What Does Authenticity Mean?

Authenticity is being true to who we are and not trying to imitate someone else.

When we walk our talk, others take note and listen. They trust us because we are consistent in our words and actions. Trust allows deeper,  more rewarding and fruitful relationships. Whether you are leading yourself, teams of people at work, in your community or within your family, authenticity is a powerful influencer.

How do we know if we are authentic? How do we become authentic?

Are we aware of what drives us? What is meaningful to us? Do we know what our core values are regardless of what others think? Do we have a moral compass that directs our decisions and that we wholeheartedly believe in?

Knowing and acting in accordance with what has deep meaning for us is the hallmark of authenticity. Notice that it begins with an awareness of what we find meaningful as it relates to ourselves and to the world as well. Once we have this awareness, we can engage authenticity to be a more effective leader with the following:

  1. Get into action. Walking our talk tests our meaning. We gain clarity about what we are willing to stand up for and act on.
  2. Watch our words. What we say matters. It builds trust with others and within ourselves. Are we being consistent with our values or speaking in opposition to them?
  3. Listen. Hear deeply what others are expressing as well as hear what we are truly wanting to express.
  4. Respect others. If we want respect for our authenticity, then we must respect and acknowledge the values of others which may differ from ours.
  5. Be accountable. Take responsibility, not blame, for our actions, thoughts and words. Everyone can make a mistake or misjudgment. How many of us can own it, learn from it and be better for it?
  6. Trust. Set a direction. Set things in motion. Then step back and allow circumstances to develop without controlling each stage.

Authenticity builds trust. With trust, the way forward is always easier. Knowing our values, being mindful of them and staying true to them…it’s a surefire way to achieve more than means more.


5-minute action item-Have you checked your core values lately? How can you move forward in trust if you aren’t clear on what is meaningful? Are there ways that you are acting in opposition to what you value? How does this impact the trust of yourself? How about others’ trust in you? Take a few minutes to write about this.


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