Experienced an authentic, impactful moment recently? Two families witnessed one this past weekend when my son, Spencer, proposed to his soul mate, Christine.

He created The Love Bus for his true love.

Allow me to explain the bus and how it relates to your leadership. Spencer and Christine rode the bus together through middle school. Even though the bus transported them to different schools, they became friends as they shared a daily ride in the back seat of Mrs. Voricek’s bus.

Now fast forward eight years. After losing touch during high school, then rekindling their friendship and dating through their college years (again at separate schools), Spencer was ready to propose to his beautiful, perfect match. But it was important to him to create an experience that would feel meaningful and authentic to Christine.

He remembered the bus. Ah, yes – that would be authentic, wouldn’t it? After much planning, including tracking down their original driver, a balloon arch custom fit for the back seat of the bus, a white aisle runner and a path of fresh rose petals and heart shaped balloons, Spencer gave Christine a remarkable experience which evoked their past and future simultaneously.

Which brings me to you. Do you create authentic, audience-centric experiences when you speak? Or do you merely deliver dull PowerPoint presentations to your audiences?

Do your intentions and your impact align? The difference has a profound impact on your ability to influence others and make things happen.

In the post that follows, Dr. Nick Morgan, former editor of the Harvard Management Communication Letter and a top communication theorist, shares why authenticity and charisma are crucial to your leadership. You’ll discover why he proposes that it’s a mistake to leave these two elements to chance – even worse than leaving gum under the seat.

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