Bring Yourself to Work? James Porter Does

Personal is ProfessionalDo you bring yourself—with your passions, personal history, and personality—to work, or do you check “the real you” at the front door?

Here’s hoping you bring “all of you” to work. It’s the only way to feel fully at ease in your job, to nurture the relationships you need for success and satisfaction (for you and your organization), and to bring the greatest value to your role and responsibilities.

Take James Porter, director of communications at The End Fund. James recently asked me (via email from his personal address) to donate to the END Fund in support of his participation in a marathon this June. He describes the race, and the cause, then links his passion for his work (and participation in the race) with his experience of being marginalized as a gay boy growing up. His story is moving, memorable, and forges a quick and strong connection with readers. For James, the personal is professional:

Hi Nancy,

When thinking through who to ask to support me, some of my fellow rockstar runners came to mind, including you!
My training is well underway for the Race to See the END! Running a marathon in Africa has been on my bucket list since I started running, and what better way to cross that off than running the June 18 Race to See the END marathon in Victoria Falls (Zambia & Zimbabwe) while raising funds and awareness for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), which affect over 1.5 billion people worldwide.
My fundraising page has some of my story, but I wanted to share a bit more with you as standing up for those affected by NTDs is something that’s close to my heart. Throughout my career, I have always worked on behalf of marginalized communities  – immigrants, refugees, and most recently people affected by NTDs. Giving a voice to the voiceless enables me to help lift people up even in a small way as they feel other forces trying to bring them down.
Please support me with $10/mile, or $260  for the full marathon, which can provide treatment for 520 people. You can also sponsor me at the half marathon level for $130 (260 people treated) or a 10k at $60 (120 people treated) – or however much you can. 
As someone who was bullied, teased, and made fun of growing up for being different and not fitting in with the other boys, I understand what it feels like to be marginalized. Even today, as a confident adult gay male living in a liberal city like New York, I am reminded every day that nothing comes easily and we must continue fighting as people in power attempt to take away our rights and make us invisible.
But what about those who are not fortunate like me and don’t have the means or support to rise above obstacles? Well, that’s why I will do everything I can to help remove as many obstacles as possible – including NTDs. Will you join me in this fight?
Thanks for the encouragement along the way!
With gratitude,
Use this inspiring model as motivation to bring one more aspect of yourself to work today. It’ll be good for you and good for your organization. The personal IS professional!
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Nancy Schwartz in Professional Development | 0 comments
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