I know rebels when I meet them. This is a vital pattern in “Don’t Bring It to Work”. They love to ask “Why not” rather than just “Why”. Even better are those who can flip rebel to its positive opposite behavior, that of being a community builder.
Meet Carla Calizaire, Regional Business Director at Novo Nordisk.
Carla has an aura, a presence that immediately makes people gravitate toward her. I asked where she feels this comes from. Without hesitation she responded, “I don’t react quickly; I take the time to put myself in the shoes of the person I am with and really look from that perspective as best I can.”
There is something so modern about Carla and at the same time so ancient. The cultures of yore always taught it is vital to “walk in the moccasins of the other”. Carla has an uncanny way of bringing those human universals into her life, modeling them, and teaching them.
Another of her thoughts is about much of the angst in today’s workplace. “I think there is often an unhealthy separation between home and work life. If we are fragmented there is an inability to be authentic and that causes mistrust and conflict. If we are able to be consistent and real in all we do it will draw people to you.”
So how did this rebel become a community builder? She had to experiment and let the pendulum swing way out to find her still point. As she told me she was a kid who did not like to be told “no”; she hated the feeling of being boxed in. When she graduated from high school her father said “I’m so glad this really happened. I wasn’t sure you would actually graduate”.
Hmmmmm. That did not fit with the Carla I met as an adult. “Well, I did test the limits back then. I was creative and knew when the mailman was coming to our street. I would greet him and get the “cut class” slips before they got into the house”.
Pendulum then went the other direction. She graduated from college in two years with a major in psychology, minor in marketing, and superior grades.
Fast forward to today. This GUTSY woman, a divorced mother of two sons is a respected manager in a company that values her relationship style of leading. She has a philosophy of working from the “inside-out” by going deep, to the root around conflict or poor productivity. “I always ask myself why someone can’t get along with others or why they procrastinate; I go down as far as I can to the source of the issue rather than staying on the superficial level”.
Her message to women in business is to bring both tenderness and intellect to work; not be afraid to be real. These qualities, the ones Carla lives, can revolutionize the workplace where everyone has a voice that will be heard.