The Point of Authenticity

The Point of Authenticity

The Point of Authenticity is what we refer to as the manifestation of our character and is a combination of our strength and maturity.  Maintaining a continuity of character is challenged by the mental and emotional terrain that we navigate day in and day out.  Each person has a myriad of factors that directly and indirectly affect their ability to live up to their expectations.

Our organizational culture and the styles of those who lead us have as much of an impact on our day-to-day environment as the needs and personalities of our peers and subordinates.  Our operating environment poses some unique challenges and our own state of physical and psychological well-being tug at us constantly.

It may not be uncommon for some people to find themselves in a state of constant conflict between personal, professional, and cultural values.  The roles and statuses we have may also be in conflict when the identity we have in one part of our lives conflicts with another.  Ultimately we are also constrained by laws, regulations, and standing operating procedures that may or may not be congruent with our own needs or beliefs.

At the center of it all is who we really are…


Our Point of Authenticity can be found at the center of all of our identities and relationships.  It is who we are at our most true and authentic.  An out of balance life happens when we are being disingenuous to ourselves in one of these domains.

To start the conversation I often ask the question, “are we the same person at work as we are at home?”  Although there is usually a lively discussion about the answers – the truth is yes.  The bigger question is how stretched is that person and how balanced is their life.  For instance, if I am required to behave with a different set of VAB in the company of my co-workers than my family than my life is probably way out of balance.  Remember, no one can see your VAB – only the behavior that results from it.  Another example I use is a person who would behave in a social setting in a way they wouldn’t want to explain to their children or their employer is forcing themselves to live with conflicting VAB.  Read the Venn Leader Challenge to better understand how transparency and consistency play a part in balancing our lives.


Our Point of Authenticity comes to a tip in every single action we take.  From the sentences we form as we explain a concept to a coworker to the choice to take a cab home from the bar.  Stemming from the core of our character and coming to a point in every action we take.  Every single action.  Every single time.

An after thought about character

Character is divided into two components[1]:

  • Strength
  • Maturity

A person’s maturity is a construct of the ownership of their behavior, characterized by their identity and self-concept and demonstrated by their judgment.  Their strength of character is their confidence consisting of discipline and resilience and demonstrated by their courage.

[1], Gleaned from the Master Army Ethics and Profession Course