Aim for Authenticty
In July we added a fantastic Director of People & Success, Tedd Trabert, to the AVP Success Center. It didn’t take long for Dzmitry and I to appreciate the wisdom and experience of Tedd, including a pearl that he said that has stuck with me. I mentioned the word “transparency” and he stopped me:
“I don’t like the word ‘transparency’. We should focus on being authentic rather than transparent.”
Transparency implies that everyone should be in the know about everything at all times, which isn’t something that we can or should promise. In every organization there will be situations that are need-to-know, so transparency isn’t an honest promise.
However, we can promise that we will always be authentic.
This is a thought that I’ve circled back to many times since then: What does it mean to lead with authenticity?
Authenticity of action comes naturally to the entire organization when your mission is authentic.
As we discussed in a previous blog post, it is important not to confuse the values that you think your company should have with the values that represent its true, authentic self.
At AVP we kept our mission simple and decided to speak to the three key parties that we exist to serve:
We advance the lives of pets, pet parents, and veterinary healthcare workers together.
Authenticity naturally follows. We know exactly who we are as a company and what we’re looking to accomplish. Once you’ve got “why” figured out, “how” becomes a lot simpler. Any time we get stuck on a decision in leadership we’ve got a clear North Star to point back to: Is this choice consistent with our mission? If the answer is no, we don’t do it. This also makes things simpler for our teams: they know our mission and can expect us to act as a company in a manner that is consistent with that mission. Even if we’re not always able to provide complete transparency into how we arrive at all our decisions, they can count on the fact that our decisions and the intent behind them will be authentic manifestations of our mission.
To all our owner-partners, our team members, our clients, and our patients, we promise to serve you with full authenticity.