Trust in the corporate world is incredibly low these days. Recent surveys show that in the majority of countries, fewer than 50% of people trust businesses to do the right thing. People have even less faith in management: Globally, only 18% believe business leaders are truthful.
Employee engagement is also extremely low. A 2013 Gallup poll found that only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work.
With public confidence and employee engagement so low, it’s critical that executives come across as genuine and believable. That’s why authenticity is now seen as a touchstone of effective leadership, and books and workshops that teach it to executives have become a big business.
But there’s a paradox: In certain situations, doing what feels natural to you can totally backfire. This is especially true as you move into new leadership roles and face new challenges.