Friday, August 26, 2011

Just Pretend

In a former life I was a lyricist and singer in a Rock Band. I never felt right singing songs that other people had written. I wasn't able to understand the journey behind the words. I didn't feel authentic delivering the message.

My friend Mike Robbins introduced me to his concept of Authenticity in business a few years back. A seemingly simple concept but continuously over-looked. Mike's concept has spread to the masses in the last few years. Every company is adamant in promoting their commitment to transparency.

Last night the HR Happy Hour gang had a lively back channel Twitter Chat regarding Employer Branding. Authenticity, Transparency and Executive Awareness were the predominate agenda items. My passion for the aforementioned subject matter prompting a community member to call me a Bolshevik. Every company wants to admit that they are perfectly in tune with barstool banter. There are great HR Professionals (Oracle) that will tell you straight away that if you want to have fun you are in the wrong place. But if I were a CEO I would visit and take the feedback seriously.

I am a Salesman and I love winning but at this stage in my career I am equally pleased with people who flat out tell me "we will never do business with you". Fair enough, now I can spend time with someone who appreciates my effort! Unfortunately, interviewers cannot look you in the eye and tell you that you are not a good fit for their company. Nor can a potential client tell you that your organizations don't mesh. Most CEO's have more to worry about than public perception but millions of dollars ride on barstool conversation and reviews. Believe it!

At some point it became necessary to differentiate yourself by wearing a suit and tie. Dress has nothing to do with on-the-job performance and that's a fact. When we talk to the CEO, we hold our hands in front of us and speak in polite terms, instantly putting ourselves in the unremarkable category. We meet with a client and politely talk about what we do. Why would they give a shit?

There are 3 questions to ponder:
  • Which companies do you want to partner with because you know they cannot function without your partnership?
  • What is your dream job and how can you get hired in 5 years?
  • Are you willing to tell your CEO that from where you are sitting things are not working?
We will attack this subject matter in great detail next week!

"After all, in the end, just pretend"
- Ben Folds, Ben Kweller & Ben Lee (in unison)

Don't Forget to Remember


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