“How are you?”
“Good”, we reply no matter what we are going on in our lives.
There is so much out there today that speaks to being authentic and how much we value it. We however, many times find it difficult to be authentic and at times we see those that we perceive as not being authentic being rewarded.
Is there such a thing as faking it until you make it? I have wondered this for some time. When I was younger in my career there was a point where I wanted to be promoted, take on a higher position, and I did not have all of the skills. In this case, I would have a small amount of knowledge and go from there. Was I faking it? Was it simply a stretch? Ultimately, things have worked out for me thus far and in my current role I am not sure I need to be an expert in any one area but have a good amount of knowledge in all areas.
I have had an unfavorable view of those I have perceived as faking it and making it. I believe eventually your lack of knowledge will become apparent. Whenever I have “stretched” my knowledge of a subject or process, I have been up front when the time has come to prove myself, noting my limitations. There are those however I have come across in my career that never admit limitations and even when speaking incorrectly on a subject or process are very confident. I watch around the room and see that this confidence has many scratching their heads thinking maybe there is something they are missing. I am baffled by this and impressed all at the same time. Why wouldn’t you or I for that matter call the individual out? Is it a desire to avoid confrontation? Is it a fear of being perceived as petty in some way? I find myself with these questions and still cannot find answers to them.
I often wonder if this “faking it” is what drives people to change jobs often. When I look at a resume and I see that there is quite a bit of movement but an interview is great, thoughts creep in, why are they moving again. I have many times judged this scenario as needing to move because the lack of knowledge is coming out. I have had to step back from this and think maybe they are searching for the right fit (speaking to lateral movements). While I do not advocate being in a position for a long time as I believe you and the organization need a fresh approach sometimes, I do think there is a period of time of proving yourself and sustaining varying conditions and still being successful.
I have spoken to this in a professional sense but this also applies to your personal life. When you first meet someone, a potential partner or future friend, are you completely real. Not likely. The more likely scenario is that you share what you choose, the things that are most flattering. What happens then when you are real friends, later down the road? I chuckle with friends about what is what like in the beginning and funny enough, my closest friends and I saw through the fake knowing there was someone great in there.
What about you? Do you have a story about a faking it until making it? I would love to hear your thoughts and stories? How do you handle the scenarios I have presented?
Drop me a comment.