There are few subjects I like more than authenticity. It is my internal creed. My motto. I try as much as I can to live by my words. To stand by them at all costs. It is surprising to me see the one or two I individuals I’ve met in my lifetime who exemplified authenticity at the very highest levels of leadership. This guys name is Chuck. I know Chuck to be a man who stepped down from being President of a major multi billion-dollar corporation to write books and become a motivational speaker on leadership. Now, I know you are probably thinking, so does everyone and their momma have a book on leadership. I know. But this guy is different. This guy used to be a guest speaker at a number of corporate events and talk about his love for guitar playing, treating people right, his doubts, and professional insecurities. He admitted weaknesses that I never realized many at his level would ever deal with such as: shyness, meekness, and fear of public speaking. I was like wow, this guy is talking to me. I have never been so impressed by someone in my entire life. At the corporate national meetings for at least two years I watched this man preach authenticity and live by it. He never talked the usual leadership buzzword jargon. He used real words and real enthusiasm that emanated from his soul. A lot of people were impressed but very few of them ever “followed up” (I hate this buzz phrase) and followed Chuck’s lead. It was always back to business as usual when we all returned to our respective facilities. But somehow his words stuck with me. I will never forget this man. His lessons came at a time in my life when I doubted myself entirely too much. I was trying to fit in too hard. When it became apparent to me that I will never live up to anyone else’s standards – I then began to live up to mine. He inspired me to do that. Chuck ended up resigning I believe in 2008. He had 30 years as a powerful executive and made a profound impact in organizational changes and fostered some very innovative ideas in a very stoic corporate platform. He said what probably some senior level executives feel but do not express. It takes guts to be authentic. It takes guts to be real. Thanks Chuck for encouraging me. I hope your dreams take off in any which way the wind will blow. Now I will never underestimate the empowerment that authenticity gives others. It is a true gift from God.