Let's talk about the power of authenticity, and how to deploy it for maximum effect.
The Chameleon's Dilemma
We've all been chameleons at some point, adapting our dialect, tone, and personality based on context.
Maybe you've asked colleagues to call you a "simplified" version of your ethnic name or adopted a TV presenter voice when answering the phone.
The common advice to 'be yourself' is well heeded, but it's occasionally more nuanced. To start with, don't bother pretending to be perfect. Instead, do your best to emulate perfection. They sound similar, but are very different.
If you assume (or lead others to assume) that you are infallible, you won't intentionally seek out opportunities to be wrong—— Instead your mistakes will sneak up on you after dark, stealing your sleep and decimating your ego.
Environments of intense disagreement and personal difference can break teams, or make them unbreakable. The early Paypal team thrived on disagreement. They were all extremely smart and extremely contrarian, but their ability to think independently and willingness to fail let them move fast and test things without their ego being on the line.
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