I was lucky recently to have (that) Mark Gilroy on to the Value through Vulnerability podcast where we discussed a wide range of topics such as vulnerability, leadership, awareness etc but one of the most striking discussion topics for me personally was around credibility & identity. HT Phil Willcox also for his influence here also.

Why this jumps out so much to me is that whilst following #cipdACE on twitter, the sheer volume of tweets around “being more human” is rising to a level that I have not observed to date (and great news finally) This was also communicated apparently by Peter Cheese, CIPD’s Chief Exec.

This is very interesting as we only have humanity – that is what we are, yet we have de-humanised ourselves and work progressively for the past 100 years+ in preference for productivity & outputs over humanity.

For me personally, I see a correlation of this push to re-humanise ourselves & work and identity.

For so long, and this included me for > 20 years of my work life, my identity was directly tied to the work and organisation that I worked for. Once I stepped through the door I became “Garry the recruitment consultant” whilst working at Reed, or “Garry the internal sales rep” when working at Petrochemcarless or “Garry the Sales Manager” at Cognis.

This reiterates the “Garry is a unit of measure to drive XX output” mindset that still too all often persists.

My personality was mostly intact, but outside of that my network, contacts & learning were are capped – capped by the industry sector that I worked within and capped by the narrow, myopic focus on metrics and not on the people that drive the metrics.

In hindsight I did not need to tie my identity to work, but it is only in the last 3-4 years that I even knew that such things as an organisational culture, purpose, values, meaning, collaboration etc existed. Why did I never hear about these topics despite working in many commercial & support roles and in both local & multi-national organisations?

The rise of the focus on re-humanising us and the world of work is one of the biggest opportunities of our time – as David Marquet shared in episode 7 of the Value through Vulnerability podcast, “one of the biggest wastes on the planet is what is sitting on the top of everybody’s shoulders.”

I am of the firm belief that people want to enjoy what they do, make a difference and go home at the weekend satisfied. I believe that every single one of us wants that from our work.—David-Marquet-from-Turn-The-Ship-Around-e1nrq7

Global engagement stats, however, stay stubbornly stuck at 1 in 3 being fully engaged according to Gallup, people are getting progressively more unwell whilst at work (due to the incorrect outside-in belief as how the human experience works) and there is panic that the pace of change & automation is a big threat.


There are, however, two glaring opportunities for us all to turn the above tide and they are things that have transformed my life over the past 12-18 months and given me back my identity as Garry Turner:

1) An understanding as to how the mind works (3 principles of mind, consciousnesses & thought)

I have written and communicated extensively about this personal transformation, but in a nutshell to keep this topic super to the point and way too over-simplified, too often we over-think ourselves into fear, mental health challenges & despair. I have done all three so speak from experience.

The antidote? – Stopping, getting present & dropping the negative self-talk. All of this happens naturally when you understand the principles. Sounds a bit woo-woo, but trust me, this stuff is life changing and indeed, it is all we have!

In case you are curious here is my podcast with Piers Thurston whom I went on the 3 day retreat with – HT Matt O Neill for intro:—Piers-Thurston-from-Making-Change-Work-e1h06v

2) Understanding job-crafting, something I have been inspired by Rob Baker & Rich Cooper to engage in more proactively of late

Rich wrote a wonderfully compelling article here on LinkedIn called Recruitment – Feeling like a square peg in a round hole:


Going forward

Today I love my crafted role now more than I have ever and that is after nearly 10 years in the job, because I am doing work that feeds my soul as a human being AND delivers the results that my organisation needs.

I asked Garry Ridge at their San Diego HQ last month “is the job for life really dead when you offer so many opportunities to progress and change roles at WD-40?” His reply was beautiful. “We are all on a journey for life” and it is up to us as individuals to put our hands up and for organisations to see us as the uniquely distinct human beings that we ALL are.

In 2018 my identity became the purposeful, driven “Garry Turner – performance through people” (you can see this on my LinkedIn profile and not “A N Other” meaningless job title/narrow job spec that exists for the sole purpose of ego & status)

I get results not because I am myopically focused on them – It is because I know the only way to achieve sustainable, long-term success for all is by securing those results through and not in spite of people.

We are all inter-connected human beings from the same source, it was crazy that someone ever thought that we weren’t.

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