“I always felt like I was wearing a corporate cloak so I felt like I couldn’t be myself, then I took it off and it allowed me to be the real me” – a senior leader on the board
We recently worked with a senior leader who said this to us. It makes us think about just how many of us feel like we are trying to be the perfect corporate citizen? We have so much training and conditioning to mould us into the way others want us to be.
We are sometimes made to believe that we have to be:
- Like others
- Like our colleagues
- Like the corporate person
- Like our bosses
- Like our peers
- Like the competition
- Like the perfect presenter, leader, boss, partner etc
When we really just need to be ourselves. When we are our authentic self, being ourselves, we are then showing others the best version of us.
When we work with senior leaders people will ask us “Do you have to work on their areas for development, do you have to focus on what they need to improve in?” No is the answer most of the time, we help them to be who they really are, bringing out the real person. If we are not careful with all that conditioning we can become something we are not.
“With all that conditioning we can become something we are not”
It is not to say that we cannot learn and grow and change, of course we can. The most powerful leaders and the ones whose careers go the furthest, are those who are aware of themselves, being comfortable with who they are. They know when that works for them and when it doesn’t, they adapt and change.
So take off your corporate cloak and bring out the real you, show that to others and watch your career grow.
“When we are ourselves we are showing the best version of ourselves to others, they meet the real version of us”
About the authors
Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of ”The Team Formula”. Their latest book, multi-award-winning ”Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions”, published by Financial Times International is a practical tool for building winning teams. You can download a free chapter of the book at www.leadingteamsbook.com.
Praise for ”Leading Teams: ”Enjoyable to read. Simple to understand. Practical to implement. A must read for team members or leaders” – Debbie Fogel-Monnissen, Executive Vice President, International Markets Finance Officer, Mastercard, NY, USA.