an episode of The Office – in the space of half an hour I counted over 30 clichés. It made me reflect on the power and meaning of many of these phrases, ones that we so often use to fill in the gaps in conversation, particularly when we don’t know what else to say. My conclusion is that when you get under the skin of their meaning, they really do teach us a lot about life:
Win – win – Don’t shaft anyone or it will come back to haunt you, big time
Can’t see the wood for the trees – sometimes you get so close to a problem you just need to stand back
Think out of the box – stay awake and try new ways of doing things
What gets measured gets done – focus on the priorities and what will deliver the result
Trust your gut feel – listen to your inner voice – it’s usually pretty accurate
Headless chicken – stop and think about what you are doing – success is 20% thinking 80% doing
Trust me – why should someone trust you without you proving yourself
Practice makes perfect – Malcolm Gladwell tells us that we need 10,000 hours of it, there are no short cuts to success
The point of this blog is, so much insight can be derived from the wisdom of clichés, but before you use them think about what they really mean.
People buy brands and as the research tells us people also buy people – 70 % of a persons decision to buy is based on personal chemistry. You are as good as your last job or promise. Many corporates spend so much money on building their brands but at the end of the day it’s who turns up in front of the customer that represents what the organisation stands for.
I urge individuals to think about their personal brand in terms of three dimensions:
1.Functional Mastery – what you know and what you stand for. When you know your stuff people respect, trust and view you as a highly credible person – dont wing it! Do people view you as an expert in your field?
2.Social Mastery – an ability to have a sensible and added value conversation with others is an art we must all learn to get a grip of. Communicating our messages concisely and the ability to get along with others is a really important skill we must all acquire. Are you are an effective connector and communicator?
3. Spiritual Mastery – do you deliver on your promises and do the things you will say that you will do? This is not about religion it’s about doing the right things for the right reasons and living the values of integrity, respect and caring for others. Are you aware of the impact you have on others?
Get your personal brand sorted – we live in the global village and our reputation is often all that we have to trade on – guard it with your life!
A highly effective team is built when a group of individuals are all playing to their own strengths. All to often the wrong person is doing the right job. In building a team we must strive to place people in the correct position allowing them to do what they do best. When there is a mismatch in a person’s skills and role under performance should not come as any surprise. Great care must be taken to ensure we don’t shoe horn people into situations and roles that don’t align with their capability. This will invariably lead to discontent and disconnection with the teams overall purpose. We should seek alignment between a person’s passion and their ability with the aims and objectives of the group. An important task for all leaders is to keep close to both the individual and team mindset. This is dome by gaining insight into an individuals:
- Personal and professional ambitions
- What do they excel at?
- What they don’t do too well?
- What motivates them?
- What turns them off?
- Training and developing needs
We must be clear on what we want members of our team to do, this needs to then be articulated with clarity.
The reality is that whilst people maybe good at specific tasks they may fall short on others. Or maybe as the ambitions and aspiration of an organisation grows, those of an individual may change or their own priorities may shift. This can often result in a person either outgrowing a position or in ambitious environments people can’t keep up – the issue to address is whether to redeploy an individual or support them in gaining new skills and competencies. Successful people remain connected to the emotional, personal and professional needs of their team. By doing this become hard wired into individual and team dynamics – it also helps you to judge and decide on what if any changes are needed. Make sure you have the right people doing the right things, this will only happen when you stay close to individuals in your team.
If part of our journey to success involves leading others we should firstly reflect on – how effective are we in leading ourself? Do we have a framework within which we manage and lead our life? Do we have a written statement of what we believe in? or how we want to be perceived by others?
Many of us will work to a set of rules and guidelines that dictate how we behave and engage with colleagues, friends and our community. Individuals that go on to achieve long lasting sustainable success and personal growth have a moral compass embedded within their mindset, it governs how they lead their life – it also impacts significantly on how they lead others.
As part of your quest for success you should consider developing a personal creed – A Personal creed is linked to our vision however it is more about what we believe rather than what we want to become. A personal creed is a statement of belief about who you are. One way to think about a creed is as a blueprint for how we live our life.
A personal creed provides a guide for us on how to lead our life. It should become part of your mindset to navigate how we make decisions and take action. If we find our self wandering aimlessly through life, our creed helps us decide on which path for to follow. If you already have goals in life but come to a fork in the road, a creed makes it clear which way to turn. In constructing your own personal credo, think about the following:
- How do you want to be of service to friends, family, colleagues and profession?
- What is your promise to others?
- How do you want others to describe what you do and what you are about?
- What are the rules that govern how you deal with others?
In developing a credo you must be precise, otherwise you will create set of generic meaningless phrases that fail to capture the essence of who you are. Take time out to discover the real you. This provides the right foundation upon which to lead others.
We must be mindful of the actions and tactics we implement on our road to success, they must be both ethical and respectful of others. Avoid making enemies of anyone within your community and indeed don’t ask someone to carry out a task you would not undertake yourself. Always aim to do the best you can and extend a hand of assistance to those that would benefit from your guidance. If you can spare time for others then do so if you can’t respectfully decline but explain why. However, don’t leave people feeling they have nowhere to turn so offer some form of advice that can at least help someone progress.
When we extend a hand of encouragement to someone, hopefully that person the same for others they encounter. Our aim should be to foster a virtuous circle of support that contributes to personal growth of ambitious people. By contributing in such a way your intervention becomes appreciated, respected and further down the line someone will help you in your time of need.
When you help an individual do it from the perspective of not expecting anything in return. Contribute because it’s the right thing to do. You must avoid the what’s in it for me culture? that has dominated society for so long. A mindset based on a servant mentality will always win in the end. However be wary of those that just keep taking. If we feel our offering is being abused then its time to back off but again with candour explain your reasoning why.
Life in general rewards those that contribute and display positive inputs to those in need, like a boomerang the help comes back to support us in the very same way we intended to assist others.