Archives for posts with tag: Authenticity

Chris Brogan is one of the smartest guys online, and his blog blows most others away.

He’s hit on one of the hot buzzwords in a recent post: a fave in the world of sustainability: “authentic” Chris basically says he’s sick of the term, and offers instead that one should be “helpful”: “…be honest with yourself and filter that into whatever it takes to be helpful to others. Present your most helpful side to the people who need it, and do so with as much genuine interest in other people’s success as you can possibly muster.”

I get Chris’ sentiment here – when marketing folk toss around the new buzz words like “authentic” – it can actually leave you cold.

But a) I’m not convinced that “helpful” is the alternative to strive for. And b) I think his adverse reaction to “authentic” comes from someone being too lazy or superficial to deliver the real meaning (the “authentic” meaning…).

When I advise a client to be authentic, what I’m advising (and will be sure to clarify ) is to be real and to only make promises that you can keep.

A company/person/brand must promise their stakeholders (customers, clients, partners, advisors) only what they will deliver as well as what they stand for, and to deliver on those promises.

Be clear about your intentions, your abilities and your limitations, and that’s authenticity you can take to the bank.

~ Christopher Smith

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Just finished an article that pilloried one of America’s greatest comebacks: Al Gore.

Just a short while after the election debacle that would have put many of us under for good, Gore stormed back with a Nobel Prize / Academy Award winning year, and became the de facto spokesperson for climate change and the sustainability movement.

According to this article, however, Al Gore is a complete loser who “…has seen the movement he led flounder from one inglorious defeat to the next. The most recent, failed global climate meeting passed almost unnoticed last week in Bonn; the world has turned its eyes away from the expiring anguish of the Copenhagen agenda… The Kyoto Protocol is withering on the vine; it will almost certainly die with no successor in place. There is no chance of cap and trade legislation in the US under Obama, and even the EPA’s regulatory authority over carbon dioxide is under threat. Brazil is debating a forestry law that critics charge will open the floodgates to a new round of deforestation in the Amazon. China is taking the green lobby head on, suspending a multibillion dollar Airbus order to protest EU carbon cutting plans…”

In sum: “It is hard to think of any recent failure in international politics this comprehensive, this swift, this humiliating.”

Huh?

Nobel Prize + Academy Award + Global influence? = Failure??!!??

WTF happened?

The main issue with Gore’s climate leadership, says author Walter Russell Mead,  is simple: Gore was a faker.

“If the heart of your message is that the peril of climate change is so imminent and so overwhelming that the entire political and social system of the world must change, now, you cannot fly on private jets. You cannot own multiple mansions. You cannot even become enormously rich investing in companies that will profit if the policies you advocate are put into place.”

THE RULE OF REAL: No matter how big you are (even more important if you’re clawing your way to the top): BE who you say you are. DO what you say you will. If you STAND for something, don’t compromise.

So endeth the sermon on being real.

~Christopher Smith