When we were children it was fun to pretend to be somebody and act the part. It is in the pretending that we let our imaginations create stories that reflected dreams, wishes and a portrait of who we wished to become. As we crew into adulthood we discovered who we really are but many of us continued to pretend to be someone others expected us to be.
We can see the same behavior organizationally. Companies pretend to be “social” because everyone else is and all the data suggest the customer expects it. This behavior reflects an ongoing problem that used to be hidden but now is transparent for all to see, pretending.
Pretending to be someone or something you, or your organization, are not does nothing but create problems for you, your organization and many others. We pretend because of insecurities that drive us to try to be someone or something others expect us to be. Some people and organizations are good at pretending and carry on doing so for years without anyone ever finding out the truth. Those are far and few between.
Pretending leaves a trail of problems including:
- Over promising and under delivering
- Fake intents that others sense and eventually discover
- Misleading communications used to perpetuate the false images or statements
- Lying to cover up that which was pretended
- Destruction of a true identity which leads to a loss purpose
The list goes on and on but the point remains the same. Pretending everything is all right when in fact everything is all wrong is denial of a reality that will surely be discovered in time. Meanwhile you’ve just wasted a lot of time, energy and effort to only lose what you were pretending to have or be.