Updated: Mar 21
"Integrity is choosing Courage over Comfort" -Brené Brown
The audacity to assume anyone wants to hear my story. I never thought I would find the courage to share it. The fact is I don't know how this will go. My journey has been like yours. Difficult. Terrifying. Exhausting. Traumatic. Glorious. Beautiful. All of the adjectives. We probably have a lot more in common than I might think. A little struggle creates character, or so they say. I grew up poor. I am the oldest of my five siblings. The oldest daughter. A significant factor. A heavy burden for a young girl.
My dad taught us to work. Hard. As an entrepreneur and hustler my dad needed us to help sustain our livelihood. This work ethic served me well in the workplace. At every job I was promoted quickly. Just as quickly I understood that the same skillset did not serve me well in a manager role. However, as a painfully shy introvert I had no idea how to implement what I understood in my bones.
One of the things my dad tried when I was about thirteen was an infamous pyramid scheme business. The business was a dream crushing bust, but I learned a few things on this ride. I attended some of the business rallies with my dad. I was fascinated by all of these adults that appeared to be in a trance of some sort. I was so uncomfortable on the outside. On the inside, I fell for the hype. I learned the power of dream building combined with hard work. I learned that my world was much bigger than I originally thought. What I was going to do with this information was lost on me for another twenty years. The energy that possibility created however, stuck with me.
So I read. And I read. I have read so many self help and business books I became numb to the messages. Then I discovered Brene' Brown. A real live person that discussed my feelings disturbingly too close for my comfort. I felt as if she opened up my head and took a peak. Honest. Courageous. The two values that I put in front of every decision I make. Blunt. Bold. She told the whole world how I was feeling about all this toxic positivity being crammed down my throat at every turn. She gave me permission to feel my feels and that it is ok to be my whole imperfect self.
Brene's work helped me pull all of my life lessons together and begin to articulate them in a way that helped me build a culture in my workplace that is safe, kind and respectful. A place where my team is permitted to make mistakes. So that they can learn from them. A place where my team can be themselves and bring their whole selves to work every day. A place where they can learn and grow and depend on one another and me.
The lessons my journey has impressed upon me have been profound in helping me develop my leadership skills. I don't want to keep these skills to myself. As Simon Sinek says "Loving your work is a right and not a privilege". We have the power to change the world guys. I believe this with my whole being. A terrible work place is one of the main reasons for stress and burnout. The pain and humiliation we deal with at work bleeds out onto our personal lives. Let's do this together.