I’ll never forget my first internship.

Growing up in Montreal, the pinnacle of English radio was CJAD and the chance to work in its sports department was a dream come true for me. What made the experience more special was the chance to work with my first ever professional mentor, Rob.

Rob was the first person to tell you he was a regular guy from Chicago. His wife was a Montrealer and he was the proud father of two boys. For Rob, family always came first.

Rob brought his sense of humour to the office. He was cracking jokes both on and off the air and sometimes pushed the lines of what I thought was acceptable at CJAD. I’ll never forget his reverse interview with NHL player Bill Lindsay. It was two ‘regular guys’ having a chat.

Rob’s ‘regular guy’ persona was infectious because it wasn’t a persona. Rob brought his true self to work. Every day. No questions asked.

Mike Robbins, author of Bring your Whole Self to Work, defines bringing your whole self to work as “having the courage to take risks, speak up, ask for help, connect with others in a genuine way, and allow ourselves to be truly seen.” That was Rob — a real connector.

Robbins also calls out the need to remember “that we’re all vulnerable, imperfect human beings doing the best we can.” Rob personified this with his coaching style. He never forgot what it was like to be a radio rookie and made sure to craft a learning path for me that was geared towards success.

I’m fortunate to have had people like Rob in my life. There have been many other professional mentors who have taught me valuable lessons, but Rob was the first person who really showed me what it means to bring your whole self to work.

Take a moment to think about your professional mentors, your managers and your peers. Who embodied what it means to bring your whole self to work? What caused you to think this? 

And do you bring your whole self to work? If not, what’s stopping you?

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