To be real is not to be perfect. We all have our weaknesses, doubts and failures. Life's challenges make it difficult to stay the course, which makes it doubly important to know what you stand for and to remind yourself daily.
Sadly, when we think of politicians, the image that often comes to mind isn't one of a genuine person with noble aspirations. They do exist, but they are difficult to see and hear through all the political theatrics and noise. I mention this, since political imagery illustrates the point better than my words can do. Many of us don't trust politicians, because we can sense that what we are seeing and hearing isn't real; it's being manipulated for a political purpose.
In the “real world” of business, one filled with employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders, the disconnects are rarely as dramatic. But they are just as serious to those who are affected. We have a hope, if not an absolute belief, that those we associate with daily are who they say they are. We expect them to be real; we are disappointed, even shocked, when we discover something different upon occasion.
High-performance teams require their members to be real across the spectrum. Every single role is equally important, because one weak link will undermine a vast amount of good work. Trust only develops where the seeds are planted, then carefully cultivated in an environment of mutual respect. If a team lacks internal trust, it cannot deliver external excellence over time.
Trust is both the most essential and the most elusive quality. Once acquired, it must be carefully guarded and vigilantly protected. If violated, it becomes easy to doubt, which brings us back to where this message began. To achieve your goals and enjoy the journey to the fullest, be real.