Last year I hired a business consultant to help my small business. My plan was to build a team of leaders to help take our company to the next level. Ok, not unusual, many businesses do this. We met in a conference room at a big hotel in a big city and we strategized and branded and conjured and stirred the magic pot of business angles to come up with a plan of action. It seemed a viable plan.
One of the things that was stressed to us as a competitive advantage was our authenticity.
That we were the REAL DEAL. That we practiced what we preached and that we lived the manifesto we proclaimed. It didn’t occur to us to do anything differently and it stunned us to be told that others did not live this way.
I was given a book about a man who walked across Africa and the lessons he learned about life doing that. The events which unfolded seemed almost too good to be true…and in fact, they were. Guess authenticity is as rare as common sense. It floored me.
Eventually we realized the business consultant also didn’t practice what he preached and we questioned his authenticity. We asked for our money back. It’s now been fifteen months and he’s still having a hard time paying back a measly few thousand dollars. Some business man he turned out to me, unless you define a successful business by cheating those who trust in you.
Two weeks ago, we were contacted by a company we had chartered to take a group of people scuba diving. We had entrusted them two years ago to provide a product this year. He now asked for MORE money to provide this service. Afraid for the solvency of the company we declined to pay him more money. He cancelled our charters. No matter what happens in the end, we will do right by our customers.
This morning, I found out that the President and VP of Customer Service of a long standing authentic company owned by a friend of mine, took off underhandedly to start a rival company and take the top people with them.
Today, my faith in humanity is shaken.
Why is it so damn hard to be who you say you are, practice what you preach, stand up to what you committed to, back your friends and do what’s right?
Just do what’s right and be authentic in your life. It’s not that hard.
To Your Adventures: