Being authentic is important in all aspects of life, but it is particularly important in a professional environment. Authenticity creates trust, strengthens relationships, and builds positive reputations. During Insurance Breakfast Club’s group mentoring session in September 2023, five industry leaders all recognised for their authenticity, shared how they’ve held their core values close throughout their careers.

“Your job recognises and rewards you, but it doesn’t always define you. Always be true to yourself,” said Guru Johal, Vice Chairman & Global Lead Partner at Deloitte.   Our members were also encouraged continue to build their skills throughout their career and stay relevant.  Guru is a Vice Chairman and a Partner at Deloitte and recalls his early career where he qualified as an actuary and led Deloitte’s actuarial business.

“Your job recognises and rewards you, but it doesn’t always define you. Always be true to yourself.”

Photo of Guru Johal sitting at a table with IBC members
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He still draws on his actuarial experience, and his clients value his business and commercial skills built on a strong technical knowledge. “At the early stage of your career, your technical skills form the majority of your overall skills. As you progress in your career, you need to keep your technical skills relevant but also build your broader business and leadership skills. It is important to be proud of all your skills.” Guru illustrated this for the group with a helpful pie chart.

If we want to live authentically, it’s important to find time in our lives for hobbies, interests, and people outside the workplace. Rohit Sharma, Partner at Deloitte, explained why our members need to maintain a healthy work/life balance: “Imagine you’re a house of multiple rooms. You need to fill all of them – with family life, spiritual life, work life, and hobbies. You need to have a balance.”

“Certain things that make us human are just better in person”

This brought the conversation onto hybrid working, which Rohit described as a “blessing” and a “good middle ground”. However, Rohit still advocates for face-to-face work because he draws energy from other people. Camaraderie, relationship building, and brainstorming are all important aspects of a successful workplace.

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“Certain things that make us human are just better in person,” he added.

Top takeaways:

                  • Don’t let your job define you – be true to yourself
                  •  Remain proud of your early technical skills as you grow your career
                  •  Continue to refresh your skills
                  •  Strike a healthy work/life balance
                  •  Live authentically

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