It’s a funny old thing. Starting to come out of the other side of this pandemic. I have learned a lot about myself. Lots of stuff I don’t want to feel again - the fear that the unknown brings as one example.
It has been really interesting working with leaders and businesses over the last year and the biggest thing we are talking about is setting the boundaries of how we will work when things start to be a bit more flexible.
This has not only covered the hours and locations but also how people want to be and lead in the future.
It has made me reflect on myself and my belief that everybody should bring as much of themselves to their whole life as they can. Those little idiosyncratic things we do, that make us who we are, that we might switch off because we worry about what people think or will say.
When I was a leader in different organisations, I attended leadership development courses where I was asked to work on my personal brand. The sad thing about that was that I probably did this work within the context of being what people expected me to be - the right fit. As I progressed through my career, I worked with organisations who wanted the ‘real’ me and others who tried to shape my into the person that ‘fitted in.’
The truth is I never really ‘fitted in’ and neither did I want to. I played the game sometimes and game playing was ulitmately what led me to leaving my last job with a big organisation.
I am proud to be wonky and if the last year has shown me anything, it is that ‘the straight talking Glaswegian’ is what people like about me. I did some market research with my clients and when I asked the question, ‘why do you work with me?’. The most common answer I hear is that they really appreciate the straightforward, straight talking approach I have to my work and that they really see that as a differentiator. I don’t try to fit in and I say it how it is - that is my ‘wonky’.
So, I am not the same as every other coach or leadership development professional.
I am me.
I really believe that we all have our ‘wonky’ bits and that is what makes us the unique, wonderful people that we are. I deliberately buy the wonky vegetables and choose things that are a wee bit different. If we were all the same the world would be a very boring place or so I hear people say.
So why is it that we all try to fit the mould? The truth is that we can’t change our personality (our wonky bits) easily but we can adapt our behaviour when appropriate. There are times when I have to turn the straightforward Glaswegian up or down but I never turn her off.
Being ‘wonky’ is your unique gift, it's what sets you apart from others. The world has changed in an unbelievable way in the last year or so. We can take opportunities from this to be who we want to be. We are hearing words like Hybrid working, flexible working, remote working, coming together for collaboration. That is all the ‘what’ we will do going forward. The success of any of this is in our hands. How do we show up in this new world? What are the parts of you that make you different?
Do you know them? Do you want to know them?
I would like to hear from you if you are interested in taking part in some research to understand how many of us are bringing our wonky selves to work every day and how many of us leave half of who we really are in our bed in the morning.
If you are interested please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org , In return I will give a free 30 mins power coaching session to the first 10 people to sign up.