Authenticity: A Valuable Gift

There’s only 24 shopping days left until Christmas. Will you be ready?


We may pride ourselves on our time management skills, but at this time of year especially, when demands our time can exceed the number of hours in a day, it’s always a mad dash to the finish line.


But you have to admit, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s the season of giving, but although we’re generous and thoughtful about remembering gifts for friends and family, we often rely on doing the ‘usual’ when it comes to employees, vendors and sometimes even customers.  Time is at a premium and realistically, there’s no way to  be responsive to what each individual may want.


But there’s one thing everyone wants that you never see on a wish list.  Can you guess what it is?  I’ll give you a hint.  It’s rare, holds extraordinary value, and doesn’t cost you a dime.  It’s ours to give freely and makes everyone feel good. Even us. Know what I’m talking about yet?


It’s the gift of authenticity. What does that mean exactly?  Oscar Wilde described it to a tee when he said, ‘Be yourself.  Everyone else is taken.’    While friends and family may know our authentic selves, too often in business, we feel we need to cover that up because after all, we’re in charge, or we’re the boss, or we’re just afraid to show our true selves in a business environment.


Authenticity is a gift that’s uniquely your own.  No one can take it from you, and your competition can’t steal it. It belongs to you and it’s meant to be shared. It taps in to that emotional connection that binds you, your employees and your loyal customers. It’s appreciated. It boosts morale. It makes people feel you care enough about them, to share your true self.


Understanding your time constraints right now, what if I told you, you can still ‘do the usual’ for your employees and customers, but by adding just one additional step, exceed expectations demonstrate your authenticity and become memorable.  Would you do it?   Of course you would. So think about this:


    • What would happen if along with that little bonus check you give to your employees, you wrote them a personal thank you – mentioning perhaps that little extra something they did during the year that contributed to your combined success?  Remember, personalizing means the guy that sits one cube over doesn’t get the same note.  Let your people know you remember them individually and appreciate their value.
    • What would happen if instead of sending out that notepad, or 2015 calendar with your logo slapped all over it, you sent a hand-written note  through the mail – thanking them for their business and letting them know how much you appreciate them?
    • It doesn’t cost much to say thank you, and take it from one who knows, it’s truly a gift that keeps on giving. When you let people know how valuable they are to you, you become more valuable to them.   Granted, you can’t mean everything to everyone, you can mean more to the people who matter most.   Sometimes, a simple ‘thank you,’ is all it takes.


“Feeling good about your life, but not expressing a heartfelt ‘thank you,’ is like wrapping a gift for someone and never giving it to them.”

 – Chip Conley


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