Be Authentic!

Each week, unless I stumble a great idea (I often do!), I search for meaningful content to be the basis of the week’s article. This week I came across several essays related to authenticity. I decided to build on that theme, without pointing to one particular article.

The concept is: Are you, or someone you’ve been admiring, the same person in your private life as your “public” persona? 

I came across some authors who claim to have evidence of inauthenticity in certain famous people. According to these authors, these people with upbeat and positive public images mistreat their employees, their families, or others in their less-public realms.

When you learn of someone whose approaches to her/his family members, employees, friends, clients, and others align perfectly, you’ve found a worthy model for you to respect, study and pattern yourself after. 

With experience, you’ll learn to sense this alignment, or its absence, pretty quickly. If it’s missing, you probably would do well to find a different model. 

If you find fundamental differences between someone’s personas in those different environments, better take a harder look at whether he or she deserves your further attention. 

I came across authors who reported dichotomies in behavior in Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, and Jeff Bezos. I know nothing firsthand about any of these personalities, or the authors who undertook to judge them. I advise you to research their private behaviors if you care to dig deeper, and especially if you plan to model them.

In past issues, I’ve held each of these famous people up as examples of leadership and promoters of effective policies. The authors whose articles I pointed to obviously differ in opinion from the authors I’ve recently encountered. If in fact, their personalities are inauthentic, I apologize for holding them up as role models. The behavior I discussed is still a desirable behavior, even if the model I chose doesn’t exemplify it.

A term I’ve recently seen used is “integrous” behavior. Integrous probably isn’t a word in any official dictionary, but it seems to me it ought to be. It nicely encapsulates the theme of today’s premise. Integral has a different connotation. Integrous is used as a descriptor for one with aligned behavior toward all.

Be careful whom you associate with!

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