When will we "own" our story?


I recently watched the excellent "Nanette" , by Hannah Gadsby on Netflix. If you have not seen this then I encourage you to do so. It is an extraordinary show,  a profound statement on what happens when we back ourselves first and foremost, and so much much more. 

I don't want to give too much away for those who have not seen it , other than to say that out of the countless takeaways from an hour or so in the theatre, one that I want to explore more is the act of speaking up at work.

Owning yourself

Effectively Hannah, a comedian,  stands up in front of her audience, who are her customer; and the comedy industry: her boss, and says she won't do things their way anymore. She goes on to explain how the craft of comedy is actually not aligning to her morals and values, that half her story is being lost in comedic structures and as such she will no longer participate. It's extraordinary stuff. Powerful stuff, uncomfortable, inspirational. Wow stuff. 

Speaking up at work to say "I won't do this" or "this is against my values" is often something we dream about doing but rarely ever do thanks in large to office politics, the desire to get ahead, the need to provide for our families and many other reasons, that up till now have been almost acceptable. 

With the rise of the #MeToo movement globally,  and shocking stories coming out of the Royal Banking Commission locally, perhaps we should be asking ourselves -  are these reasons good enough?

The plethora of research out there about the Future of Work indicates that in an automated working world, tolerance for poor behavior and misalignment to an employees morals will simply see that employee move to another employer, and swiftly do so. In a freelance economy and amongst the younger workers we see this happening every day, self selection creates more power of choice re where we will be actively choosing where we work and who we will work with, including how long we want to work in that environment. A Growth Mindset is overtaking traditional networking and politic playing for continuous improvement and career success is being self defined not imposed. 

When work is skills based as opposed to being locked into the boundaries of a job description buried in hierarchy and chained up by performance indicators and forced rankings it removes some of the barriers that are in the way to owning your own authenticity. 

An optimist, I see a place where diversity of thought leads the charge and people of all differences are able to come together to work. There is no single mold, square pegs are welcome into round holes. 

Until then, it is worth thinking hard about your limits, and about not being afraid to stand up for your authentic self. Assess the risk and think about your options. Own your story.