Integrating who you are into what you do

647cc45c496bb8da76471a913284b09dLast week I had a funny breakthrough – I brought something quite personal, almost a part of me, into the professional. And not only did it work out fine, it was even inspiring.

I’ve been a fan  intrigued quite obsessed with Alice (the one from know) pretty much my entire life. I saw the movies, the cartoons, read the books, played the games. Last week I decided to give Alice:Madness Returns another try, after being stuck and abandoning it, a few years back. Turns out, I ended up playing almost the entire weekend, getting immersed in that world.

On Monday, I had to give a welcome speech to 34 Business School participants, young graduates and future trainees for the company I work for, making the connection with the learning process. Being “all Alice” at that moment, I couldn’t help it and built my speech around it. I told them I was playing the game and what it meant to me. I told them why I believe Alice is such a “juicy” character and spurs more and more movies, books and games – she is a symbol of curiosity and exploration. She doesn’t give up or get upset, but approaches each absurd situation with an intrigued and interested  attitude. She uses guides (Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat) to find out who she is. Finally, I urged them to approach the next 5 days with a similar attitude – curiosity, openness, exploration, self-expression.

The result was incredibly rewarding – applause, cheering, and being called “Alice” for the next few days :)

Which then got me thinking – why had I been cautious about approaching the subject in the first place? Yes, it’s not “corporate”, it’s not “proper”, perhaps, not “safe”. But to me, as well as to the people around, it was very, very AUTHENTIC.

In the end, it’s not about building a bridge between who you are and your corporate persona. You don’t put a grey suit on top of your heart and hope it doesn’t show too much. You cut the suit to fit your heart, and believe me, that suit is going to be COLOURFUL.



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