You’ve likely heard the advice from a coach or a self-improvement gal or guy.
Emulate the position you aspire to.
Dress for two levels above your current position!
Rub elbows with people at that level!
Strive to act and sound like you’re there!
All well and good – up to a point. Following that advice can get you in trouble, for a couple of reasons.
For one, you’re likely to alienate the people you need to get along with now.
Then there’s the issue of authenticity. We’ve talked often about the importance of being your authentic self. The “emulate” advice could lead you to “put on airs” – to act like someone you’re not. No matter how good an actor you are, you can’t carry this on very long. Inauthentic behavior causes inner conflict for you, and others see right through it.
Here, Jessica Stillman relates advice from Melinda Gates and Oprah Winfrey. These too women have obviously done some things right! It usually pays to listen to such people. Both have suggested that being the person you are is vital to success. Anything else will lead to trouble. For you internally, and for your career. Oprah talked in more detail here about the experience she alludes to.
Enjoy Jessica’s article. Be the most authentic version of yourself you can be!