Multiracial Hands Making a CircleWho are you being today? Are you your core true, best self, or are you presenting a facade or persona of what you think you must be to others?

In many organizations around the globe, expectations and culture demand that players fit a particular mold. That mold may, for example, require one to demonstrate aggressive tactics with internal or external customers.

Or, that mold may require one to demonstrate cooperative interaction with team mates to deliver exceptional service to internal and external customers.

Or, that mold may require anything in between these extremes.

Must you concede to the expectations that your workplace culture demands? It is difficult not to – organizational culture is immensely powerful. Your organizational culture reinforces the expected mold overtly and implicitly, every minute.

You may choose to demonstrate a persona which enables you to fit in and contribute in your organization. That persona may not be your core true self. If you are unable to act upon your personal life purpose and values, you are hiding your true self – your #BestSelf – under a bushel. That depletes your energy (you’re exhausted by propping up the required facade) and it doesn’t recharge your energy (which living your best self would accomplish).

You may not have a choice. You may not have the opportunity to allow your true self to be acted upon consistently at work.

The best scenario is to find a work culture that enables your best self, which allows you to demonstrate your personal purpose & values daily, in service to the organization’s purpose, values, strategy, and goals.

Your family, friends, community, and YOU gain the most by this aligned scenario.

Understand, Respect, and Trust Your Best Self

Where should one start? It makes sense to clarify your personal purpose, values, and behaviors that you demonstrate when you’re modeling your values. Formalize them by writing them down. It may take a few weeks of writing, re-writing, and testing this “personal constitution” with those you trust.

Once that statement is in place, keep it top of mind. Note when your plans, decisions, and actions are in alignment with your best self – and when they are not in alignment.

Slowly reduce the areas of your work & life where you are mis-aligned. Increase the frequency of alignment, as much as you can.

If your current work responsibilities are not in complete alignment with your best self, keep an eye out for opportunities (inside or outside your current workplace) where job responsibilities are in alignment.

If it takes you a year to find that opportunity, that’s fine, isn’t it? Just don’t settle for your own mis-aligned facades.

Join in the conversation about this post/podcast in the comments section below. In what work and life roles are you most aligned, your best self, consistently? How do you know you’re out of alignment – what are the indicators for you?

What is it like to live in your organization’s culture? Share your experiences in my fast & free Performance-Values Assessment. Results and analysis are described on my blog site’s research page.

This research can help you refine your organization’s corporate culture. Contact me to discuss conducting the Performance-Values Assessment in your company.

Photo © istockphoto.com/AlexMax. All rights reserved.

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The music heard on these podcasts is from one of Chris’ songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). Chris plays all instruments on these recordings.

S. Chris Edmonds

S. Chris Edmonds

Chris helps leaders create purposeful, positive, productive work cultures. He's a speaker, author, and executive consultant. He blogs, podcasts, and video casts. He is the author of The Culture Engine and six other books.
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