Everybody talks of authenticity and we go to the extent of calling it a virtue. We all know and have seen that virtues are always in limelight because they get questioned a lot especially if the source is your thought or value. In a corporate environment, the real fun begins when your values sets you up against the culture of your workplace.
Ideally (impossible imaginary scenario is what I mean) you wouldn’t be on a job that overrides your values. Alright, coming to reality – quitting for principles would be a luxury if somebody could afford. OK cool now turning my senses towards practicality, all you can do is try and bridge the gap to the max possible.
It may need manipulation otherwise sweetly called as “creative”. In most cases the preferred option is diplomacy which in simple terms preaches tolerance and not taking sides but still doing your things your way. No harm in trying, right?
Let me give you an example: There are some companies who just want to sell no matter what. I was consulting an organization where the only criteria to measure their sales team was sales volume. Doesn’t sound wrong, isn’t it? But, this led to the transcending of this so-called value into the company’s culture, resulting in mis-selling becoming order of the day.
When I quoted this as a thing to be addressed immediately, it wasn’t taken seriously as the practice bought them revenue. They thought, “What if they don’t believe in what we say, let’s cut down the price, let’s take them to golf, sponsor their airfare (subtle bribes, you know!)”
But it’s important to understand where it takes you, at least from a result standpoint if not from an ethical one. You prove by your own deeds that you don’t value your offering. Period. Customers are built on the basis of trust, they come to you because they believe you will solve their problem. Everything else is just icing the cake.
It’s easy enough to say that the entire talk on staying authentic or standing by values is impractical, but you will see the reap the benefits in the longer run if you stick by it!