The cost of authenticity, of being yourself, is zero. In theory, the cost of pretending you are somebody else is higher. And the cost of doing, always higher.
Being you does not cost you much and always pays off. At least in the long term. And I am not sure it’s worth the effort of pretending differently in the short term.
People often spend a lot of time and effort pretending they are somebody else, so that they can fool others. It is a choice, of course, but I would not recommend it. It ends in tears many times.
If you are hired by what the employer thinks you could be, would be, should be, or will be, you’ll get a bad deal.
If you are part of a leadership team of some sort because somebody (perhaps the top leader) has an idea of your persona and expects you to be that one, it will cost you if it means pretending
If you spend your life outside you, in semi-permanent exile, playing somebody else’s character, you will come back home – if you ever do – exhausted.
There is quite a lot in the self-help literature that recommends you mimic some heroes, or role models. It has contaminated business wisdom as well. So for example, how could I ‘imitate’ Richard Branson, or the late Steve Jobs. Believe me, bad idea. Don’t. By all means read about them, admire them if you wish, and imagine their persona, but you are wasting your time imagining and pretending that you could be their cloned brother.
Heroes are more useful when distant. When the energy is not wasted in pretending that you could be a clone. This, by the way, is so obvious that should not deserve mentioning. But I think that often , unconsciously, we want to pretend that we are ‘another’, a different one. Very high cost.
When I look back, I want to see the one who was me, not the one in exile, in nomadic quest for acceptance, or coming out of a political correctness course.
I wish the accountants could tell us more about the zero cost of being, it’s fantastic ROI and the silliness and cost of pretending to be a different character. As the old saying reminds us, we are so busy doing that we don’t have time for being. Another cost of busy-ness.
As philosophy goes, this is as deep as I can go today.
I recommend the highest ROI that comes from being the one you are supposed to be, as opposed to the one others want you to be, or an ideal being that is only real when in exile from your inner self.
For more thoughts on Leadership, you can purchase my latest book…..
Camino Leadership Notes on the Road
This is a collection of notes on leadership, initially written as Daily Thoughts, which started years ago as a way of talking to himself. Camino, the Spanish for road, or way, reflects on leadership as a praxis that continuously evolves. Nobody is ever a leader. Becoming one is the real quest. But we never reach the destination. Our character is constantly shaped by places and journeys, encounters and experiences. The only real theory of leadership is travelling. The only footprints, our actions. The only test, what we leave behind.
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You can now read extracts from Chapter 1 .