Fake It Until You Make It!

roles and responsibilities May 23, 2023
Fake It Until You Make It!


Faking it seems, to a degree, to just be part of good people management.


We all play roles. As the rather eminent RuPaul Charles noted, we are all born naked, everything else is drag… Or maybe everything else is a role.


Do you agree? Here is what the research suggests.


Stanford Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer notes that: “The secret of leadership was the ability to play a role, to pretend, to be skilled in the theatrical arts . . . To come across effectively, we need to master how to convey power.”


So we have this dichotomy of needing to be authentic and needing to be effective. Can you be both?


Being a board member, being the Chair, being the Chief Executive Officer or Executive Director definitely involves playing a role but you need to be authentic as well – no games, no hidden agendas, no manipulation. This does not preclude, however, knowing the requirements of the role, moving plans and priorities forward and motivating colleagues and staff.


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So what are the requirements of your role? Have you articulated them? What is necessary to be effective? How do you grow into the role? On your own or with support from the organization?


Many studies actually show that faking it can have positive effects on you.


According to Eric Barker (Barking Up the Wrong Tree) there is a significant amount of research showing that smiling when you’re sad can make you feel happy, and moving like you’re powerful actually makes you more resistant to pain.

Other studies show that even a feeling of control reduces stress—even if you’re not in control.


The perception is all that matters.


So in essence, know your role, and play your role – to the best effect possible. You may even find that not only are you effective but you enjoy your role and the contribution that you are making.


What are your main “pain points” dealing with your specific role?

What advice would be most helpful to you?
And we always assume that you are asking for a friend!


Get in touch. We’ll address your questions and concerns in an upcoming blog post.



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P.S. May I ask a tiny favour? Would you mind sharing this blog with one person? I would love it. You can post the links in your Facebook Groups, LinkedIn or even send an email.

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