Capital One: ‘Freedom To Be You’

Originally published at Capital One Financial ranked No. 28 on The Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.


Cindy Viener joined Capital One in 2009 and leads Product Management for several of its Card platforms, including Marketing, Rewards, Payments and Customer Resiliency. Viener has also served on our Enterprise Digital team, where she led various Digital Marketing and Servicing platform and operation teams. She resides in Richmond with her husband and two teenage sons.

I’ve always tried to be the “perfect” leader throughout my career. I’ve always wanted to fit in, maintain my reputation for doing things well and hide my shortcomings. While these are great assets to have in a professional sense, they do have drawbacks. Over time, I’ve learned that my quest for perfection and a “do-no-wrong” reputation shielded me from confrontation and led to me hiding how I felt. I’ve realized that I’ve been thinking about this all wrong. I’m now on a path to a more bold, confident leadership approach that starts with being more authentically imperfect and accepting of myself and others.

That means striving for daring leadership, trying to lead by example, putting myself out there, sharing different points of view and creating an environment where everyone feels safe and encouraged to contribute. I’ve committed to lead by example and to let people see the real me, rather than hiding behind a mask of perfection. Each day, I remind myself that it’s OK to ask for help when I need it, to say “I don’t know the answer,” to admit mistakes, to be wrong. I’ve learned that I need to focus on the greater purpose to do this.

Though it may be hard, I encourage everyone to allow themselves to be truly seen and to celebrate their true self. Doing so allows us to embrace unique perspectives and build a workplace and culture where we can have the courage to shed the attraction of perfection.


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