The Challenge with Authenticity

 I hear the world “authenticity” thrown around a lot today.  Heck, I even find myself using it a lot.  It’s almost become one of those business cliche’s that pops up in every meeting.  These are the words that lose their meaning, because they are used so much. (As a side note, friends and I would play Buzz Word Bingo at an old job.  We would keep track of all of the cliche terms, and when we heard them all, we could yell “Bingo!”  It was really funny…once.).   There is a problem with authenticity though.  It’s a term we like when it serves our needs.  We don’t ALWAYS like authenticity.  There is an asterisk beside the term.  *We like authenticity in specific circumstances.  *We like it for ourselves:  We love the idea of authenticity when we are talking about ourselves!  Yes…people will love the real me!  “If I am genuine and honest and transparent (another new buzz word), the world will flock to love me.”   But are we as excited and enthusiastic when other people are THAT genuine? *We like it when we agree:  We love the idea of someone who is authentic and is saying what we believe.  We can’t get behind that enough.  We might (as a culture) even label them as brave for doing it.  Good stuff.  But what about those people who authentically disagree with us?  Do we label them as “brave” or as “evil and misguided?” *We like it when we understand:  This is a close relative to above, but it’s not exactly the same.  We might not TOTALLY agree, but we have friends that do.  We at least understand the plight.  So you we can gladly laud them for speaking up!  But what about the causes or efforts we don’t understand.?   You get the point (I hope).  We can’t just love and admire the authenticity of a few.  And in the interest of transparency, I preach being authentic.  I think, to find your voice, it’s incredibly important.  But if it’s a characteristic that is to be admired and cultivated, we need to open our minds…authentically. We have a new piece of content every day.  Want to keep up?  Sign up for our VIP newsletter here.  Our goal is to provide you value, so make sure you never miss a post.   

Written by: Kirby Hasseman

Kirby Hasseman is the CEO of Hasseman Marketing & Communications. Kirby hosts a weekly Web show called Delivering Marketing Joy where he interviews business leaders from around the country. Kirby has published four books. His most recent is “Fan of Happy.” His book, called "Delivering Marketing Joy" is about doing “promo right” and is perfect for people in the industry and customers. He also wrote “Think Big For Small Business” and “Give Your Way to Success. All are available on Amazon.