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June 4, 2019

Perspectives on Bringing Your True Self to Work

‘When I can be authentic, I give my all’
This story is part of a series featuring perspectives from Motorola Solutions employees. As part of Pride Month, we asked Jason Tandy, U.K.-based service design and introduction manager for the Global Managed and Lifecycle Services organization: How did you become your most authentic self, and what role has that played in your career?
When I was younger, I led two very different lives – one inside of work, and one outside of work. I felt a huge pressure to keep them separate, and it required a lot of effort. Over time, that caused anxiety that negatively affected my well-being.
When I started my career in the early 1990s at another company, the environment for gay people was more hostile. In fact, my manager at the time said if he had "one of those people" working on the team, he would get rid of him.
I was ambitious and didn’t want anything to distract from my ability to do the job, but fostering relations with my peers was difficult because I would withhold details about my personal life. I would actively avoid discussions about my weekends, annual leave and other family plans in case those drew attention to my sexual orientation. I would always take steps to hide the fact that I was gay for fear of being discriminated against or bullied.
In contrast, outside of work, I was actively lobbying for equal rights, equality for all people in terms of respect, legal rights and professional growth.
Since joining Motorola Solutions, I’ve become more open and transparent with my colleagues, which has led to more trusting relationships and a stronger sense of team. We openly discuss our different perspectives and take a genuine interest in each other’s lives and well-being. Asking others to respect my views and opinions does not mean that I expect everyone to agree with me. And I often reflect on whether I consistently show the same level of respect to colleagues on viewpoints that are different than mine.
Being authentic and open has allowed me to focus my efforts on being part of the team, fully contributing to our success and helping support Motorola Solutions' broader momentum to celebrate and honor a culture of inclusion and diversity.
Our diversity champion partner on the Motorola Solutions LGBTA Business Council coined a phrase that casts a good vision for being authentic: "People perform better when they can be themselves.”
My own version of this is: "People perform better when we are all authentic, respected and treated equally.”
By being authentic, I hope that I can give my all to working as part of a team where the collective value of our diverse viewpoints and experiences produces a far better outcome.

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