“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” – Brene Brown
I’ve just returned from an energizing meeting of the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) national board in Chicago. The consortium is a member-governed organization that focuses on attracting talent to colleges and universities around the country. This morning I was reflecting on why I enjoyed it so much.
I was so impressed with my fellow board members. Each of them are passionate about their work in recruiting faculty, staff, and executive leaders and providing recruiting resources to colleges and universities in their regions. And they are committed to helping guide the national organization to make sure that it is meeting its member institution needs. In short, they each demonstrated authenticity from the executive director of HERC on down.
This authenticity was visible in how the executive director invited board members to actively engage in generating ideas and discussing future directions for HERC, offering up their talents and perspectives. Not surprisingly, authenticity was demonstrated most strongly in how differences of opinion were allowed to be voiced and explored. Rather than curtailing difficult discussions around priorities and limited resources, members were encouraged to present their perspectives, and argue passionately and respectfully on behalf of their region’s needs.
It feels great to be part of an organization that is led authentically. It allows everyone else to participate authentically as well: to show up, be real, be honest, and let their true selves be seen.