I still enjoy cracking open a (real) book and flipping through the pages of an honest-to-God magazine, although I must admit it’s been quite some time since I sat down and read an actual newspaper the old-fashioned way.
This past weekend I read an article in the most recent issue of Time Magazine written by Randi Zuckerberg (Mark’s sister) called “Post More Baby Photos.”
“Right now, there are two generations in the workforce who think in diametrically opposite ways about identity. Executives who came of age in the pre-smartphone era take it as a given that you should have a separate professional persona that reads like a profile in Forbes and doesn’t overlap with your personal life.
But my generation came of age in a world with social networks, and we know that we don’t have that luxury anymore. We understand that the business leaders of the future will be three-dimensional personalities whose lives, interests, hobbies and passions outside of work are documented and on display.
We should embrace this new world. The answer isn’t fewer baby pictures; it’s more baby pictures. It’s not that I should post less; it’s that everyone else should post more.”
As she discusses the benefits of authenticity and transparency she shares the opinion that being her authentic self online also makes her a better leader at work.
I tend to agree.
I also find it interesting that we continue to work in environments where many people (of a certain age as she points out?) still like to don a costume before they head into the office for the day. They put on a mask, turn on their work voice, and get through the hours between 8 AM and 5 PM with one personality and then, much like the trick-or-treaters who will be out in full force tomorrow night, transform after dark into their “real” selves.
While there’s still a great reluctance among many (especially among my HR peers) to connect online with co-workers I do see this shifting…albeit gradually. For every HR lady I meet who won’t even connect on LinkedIn with employees (yes…really) I also run into one who has decided it’s perfectly acceptable, and even positive, to connect with co-workers, colleagues and candidates on Facebook.
There’s really no science to being oneself nor is it an art.
It just is.