Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What Is Authenticity in Business?

I have seen the word “authentic” a lot lately. Some of the time, it seems pretty inauthentic! So, I got curious. What is “authenticity” and how does it relate to business?

“Authenticity--The quality of being genuine or not corrupted from the original. Truthfulness of origins, attributions, commitments, sincerity, and intentions.” Source: Wiktionary

Based on this definition, when someone is being authentic, their behavior, manners, language, attitudes--everything about them--are consistent and apparent in everything they do. They freely show their real selves to others. There is a connection between their words and actions, between who they are as a person and who they are as an entrepreneur, between how they act in private and how they act in business.

For me, authenticity in business means:
  • Being accountable, admitting mistakes, apologizing, and working to ensure the situation never happens again. Authentic people don’t bury their mistakes or point fingers.
  • Respecting others and crediting them for their achievements and ideas. Authentic people don’t “borrow” ideas from others; they have plenty of their own ideas.
  • Willingly and freely helping others without expectations of getting something in return. Authentic people don’t keep scorecards.
  • Having the courage to acknowledge their emotions and communicate honestly with others. Authentic people don’t pretend to be what they aren’t.
  • Being honest and forthright in everything. Authentic people don’t exaggerate or shade the truth.

This is what authenticity in business means to me. What does authenticity in business mean to you? Please share!

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