Authentic Friendship

Gerwig 2014-08-06

Do you have a BFF? In case you’re not sure, a BFF is a Best Friend Forever. And yes, it seems a bit weird for me, a dude, to be talking about BFFs. Why? Well, right or wrong, I typically associate the term BFF with teenage girls, young ladies, and women in general. You’ll never hear a guy say, “Hey, that’s my BFF.”

But for this week’s article, I’m gonna use the term BFF because I think it’s so appropriate. This week, I’m going to talk about friendship. Authentic friendships. Genuine friendships. Best Friend Forever friendships.

Hopefully you already know why authentic friendships are important. And hopefully you’re fortunate enough to have a few BFFs in your life. These friends stick with you through thick and thin, during the good times and the bad. These friends know you, know your faults and still love you. They enjoy hanging out with you, encouraging you, and supporting you when needed.

Leaders in all walks of life need authentic friendships. True friends add significant value to our lives. They help us stay focused. They help us remain calm. And they help make life more enjoyable. You’ve heard expressions like, “it’s lonely at the top” and “no man is an island.” Life can be challenging, right? You may be living in a season of peace and abundance, void of challenges, but you won’t likely stay there indefinitely. Life can be hard. People can be mean. Work can be difficult. Things don’t always go our way. And when that happens, our BFFs, our authentic friends, are there for us.

My article last week, Tombstone, was written while on vacation in Charleston, South Carolina. Later the same week, my wife and I visited Myrtle Beach for a couple days of pampering. We enjoyed a nice resort hotel on the beach and spoiled ourselves by talking walks on the beach, swimming in the pool, riding the waves, napping in chairs under beach umbrellas, eating shrimp and going to the spa for a nice relaxing massage. Did I say it was great? Well, it was! What a nice way to spend an anniversary.

While walking along the beach one evening, I noticed a number of sandcastles that were under attack by the incoming tide. These sandcastles, many of them very elaborate, didn’t stand a chance. Built on the sand when the tide was out, these sandcastles quickly fell apart when the tide came back in. Such is the power of waves and water.

And I began thinking about authentic friendships. I began wondering how many friendships stand the storms and waves of life. How many friendships are built upon sand? How many are not authentic? How many BFFs do we really have? Those friends who stand by us no matter what? Those friends who stick out the storms at our side?

Like you, I’ve seen so-called friends who drop like flies when the going gets tough. They wash away like sandcastles on the beach. There are few authentic friends. They’re difficult to find and nurture. But they exist. I have a few of BFFs, authentic friends. These are friends who are friends for life (like David and Jonathan of ancient times). I’m fortunate and consider myself blessed to have a few such friends.

I also want to point out that a requisite for an authentic friend is to be one yourself. Rarely can a true, authentic friendship be 1-sided. You must be an authentic friend to have one. You must be willing to stand up for your friends during the storms and trials of life. Encouraging them. Supporting them. Praying for them. Loving them.

If you don’t have an authentic friend, it’s not too late to find and develop one. If you don’t think you need an authentic friend, you’re in trouble. The only thing sadder (and more lonely) than someone who doesn’t have a BFF is someone who thinks they don’t need one.

Do you have any BFFs? True, authentic friends whom you can trust? Friends that are more than friends really. They’re like a brother, or a sister, or a cousin. If you do, you’re fortunate (and likely a great friend yourself). Congrats!

Dr. is an agent of change and is able to balance the needs of the business and the needs of people. Dr. Gerwig believes and practices the values of performance and delivery of business metrics while simultaneously developing and growing people into leaders. You can contact him at RobertGerwig[at]


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