C-suite advisor, entrepreneur, communications expert, and BU alumna Sabrina Horn (COM’85) gives leaders the tools to resist “short hacks,” and the courage to lead with authenticity and integrity in her new book, MAKE IT, DON’T FAKE IT: Leading with Authenticity for Real Business Success (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, June 22, 2021).

Sabrina will be interviewed by grad student Olivia Ogden (COM’21) at our upcoming event on October 21, 2021, but sat down with us to share a sneak-peek into Kindle’s #1 new release in business ethics:

Why should honesty be the foundation of every business?

Honesty is the essence of any long-term successful enterprise or relationship. You can’t build a long-term successful business (or even a short-term one) based on dishonest business practices. For the venture to be successful, it must be based on a core of authentic principles and motivating factors that are grounded in reality, otherwise, it won’t hold together.

Is “faking it” the same thing as lying?

Not always. If you are faking it, you’ve crossed the line between “acting as if” to boost your confidence into doing or saying something at someone else’s expense. If you’re faking it, you’re somehow twisting the truth like lying on your resume or exaggerating the truth about what a product can do, or you are only telling part of the truth about something. You’re not going to make it if you fake it because the truth about your lie will come out.

What’s the first step anyone could take to start applying your advice tomorrow?

First, ask yourself as a leader when you recently faked it or stretched the truth, or took a shortcut, and what happened. Even if you weren’t exposed or you weren’t exactly lying but it was still not doing things the right way, how did you feel about it? Are you proud? Anxious?

Now, ask yourself if you could have a “do-over”, how would you have handled that situation differently. How would you have solved your problem or dilemma using a different approach?

Do a reset and move forward. What checks and balances, processes, or steps can you introduce (or re-introduce) to make sure that type of fakery doesn’t creep in again. What do those checks and balances look like, and how can you ensure they are being followed?

Have your own questions for Sabrina? Join us Thursday, October 21, 2021, for Make It, Don’t Fake It – A Live Interview with Author Sabrina Horn (COM’85)