A few months ago, my new husband and I were at a meeting where he made the statement “There are a lot of false faces here.” That phrase stuck with me. As you may know, my husband is from Barbados. I love some of the way he words things. When I asked him what he meant by false faces, he said, people just aren’t real. We’ve all dealt with someone like that in our lives. They smile, they hug you and tell you they are so glad to see you. You know the ones I’m talking about.

Authenticity and integrity have always been important to me. You will find it at the top of my list of things I value, both in myself and in others. It simply means, be who you say you are, live the life you preach, do what you say you will do. When we do that, there is no need for false pretenses. I am reminded of the book I read some time ago called “The Four Agreements,” which were basically these four simple principles:

Be impeccable with your word: Simply put, say what you mean and mean what you say.
Don’t take anything personal: Okay, so maybe sometimes this one is a little harder to do, yet think about it. If we do that, life becomes a lot easier. The things other people do are rarely because of us, but is a result of their own reality, not something we can control.
Don’t make assumptions: I try to never assume I know what someone else is thinking and am usually quick to ask for clarification. That comes in handy in a household where we are melding two different cultures.
Always do your best: I happen to believe people just do this. I am a big believer that everyone wants to be successful in what they do and that sometimes systems just get in the way of that.

Those who live their lives with integrity are, I believe, rewarded in the end. Another one of my husband’s phrases that I love is “I am blessed.” It is his standard response when someone asks him how he is. And you know, he is just who he is. I love that about him. In business, I think it’s the same. Those who are authentic are blessed.

So why write about this now? Because I am introducing a new website that’s all about leadership and how you lead with integrity. It is important in life, no matter what your role or position. I believe leaders should have a place where they can learn, discuss challenges, and encourage each other. To do that, I have created the Nicholls Leadership Institute. I hope you will stop by, sign up for our mailing list, and join us.

In the meantime, don’t be caught as one who is identified as having a false face. What will you do to be sure you are living an authentic life in what you do?

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