Authenticity, is it for real?


Seneca tells us to, “Know Thyself.”

Authenticity is a popular subject to write about. But is it all for real?

How do you know yourself? Are you an introvert, ambivert, or extrovert? Well there are tests for that. From Susan Cain’s book Quiet.

This is an informal 12 question quiz, adapted from Quiet by Susan Cain, based on characteristics of introversion commonly accepted by contemporary researchers.

Or one can play four square – Johari’s Window, DiSC & MBTI.

“It is up to each person to recognize his or her true preferences.” Isabel Briggs Meyers

Authenticity is not only about personality preferences. To be more real, to know more about yourself, you need to know your natural talents. There is a test for that as well – Strength Finders 2.0. This Gallup tool provides the assessment taker a profile of their top five strengths. A follow-on book Strengths Based Leadership ties the the talents into four essential leadership behaviors.

These four leadership behaviors are Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building & Strategic Thinking. The SF 2.0 34 Talents are then further categorized into one of these four domains. Due to personality preferences & talents, most people will find themselves strong in one or two of the four. And that’s okay in a team environment. When other members of the team can fill in with their talents and personality preferences.

But we don’t always get to function fully in a team event all the time. Many may be individual contributors in a team environment. The lack of a talent or a personality preference does not need to become a fatal flaw.

This is where skills development comes in. Skills development can fill in the gaps where there may be a subtle lapse. And this is real. For even when there are greater talents and personality preferences, this does not mean there are not lesser talents and preferences. The learning of essential skills, practiced development and intention to necessary improvement.

To thine own self always become true, while doing what needs to be done to promote organizational excellence through deliberate personal development. Practice and reflection can lead to mastery without sacrificing the self.

And that is for real.


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