Hello SOTGC community,
I used to feel like a fraud. Part of who I am was right at home in the business world while the rest of me felt like it had to stay at home. I wanted to bring into the office my idealistic self that walks on the bright side and has a slightly irreverent sense of humor, but it just didn’t feel … welcome.
So I resigned to being work-self and rest-of-me-self. Then a mentor had me slow down, an old friend caught up with me, and a spiritual director spoke into my life. They all said basically the same thing: Why are you capping yourself? The future of business belongs to the truly authentic. Now is the time to let yo’self shine.
With each, I felt affirmed down deep in a solid “YES” and also thought “I don’t have time for this.”
Their words began to be repeated by other voices until I’d heard it enough.
It’s true. Kindness, vulnerability, and authenticity are no longer seen as weakness in the business world. In fact, applying these principles is a model for innovative leaders.
Kindness is not just being nice. Kindness means showing encouragement and enthusiasm. In practice the principle of applying kindness looks like 1) inviting the “stupid question,” 2) offering help without judgment, and 3) enabling creative thinking by actually caring for those you work with, allowing them the opportunities to change the landscape.
“Leaders who foster an environment of vulnerability know that they aren’t creating weakness. Quite the opposite – they challenge people to stretch themselves, demand interpersonal courage, take on new challenges, and model outsized poise and resilience in the face of adversity,” says Rachel Mendelowitz, managing partner at McChrystal Group.
Applying the principles of kindness, vulnerability, and authenticity not only lets you bring you to work but also increases the level of workplace enthusiasm.
People, who like where they work and believe they are cared for, will talk more openly about the product they help to provide. When passive networking like this occurs, the guest experience will rise as well. Happy office means better guest care. If you don’t provide a model for increasing employee enthusiasm, your guest won’t be excited or enthused about your product either.
“Your guest experience can never rise above the level of your employee enthusiasm.”–Joel Manby, CEO Herschend Family Entertainment and Author of Love Works.
As we apply the principles of authenticity we can consider the following five items in practice:
Being 1) patient—demonstrate self-control in difficult situations; 2) trusting—place confidence in those around you; 3) unselfish—think of yourself less; 4) truthful—define reality corporately and individually; 5) forgiving—release the grip of the grudge; and 5) dedicated—stick to your values in all circumstances.
I must say I much prefer the model I’ve embraced with lots of sparkle and joy.
I know this isn’t necessarily innovative but I do hope it is encouraging and empowering.
And yes, Now IS the time to let YOU shine.
Which of these practical applications could work for you today?
Do you have a challenge with employee or office enthusiasm?
Could your guest experience use a boost?
How has being kind, appropriately vulnerable, or true-to-you been embraced in your workplace?
Connect with me and let me know how it goes!