Be Who You Are

Be Who You Are

Steve Roesler, one of my favorite leadership bloggers, is the CEO of his own business. His frequent updates are always practical, and reflect the wisdom of his 30 plus years of experience with executives.

Another favorite, Mary Jo Asmus, owns a leadership solutions firm, Aspire Collaborative Services. She has a special focus on soft skills needed for leadership success and has a unique way of challenging leaders to be thoughtful in their relationship building on the job.

Wally Bock gathers the best from the business press about leadership, top stories from the news, and highlights from independent business blogs, and presents them weekly to his readers, along with his own commentary. His other posts provide insights and ideas for leaders at all levels. Wally reads everything so the rest of us don’t have to.

Miki Saxon, who leads her own company, RampUp Solutions, Inc. , writes Leadership Turn. She brings her unique MAP (mindset, attitude, and philosophy) to everything she writes. She is not afraid to tell it like it is. She often includes quotes and cartoons in her off-beat blog.

Here’s the thing: I am not Steve; I am not Mary Jo; I am not Wally; I am not Miki.

Discovering and defining who we are includes understanding and accepting our unique life circumstances, values, preferences, and limitations.

Earlier this week, I loaded my three daughters into the van for a trip to O’Hare to meet Lisa Rosendahl, a friend I met on Twitter. I had planned to leave them with a sitter but at the last minute, those plans fell through.

I had a decision to make. I could cancel the meeting, and miss an opportunity to connect in person, or I could bring my crew along.

It’s not the first time I have included one of the girls in my work relationships. Anyone who has ever talked to me on Skype knows that my daughters’ faces frequently show up in range of my webcam. Or if you have talked to me on the phone, you might know that my conversations are frequently interrupted, sometimes happily, other times, not so.

Earlier this summer, while on campus at Mountain State University, my youngest daughter colored and played nearby while I did Twitter training with a few staff members; later, she snacked on Cheetos while I worked on last minute edits of a blog post.

In some ways, I would like to have a firmer boundary between who I am at work and my life at home. I envision myself putting on my professional self like a suit and walking into meetings on confident career legs, unencumbered the ballet bag full of colored pencils, books, stickers and snacks I carry to keep my girls occupied. At this stage of my life, though, that vision is unrealistic.

Being with my girls and juggling work and home life is what I do now. More than that, it is who I am. As I write about leadership here, I bring all of who I am.

Sometimes you might see my girls peeking through the spaces in my sentences; sometimes, I let them take center stage. But they’re always around: sticky fingers, whiny cries, sweet smiles.

This is who I am. Who are you?


This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is re-posted with permission. 

Filed As:  transparency, LeaderTalk

About Becky Robinson

I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.

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What People Are Saying

  • Excellent insights about authentic leadership. At the end of the day we have to lead from who we really are and that is the best way we can truly serve others.
    And believe me, those daughters will teach you how to be an even better leader each day! I know because I have two of my own ☺
    Thanks Becky!

  • Hi Becky,
    I am glad you are who you are. And yes, your voice shines through in every post. Those career legs are dancin’ to different tune than Steve’s, Wally’s, Miki’s or mine.
    And I, for one, enjoy humming along.

  • Hi Becky… Beautiful distinction between “what we do” and “who we are”! Oftentimes “roles” can squeeze out “being”. You have done what beautiful people do – merge them into ONE! Thank you for being you!

  • Thanks so much for the encouragment and affirmation today.
    Bridget, I would love to hear how you juggle motherhood and work.
    Mary Jo, I am glad my song resonates with you and glad we can sing in the same choir.
    Thomas, thanks for the added thought of who we are being squeezed out by our roles. I appreciate you who are!

  • H iBecky, I have a great time getting to know you and your girls – be who you are and nothing more. I think I’ll take this one on too. So, who am I? I’ll get back to you on that – soon,

  • Hey, Becky,
    I read your stuff and watch your girls on Skype because you ARE you, not in spite of it.
    Keep rockin’. . .

  • Lisa,
    Thanks for being such a flexible brunch companion. Meeting with you has been the highlight of my week so far. And I look forward to hearing from you about who you are… although I think you do a good job of expressing that already…
    Perhaps you should hold off on deciding until you have had the pleasure of sharing a meal with me and my crew. The winning moment with Lisa was when my littlest ate the syrup… from the pitcher.

  • Wonderful post. You reminded me of a line from Nigella Lawson, TV cook and cookbook author. When she was interviewed by the NY Times, the interviewer commented on how “natural” she was. Here’s what she said: “Just as I’m not a trained chef, I’m not a trained performer. I don’t have the choice of a lot of people to be.”

  • Hi Becky, You certainly aren’t me! You’re not old enough or fat enough:)
    In spite of my advanced years I am still a work in progress, currently going through a major shift and am waiting to see what comes out of it.
    Thanks for your kind words about my blog. I wrote a companion piece to yours at my other blog

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