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leadership, Management, Marketing, social media, Travel & Tourism

To be Authentic

By William Bakker | 07.13.10 | 1 Comment

The best meal I ever had wasn’t at a fancy restaurant, made by a celebrity chef, with an award winning wine. It was at a small B&B in Chame, Nepal. Because it was freezing cold we huddled around the kitchen fire where dinner was being made.

The whole family helped out. Kids were preparing veggies, the husband was making the dough for bread and mom was in charge of everything and everybody. Friends and family came and went.

That Dal Bhat was the best meal I’ve ever had. Because it was an authentic experience.

The word authentic keeps popping up lately. Tourists increasingly want authentic experiences. In social media, you need to be authentic to be successful. To be authentic is to be real and genuine.

Simon Sinek, who writes fantastic stuff about leadership by the way, talks about imperfection and authenticity in this blog post.

Perfection comes out of molds or off assembly lines. Things made by nature or by hand are imperfect. It is their flaws that make these objects unlike any other of their kind. It is their imperfections that make these things unique and beautiful.

That’s why so much marketing is junk. People try to make it too perfect and as a result, the message isn’t authentic anymore. It’s like most marketing comes from the same assembly line. Killed by process, approvals and egos.

Imperfection is not always a bad thing, when it creates authenticity. Keep this in mind for your business. Don’t mold it like everybody else’s (but don’t use your bathroom as a place for imperfection). Give staff some room to be themselves so they don’t  sound like robots and give them the ability to think on their feet and give customers personalized attention.

And in social media, authenticity is a must. Don’t always try to craft the perfect message. Be yourself and try to have meaningful relationships with your network. Just don’t be stupid. And when you make a mistake, apologize.

I’ll finish by quoting Simon one more time.

Great leaders don’t try to be perfect, they try to be themselves.  And that’s what makes them great.
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