Radical Authenticity in the Workplace
When Jazmine Duke, FemCon's founder, asked me to talk a bit on my thoughts about modern empowered leadership and how I personally approach [read cope] with the multiple demands of being both a senior executive and a wife/mother, I was both honored and happy to oblige.
Today’s topic is on the workplace side (parenting thoughts are here if you want them). First, I should say that, like all of you, I aspire to exemplify #Badassary, and in fact, wrote about how I think that authenticity is ascendant in our culture as a critical quality for great leadership.
Why is this even more important for women in the executive ranks? Let’s be honest, there aren’t many of us in the boardrooms and c-suites of business. As any minority knows, you don’t look like everyone else, so you have to decide – do you try to act like everyone else, or do you embrace your onlyness? I believe that part of what makes women fantastic leaders is our ability to be multi-dimensional humans. Our diversity of thought, perspective and experience is exactly what makes us valuable to organizations.
Why in the world would we compartmentalize and bring any less than our whole selves to the workplace? That is effectively leaving some percentage of our value behind.
I made a decision early on, that I was not only going to be part of the power structures of business, but that I was going to do that on my terms. I embraced the whole experience of my humanity, my gifts, my imperfections and made them all part of my professional brand. I have come to learn that it has been my unique openness that has made me memorable, and being memorable is an important component to making the right opportunities open up.
So here is to you – each of you – living your own authentic #badass story!