Sometimes a leader I am coaching will ask, “How much of myself do I have to change to be successful? How can I respond to the feedback my colleagues are giving me and still be me?”
These are great questions. And for my clients and in my own life what I’ve come to believe is that change that is not congruent with one’s true temperament, strengths, and passions is not sustainable. So it’s not about making changes that distance oneself from oneself but making changes in a way that incorporates the best of who we are. This allows us to be authentic leaders.
The clarity was reinforced for me this summer as I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. The book is a memoir of Ms. Rubin’s year-long adventure applying various lessons from science and pop culture on how to be happier. It was a quick and inspiring read. As she was experimenting with various personal growth habits like getting more sleep, Ms. Rubin gave herself permission to apply the habits in a way that made sense for her—not just a textbook application. Her rule: “Be Gretchen.” Simple but not always easy.
So, when I think about making a change or tackling a difficult project I think doing it in a way that still feels like me – reminding myself to “Be Cheryl.”
So, dear reader, tell me:
What can you do today to be more like yourself?