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  • Writer's pictureKerryDawes

Find a company that values you for who you are. Explore Leadership Coaching

Updated: Nov 18, 2023

Leadership coaching

I heard something last year that I can’t get out of my head.

Let’s go back in time.

Like many, working during covid was challenging. We were in what seemed like the 27th lockdown, the news externally was scary and the need to prove yourself to retain your job was ever present.

Lay on top of that I was in a company where optics were everything, a highly political environment and blame culture was growing. You could do something half-baked but as long as it was presented articulately and had allies around you, you were good.

Despite this, things were going well all things considered and I had a great team delivering some awesome work. I was taking on the challenges that the business faced each day, forming new teams, new cultures, new ways of working, managing up, heck we even had some fun.

But as someone who is passionate, confident in their specialism and a very open person, I wasn’t fitting into the mould they wanted. Which ironically was exactly why they hired me……. They sought change, digital transformation, forward thinking and agile practices.

Despite this, soon started to come the ‘feedback’. Now I do love feedback and whilst it’s painful it’s key that you are open and learn from it, but it can easily get used as a way to damn right beat someone. I have been lucky enough who have had managers who have provoked, inspired and challenged, and feedback was a key part of this.

However, some of this feedback was discreet and some not so discreet, and frankly I had heard some of it before. Like many, I’m a work in progress. I don’t get it right all the time but also feel I have something unique to offer, as we all do.

But I was being told to be ‘less than’ ……. Less ambitious, direct, indirect, passionate, proactive, successful, motivating, accountable. Basically be ‘less me’.

And then I heard this….

“Find a company that values you for who you are. Don’t change yourself for a company to value you.”

We are indoctrinated early in our careers to adapt, mould, flex and fit in and ‘feedback’ can often be used to do that. And whilst that is all incredibly important (unless you want to work alone forever more), I see that some people are being supressed to such an extreme extent.
- Aren’t you ultimately not getting the most out of what that person has to offer?
- Will they really be happy in that role long term?
- What impact is that having on the individual?
- Didn’t you hire them for their spark, passion, knowledge?
- Are high performing teams full of different personalities and skills that learn to work with each others skills, not against them?

So when I was looking for my next role I made a commitment to myself to find somewhere that embraced me for who I am. I am incredibly proud of what I can offer and my openness and passion often helps teams thrive & grow (despite many attempts of some leaders to squash that). I was so lucky to find my new role in a company does just that but it took time and patience to find that.

So when looking for the next role, really scrutinise, are they going to embrace and uplift you?

If it’s a no, walk away.

If you're interested in leadership coaching, get in touch to learn how we can work together.



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