Today's advice comes from Jack Welch, founder of Jack Welch Management Institute and his wife and author Suzy Welch, via their post on LinkedIn:
"The most powerful thing you can do is, well, be real. As in not phony. As in grappling, sweating, laughing, and caring. As in authentic. Think of authenticity as your foundation, your center, and don’t let any organization try to wring it out of you, subtly or otherwise. That happens ... Not that it happens with any kind of conscious planning, of course. But too many organizations manage to surreptitiously nudge people toward a generic type who keeps it all pretty well tucked in."
The Welch's say you shouldn't lose sight of who you are as you climb your way to the top. There will be plenty of people trying to control and shape you into something you're not. You should make sure that you always put forth that one key aspect of your personality that makes you different. You should also be aware that this tactic will not always translate well at work, and that there is always the danger that your coworkers will misunderstand you.
"Meanwhile, if you put your whole self out there, bosses can complain that you act too emotional or get too close to teammates or become too worked up in meetings. Your performance reviews will note: 'Tom has some potential, but he just doesn’t fit in.' Or 'Sally has some rough edges, but with coaching, her intensity might even out.' In time though, if you have everything else you need in terms of talent and skill, your humanity will come to be your most appealing virtue to an organization."
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- Suzy Welch