Calling Out BS

Who you are trumps everything.

What you do matters, but who you are – while you serve – is your most powerful tool of influence.

Fakes, hypocrites, and posers may coerce conformity but always lose influence.

messy baby face

Yesterday I asked Guy Kawasaki about personal qualities that helped him rise to influence. One thing he said was, “I have a good bullsh*t detector.”

Call out number one:

Authentic leadership includes pointing out your own BS.

5 ways to be full of it:

  1. Make excuses for mediocrity. “I fell short because ….”, is BS. Every excuse is a nail in the coffin of opportunity and potential.
  2. Expect more from others than yourself.
  3. Don’t evaluate yourself and avoid self-reflection.
  4. Focus on what you don’t have and can’t do. Nothing is more self-indulgent and self-affirming than feeling good about doing nothing. Authentic leaders figure out how to move forward.
  5. Answer every concern and contingency before taking action.

Call out number two:

Authentic leaders inspire authenticity in others by confronting fakes, posers, and hypocrites. When you see BS, say it stinks in here. Focus on behaviors not people. Do it for onlookers. Hypocrites may not change, but onlookers will take courage.

7 ways to move toward authenticity and away from BS:

  1. Reveal your journey. Authentic leaders don’t mind sharing successes and failures.
  2. Relax when you’re disliked.
  3. Choose reasonable plans. Don’t wait for perfect. Reasonable certainty that plans are helpful and not harmful is enough. Reasonable goes further than perfection.
  4. Share dreams as long as you’re working to fulfill them.
  5. Release shame for personal demons.
  6. Accept strengths and weaknesses while working toward excellence.
  7. Receive input and feedback with gratitude. BS doesn’t listen.

Bonus: Find and maximize strength in others. BS is easily threatened.

How might leaders move toward authenticity and away from BS?

How have authentic leaders influences you?

Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick’s new book:The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users” (Very useful!)