Organizational psychologist and thought leader, Adam Grant, recently wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times entitled Unless You’re Oprah, ‘Be Yourself’ Is Terrible Advice. His contention is that being your true, authentic self can be harmful to your professional career. Instead, we should strive for sincerity — to be the people we claim to be.
In a thoughtful response directed to Grant, Brené Brown, research professor and thought leader on vulnerability and authenticity, posted an article on LinkedIn called My response to Adam Grant’s New York Times Op/ED: Unless You’re Oprah, ‘Be Yourself’ Is Terrible Advice. Brown asserts that our culture needs more authentic leaders and that Grant’s piece takes a reductionist approach to authenticity. We’ve taken snippets of both pieces and placed them side-by-side in the infographic below.
Cheryl Fields Tyler, our CEO, also wrote a piece in response called Is Authenticity for Real? that offers an “in the trenches” view about authenticity from a CEO and a team who works on this stuff everyday. Building on Brown’s view, we think authenticity is when a group of people actively and deliberately cultivate a psychologically safe environment where people build trust and establish norms that enable people to be imperfect, vulnerable, learning and achieving—as individuals and as a team.