Rock music has been associated with political activism as well as changes in social attitudes to race, sex and drug use, and is often seen as an expression of youth revolt against adult consumerism and conformity– Wikipedia
The combination of youthfulness, energy, fun, ambition, drive and passion for living is what I associate with rock ‘n’ roll music. And it is why I don’t mind when friends and colleagues describe me as a bit of a rock chick…a bit different, quirky and unconventional. I pride myself with being a bit “crazy”, which thanks to Linda Rottenberg’s book Crazy is a Compliment, is now officially THE character trait to flaunt! (don’t get me wrong, the book is a highly inspiring read and I thoroughly recommend it!)
Ever since secondary school, where I was mocked and bullied for my crazy uncontrollable curly hairdo and un-cool clothes, I have been doubting my self-image. Being perceived to be “different” and not fitting in, really is the last thing you want when you are a teenager!
University-life on the contrary was great – the more different you are, the better! Which made working as a corporate lawyer all the more challenging as I felt compelled to squeeze myself into conservative, grey and ill-fitting 2 piece suits. Let’s face it, a starters’ income was never going to help me and my – at the time – size 16 – look fabulous!
But being different is more than just image and looks. Apparently it is also reflected in the way I do things. On my first day – FIRST DAY!! – of joining the legal team at BT, back in 2001, I was tapped on the shoulder by a senior colleague who overheard me on the phone as I was dealing with my first case of a cable cut in international waters : “ermmm…this is your first day…take it easy…this is not how we do things around here..”. I was stunned…I just came from working in a start-up environment where speed, initiative and entrepreneurship was the default modus operandi.
Many years and even more funny and eye-opening moments have passed since that first day in the office, and I am glad to report that I am now comfortable with who I am and what I stand for. It’s only taken me 44 years to get to this point! (so much for fast-paced!)
I am not just telling you this to make a case about how great I am. I am not. I am just “me”, an individual that brings a fresh perspective on things, who approaches life and business from a slightly different, personal, angle thereby breaking the mould and challenging convention.
I am the same person at work as I am at home and those that have worked with me, teams, clients and suppliers alike, will agree that I inject a sense of fun and energy whilst at the same time being very demanding and always looking to raise the bar.
You’ll find many leadership consultants these days preaching about how display “a rock star attitude” at work. For me it is not a display, it is a state of being, centred around the following core beliefs:
- Passion & Optimism
- Challenge & Exploration
- Being Brave
So whatever you want to call it, there is definitely a rock ‘n’ roll soul inside of me that is my driving force giving me my resilient belief, relentless passion and perseverance that I can make a difference.