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Authentic connection brings joy to your career

A hand throws coloured balls of light - representing authenticity in social capital, picture courtesy Pixabay
Diana Wilde 4 October 2022
My school motto, Esse Quam Videri, means “to be, rather than to seem. I have lived by it throughout my career in order to build social capital and be an agile leader – but authentically so.
Self-reflection and connection have super-charged the careers of some of the most impressive people I know.
I have lived in the UAE for 18 years. I studied for my A-levels in the UK and attended a grammar school in the south-east of England.

Social capital: A source of power and influence

Our school motto never meant much to me when I was at school but I found myself reflecting on it: in a world filled with social media and fleeting attention spans, I think it has become more relevant not just for individuals but for brands and corporations alike.
In my earlier years I was unaware of the importance of social capital. This is a focus area I now know well through our work at Aurora50 to achieve gender balance in the workplace, through AIM, Table Talks, Pathway20, Manarat and Gateway.
Social capital is an important source of power and influence that helps people to ‘get by’ and ‘get ahead’. Building social capital takes time and effort and everyone is limited by the amount of time they have.
Diana Wilde speaking at the 2022 Hult graduation at Dubai Opera

Build networks with authenticity

Many under-value how important building social capital is.
The people you know may be the key to your next opportunity, or they may be pulling up a chair for you to join a board in the years ahead.
Do not under-estimate the value of your networks. Maintain them, invest in them and build them with authenticity.
You do not have to spend time with people you do not like, but you can challenge yourself to think differently by spending time with someone who doesn’t think the same way you do. You do not have to become the best of friends but you can stay in touch and challenge each other to grow.
[Related: Social capital for board directors – how networking takes you the last mile, a guest feature by Heather McGregor, provost and vice principal of Heriot-Watt University, Dubai]