Rotary eClub One, District 5450
World's 1st eClub (Jan 2002)

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Why Real is Better Than Fake

Don't be afraid to show your imperfections. It's why we like real flowers that wilt rather than plastic flowers that never change."

This is a quote I read recently in a book by Jason Fried and David Heinemeir Hansson called "Rework: change the way you work forever". I would highly recommend it for anyone who wants to get out of the rut of how they do business and is looking for some new ways of thinking.

I am always disappointed when I visit an office or sit in a hotel lobby and realise that the plant in the corner is a fake. They are some really good fakes available now that can really fool you until you get up close and actually touch them. When this happens to me I'm always let down. The same is true when I come across fake people. You know the kind. People who act as though they are never the cause of a problem or those that present one face to you at certain times and another when things don't go their way or they think they have the upper hand.

Fried and Heinemeir Hansson believe you should show the world what you are really like, warts and all. They remind us there is beauty in imperfection and that people would rather deal with someone who is genuine than someone who is overly polished and professional. The lesson here for leaders is that you need to show your people the genuine you, not some one dimensional version that simply represents the company image or the expected image of your role. If you have trouble doing that can I suggest you get yourself a real plant and a fake plant for your office to remind you of the difference. Maybe when people think you are being fake (or you think someone on your team is) you can point out the appropriate plant .

About the author: Karen Schmidt is a speaker, workshop leader and facilitator. Her website

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