I have recently been reading the book, “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown. It should probably be required reading for all human beings. I highly recommend it to everyone. It has insights that can help us be our better selves in all aspects of our lives.
In the book, the topic of “Minding the Gap” is discussed which is defined most simply as that place that exists between where we are and where we want to be or get to. The name originated as a warning to train passengers to be careful while stepping over the gap between the loading platform and the train doors while boarding or exiting the train.
It’s an important concept to contemplate in both our personal lives and in our businesses. Our work persona and who we are at home are in some ways different. However, in the fundamental understanding of who we are as individuals and how we operate and behave, should there be any real differences in who we are at work and at home if we are to be our authentic selves?
Personally, I do feel that the less conflict there is between these two personas the better and the less interpersonal stress we will have. I also believe that organizational cultures that allow employees to be more freely their authentic selves and where these personas are in better alignment are the ones that attract the greater talent.
Often times in business it’s all about strategy and projections. Culture is an afterthought or something you don’t have the luxury to consider right now (I know we didn’t when we started!). If all goes well your business is having some success and there you are trying to get the next level but do you have the culture to attract the talent you need to get there?
I also believe that culture is an essential part of the DNA of an organization that should be given voice in marketing efforts. If you have read any of my prior blogs, you know that being authentic is a key component of what I think modern marketing should encompass and project. You have to have an identifiable culture in order to tell your story richly. Your initial strategy may have been all about excellence and that is a great starting point in your culture but you have to go beyond that. How will employees know that they are valued? Will recruits themselves feel more human and appreciated being part of your team than where they work right now? It almost goes without saying that employees that love where they work will project this love onto prospective and existing clients alike. The culture that creates that positive vibe lets people be truer versions of themselves and that authenticity draws others in and makes them want to engage with your company from community, recruits, and clients alike. That sort of positive energy and authenticity makes the marketing of your company that much easier and frankly much more enjoyable.
Take a look at where your organization is today. ”Mind the Gap” between where you are strategically and where you are culturally. The more the two are aligned and brought into harmony, the more effortless and effective your marketing will become.
I leave you with a good anthem about being our authentic selves from Gavin DeGraw:
Identity Works, Inc.