A few years ago, a friend of mine was telling me about her experience visiting a series of TV talk shows. I was curious about her experience, so I asked her a series of questions regarding the various hosts.
What was most astonishing to me was the various hosts’ use of the audience. And while I realize that TV is exactly that…TV, I was struck by her comments about the Ellen (DeGeneres) show and how she felt “used” for the hosts’ purpose.
She said Ellen had very little interaction with the audience, as if they were simply a prop being used so the producer could create some false reality of genuineness. Moving the pretty audience members to the front, the not-so-pretty people someplace else, even though you may have paid for V.I.P. tickets.
Yes, then there is the cutting and splicing parts of one show with a completely different show to offer an illusion of what really happened.
Disingenuous? Me Thinks So
So what does this have to do with leadership? Everything!
While I am not so naïve to believe TV has anything to do with reality a great deal of the time, the years of being exposed to fake, made-up, totally rehearsed reality shows seems to have been preparing us for the next onslaught of fake – Artificial Intelligence.
I think all this emphasis on fake, virtual, & artificial does beg the question…
To what extent is a leader willing to go, to shape the facts and attempt to create a false sense of what is really happening in their business, their division, their team, their city, their state, their country, etc.?
Are You Being Disingenuous?
From a more personal perspective, as a leader, do you ever ignore the reality of what is happening around you, within your team, your organization, or your production, in order to give the illusion that something isn’t quite what it seems?
I believe that Leadership is all about being genuine. I believe that when you choose to become a leader, you make a commitment to deal in reality and the facts, regardless of whether that things aren’t sunshine, rainbows, or unicorns.
So how do you know if you are truly a genuine leader?
7 Behaviors of Genuine Leaders:
- You tell people the truth in a respectful way even when the truth stings.
- You deal in reality and don’t cut and splice bits and pieces of the truth in order to present a false image of what really happened to protect your ego or your reputation.
- You give your people credit for their work instead of taking credit for their work in an attempt to make yourself look better because you’re insecure.
- You engage your people in the work and value what they each bring as individuals. If they don’t bring value…revisit the first behavior.
- You always take care of the people side of the business and don’t get so stuck on the task of producing the show (the results).
- You make the hard decisions, have the difficult conversations, and do the things that are uncomfortable in the short-term, but pay dividends in the long-term.
- You never forget that you ARE NOT THE SHOW. You can’t accomplish anything without others, whether they be customers, vendors, your fans, your people, etc. And people don’t like being controlled or used!
Genuineness & The Law of Compensation
The term “Reality TV” is an oxymoron. a very wise man, Jim Rohn, once said that reality is the marketplace and that it all comes down to the value you bring to the marketplace. Want more money, bring more value to those you serve.
I believe that truth eventually comes out, it always does, this fact is steeped in the Law of Compensation (everything you do has a cost associated with it). You can’t fake value and you can’t fake reality because life is not a television show.
That said, you can fake genuineness for a while, but you can’t fake genuineness forever. Eventually the truth comes out no matter how hard you try to hide it,
The Ellen DeGeneres show ended after 19 seasons, quite a long run. Why? They ended due to allegations of toxic workplace conditions and an increasing number of controversies. The antithesis from what the show seemed to have portrayed.