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Tag: Transparency

Authenticity and Transparency (in an election year)


If you are watching the insanity of the 2016 election (with 8 months to go) you’re probably shaking your head in disbelief. A lot. It is either the best or worst reality show in America. You couldn’t script this race any better. Or create better “characters.” When compared to past elections it’s downright exciting. And scary.

On one hand we have a colorful ex First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State going toe to toe with a Socialist Senator from the state of Ben & Jerry. On the other, we have a billionaire real estate developer and reality TV star, 2 youngish senators with Cuban roots and a governor of a midwestern state who seems like the adult in the playpen.

And while there are major issues facing the US. Important ones like ISIS, climate change, job growth, healthcare etc., we keep going back to character. Who do we trust?

In the old days (pre social media) we depended on journalists to help us dig beneath the surface. Today, it’s all out there for everyone to see. Hillary Clinton’s emails, Bernie Sanders’ activism, Donald Trump’s lawsuits etc. But what we’re learning is that while there are many facts to sift through, many voters on both sides are going with their gut. They’re looking less at transparency and more at the candidate they find authentic. Someone who meshes not only with his or her worldview, but makes them feel understood. Like they represent them.

This indeed will be a historic election. There’s a lot at stake and it’s still early. But come November, we will be looking back and wondering how in a world more transparent than ever, we can ignore the proof, the facts and vote for who we feel is most trustworthy and authentic.

Rules of Engagement

Rules of Engagement Photo

I started seeing a new dentist recently after being frustrated by the constant salesmanship of my last dentist. I was very clear with him on my expectations and explained that I often talk about “the new consumer” in my keynote speeches. I’m sharing my requests regarding transparency and authenticity in case they come in handy.

  1. Be on time – respect runs both ways. If you schedule an appointment during my lunch hour, don’t ask me to wait while you finish yours.
  2. Don’t sell me shit I don’t need or want. I understand that you train your staff to sell, sell, sell but no, I don’t need the new $160 miracle toothbrush before I’ve even seen you.
  3. Develop a relationship first. Trust is established when we’re both honest with each other.
  4. Don’t ask me for reviews. See #3. If I’m happy, I’ll lavish you with praise.
  5. Don’t promote yourself on multiple deal sites (using different prices) and then tell me you didn’t know about it. I assume that your staff = you.
  6. Don’t use fear mongering to scare me into getting procedures. See #3.
  7. I’m not a monetization engine. Remember that you’re a dentist, not a used car salesman. I expect my doctors to treat me as medical professionals first, business owners second.