Authenticity: Just a Buzzword? Or the Key to Working with Friends?

Thursday, 2/18/16 @ 4:00 PT & 7:00 ET

We discussed authenticity vis-à-vis organizational culture and hierarchy on October 15. We hope this week’s discussion isn’t redundant, but will repeat that:

“Perhaps of the myriad business buzzwords and cliches, authenticity is the most irritating. It’s certainly the most ironic.”

Why? Because those who espouse and preach about “authenticity” tend to be the least authentic among us.

“Being authentic” is self-contradictory — if you’re trying to be authentic you’re failing at it.

But, at the same time authenticity really is a necessary and important trait — at least per the GTIdeology and Culture of Greatness.

Authentic is binary. You either are. Or you aren’t.

The discussion this week is whether we can define it beyond the buzzword to make it a workable factor in evaluating hiring decisions. Particularly, whether authenticity is necessary to functionally working with friends.

The 7th Radical Idea

Our 7th Radical Idea is effectively our guiding business strategy.

That makes working with the right people essential to the organization’s existence. In fact, the idea’s root is radical individuals.

From the Brief Summary of Our GTIdeology:

Radical Individuals who strive to create and encourage greatness through the Individual in their own lives and embrace the GTIdeology comprise the Radical Organization and thrive in its Culture of Greatness.
The Culture of Greatness fosters friendship, not subordination, throughout the organization, as we profit together and have fun.

Working with friends does not imply that we should work with every friend we have, but that it is vital to understand which friends we can work with and at what.

That’s where authenticity comes in.

Our contention is twofold: 1) Authenticity is a necessary condition to that understanding; and, 2) though it is a soft trait, it is not squishy.

While it cannot be measured, it can be evaluated, discerned, and utilized.

That is the Happy Hour discussion this week.

#GTIdeology Happy Hour

We discussed this topic on February 18, 2016. Our cool video intorduction and the discussion questions are below. You can read the full transcript here.

You’re invited to — and we hope that you will — join us at 4:00 PT & 7:00 ET every Thursday to unofficially kick off the weekend with us and the smart, fun, and friendly #GTIdeology Happy Hour crowd. We tweet out reminders each week. If you’d like one, just tweet @ us and let us know. We’ll be happy to tweet you one.


Q1. How would you define “authentic” to give it actual meaning beyond the vacuous buzzword?

Q2. Our 7th Radical Idea does not imply that we should work with every friend we have. It is vital to understand which friends we can work with and at what. What do you think?

Q3. Agree or disagree: Authenticity is a necessary (but not sufficient) cultural condition for functionally working with friends? Why?

Q4. Discuss whether a culture sans authentic individuals can possibly support friendship as its cultural norm.

Q5. Have you ever worked with a genuine authentic person? Or in an authentic culture? Are you authentic? Tell us about it!