Behind the Curtain

Last year I did a 1 on 1 meeting with every member of the Simple Modern team. One of the questions I asked each person was,

“What is the best part of Simple Modern’s culture?”

I intentionally left it open-ended so that I could see what patterns emerged. One word surfaced repeatedly:


We live in a world with unprecedented access to information. Social media and smartphones have given us more insight into the lives of others than ever before. And yet, our hunger for authenticity and transparency continues to run deep. Why is that?

We share more with the world than ever before with the internet, but what we share is still highly curated. We present the image that we want others to see. Yet we all long for a world in which we are fully known and still fully accepted.

If you want to help others develop and grow it runs deeper than leading by example and doing the right things. It means inviting others into the motivations, heart attitudes, thought processes, doubts, and fears behind your decisions and actions. It requires vulnerability and allowing others to see your imperfections.

A few questions that help me to apply this principle:

  1. Am I sharing the “Why” behind my actions and decisions with my teammates?
  2. How do I respond when someone is transparent about something negative happening within themselves or the team? Am I receptive or dismissive?
  3. Am I more concerned with projecting a good image or sharing the reality to those around me?


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