Authenticity Impact Purpose Self awareness Values

Are you keeping up appearances?

Whether you’re selling groceries, fashion, furniture, containers, or any type of service, your company has a role to play in this world. Making money should not be your primary goal.

When I grew up, there was a show on TV called ‘Keeping up appearances.’

The main character, Hyacinth Bucket, or Bouquet as she called herself, lived a life pretending to be well off and part of society’s elite. I still vividly can hear her over-the-top English accent as she tried to make everyone believe she was the living example of high status.

The reality was different.

Her family was working (although some didn’t work) middle class, who did not care much about Hyacinth’s aspirations.

Messy, honest, authentic people trying to make the best of life as it came. Not always perfectly groomed, like Hyacinth, but with good intentions.

The most endearing moments in nearly every episode were when Hyacinth’s pretending aspirations failed miserably, proving that everybody saw straight through her and resulting in moments of personal vulnerability and authenticity.

Good old British humor.

The plot always was that who she really was and who she pretended to be were totally different.

At that time, I just saw it as a simple show filled with British humor.

But if you look a little deeper, there were actually some great life lessons. Hyacinth came to my mind as I had a few conversations the other day about authenticity and the lack thereof.

Aren’t we all sometimes pretending?

Aren’t we all, our teams, our businesses, sometimes a Hyacinth, pretending to be someone or something we’re not?

Allow me to simplify here a little and ask you this?

To which category does your business, team, or leader belong?

Honest, authentic, and with good intentions? Or pretending to be someone or something you’re not?

When it boils down to the core of your beliefs, do you live up to your values? Or are you looking in the other direction?

I do think most companies and their leaders have the best intentions. But good intentions alone are not enough. Especially not in difficult times when our existence may be challenged.

It’s the impact that counts.

And even more importantly, the differentiating role you can play in this world.

How does what you do make a difference in this world?

Or is it just about money after all?

How would your priorities change if you were suddenly confronted with misfortune, sickness, or even war?

I did not think I would write those words down, but here we are. In 2022.

How do you show up every day?

Pretending as if nothing is happening and just moving on with your life. Secure that your salary will come exactly on the day you expect it?

Pretending and keeping up your appearances.

I read a story the other day from someone who had the privilege to travel to outer space. He described how beautiful our earth is when you see it from a distance. He also described it makes you realize that, in fact, all of us, all seven point seven billion of us, are equal when you look at the earth from outer space.

If you follow his line of thinking, we should all have one interest.

Protect and sustain our earth from harm and prepare a better future for generations to come.

Whether you’re selling groceries, fashion, furniture, containers, or any type of service, your company has a role to play in this world. Making money should not be your primary goal.

So what’s the role you play in this world today?

Are you contributing to its long-term prosperity, or are you step by step, decision by decision, diminishing the sustainability of this world?

Are you sincere with your intentions, or keeping up your appearances?

In conclusion, I do not believe I have a lot of Hyacinths among my readers. Still, I think all of us can do more to help the people of this world become a little more authentic, engaged, supportive of other human beings, and focused on a sustainable world.

Your turn: How do you shop up every day?

Do more of what makes you happy!


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Erikjan Lantink
Business & Leadership Coach

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