Personal Branding, Personal Presence, Presence-Men, Professional Presence

Do Not Fake Authenticity

Have you been following the news lately?  If so, then you know about the news stories about the propagation of “fake news” sites and stories. According to political scientists, these stories have potentially affected the 2016 presidential election.  I mean this in the fairest and most unbiased way:  people everywhere are feeling disenchanted and disenfranchised from the political process.  You might wonder how this is of any concern to me as a personal brand and style strategy expert.  The lack of trust and truth we see in others must affect how we present ourselves today. I am here to tell you this: do not fake authenticity.

Think about your role as a leader.  It doesn’t matter if your leadership role is one within your business, your community, or your family.  People who work for you, and people who are near and dear to you, are likely to feel a lack of trust in leadership today.  It’s not your fault, of course.  But, this does create a renewed reason to do what you can to engender trust and to make people feel like they matter.

Sure, this sounds so simple, especially because communicating with people is an automatic thing to do.  Yet, this automatic way of handling things is partially why we are in this crisis of conscience.  Putting on clothes, and analyzing people we are dealing with, are automatic activities.  Often, we don’t think about that which is automatic.  Let me say this again: we don’t think.  But, it’s not for lack of time or for lack of intelligence.

We do things automatically because we need to get stuff done.

While slowly churning towards completing goals, or sprinting with adrenaline to the finish line, being on automatic means less thinking.  With less thinking, behavior is more reactive, less proactive.  To be proactive means to think more, to strategize more.  It means to be more fully intentional.

Seeing national policy set via Twitter tweets is creating disruption and discomfort for a lot of plugged-in Americans.  But, you’re also a leader. So, what can you do for the good of those in your life, and for your own good?  My answer is sophisticated, but it is also very simple.

Each day, stand naked in front of your closet, and think about how to appropriately cover your body. Come back to this notion of what is appropriate.  It’s not enough to leave the house “un-naked.”  It should be important to think about what’s happening that day.  Who are you meeting? What do you need to tell someone?  What do you need to accomplish?  The way you show up makes all the difference in the world to those in your world.

Due to current events, I believe, a fresh purpose has been created for us to rise up and to be the very best versions of ourselves.  We accomplish this by doing our finest work, and demonstrating our values as individuals and as good people.  By the way, this isn’t political; it is practical.  I challenge each of us to be at our very best, and to show up that way. In so doing, we have the power to restore faith in humanity to those around us, including ourselves.  We would connect with people more honestly, more deeply, and more meaningfully.

To do what I am proposing cannot be done successfully without activating your personal style.  Otherwise, you could be the one set to run the country, tweeting in your underwear in the middle of the night.  Like most people in Silicon Valley, you don’t want to be compared to running your life – and affecting the lives of many others – by behaving and showing up that way.

Joseph Rosenfeld helps successful Silicon Valley technology entrepreneurs and executives discover their personal brands and design their personal styles.  Get Joseph’s free report that helps you know “6 Secrets to Success in Silicon Valley.” Get details about Joseph’s proven program that transforms your life through personal brand and style development.

My role, as a personal brand and style strategist, is that of a storyteller. I learn about a person’s personality and strengths, translate that into an appropriate personal style aesthetic, and help each client to visually and non-verbally tell her or his story with ease and authenticity.