Are you the real deal?

Your personal brand has to be authenticI once had a discussion with an HR Director about leadership development where we found ourselves listing the attributes we felt all good leaders should have.  High on our list, if not in top spot, was authenticity – one of the 3 Golden Rules of Personal Branding.  But then my companion made an interesting point: it depends on your definition of the word.  She’d worked with executives who felt being authentic was as simple as not telling a lie – what I’d classify as ‘truthfulness’, which doesn’t in itself constitute being authentic.  

So instead, here’s my definition:

  • Authenticity is knowing and understanding who the real you is – from the tangible, rational aspects of your image, skills and experience, to the more intangible, emotional aspects of you behaviours, beliefs and values
  • Authenticity is accepting the real you comprises not only the great attributes but also the not so great – and being willing to let others see both
  • Authenticity is being the real deal at all times with all people – regardless of occasion or status

Do you agree? And if not, what constitutes authenticity for you?  Leave a comment!


Please help me to spread the word using the buttons below.  Or if you’d like to learn more, check out my other blogs and follow me on Twitter.  Or drop me an email at  Thank you! 

Spark specialises in branding, but not for companies – for people.  Personal branding delivers many benefits including: career development, reputation management, online presence, leadership development, talent management, social media marketing, presentation skills, networking skills and personal marketing. Spark delivers personal branding to executives and senior managers in Leeds, Harrogate, Skipton, York, Bradford and the Yorkshire area, as well as in London and other UK cities. The company was founded by Jennifer Holloway and her 15 years’ experience in PR coupled with several years as an executive coach means she delivers a personal brand service unlike any other in Yorkshire.

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