Authenticity – a paradox or a fine balance?
Today I listened to an excellent HBR podcast featuring Herminia Ibarra telling us, that authenticity can be used as an excuse to stay in our comfort zone. She explains, that until we have learned the skills we need to achieve our aspirations, we may feel like a fraud. But “acting” like a leader, even if it does not feel yet like our second skin, does not mean we cannot be authentic. I believe she called it “being authentic to who we can become”
To me authenticity never had anything to do with perfection or the skills I had or didn’t have. And I firmly believe in Amy Cuddy’s concept of “fake it till you make it”. Authenticity to me personally has more to do with sharing aspects of the “real me” – my passions, my frustrations, my experience, my failures, my learnings. Why? Because it explains, what drives me, it helps others relate and my mistakes have helped team members not to make the same one.