Authenticity, Trust & Happiness



Authenticity appeals. It draws instinctual attraction and builds trust.  Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, is famous for believing that we “function best when we can be ourselves”. The body language of an authentic person stands out and communicates louder than words. When thoughts and words are in tune (when a person believes what they are saying) you see it corroborated in their body language. The gestures and expressions are in alignment with what is being said. That’s being authentic. As a result trust grows.

Trust is essential in any form of social relationship or business transaction for its sustenance and longevity. It helps people to be more open.  Trust enables people to admit mistakes easily and work effective damage control. Trust enables faster decision making and agility. Most importantly trust makes it easier to acknowledge and accept failures without engaging in the waste of blame games. Vineet Nayar, CEO of HCL, radically promotes “creating trust…by pushing the envelope of transparency.”

Imagine an organization where a large group of people is trying to fulfill the vision and purpose of an organization. And while doing that they feel good about sharing a community where they can flourish as human beings able to express their interests and hobbies. Authentic leadership and a trustworthy environment helps people unleash their creativity, ideas and passion. They heighten the experience of success and happiness. John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods, often speaks about finding “friendship, love and community” in the workplace.

A very good example to learn from is Zappos. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos encourages his people just to be themselves, creating an environment of authenticity, trust and happiness. Check out Zappos core values!

1. Deliver Wow Through Service
2. Embrace and Drive Change
3. Create Fun and a Little Weirdness
4. Be Adventurous, Creative and Open-Minded
5. Pursue Growth and Learning
6. Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication
7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
8. Do More with Less
. Be Passionate and Determined
10. Be Humble

Train for authenticity. Prepare for transparency. Mirror the act of trust. Celebrate all forms of success. Express happiness in casual, weird or even goofy ways. Here are few high-level suggestions for driving change:

  • Become aware of the unfulfilling and undesired – acknowledge appropriately. Scenarios based storytelling works great.
  • Formalize desire for authenticity, trust and happiness – communicate repeatedly. Effective visual communication, or a standup comedy, or a well-designed theatrical act may foster the shared desire for change.
  • Plan and act to foster the desired state – through active change management tactics.
  • Repeat and reinforce the behavior until it becomes part of the culture. – reward and celebrate.

It may sound simple. It can be, if the leadership desires, sponsors and mirrors the desired change.


  1. Hi Minniei!! I liked the whole script and I can say your whole idea in one line “authenticity builds trust which results in HAPPINESS OF ALL. Keep up sending me such writings ,I like it . Thanks.Love you . bhua

  2. Good read. Although it would be nice to see some neuroscience based proven methodologies to build trust within social organizations.

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