Part 6: Authenticity & Impact
In the ebbs and flows of life and career, we’ve all got some crazy stories. Thankfully most of them make me laugh now. Trial and error is essential to our successes.
My own lived experiences have given me deep insights into self-awareness, relationships and business practices. Being on the flip side of the countless obstacles that have defined my tenacity, I can say now that I’m grateful for the lessons.
I certainly understand why my grandpa Eddie used to yell at me to “turn off the basement light!” when it wasn’t in use or to “take the ice out of the freezer and close it!” while I’m getting a glass of ice water (insert my teenage eye roll). And yes, keeping the thermostat at 67 °F is now part of who I am as well!
My grandpa’s learned ability to adapt amidst the Great Depression is now relatable, just in a different context. Controlling costs is only one of many lessons I’ve learned, and its necessity as a business owner has me stepping into his shoes. Because of it, my memory of his often harsh and stoic demeaner seems forever softened.
It’s the power of this relatability that has me listening deeply to my clients. I’ve found that showing up authentically when I work with clients is just as important as my actual work quality. This not-so-secret-sauce is my recipe for creating impact and repeat business.
I observe authenticity as one’s ability to be open and expressive, which comes across as a blend of humility and confidence. In contrast, when the needle on this scale leans too far right… over-confidence can be perceived as narcissism, and when it leans too far left, expressiveness can come across as being victimy. These extremes of validation seeking and power grabbing are off-putting to say the least.
It’s in between these extremes that we’re able to listen, share and relate where real impact is made. Being who we are stirs an inner peace that gives us the only validation we need, internally (not externally), that we are complete “as is” with “nothing to lose, and everything to gain.”
This is where humility can be powerful. This is integrity at work and it’s the type of leadership that I’m drawn to. What about you?
We can see examples of these people all around us, who stand for something bigger than their egos. The power of relatability, especially amidst collective constraints is a powerful galvanizer.
Don’t believe me? Perhaps turn on your news feed. You’ll see the difference between narcissism and authenticity and its ability to mobilize a movement where size matters not. This is authenticity at its finest. This is impact.