I learned a great lesson from my five-year old son the other night about the short supply of authenticity. As I got him ready for bed, I noticed he was holding his “privates.” Because he was diagnosed with a kidney condition at birth, when it comes to anything that might hint at problems with his urinary system, my wife and I tend to ask a lot of worry-laden questions.
While pointing in the direction of his hands I asked my son:
Any reason you’re holding things down there?
Without hesitation he answered:
I just want to make sure it’s there.
Unfiltered authenticity as only a five year old child can provide. Awesome. Unfortunately, unfiltered authenticity is not what I can serve up here. In addition to managing risk, my job is to maintain a functional balance between all those who are concerned with what Evaero does: my family; our business partners, employees, and shareholders; and my community. A little too much authenticity and guaranteed – balance will be upset.
Need some convincing? Consider the following comment from Chick-fil-A CEO S. Truett Cathy after making unfiltered authentic comments about same-sex-marriage:
Consumers want to do business with brands that they can interface with, that they can relate with and it’s probably very wise from our standpoint to make sure that we present our brand in a compelling way that the consumer can relate to.
Considering his earlier response to a question about those who opposed his company’s “support of traditional family” this may seem dishonest. However, what Cathy realized was that because his customers, employees, shareholders, and community all depend on Chick-fil-A to sell chicken the bottom line is that he had to “shut up and sell chicken.”
Nevertheless, as I’m sure Erika Napoletano would agree, what is the point of having a blog if you’re not going to be authentic, honest and true to who you are? Before launching on Labor Day 2014, I solicited feedback on our website from a friend who had spent his professional career in the confines of a large publicly traded aerospace company. He recommended I leave the salty language out because it would be viewed as “unprofessional and impolite” and may “cause offense.”
I consider myself to be professional and polite and I certainly don’t take pleasure in offending people. However, having grown up around machinists, metallurgists, foundrymen, and academics who don’t take themselves too seriously, it’s a wonder I don’t curse more than I do. Consequently, after thanking him for his suggestion, I told my friend that if I couldn’t write in my own voice, there really wouldn’t be a point to the blog.
So, what should you expect from this blog? How about measured authenticity? That is, this blog will be honest and true to who I am but not at the risk of the people who depend on Evaero to manage all aspects of delivering complex machined aerospace parts on time every time.
Plan on reading content that, while being far ranging, will come from two buckets: One of the buckets is filled with observations, thoughts, and topics that come from trying to keep Evaero running. The other bucket is brimming with content that comes from trying to engineer a life outside of work that is intentional in nature.
Until we run out of ideas, you should also expect regular content. As we have for the last two months, I intend to publish at least one article a week on Thursdays around 9 AM.
Most of the content will be authored by me but from time to time we will feature contributions from others. I work with some fantastic people who have their own take on things and I’m looking forward to hearing what they have to say.
Regardless of the bucket the article comes from or who is writing it I hope you’ll find yourself looking forward to and enjoying the weekly posts.
Until we meet next week, for those of you who routinely avoid taking the easy road, while you keep on keeping on, consider this song by First Aid Kit.
Photo Credit: Pictoscribe via Compfight cc