Getting Serious About Authenticity

It is with some sadness that I acknowledge that "authenticity" is a buzzword. If you google "authenticity at work," you'll find that most of the posts on the first page are offering the COUNTER-point--that authenticity isn't as cool as you thought it was. You know you've achieved buzzword status when the counter culture is the status quo. Even Jeffrey Pfeffer's new book (and I highly respect Pfeffer) says, apparently, that authenticity is a mistake for leaders.

Here's my advice: ignore the buzzword dialogue. Instead, dig into this important topic with someone who has done some incredibly smart work around this important topic: Joe Gerstandt. My favorite piece of his is his video on authenticity, embedded below (or click here to see it). Take six minutes and watch it. And if you're worried that you don't have your headphones in and you might upset someone in the office--don't. You, in fact, care about learning. You care about organizations that are awesome, and so yes, you will take six minutes out of your day to watch something important, and you don't care who hears you (and thinks you're not working).


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Let's Talk About Workplace Culture