The foundation of reputation management rest on authenticity: The ability to tap into your genuine, humble and individual human qualities from which your identity, personality and character stems. Most of us walk around without much thought to being “authentic.” We expect that others will take us as they see us. Some of us even boast, “What you see is what you get!”

But is it? Are you living authentically — using your values, beliefs and dreams guide you? Are you letting others know you — truly know you — or are you hiding behind a shield of appropriateness and conformity?

I was recently asked to provide a guest blog for Peter Sterlacci, a well-respected personal branding expert focused on the marketplace in Japan. Peter speaks and teaches the principles of personal branding to Asian audiences and has built his own reputation as a collaborative, interesting and competitive expert in this field.

When Peter asked me to tackle a personal branding topic, ”authenticity” came to mind. I wrote the piece and the feedback on the blog was overwhelming. Readers were so happy to see this topic exposed, discussed and presented in a way that is understandable and inspiring. Is the topic of authenticity really this unique?

When considering your own personal brand and reputation management scheme, contemplate how authentic your actions truly are. You might ask yourself:

  • Am I letting people know the side of me I want to express?
  • How do I handle difficult situations? Do I try to be someone I’m not?
  • Can I address my faults with humility?
  • Do I understand my personal motivators?
  • What has to happen for me to feel my life is meaningful?

These and other questions drive to our essence — to our authentic self. How have you revealed your authenticity?