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Greg Strosaker

Great thoughts Steve. Like most aspects of life, the ability to say "no I won't" or "no I'm not" is more important, and more difficult, than saying "yes I can". My father-in-law, who was an officer at GE, said "you can be anything you want in life, but you can't be everything you want" and that has stuck with me for years.

Steve Roesler


Everyone should be so fortunate as to have a dad-in-law with that kind of wisdom.


Great pointers, Steve. You might enjoy Matthew E. May's take on subtraction, too. http://inpursuitofelegance.com

I got nothing to add.

peter vajda

Hi Steve,

I'm going to take a right turn here and add another perspective, if I may. For me, authenticity means that I allow myself to be who I am right here, right now and, even more importantly, that I am conscious and very self-aware of who I am right here and right now.

In other words, being authentic, being real, means that I can admit to myself and even to you, in this moment, that I feel like a fake or phony, that I am feeling insecure, that I am scared or afraid, that I am self-conscious about my hair, my weight, or my discomfort and not only allow my self to be OK with who I am but also to ask you to be OK with me in this state. That's authenticity.

When one needs to "prep" one's self to be authentic - for example, stating to myself that when I go out tonight, or to the meeting this afternoon, that I will be authentic - the simple truth is that the one thing I won't be is authentic.

So, for me, authenticity is all about "showing up" just as I am, warts and all, and allowing my vulnerability, my feelings, my emotions and not hiding from any of my self, even disclosing to another that this is who I am right now without being concerned that the other(s) will/won't accept this "real/authentic" me. That's the 100% real deal, for me.

Mile High Pixie

Steve, yet another brilliant observation, and a fantastic one from Peter as well! Acknowledging what I am and who I am, both in the positive and negative sense, is a great idea. I have realized in the past year, for example, that I'm not the same person and professional I was three years ago, though many of my bosses and a few colleagues continue to treat me that way. Your point is well taken--this is who and what I am and who and what I am not: I am a talented and highly competent architect who does not like to multitask nine hours a day and refuses to do it anymore, and who has done more than enough work well enough to earn respect.

Peter's point is also a good one. Earlier this week, I had a day where I simply had low energy and a short fuse, and my job and boss seem to insist that I act and work the exact same way every day, and it's just not possible. Sometimes, I'm really tired: for a good reason, a bad reason, or for no reason at all. And I have to stop acting like I can just power through it, shrug it off and be fine. Or I'm really angry, and while I'm not going to behave unprofessionally, I'm not going to hide the fact that I'm angry about something legitimate, and I'm not going to be cowed by the fact that the person with whom I'm angry outranks me.

Can you tell this has been simmering? :-p

Steve Roesler

CoCreatr: tks for the link; will have a look.

Steve Roesler

Peter & MHP,

A lot of this at work gets attached to roles and the expectations of what people should *look and act like* in those roles. Kind of like the never-ending hamster wheel of "Best Leadership Traits".

The very fact that we have roles to play, replete with "expectations", creates an invitation for other people to assume the role of Director. This is why it's so important to focus on what needs to get done, when, and to what standard. "How" you go about is left to "who" you are (which is why "they" hired you in the first place).

Hey, I'm not naive. We do slide into roles that have some boundaries and expectations attached to them. But as Peter points out, the most real thing to do is show up as who you are and how you are (within the confines of respectful behavior)at any given moment. The fascinating thing is that once people start getting real--and still get results--the game changes.

BTW Pixie: How do you *feel* about all of that?


My opinion is that, as long as you are just being yourself, using your methods of creation, implementing your ideas in your own way. Being a copy, is like being always number 2 and that's not comforting.

Steve Roesler


You've added a money phrase: "Being a copy, is like being always number 2."

That is a powerful statement.

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