• Helen Hattingh

Your authenticity is the currency of the future and I can help you find it!

What is authenticity? The definition of authentic is something that is original or true and not a copy of anything else.

As we find ourselves in uncharted territory, we will see an emergence of thinkers who are pivoting their “outside the box” thinking, entrepreneurs who will morph their business models to be more resilient and to withstand the adaptations required as we head into a VUCA* world.

Unfortunately, It takes a threat to the survival of our species to heed the wake-up call, telling us that things cannot continue on the current trajectory We have developed a culture of convenience at the expense of others and our environment, that leads to a comfortable life and that lowers man’s resistance so that “he sinks into an unheroic sloth” - Rollo May

Over generations, we have been conditioned to live behind a cultural mask so that we never develop the essence of our own “being”. According to Nietzsche: “The human being is relatively speaking, the most bungled of all animals, the sickliest, the one most dangerously strayed from its instincts”. Thankfully, certain instincts are reawakened during a time of crisis. We have time to reflect and change our way forward as we move into a new world.

During this time, we have no form of reference in our history and we cannot step outside the trauma. The question right now is: What can you do now that will set you up to succeed in the world of tomorrow. How can you create resilience for yourself and your business to ensure that you achieve in the world post-Covid-19?

The question by Adv Thuli Madonsela is worth pondering: “Will history record this as the turning point that resulted in the people acting with the human solidarity underpinning the philosophy of ubuntu?”

“Ubuntu”, she says, “is the capacity in (African) culture, to express compassion, reciprocity, dignity, harmony, and humanity in the interests of building and maintaining a community with justice and mutual caring.” Ubuntu is not just an African philosophy but a spirituality and an ethic of African traditional life.

Ubuntu refers to behaving well towards others or acting in ways that benefit the community. Such acts could be as simple as helping a stranger in need, or much more complex ways of relating to others. A person who behaves in these ways has ubuntu. He or she is a full person. This is why the current capitalistic economy is so threatened and why we find ourselves so terribly displaced and strayed from our instincts. We were not meant to compete at the expense of others, but rather to work with others inclusively. Ubuntu is the solution, not only for South Africa but for the world.

Image by Dakota Corbin Unsplash

In coaching, It's our job to make more people and more varied people thrive. In order to do this, we ask questions to make you think differently. We work together to identify ways to act more tolerantly. We explore the need to trust the world and to develop courage ethically and mindfully.

Whilst Brene Brown says that courage is inseparable from exposing one’s fears and doubts, we need to understand that authenticity comes from exposing one’s fears and doubts. We need to let go of the fear that the external trappings of success validates one’s worth and focus more on serving others. We need fierce determination to hold with integrity. We need to replace the “more is better” values with an understanding that we need to live with greater inclusion, empathy and find a collective purpose that is greater than us.

It’s all about how you show up. It’s about growing a warrior mindset that includes developing courage, creating unwavering focus, and determination to deal with our lives’ most challenging moments. Often we need an outsider to see this mindset and channel energy towards growing our authenticity.

A mindset change is like a marathon - not a sprint. It requires continuous work, commitment, and dedication. It is also about building a habit by doing something regularly so that it becomes second nature.

We need to cultivate a mindset of ubuntu not only in our personal lives but in our businesses too. We need to see the value of our staff and the value they can bring to the table by welcoming diversity. At the same time, employees need to earn the right to have their jobs and understand that no one is owed a handout. When one makes a valuable contribution, one lives a life of meaning.

Coaching can help both businesses and individuals, with changing limiting assumptions and behaviors and assists with exploring solutions. It facilitates identifying the difference between listening and hearing and allows one to look at the stuff behind the words.

Gone are the days where a single degree at some stage in life is enough to see you through your career path. We need to cultivate a mindset of ongoing learning to ensure we stay on top of our game and remain relevant.

According to Frances Frei, the 3 Pillars of leadership are Empathy Authenticity and Trust

Previously, as a rule, employers did not engage with employees in a way that illuminated and inspired them, but rather, cloaked employees in mundane routines without a clear picture of whether they are doing it right, thus leaving them unsure of how to unleash their full capacity. Employers did not see the whole person and were not honoring the humanity of the people that do the work

How do we move the needle in a more favorable direction?

By building a foundation of trust - a leader saying something with deep authenticity is of far more value and creates greater acceptance and integration of the company’s culture.

By showing empathy. If while I’m talking, employees sense that I am in it for me then there is no sense of trust. (looking at your personal technology, for example, whilst saying “ I hear you” does not seem truthful or authentic. Instead, it shows you being more involved in your stuff than theirs)

By building inclusiveness. Think of the management team, designing a strategy for the company without letting the employees see it, feel it or know it. If you get blank stares when asking what the company strategy is then you have said the words, but haven't sold the inclusivity.question:

Am I being truthful with myself, my colleagues and my employers in how I am navigating changes in me, the team or the business?”

"Am I open to exploring options with compassion and an open mind?"

There is no better time to equip yourself and your business to ensure that you have the ability to meet the demands of the changing future

  • Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. VUCA is one way to describe today's business world.

  • Instagram - Black Circle
  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Pinterest - Black Circle

+27(0)83 644 0795


South Africa