A few years ago, after 2 very successful years as Chief Pilot of a regional air freight carrier, I quite suddenly decided to retire early.
After you read
about Oprah Winfrey's early decision to leave
you'll probably see why. Freelance writer
relates Oprah's story, as she told it to a
Many times in these missives we've talked about the importance of authenticity...and integrity. We've identified integrity as the crowning trait of successful leaders.
Being authentic is part of having integrity. You can't have integrity if you're forced to be inauthentic. Oprah knew that and cut the gig short.
Now back to my story...
For those first few successful years, I'd enjoyed considerable autonomy while I addressed serious morale and performance issues among our pilots. In mid-2009 I began to feel pressure from senior management to "toughen up". To revert to the sorts of policies which I believe got us into the mess we'd just cleaned up.
After a few battles over this, I began to see that I couldn't stay in that position and be my authentic self. So I made my decision and retired within about six months.
Fortunately, we parted amicably! If I'd stayed very much longer, I'm sure the relationship with management would have turned ugly. And I'd have been internally compromised.
Read Oprah's story
, and learn from it!
Authenticity is vital - for performance, and for psychological health. Believe it or not, it's also important for physical health!
Have a good story about yours or someone else's authenticity...or lack of it? I'd love to hear it.
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