When Dr. Ibarra studied consultants and investment bankers, she found that high self-monitors were more likely than their authentic peers to experiment with different leadership styles. They watched senior leaders in the organization, borrowed their language and action, and practiced them until these became second nature. They were not authentic, but they were sincere. It made them more effective.
The shift from authenticity to sincerity might be especially important for millennials. Most generational differences are vastly exaggerated — they’re driven primarily by age and maturity, not birth cohort. But one robust finding is that younger generations tend to be less concerned about social approval. Authentic self-expression works beautifully, until employers start to look at social media profiles.
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