Are you pursuing authenticity at a cost?
‘Inauthentic people are obsessed with authenticity.’ Jonathan Franzen, novelist.
Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha in their book The Start-up you, make telling points on how to build a network of people.
In relationship to the above Franzen quote, they write, ‘Unless the process of bonding and allying with others comes off as effortlessly as tying your shoes . . . the collaborative mindset will fail, and so, ultimately, will the relationship.
‘. . . as you meet your friends and new people, shift from asking yourself the very natural question of ‘What’s in it for me?’ and ask instead, ‘What’s in it for us?’. All follows from that’.
The authors maintain that Dale Carnegie’s book, How to win friends and influence people is unfortunately titled.
They argue that ‘You don’t win a friend.
A friend is not an asset you win,
it’s a shared relationship. A friend is an ally, a collaborator . . . When you can tell someone is attempting sincerity it leave you cold . . . it is like the feeling you have when someone says your first name all the time in conversation and you know he’s been reading Carnegie’.
With regard to the Hoffman and Cashocha points, I’ve observed that at present time being authentic, is a buzz phrase. The same could be said about being passionate. (When I read LinkedIn profiles, in the Summary section there often is a sentence starting with ‘I’m passionate about/We’re passionate about ………..’.
It seems that if a phrase or topic (eg. the importance of authenticity and passion) is trending on Twitter or other social networks, masses of people start seeing the phrase as a tactic* to gain a competitive edge in status/their work.
Unfortunately, with everyone speaking and writing about how passionate they are, the word becomes diluted and cheap, and a commodity.
Your CALL to action/How to apply for this post: Over the next seven days, when you want something from someone, on purpose, ask yourself, ‘What’s in it for us?’ Reflect on the outcome of doing this.
*Please see my post on Telling the truth is not a tactic.