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John Mackey: What becomes a leader most? Authenticity.

The best leaders don’t strive for perfection, says MIX Maverick John Mackey. They hey try to be as human as possible, even when that means making mistakes, admitting flaws, and telling the tough truth.

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gail-severini's picture

John, I agree with your direction entirely however - and it may be the title of the video that hangs me up: "What becomes a leader most? Authenticity." - I have a problem with popular application of the concept of authenticity.

My issue with that is this - I take authenticity to mean "true to its essence" and not everyone's essential motives are authentically honorable. Yes, I agree that not all human beings are "rational economizers" however not all leaders on a team are magnanimous enough to consistently put the organization's best interests ahead of their own.

I have not found the words to describe this gracefully - I took a crack at it in a blog post recently (

My point is this - we need leaders to put their own selves second (authentic or not). If a leader is capable of bring both honorable and authentic ambitions and capabilities to the table that is an A++ however the fundamental standard has to be honor first, authentic second.

I am interested to know what you and others think about splitting these 2 concepts. Best regards. Gail

p.s. I am completely aligned with the notions around being human and that humanity inspring trust.