Authenticity and Originality
I have a theory as to why REAL
political leaders seem in such short supply.
Politicians have at their disposal an abundance of opinion polls.
Instead of someone who aspires to high office speaking his or her own
mind, they speak what they think is the mind of the voters. They want to
be sure that what they have to offer is politically popular or at least
not politically unpopular.
In days of old, there were no speechwriters—our leaders wrote their own. You could pretty much count on what someone was saying as being their own beliefs. Now, you never know if what a speaker is saying is their own or some clever words crafted by a witty speechwriter.
It’s extremely rare to find
someone willing to share his or her own thoughts or who has much to offer
in the way of original thinking. Most of today’s so-called leaders lack
authenticity, and people sense it.
Winston Churchill once said, “The
people cannot look up to a leader who has his ear to the ground”. Leaders
by definition should LEAD not follow.
Originality and individuality are two of the hallmarks of true leadership. I don’t have to agree with someone in order to respect them as a leader. If they feel strongly about something and I get that they truly believe in what they’re saying, I’ll at least listen intently and consider seriously what they have to say.
When someone’s telling the
truth—speaking from the heart with strong feeling—it’s almost impossible
to be bored.
There’s a Bible phrase that I’ve found easy to remember: “Be hot or cold, but if you be lukewarm, I will spew thee out of my mouth.”
Strong words, indeed. What I get
from it is, be one way or the other. Being middle-of-the-road doesn’t
work. The guy who gets my attention is the one who feels strongly about
something. The one who has an original approach has the makings of a
When we mouth the words of someone
else or speak what we think others want to hear, we relinquish our power.
We just add more noise to the world. When we speak from the heart with
strong feeling and our own thinking, we stand out from the crowd.
Think of the art world. Which has more value, the original painting or the reproduction? The original, of course.
Reproductions don’t even come
close to equaling the value of the original. There can only be one
original painting and there is only one original you. It’s up to each of
us to uncover and develop our originality and uniqueness. In doing so, we
have more to offer.
Our society tends to promote
sameness and commonness. Our schools do their best to make us conform and
become more and more like the others. The free spirit is often ostracized.
Our employers and our coworkers don’t encourage our being different.
Often, our attempt to be humble actually thwarts our specialness. And yet
almost everything in us cries out to be different and special.
The word “original” comes from the root word origin. And origin is the thing from which anything comes, the starting point or source. Thus, cultivating our originality is only a matter of going back to whence we came—our spirit or God-force.
We may all come from the same
source, but we all express our originality in different ways. It’s up to
us to discover our own uniqueness, or own inner splendor. Only in doing so
will we actualize our true potential and affect our purpose in the
“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for the better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Copyright Success Networks International.
Last Updated 02/21/2004