Getting Comfortable with Authenticity

Show me what you can do?

These words are typical of what you may hear from a coach, your boss, or a prospect and customer.  These words are intended to reveal what makes you worth being a member of a team, a community, or an organization. This is the  foundation that shapes your personal brand.  It is based upon your performance, your reputation, and sometimes a good dose of self-promotion or marketing, which these days is strongly influenced by social media marketing.

Yesterday I gave a presentation on business trends that are being shaped by social media.  Naturally, one of the topics that came up is the increasing visibility that social media is bringing to all of us, whether we pursue that visibility or not. 

The truth is we have very little control over our reputation, other than of course how we play the game.  What's the game? The game is not just your performance on the athletic field, or in your business if you are an entrepreneur, but everything you do in every community that you are a member of. 

Today social media is connecting communities with lighting speed and with great accuracy.  Search engines and recent innovations that include real-time search are indexing everything we do, including where, when, and how we connect with other people.  It's time to get comfortable with that.

You and I have to get comfortable with the fact that our society is evolving into an open book. And there is at least one championship golfer who is painfully aware of this.  What remains to be seen is what can be salvaged of his personal brand.  My belief is the best strategy is to go straight to that inevitable destination that seems to arrive more quickly, and with greater regularity than ever – authenticity.

This past weekend I discovered a discussion string from Facebook that occurred over two years ago.  It was a discussion among my daughter's friends while she was in high school.  Since we share the same last name, it was inevitable that I would discover this discourse involving dozens of students. While the information contained within that stream of comments was innocuous, it was indeed interesting.  Most interesting to me is that Google is cracking through the "great wall of Facebook," and indexing some of that content that gives us clues to character, capabilities, aspirations, and much more.

You may not be a celebrity, or even a Web celebrity, but you are a human being.  And the increasingly humanized Web is eavesdropping on your conversations more than you know.  This is a trend that is sure to gain momentum as the social media networks do what they do best.  Some people fear this, but fear never results in anything positive.  So, you have to get comfortable with this.

The good news is good news travels well.  Some may disagree, but when the day is done, we want to hear the good news. We want to know how you are  helping your communities.  We want to know how your product and service will solve our problems. Human beings naturally seek the high road.  The rest is just noise.

Getting comfortable with the authenticity of this Web is going to change your business and mine for the better. Here's why.

Your customers, your markets, and your communities only want to know one thing: What can you do?

Do that, and do it well, from tee to green, and the social Web will treat you like a champion.

That's the only score we really care about.

Photo Credit:  PocketWiley

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  1. Jeff,

    Great post. Social media has changed everything and it’s amazing how it’s connecting people all over in real-time. Regarding your point about Tiger Woods, I agree, the best thing for him to do is to be authentic…and quickly. I’ll be curios to see how this does, if at all, affect his reputation down the road.


  2. Megan – Thanks for reading. As you know, there are a lot of people watching on this one. I can only imagine how much work will be involved to get him back on track. No doubt he has a rough road ahead.

    I’m actually using the FB info about my daughter as a case study in my presentation for the GIGS. It is amazing how much can be learned from the simple mention of a name by one person that connects you to an endless thread. No wonder they call it the Web!


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