Sometimes It Takes a Pandemic to Reveal Authenticity
Espace idées • June 1, 2020
hat can I say about these last few months that hasn’t already been said. These are trying times for everyone and we’re reminded every day, so no need to repeat here.
Instead, I thought I’d share a conversation I recently had with my mentor that really put things in perspective for me and that I think serves as a good reminder for all of us: nonprofits, businesses and individuals.
I admit that I was whining and complaining a bit and needed her as a soundboard. I told her I was tired because I had just launched a new service right before the pandemic, and I was really hopeful that it would make a difference for nonprofits. But then came COVID-19 and that same service has now become common place for many others. I confided that it wasn’t easy for a business or an organization to always have to adapt and innovate, and that although it’s necessary, it can be really exhausting.
I also shared my opinion with her that at the beginning of the pandemic, everyone was running around trying to see how they could keep up, maintain the momentum, compete with others, get their fair share of the pie, etc. Me included. We all jumped into action not really knowing which direction we were heading in. Some businesses and organizations were able to adjust and successfully convert products and services that would serve us during this challenging time. However, I’ve also seen examples of others who jumped onto the bandwagon out of desperation and, in my opinion, compromised their own quality, image, values and objectives. They may look like saviours in the short term, but their decisions may be a disservice to themselves and others in the long run.
She asked me some great questions. What sets your business apart? How are you different than others? Why do people choose to go to you instead of others? While being able to answer these questions might seem obvious, I think we all sometimes lose track of who we are (nonprofits, businesses and individuals). Ultimately, it’s necessary to know this to maintain our course. So out of our conversation came a great reminder that I’d like to share with all of you because I think it applies whether you’re a business, a nonprofit or even as an individual. While it’s crucial to innovate and adapt, it’s even more important to stay true your mission and values. Be authentic and stop trying to be like others. Because if you’re not authentic, your donors, clients and stakeholders will notice. You’ll burn out. You’ll jeopardize your image and reputation. And let’s face, we can’t be an expert at everything (although some are pretending to be).
Focus on why we need you, what you’re great at and what makes you stand out. And that’s more important than anything else!