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3 minutes

The importance of authenticity today

by Henk Jansen

This blog is inspired by my latest vacation. I was visiting Area-51 in the Nevada desert in the US where I met my dear Alien friend ‘NTRPNR’. We agreed to call him Trep since this is easier to pronounce. Trep comes from another galaxy where he started a business in trading grains of sand. On his planet it is the newest product in communication, and he runs a very successful business there. He would like to expand his business to earth but faces some cultural differences in his attempt, and with this blog I want to share the insights I got by discussing this with him.

So Trep told me, to prepare his next step in expanding, he read a lot of books regarding leadership-behaviour and organisational-design on earth. He found out there are at least 15 styles of leadership, numerous forms of behavioural strategies about how to manage people and enough organisational structures to get lost in a maze. So Trep got confused, how could he choose the best way to expand his business to planet earth? What’s the direction to follow, who has the answers…?

I asked him how it works on the planet where he was born. He told me on planet ‘PRPSINC’ all residents learned to discover their own unique purpose in life. They believe you are born with a feeling of significance, which you may fulfil. Everyone has a special mission to accomplish and through life-experience, certain beliefs and values arise. These become guidelines whenever important decisions have to be made. Since there is no best way in doing things, they encourage you to create your own unique path in business.

Creating your own path from your purpose brings happiness because you can make your own choices, which gives a sense of control. It raises credibility regarding the philosophy of your company and you get to live your significance. Decisions can be made from a fundamental viewpoint and daily actions are based on a true belief and are therefore aligned. 

But how does that relate to the customer? Trep explained to me that you’ll attract unique customers because your product is a one of a kind product, from your unique ideas. The value you add is clear. Customers look for a company that is true. There has to be overlap in the values you offer and the values your customer seeks. With a uniquely defined business comes uniquely defined customers. The biggest challenge is to accept that there will be customers who search for a product that does not match your purpose.

So now I understood why our earthly way of thinking was so confusing to him. I advised him to follow his own way of expanding business (and follow his own path) and decided to adopt this alien way of thinking for my own developmental challenges. Yet at the same time I realised that finding and following my purpose and significance was easier to say than do. I think I’ll ask Trep the next time how they discover this on planet PRPSINC.

If you have a question for Trep, don’t hesitate to ask. He might have some surprising answers!

Henk is one of our Wyseminds – to read more about our team of experts, click here

To see Henk’s video discussion with Julie on the power of purpose, click here.