Estimated read time: 1:16.27 minutes
*Carole's story is told with permission. In Carole's words, "Sure! I’m flattered."
When Carole walked into the conference room for the women's leadership program I was facilitating, she wore a tight bun, a polo shirt and what can only be described in 1950s terms as "slacks."
She was buttoned up.
As we spent time talking about the program topics like navigating politics and developing a business persona, I started to notice subtle things about Carole, like a pair of Saturn earrings or the cape she quickly removed when she walked in from the cold.
In our third session, we did a feedback exercise where the group shared what they wanted to see more of in each other. The other women wrote things on Carole's board like, "I wonder what it would be like if you wore your hair down and let your creativity fly?" After reading the feedback, Carole told the group in a stricken voice, "It's clear that I'm not fooling anyone."
In our next session, Carole said she realized how much she had sacrificed to fit some made-up image of a successful corporate professional. She decided to embrace her creative, rebelicious self, and let her masses of curly hair down, literally and figuratively. She started wearing the loose, creative clothes she loves and donned her giant jewelry, too. And she was right, her gorgeous hair looks just like Hermione from Harry Potter.
Carole liberated herself from the sense that she had to be a certain way to be successful in corporate environment.
Here's what she wrote in an email a few weeks later:
"I also decorated my cube with some colored fabric and art to express my personality, and have gotten a lot of positive feedback on being more authentic in both my décor and my appearance. I’m definitely getting a more positive vibe from people, and I’m more relaxed and open myself, too."
You are not fooling anyone, either.
Here's a challenge for you: Where will you let your hair down, literally or metaphorically, to be who you truly are - at the office and at home?
I hope Carole's story inspires you as much as it did me.
Love to all of you!
ChristinaP.S. If you know someone who would like to receive this newsletter, they can sign-up for The Corporate Rebel Video Podcast and Newsletter HERE.