Welcome to another new episode of the ¿Quién Tú Eres? podcast, where we explore the conflict we often face between "professionalism" & being our authentic selves.
Joining us in this episode is Ivan Heredia, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of the National 4-H Council, who has spent more than two decades in the marketing industry building some of the most iconic youth-focused brands.
Ivan has been celebrated as a leading brand innovator by Adweek. And, in his current role, he is making efforts to bring a new and diverse audience and elevate the voices of young people.
In this conversation, Ivan shares with us some of his experiences and realizations he had. And he tells how, even as a leader, he continues to learn how to bring out more of his authentic self.
These are some of the episode highlights:
“I am a perpetual work in progress.” -Ivan Heredia
Many would think that as executives, it is easier to show up as our authentic selves. And it may be true in some cases, but for others, it can be harder to navigate because they feel the pressure of having more eyes on them.
But as we go through these different stages of our career life, we can stop and remember that we are also a work in progress, just like Ivan. And as we take a step forward, we continue to learn about ourselves and how to express ourselves authentically to the world.
"I felt like there was this duality and I was living in two worlds." -Ivan Heredia
Like it happens to many of us, Ivan had a passion of his own, but he didn't know how to blend it with his work.
Ivan would work as a musician while having a day job, which ironically was also in the music business but from a professional perspective. But to him, having these two aspects of his life separated felt like living in two worlds.
It wasn't until they found out in the company that he also played music on the side that he felt confident to bring this aspect of who he was into work. To his surprise, the reaction was welcoming! And that was that all it took for Ivan to feel a sense of safety and support to use his background to connect and develop deeper relationships with the artists as someone who speaks their language.
"Authenticity to me is a liberating realization. It's when I don't need to overanalyze how I show up." -Ivan Heredia
It’s hard to show up as our full authentic selves in all situations. Some rooms feel safe and encouraging, and then there are other rooms where we use certain filters or tone things down a bit. And this used to be a constant for Ivan early on in his career, but learning that he didn’t have to think so hard about this and he could just let go a bit more and be, was a liberating realization for him.
And as he continues to learn how to bring more of his authentic self, Ivan finds inspiration in the young people who are more open and fearless in expressing their authentic selves.
Ivan observes himself as he continues to grow in this journey to being more of his authentic self.
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