In social or business settings, we often feel like we have to put on a mask – pretend to be someone other than ourselves – to fit in, be accepted and succeed. This play-acting is not only exhausting, it’s risky. People quickly sense disingenuousness, and nothing is more undermining to your leadership. If those around you believe you are fake, they will not trust you, much less follow you.
Indeed, trust is the bedrock of all relationships. As leaders (whether we’re leading others or simply leading our lives), our ability to foster productive relationships hinges on whether we are authentic and congruent – acting with integrity.
Each of us is born with an inner compass - an intuitive sense for what's right and wrong. As you use this compass to make decisions, align who you are with what you do. Make sure your personal values are evident. When people sense that you are genuine…a real person trying to make a real difference…you will receive positive reinforcement, loyalty and support.
Do not fake it. Shakespeare said it best: “To thine own self be true.”