By John Haney, Certified EOS Implementer
In collaboration with Ellie Cramer, Executive Assistant
I’m sure you’ve heard the sayings “Fake it til you make it” and “The real deal.” Both speak to the authenticity of the one they are referring to; yet the two statements invoke a stark contrast in the meaning behind the words. One indicates a sense of negativity and falsehood. The other radiates positivity and purity. I admit I’ve said both numerous times but there’s only one I want to be said of me. I want to be real. I want to stand for what’s real. I want to work with others who are real.
Being authentic sounds simple, but we live in a world full of counterfeits. Humans are amazing at pretending and masking the truth–especially when it makes them look bad. Authenticity is incredibly valuable but it’s sometimes hard to achieve. At its heart lies vulnerability. Being real means putting yourself out there, which can be intimidating because it comes with the risk of being rejected.
“The core of authenticity is the courage to be imperfect,
vulnerable, and to set boundaries.” –Brené Brown
Sustainability is key–those who pretend can only do it for so long; sooner or later, flimsy facades fall and the truth comes out.
Authenticity stands the test of time. The same is true for our leadership teams. How can we share goals and overcome adversity in the workplace if we aren’t authentic? We can’t–at least not for the long haul. A situation may be able to be tackled for the short term, but integrity and accountability are crucial to lasting organizational health and growth. It’s extremely difficult to solve an issue at its root if team members aren’t willing to be open and honest.
Leadership teams must be strong at every juncture. In order to strengthen the team, individuals need to be transparent about their personal strengths as well as their shortcomings.
Criss Jami says it best: “To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable, to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” Patrick Lencioni, in his book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” makes a strong case that vulnerability-based trust is the bedrock of successful teams. Reflecting on this idea, I had a powerful insight. Our relationships are built and continue to be strengthened on the foundation of core values: specifically the EOS® Core Value of being humbly confident. When individuals are open, honest, real, well-prepared and focused on making a positive difference, barriers break down so the organization can identify and conquer the true issues.
Over the past two years I’ve seen Core Values and the EOS® People Analyzer weed out toxic team members. That led to the exit of multiple people who were cancers to their organizations. It was a moment of truth for the company that revealed things as they were, rather than as they wanted them to be. Keeping up appearances caught up with the bad apples! One client lost the majority of their sales team. It was a tough blow but by uncovering the true nature of those employees, the company was able to get real and stay true to their values. After a couple rough quarters, they came back stronger than ever. Their intentionality to hire the right people who were the real deal made all the difference. Despite the setback, they fought through and grew revenue more than 30% for the year. They got REAL and it really worked!
“Authentic leadership is about leading from the core of who we are to inspire each of us to our best contribution toward a shared mission.”
What’s your story on authenticity? I’d love to hear how getting real has worked for you and your organization.
The Entrepreneurial Operating System®–EOS® provides simple, practical tools that propel company growth, accountability and health to new heights. Elevating companies for nearly 2 decades, EOS® demonstrates their core values: humbly confident, grow or die, do what we say, do the right thing, and help first in a process guaranteed to produce value and results. John Haney, Certified EOS® Implementer, entrepreneur and former Air Force F-15 fighter pilot, brings structure, accountability and discipline to companies with a passion to improve their business and free them up on a personal level to live their best lives and soar! Find out more at www.eosworldwide.com/john-