Authenticity. I must have read that word a bazillion times this year, how it failed to make it into the 2013 LinkedIn top 10 buzzwords is anyone’s guess.
I spotted Gemma Reucroft commenting about this on Twitter earlier today:
The dictionary defines authentic as being ‘of indisputable origin and not a copy’. We seem increasingly keen to search out and honour authentic leaders, and whilst I think authenticity is important (and currently over used), by itself it is never enough. In a workplace context I think people see being authentic as being true to themselves.
Think about that for a moment, being true to yourself. What if someone’s true self is a psychopathic money grabbing selfish bastard? They’re out there you know.
So as well as being ‘the answer to everything lately’, I think the term can also be unhelpful. And whilst I guess I’d always rather see someone’s true self than a sham cover up, I might add stuff like humility, dignity and even vulnerability into the mix. And if you can’t cope with vulnerability – swap it for courage (just don’t tell anyone they are often one and the same thing).