Authentic Self

Ever wondered if hiding your authentic self at work is holding you back? Just one look at Bozoma Saint John will have you answering yes!

You’re the same person at home as you are at work right? Sure you may access different parts of your personality in these various settings, but you’re still you. You shouldn’t have to compartmentalize yourself or hide your authentic self in either scenario. In the past however, many people conducted their lives that way. Today the lines between our personal lives and our work lives are constantly blurred. Keeping things compartmentalized is not only harder it’s actually being discouraged.

It’s about time too. Bringing your whole self to work makes for happier employees, which leads to greater productivity and greater retention. It can also lead to greater success.

“I’ve been told that I overshare,” she said. “Sometimes I get criticized for it, but how else would I be if not all of me?”

This is a quote from Bozoma Saint John, the woman who just can’t help being who she is. As a result, she has become one of the most influential women in business. In fact it was her Instagram feed chronicling her authenticity, humanity and spontaneity that got her recruited to be the chief brand officer at Uber.

But this isn’t the first time she is getting noticed for being who she is. When she was head of marketing for Apple Music, she took the stage at the 2016 annual developers conference and commanded the room in such a way that made everyone take notice. She had everyone in the room thinking:

“Who the hell is this badass woman, and how did Apple keep her secret for so long?”

The secret is out of course. But the secret to her success isn’t. She consistently wears high heels in an office that is perpetually dressed down in hoodies. She’s also not afraid to openly display her personal experiences as a mother and a widow for co-workers to see on social media or in person. Yes, Saint brings her whole self to work but she also puts her whole self into her work as well.

Saint John is a presence to be reckoned with. But she is also a great example of the what can happen when you trust in who you are and make no excuses for being you. You may occasionally worry about what people think of your outfit, but you never want to go to work worried about what people would think of your authentic self. Don’t hold yourself back by compartmentalizing who you are.