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 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/mindfulness-isnt-just-fancy-way-saying-yoga-stuff-craig-stewart)
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 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/power-strengthening-what-lies-within-techfucius-say)
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.