Lead with Authenticity – Be Honest About What You Don’t Know

How many times have you heard someone tell you “just fake it until you make it”? Why do you want to act like you know something you don’t? What is the intent of that? How has that worked for you so far?

That ideology has been around for some time now and I’m sure most people have either heard it, said it, or did. Maybe even all of the above. The concept implies pretending you have the knowledge, skills, abilities, etc. to do whatever it is that you’ve been tasked to do. But what is the point of doing that?  What does it really accomplish?

Usually, if you are simply acting a part, you are going to end up exhausted and none the better for it. You haven’t learned anything but how to play pretend. It doesn’t really build your expertise. It doesn’t build character. And it certainly doesn’t build knowledge.

Full transparency, I don’t know everything. I used to pretend that I did. I stopped pretending some time ago. It makes no sense to me to do so and it was exhausting to act like I did.  It produced fake results and fake acquaintances. It did nothing good for me. Now, if I don’t know something I’ll ask someone else or research it. Actually, knowing me, I’ll probably research the hell out of it and then ask others about it. Because I love to dig into something new. Well… if I find it interesting. LOL!

If you are pretending to know/be/do something that you don’t, it comes across in your actions and attitude. Other people can pick up on it, no matter how hard you try.

Why make life harder than it has to be? Why weigh yourself down with all that pressure? Why suspend your full potential?

Stating the simple “I don’t know, let me find out” is not only liberating, it is also educational and builds integrity AND self-confidence. It shows others that you are not afraid of not knowing.

When an employee comes up to you and asks you about something you don’t know, you can also say “I don’t know, but I would love it if you would find out and teach me about it.” It builds authenticity as people want to trust those they work for. It builds professional relationships.

You make the choice to be who you are. Do you want to pretend you know it all or do you want to grow while teaching others how to grow? What is more satisfying? Give me a call and let’s talk about how to build your confidence to become the best leader you can be!

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