Global Leadership Speaker and Premier Work-Life Balance Speaker
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Be Authentic

You are who you are, so don’t give others the power to turn you into something else. Whether you find yourself being challenged to go-along-to-get-along at work, at home, in the community, or in some other place, you will find your center when you remember what it is that made you unique, strong, and passionate in the first place. Tap into that and always be authentic.

If you can’t be yourself and succeed, you are working for the wrong people. You can use good interpersonal skills, team-building methods, and high-level management training to be more effective in a tough environment, but if you are forced to be a fraud, your success will be way too expensive. We all make compromises to be effective and achieve our goals, but we can’t compromise who we are. What a miserable way to win.

As a journalist, I watched one so-eager-to-please editor actually push distorted stories on the front page, rather than tell the big boss his ideas
didn’t bear out. Once that boss realized she’d damaged the newspaper’s credibility, he demoted her. Another editor suffered an emotional breakdown after the 70 hours she put in each week to impress her boss actually convinced him that she was disorganized and ineffective. He demoted her. Another editor suffered repeated public criticism and humiliation by a bullying boss who eventually did promote her because, well, who else would take his crap? Who would want to? All of those women compromised themselves too much, hoping to gain in the long run. In the end, the first two women wound up hurting their careers, and the other sold her soul.

Always go back to your center and your sense of mission. “You have to believe in why you are here,” former Environmental Protection Administration Administrator Christine Todd Whitman told me. “Why are you in this position? Think about it. Why are you doing what you are doing? If you believe in what you are doing, then that’s what it is all about. Keep your focus on that and don’t get thrown off track.”

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