Written by Khaliah Guillory of KOG & Company
Being professionally groomed in Corporate America, possessing a “fake it til you make it” attitude is a part of the norm. Competition and winning are rewarded with a promotion or a fat bonus check while collaboration with others is virtually non-existent.
If we all are keeping it 100, most of our journeys to the C-suite have included moments of exaggerating expertise and selling developmental phase skill sets. We were forced to learn what to do as we did it. Basically, on the job training was all too real. As an entrepreneur, I’m not fully convinced that those old plays we learned and practiced will help us win a new game.
We are starting to witness Fortune 500 companies shift their cultures from a place of promoting competition to advocating for collaboration. Hence, the topic of what really works nowadays often comes up amongst my industry colleagues and fellow entrepreneurs.
Think about this: If there was a space fostered for Tribal Diversity in the corporate and in entrepreneurial sectors, would the mindset of “fake it til you make it” still be relevant?
I define Tribal Diversity as a group of individuals with diverse talents working together for the good and advancement of the group. The people within the tribe see each other as sounding boards for growth and opportunity, not threats and competitors. It is time out for faking success when we all have the capability to create it!
In honor of celebrating the spirit of truth and success, here are four tried and true tips to avoid perpetuating the “faking it til you make it” phenomenon.
1. Give yourself permission to progress.
Strive for excellence, not perfection. The late, great Vince Lombardi said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” So check it: steadily striving for perfection creates a false sense that looking good and actually doing good are the same things.
Focus on getting better each and every day. You don’t have to be perfect to make progress.
2. Be a life-long learner.
Learn to discern your next move. Sometimes your life will demand that you be in the driver’s seat and sometimes you’ll be better off in the passenger’s seat. Be okay with being a student and not the teacher. Sit at the teacher’s feet—in this case, the teacher is your tribe. Allow your tribe to shed light on your blind spots then make yourself available to be coached. Being available and open to coaching is truly the heartbeat of your success.
3. Learn from the greats of the past.
Who told you that your mentors have to have a pulse? You can learn so much not just from the living but from those who have passed on as well. In the past, I struggled to feed my mind and soul through reading. Basically, my attention span wouldn’t let me be great! I had a collection of unfinished books on my nightstand collecting dust. Then one day one of my teachers in my tribe said, “Why don’t you try listening to books?” That one idea changed my life! More often than not, I find myself turning up the volume to audiobooks instead of music. (This is a big deal for me because I am all about my 80s-hip hop playlist.) Those who have passed on have left us a wealth of knowledge in the form of books. Do yourself a favor and take advantage of it.
4. Be transparent.
You were born for greatness and to help others discover the greatness inside of themselves. So stand up tall, pump your chest out and boldly say, “I don’t know.” Then, take a step back and let your tribe go to work. For everything you don’t know, somebody does!
When we continue to “fake it til we make it,” we rob ourselves of interactions that are designed to build character through organically connecting with others. Your journey won’t look like your neighbors and that’s okay! Relax and enjoy the adventure of Unleashing Your Dopeness™….