Think Tanks

Conformity vs. authenticity in the office

Conformity vs. authenticity in the office

If I could command every working person in America to do one thing, it would be: “Give me the rest of that doughnut.”

If I could make a second command — after I finished the doughnuts — it would be: “Please be yourself.”

It's easy to lose sense of who you are — and become who you think you should be — in the working world. No matter how confident or nonconformist we consider ourselves, careers force us to alter our behavior, to bend our character so we fit in, to emulate others who have gained the success we want.

To a point, that's fine and reasonable. I don't like wearing pants, but if I wear shorts to the office I seem like a weirdo, so I let the shorts-loving...