What if we made AUTHENTICITY a hiring criteria within our organizations? As a consultant working with culture change and engagement inside organizations I often find that we come back to the basics: we want…and EXPECT…that the people we work with will be honest, transparent, and worthy of our trust. That they will be authentic with us. When people aren’t “real” with us we feel cheated, let down, and we don’t fully engage with those individuals. And in employee engagement surveys people overwhelmingly say they want more authentic leadership. So why don’t we start by ensuring that any new leaders we bring into our organization represent the best of authenticity? It seems to me that it’s always better to START with trust…and assume positive intent on behalf of people, and create a shared definition of what “being authentic” truly looks like behaviorally.
Begin with authenticity and value that characteristic as much as you would a subject matter expert’s knowledge, as much as a highly-valued skill or expertise, and as much as a high sales producer. See what happens inside your organization. Heck, tie in bonuses for leaders to employee engagement levels. I bet it changes everything.
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