August 5, 2011
The Real Deal by Daryl Leisey
For the last 9 years, I have had the privilege of serving as a member of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Excellence Exchange committee. The Excellence Exchange program is a bi-monthly speaker series that is dedicated to providing a unique opportunity to gain valuable first-hand knowledge from regional and national business leaders.
A number of years ago the committee was having a conversation regarding the selection of a potential slate of speakers for the coming year. As part of that process, we began to look to see if there were any shared characteristics of the many previous presenters who had made the most significant impression over the years. There were numerous characteristics that were identified. In the end, however, there was one shared characteristic that stood far above all others. They were all authentic. They were genuine. They talked about their own struggles and failures as openly as they did their successes. They were real. They took responsibility for themselves. They owned their own “stuff”.
I am drawn to people, especially leaders, who are authentic. People with whom there is no pretense. I suppose I am drawn to them in part because I know that real life is just that, real. It’s easier to build relationships of trust with authentic people. Their conversations tend to have more depth and staying power because they connect not just logically but emotionally. I am also drawn to them because I want authenticity to be something that is increasingly seen in my life as a father, husband, friend, partner and consultant.
It will be almost two years ago that my father passed away. He was a genuinely authentic man. My children and I would often refer to him as the “real deal”. He was authentic until the end. It wasn’t an act. It wasn’t the latest business fad he heard at a seminar. It wasn’t something that he did to gain acclaim. It was just simply who he was day in and day out. May I increasingly be more like him.
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