It seems at times, that more and more people are subscribing to the advice to ‘do what you feel like doing,’ or ‘do what makes you feel good,’ or even to ‘do what you want regardless of what anyone else thinks.’ That kind of guidance is often presented under the auspices of being ‘authentic.’
I generally find that kind of advice as vague and without purpose as it sounds. I might feel like not going to work, or I might even feel like telling my direct report to (in the words of that immortal country song) ‘take this job and shove it.’ However, I can’t for the life of me find much value in taking what is clearly a path of complete ignorance.
In my experience, being impulsively authentic (without thinking things through first) is not too productive. More often, it leads to an impulsive response in return that is rarely healthy in terms of sustainable employment or relationships.
I define someone as authentic, when they’re consistent and act the same way, whether anyone is looking.
I define someone as authentic when their actions are in alignment with what they say.
I define someone as authentic, when they show up and keep their commitments, regardless of circumstances and especially when they don’t feel like it.
I define that as ‘Authentic Leadership.’