Why Authenticity Matters in Leadership -- and No, You Can't Fake it.
Business moves at the speed of trust these days, because there is so much fakery, scammery, and outright bullshit out there.
So how do we build trust fast?
By being authentic. Nothing up our sleeves, nothing to hide.
And how do be we build authenticity fast?
By being vulnerable. Self-deprecating.
Reveal a weakness, a human foible, an imperfection early.
Take the example of Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates fund managers.
They have $138 Billion dollars of assets under management. His personal wealth is a shade under $20 Billion. And he's regarded as a great leader because he gives his team autonomy, and runs the company with what he calls "radical transparency".
And that starts with him.
So what's he referring to above in this pinned tweet?
It's the opening line of his book, Principles:
"Before I begin telling you what I think, I want to establish that I'm a 'dumb shit' who doesn't know much relative to what I need to know."
Immediately, you know he's not some bombastic wanker, which many of his type are.
And because he's let his guard down first, we let our guard down too, in subconscious reciprocation and lean in to hear what he has to say.
That takes guts. It's hard to fake. But that's how humans -- and real human leaders -- work.