If my personal brand could be represented by something, it would definitely be the iris. I love the vibrant colour of its petals, mixed with streaks of bright yellow like new ideas.
The primary meanings of the iris are hope, wisdom and courage. There are a lot of different facets to who I am, but those three things are constant goals of mine.
Recently, I heard the term imagineer for the first time, and I thought aha! This word! It describes how I approach my life and my work. I have a huge amount of faith in people and ideas. I live in my imagination but I’m also an analytical planner type. And I want to imagineer a better world – one with more hope, integrity, honesty and compassion. And I know that starts from within. I believe in people and what we can accomplish when we do right by each other and try to be the best version of ourselves.
I’m a knowledge collector. In every job I’ve ever had, I’m the one that people go to for information, explanation, clarification and advice – whether it’s part of my job or not. I get asked who to go to, how to approach an issue, and whether their information or analysis is on point. Partly because I’m a sponge – I take in everything I hear and see and store it up in case I need it later and partly because I’m so observant. I notice the micro-expressions on people’s faces, tone of voice, word choice, how things are said and what isn’t said. I’ve gotten good at reading people and situations, and the people around me notice that.
I’m a dreamer. I think big. I want more and better – everything from process improvements at work to deeper emotional transparency with friends. I aim always to tell the whole truth – or at least as much as I know and understand. Part of that is giving my real opinion, regardless of whether I’m talking to my boss or a stranger. People can usually tell soon after meeting me that I’m allergic to bullshit, and I expect to receive the same honesty from others. I try to be as straightforward and courageous as I can in every moment. I risk trusting people and ideas, and that’s created a lot of forward movement in my life.
Hope, wisdom, courage. Those are the three pillars of who and how I am. I try to lead a life that leaves room for light and dark, closed and open, soft and harsh – so long as it’s all real.