Note: Embracing Authenticity: The Transformative Word of the Year

Note: Embracing Authenticity: The Transformative Word of the Year

In a time where trust and genuine identity are at the time of everyone’s mind, "authentic" emerges as the word of the year. It symbolizes a profound shift in personal and business ethos. At its core, authenticity is the art of being trusted for what one claims to be. It's about verification, alignment, and the conscious effort to recognize one's place in the world and act accordingly.

During my college years, in a communication ethics course taught by Professor Brendan Kelly, now president of the University of West Georgia, I was struck by a powerful realization. He underscored the weight of responsibility we carry as professionals in communications: what we put into the world leaves a tangible impact. There, I pledged to uphold authenticity and trust in my career, ensuring that my brand and marketing efforts reflect these values. This is particularly vital in brand marketing, where the essence of your brand is a blend of awareness and trust.

So, how do we cultivate authenticity? It begins with self-knowledge. This might seem simplistic, but true authenticity is unattainable if we constantly look to others for our identity. You are unique, with intrinsic value and gifts to offer the world – this applies equally to individuals and businesses. At Vox Verba, we've developed a tool to measure personal and organizational brands, aiding in this journey of self-discovery. Through appreciative listening, we unearth what makes you or your brand genuinely special. This is just like taking a personality or skills assessment, like the Myers Briggs or the DISC. The key difference is Vox Verba's training. My background is in communication, narrative and storytelling. I built a database throughout my career in branding from 2010 to 2020 to define brand marketing traits through the lens of archetypes, interviews and copywriting principles. Before AI took the world by storm with OpenAI and ChatGPT, I worked with developers to custom build apps that applied my database findings to different artifacts or texts. This might include 100,000 customer reviews of 50 compiled interviews of a team for an organization. The apps sped up insightful research on the emotional, storytelling, and emergent themes inside the artifact or text. That was the beginning of Vox Verba. Then in 2020, OpenAI graciously allowed me to build using their API before it was open to the public. Since 2020, Vox Verba has had three years of fine-tuning and development to make the best possible brand reports on qualitative market research. Vox Verba is just one example of how you can use AI to deepen your authenticity.


Once you recognize your unique attributes, the next step is to integrate these qualities into your daily life and philosophy. This means embedding your unique traits into your organization's culture, purpose, mission, values, core behaviors, and obsessions. You craft key messages that resonate with your core purpose, laying the foundation for a life and business model steeped in authenticity.This is a living practice, just like each day when you wake up and make choices to decide your actions. 

Living authentically brings clarity and confidence, essential for making impactful decisions and fostering genuine connections. In today's world, where authenticity is valued and expected, understanding and embracing your true self is more than a personal journey; it's a business imperative. I am excited about what a year of authenticity as our guiding star may look like.