Be True to Yourself

John Banovetz says that is how to bring out the best in you, and others
Stay true to yourself
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When I went to graduate school, my dad gave me some advice that I have reflected on throughout my career – be true to yourself. 

Being true to yourself means staying grounded in your personal values, respecting the path you’ve taken, finding a passion, and working on things that matter to you.

Just as organizations have a purpose, define your own personal purpose. Know your why and what is important to you. As a scientist and executive at an innovation driven company, I’m excited to work with incredible people who use science to solve problems and improve lives. 

When we are true to who we are, we make decisions based on that. We are free to explore new things, to show up without pretenses, embrace challenges and build community. 

As a leader, my most important responsibility is to create the right environment where people feel comfortable to be true to themselves and pursue their passions. Within 3M, we have a 15% Culture, which is a philosophy that enables 3Mers to use company time to innovate freely and explore projects that enable personal and business growth. 

We all deserve the opportunity and freedom to put our passions in action. When we are true to ourselves, our best comes through, and we bring out the best in others. In turn, we can make meaningful change in the world. 


John Banovetz, Senior Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Technology Officer, 3M
John Banovetz, Senior Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Technology Officer, 3M

As Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Research and Development, Dr. John Banovetz leads more than 8,000 scientists who connect 3M’s 46 technology platforms to solve the real-world needs of customers around the world. In this role, he leverages his many years of experience as both a technology and business leader.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of their employer or the American Chemical Society.

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