Being Authentic. I am who I am

A well meaning head hunter called me “Hey, did you leave IBM? Why didn’t you tell me so I can place you?” “No, I have not left. I will definitely tell you if I am looking out. Do you know something I don’t?” I laughingly replied. He replied, “Your LinkedIn job title to “Mindful Ledaership” so I thought you quit.”  That was just one reaction, among many connections that reacted to my profile change in surprise, happiness, curiosity, cautiousness and even disapproval.

What garnered these responses was just a change in my profile to “Mindful Leadership”. I had decided to integrate my career self and my spiritual self into one.  I had previously kept two separate identities – one professional identity as “Anne Phey – Innovator” as a kick-ass Marketing Director at IBM and another identity “Anne Phey – Mindful Meditator” that I shared about my journey of self discovery in holistic practices.

These are the Top 5 reactions and my response:

1.  “Won’t your boss think you are spending time to blog about non-work stuff and affect your career?”

I am grateful that IBM practices work life integration and I have understanding bosses.  We recognize that team members need a healthy balance of work and private time.  While many employees may spend their week nights or weekends with their parents or children, I choose to spend my time on holistic practices and sharing them on social media.  The employee is evaluated on the results, and not how they spend their time.  So, sharing about mindfulness does not make me any less effective as an employee.

2. “You are a social advocate, why a title on mindfulness and not IBM?”

As LinkedIn’s top Social Seller, I am an advocate of social media as a medium for corporates to reach out to partners and customers.  Being an advocate does not mean talking only about one’s company all the time. Often social media becomes a bombardment of corporate jargon. People trust people.  We earn that trust by being genuine and having an opinion. I am an IBM ambassador, not one that blindly drum-beats corporate messages, but a human that one can relate to and have a conversation with.  I can share both about mindfulness and corporate content.

3. “Don’t you think it is unprofessional to share about mindfulness on corporate platforms?”

Mindfulness is an attitude, an approach and a holistic practice.  It is not contrary to corporate work. In fact, it adds to a better person, environment and work outcomes.  In the tech industry, disruptions are changing the way industries and customers are behaving.  If one practices mindfulness, one can navigate these disruptions with ease.

Personally, I have gained from mindfulness with calmness in my approach, better clarity by being able to observe alternative perspectives on situations, confidence in handling obstacles, positive encouragement to team members, motivation to do good and tenacity to outlast the issues.

Our Human Resource Director Craig Stewart too writes about mindfulness in his blogs. (See more at

4. “Recruiters can’t categorize you if you put mindfulness into your job title.”

Human Resource as a function no longer relies on job titles and abilities on CVs but about how a person’s intrinsic qualities such as mindfulness and leadership can take the role and job scope to success.

Here is an example of incorporating mindfulness into your profile. Techfucius is a CIO (Chief Information Officer) who is a seeker of salvation from IT woes.  Instead of seeking salvation atop a mountain somewhere, he has to practice mindfulness with deep reflection within to manage a tech world riddled with disruption and uncertainty. His blogs talk about the power of strengthening what lies within (See more at

5. “Have you quit your job to go full time into holistic work?”

Changing my job title to “Mindful Leader” gave many the impression that I am no longer working in the corporate world.  Most people believe that you have to either be a corporate warrior or a peaceful holistic practitioner.  I choose to be both.  I love my job at IBM and I love what I do to help individuals transform their lives. And I love showing by example to transform my life to a better person, boss and team mate at my workplace.


Corporate and Mindfulness Merge As One

We sometimes draw such well defined lines around areas of our lives – our work, our home, our children, our recreation club and our spiritual practices.  As I discover more about myself, I become more of who I truly am at home and at work. There is just one me, I am who I am.

In fact, several social advocates have contacted me to ask how I managed to integrate mindfulness, corporate and social media.  Many have asked for further discussions and tips as they see social media and social selling cross the chasm of regurgitating corporate jargon to sharing from the heart of what matters to the person be it personal, professional or corporate development.

So here I am, on this path of integration. I will be blogging about mindfulness on how it has helped become better persons in the corporate world, and also about the tech industry with mindfulness.

If you want to know the secret of my success in the worlds of corporate and holistic practices, come join me in a meditation or on a one-on-one consultation. I will share with infinite love so that you too can discover your personal potential and embark on this beautiful journey of self discovery.

Join me, be bold and shine as who you are. Be authentic.

33 replies on “Being Authentic. I am who I am

  • Preeti Gupta, Services Communication Leader, IBM Asia Pacific at IBM Innovation Services Pte Ltd

    Very well articulated Anne.. some great pointers, especially around sharing genuine and authentic corporate content on social platforms and work life balance. In our quest to become social, one tends to forget that this is not about bombarding messaging but having a conversation

  • Eric Schnatterly, Vice President, IBM Systems for Cloud Platforms, Asia Pacific

    Anne, it was very mindful of you to share this article 🙂 Of course I agree that mindfulness leadership is important ingredient to business success and personal fulfillment and satisfaction. In the corporate world, we often speak about the importance of “employee engagement” and its impact on business outcomes. But you cannot have engagement without the self awareness of internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment.

  • Eileene Chong, B2B Marketer, ICCC Leader @ DHL Express Malaysia

    Love the open take on job titles that doesn’t define a person

  • Harshal Patil, Asia Pacific Portfolio Marketing Leader at IBM

    love the FAQ style take on self-awareness, mindfulness and integration with work. Such practice allows one to observe and validate long held beliefs & behavior patterns and change them, if necessary, to keep up with the changing world. This is a must have skill for all professionals today.

  • Andrew Shaw, Bespokegolf Asia

    Honoured that you PM’d me to read this. I love it.

    I agree there needs to be less separation between ones ‘selves’. How can we be truly mindful if we keep the two separate anyway – that’s just an ‘egoic’ life at work and a ‘highest self’ life at home.

    Eckhart Tolle has some great discussion about mini-meditations, used throughout the day rather than one period of meditation aside from the daily routine. Just one mindful breath can create the space needed for the answer to come from the highest self rather than acting ‘instinctively’ which is often an egoic response especially in confrontational and / or pressurised work situations where everything needed to be done yesterday!

    Less is more (something I often struggled with!)

    Thanks for the share and well done IBM for being part of the awakening!
    Maybe tag Deepak Chopra MD (official) and get his thoughts on this.

  • Andrea Edwards, The Digital Conversationalist

    Wonderful to read this woman! When you changed your title I was curious what the response would be, so I’m not surprised by some and delighted by others. You are an embodiment of bringing the whole person to work and as you know, to that I say hooray! Keep it up my friend. The world needs your gentle touch xxx

  • Tim Young, VP Marketing, DataRobot

    A nice well thought out post Anne. Work-life balance is challenging and so promoting the life piece on LinkedIn is a nice way to go. It underscores an experience beyond the confines of the office.

  • Naomi Byrnes, Australia Post

    Congrats! IBM is so lucky to have you. I’m sure many people will relate to the reasons we might be wary about letting our whole self show. I find it’s more efficient in the end as clients, colleagues and employees can connect with you on common ground that you never knew you had. Feels scary sometimes … fully alive most times!

  • Philip Simmonds, LinkedIn #1 Social Seller, McCorkell & Associates

    A fantastic post from a fellow B2B marketer, and Top Social Seller Anne Phey – Mindful Leadership. Thanks for sharing, and inspiring me to write more.

  • Nishan Weerasinghe, CMO, IBM Systems for Cloud Platform Asia Pacific

    Nice linking the two you’s as one reborn on LinkedIn… awesome . Duly liked and shared

  • Meeraj Qazi, Head of Digital, Asia Pacific at The Wall Street Journal

    Saw your note on Linkedin and absolutely loved it! Big believer in mindfulness – haven’t quite found the way to embrace it in corporate life, but now you’ve given me some inspiration 🙂

  • Mohan Raj Valliappan, Web Publisher at Business Capital Intelligence

    Mindfulness? Hmmmmm a very subjective word masked in the corporate world today. Similar as to the fine line between looking for idealism and not understanding the concept of realism.

  • Mark Jacinto, M-Oceans Recruiting Inc, Philippines

    thanks for sharing. was worth the click. i do practice mindfulness. cheers!

  • Andrea Edwards, The Digital Conversationalist

    For me, Anne Phey – Mindful Leadership, embodies what being a social leader is all about – being genuine and bringing all of yourself, where ever you are! If you can be vulnerable, you will shine all the brighter. Sheryl Sandberg demonstrated this too. It’s OK to be a human being right? Nice one Anne x

  • Arun Cavale, Marketing Strategy & Leadership, IBM ASEAN

    Anne, how have you been?we must catch up shortly. And that sounds odd considering we sit in the same office

  • Helen Nett

    I enjoyed your article. I am trying to incorporate it into my work and my families life and school. Helen Nett, Finance, DataRobot, Boston

  • Hartini Harris

    Hi Anne Congratulation. Great article … I know you , Anne Phey always has a new great idea… yes be Autenthic…. Hartini Harris, President Director, PT Harnis Kreasi Internasional

  • Meefong Wong

    Awesome! Be authentic – that’s the fundamental of personal branding initiatives. Love your ‘ lead without title’ thoughts too.


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