Total authenticity is an oxymoron.
Being the same you in everything you do is less real than if you played by your gut.
In Tell The Truth, Unerman and Salem-Baskin say:
“Truth doesn’t have to mean full disclosure of every possible fact. It means marketing with honesty.”
You are no less true, real or authentic if you aren’t the same in every situation all the time.
If that is the case, where should we maintain consistency?
In the TV show The Wire, Stringer Bell faces this question through out the show.
Stringer Bell (alongside Avon Barksdale) owns most of the West-side corners in Baltimore.
He rules with an iron fist but flexes based on what makes business sense.
He goes to college to learn about business and also starts to play in the property game.
He moves between the role of the master, student and collaborator to be consistent in his purpose.
This is where we find the answer.
We all have different layers and we need to choose which one we are consistent at.
Is it your way of talking?
Your way of thinking?
Your approach to everything?
Or is it your principles?
Brace Lee said:
“You must be shapeless, formless, like water.
When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup.
When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle.
When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can drip and it can crash.
Become like water my friend.”
By adapting and changing who you are to suit the situation you can be truer to your guiding principles than by being rigid in your ways.
Professional authenticity means finding the best result for the business in a pragmatic way that gets the most out of everyone.
What are you true to that is dragging you down?