From The Guest Book - Olivia McIvor

Olivia McIvor

Bringing Her Whole Self 

I'd like to introduce you to another of the new friends that I've had the good fortune to meet during the past year. Her name is Olivia McIvor and she is a remarkable individual that was invited to provide the thought leadership for one of PEMCO Insurance's Interactive Leadership Sessions last year. 
Olivia and I have enjoyed exchanging ideas and experiences that help to identify the edges in how people live their lives. Olivia is an accomplished author, speaker, and leadership facilitator...  she's even a board member of The Kindness Foundation of Canada. How cool is that! 

I invited Olivia to contribute to my guest book and somehow she found the time. I hope you enjoy her life changing story. It's about how she discovered her edge.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

My edge story has changed how I live and work in my life. I recall my first performance review in my new role as HR Manager and was shocked when I was told that I would never be successful in HR as long as I continued to wear my ‘heart on my sleeve’. I was told to toughen up, stop getting so personal with those under my care and not to be so sensitive to the needs of others. Wanting to do a good job I spent the next 12 months trying to eliminate wearing my heart on my sleeve and endeavored to fix what was apparently broken. While I sent out to repair what was faulty, I slowly became disenfranchised and less engaged daily from my chosen profession. 

As I was close to handing in my resignation, I had the fortune to meet an astute senior HR professional who was getting ready to retire that year. I shared my dilemma with her and asked for her advice on how I could ‘fix’ myself. This wise elder informed me that what I thought was a curse, was indeed a gift. She encouraged me to differentiate myself from my colleagues by having the courage to wear my emotions on my sleeve and to be authentic in the workplace. Her wisdom was that if I brought my ‘whole self’ to work then others would be given permission to do the same. She encouraged me to lead with my strength, with my true self. 

Another gem of wisdom she transferred to me was “before you speak or take any action ask yourself three questions~ Is it truthful what I am about to say or do, it is necessary that I say or do it and, above all else, can I say or do it with kindness” 

Although I have struggled to keep the integrity of her words when I get tossed in the seas of change and pressure, I thank her for reminding me in those dark moments to be myself, for giving me permission to wear my heart on my sleeve. 

Join the conversation please!

Your comments, suggestions, and stories of your personal edge are always welcome in my guest book.

Add A New Comment

  • Jan Davidson
    Dec. 1, 2012
    Rod ---
    Thank you for this...this is great affirmation for me personally. Thank you for the reminder that it is okay to be ME...wearing your heart on your sleeve is not a truly takes courage and risk --that in itself is true strength. I sleep great at night knowing I was genuine and authentic to all those I engaged with in my day.

    A lot more is accomplished by "being real". Thank you again!

The Fine Print

Rod Brooks (that's me) is VP & CMO of PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company and serves as Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).  It's important to disclose both of those relationships and to be clear that this is my personal blog where I share thoughts and opinions that are solely my own.  Contact me!

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