I wonder if you keep the real you hidden at work. Do you? Do you lead authentically, or as you strive for professionalism, do you leave your personality at home?

“Picture this: It’s 1997. I am dancing like no one’s watching on top of a table, and I feel someone pulling my jeans to grab my attention. I look down, and it was the queen bee of all marketing managers. My heart stopped as I came down from the table, and she says to me with a puzzled look on her face, “Why are you not this vibrant person at work?”

The answer was that I somehow believed that I could not bring my bubbly, vivacious self to work because I thought I would not be taken seriously, and would be perceived as unprofessional. I imagined only being able to thrive if I appeared to be someone else.”

Andrea Quaye, Senior Director, Coca-Cola Company

I wonder if you keep the real you hidden at work. Do you?

Listen in to this Win @ Work Life podcast episode as I chat to Andrea Quaye, Senior Director, Global Category Lead Coffee at the Coca-Cola Company (she recently located to Dublin to take up this position). The above excerpt is from a fabulous article she published on LinkedIn entitled Dancing on Tables.

Our robust and effervescent conversation about authenticity covers:

  • How dancing on tables contributed to Andrea’s journey of self-discovery around the concept of showing up authentically.
  • Being professional doesn’t mean leaving your personality at home.
  • Imposter syndrome.
  • Authentic leadership of your team.
  • Authenticity as it relates to the brands with which you work.
  • The three Cs of authenticity.
  • Confidence.
  • Consistency.
  • Courage.
  • The transformational act of motherhood.
  • Sharing your backstory with your children.

“It took one comment from a senior colleague I respected, at a nightclub, to make me realize that I could be professional and successful, even if I showed up myself.”

Andrea Quaye, Senior Director, Coca-Cola Company

“The thing about being comfortable in your authenticity is that you have got to be confident in who you are, and you’ve got to value the things that make you you.”

Andrea Quaye, Senior Director, Coca-Cola Company

“You assign value to things. And I never thought that I was valuable. And actually the older I get, the more I realise what impact it has. It makes people feel good about themselves. It makes people want to be around me. It makes people want to work with me. People love working with me because I am intense, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.”

Andrea Quaye, Senior Director, Coca-Cola Company

“Never compare yourself to anybody and take inspiration where it comes from. Don’t try and be me. Don’t try and be Nikki. Don’t try and be who your mother expects you to be. Try and be the best person that you can be. And often that is more than good enough.”

Andrea Quaye, Senior Director, Coca-Cola Company

Enjoy another episode in my Win at Life Podcast Series, The Power of Authenticity