I live in a city of over 3 million people – a stat that always pops back into my head when I come across yet another connection of two seemingly unconnected people in my network. It’s remarkable to me how I seem to constantly be running into people who know someone else I know – someone I’ve worked with, socialized with, or even just met in passing. Even in a major urban market, it really is a small world.
Which is why authenticity is really the only game in town. I don’t honestly care what your values are or how you see the world, but I sincerely encourage you to live by those values every minute of every day. The people you interact with are, simply, too interconnected for you to show one face to one person, another face to another person, and not expect that someday, they’re going to hear about it. And they’ll be disappointed. Because what we really want to know is that you are who you say you are. Who you act you are.
I’d rather know where you stand and disagree with your values, than find out afterwards that what we agreed on was nothing more than an act for you. I think most of us feel that way.
So be you. And if/when you slip up, apologize for it. Let us know it was out of character, and that you’re willing to admit your mistake. I’m in for the long term relationship build, and that only happens when I know who I’m dealing with.