Robin Roberts has been in the anchor chair at “Good Morning America” for over 15 years. And while she’s covered some of the biggest news events of our time, she’s also gone through her own off-camera battles. This week, Robin told us why she decided to share her most personal struggles with millions of people – and how to make your own vulnerability your superpower at work.
On Showing Her Authenticity On-Screen
Robin: I just ugly cried. I was bawling…. And I thought I was going to be fired on the spot. You don't cry on national TV like that. And just the opposite happened. People appreciated my authenticity. I was in the moment and I was sharing what I was feeling. And I was so grateful that the audience responded with donations to [Hurricane Katrina victims].... But that was a real turning point for me. That's what I realized, I looked up to the heavens and said, "This is why I made this transition outside of my comfort zone to be able to have an opportunity to do even greater good."
On Vulnerability as a Strength
Robin: I don't know if I would have shared as much about my health journey had it not been for that moment in 2005 with Katrina and realizing that people, they crave authenticity. And I think because of that, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer two years later in 2007, it was my dear mama who said, “Make your mess your message.” You've got great healthcare. You've got a good job. You're not going to lose your job. You have loved ones who are going to support you. There are people who don't have those resources, be their voice, share with people what it's like to live with cancer, to get up and go to work. If you're able to show what it's like to lose your hair and go through chemotherapy and all of those things.
I really feel because of what had happened in 2005, it just taught me I don't have to put on a persona…. if you just be who you are, people respond to that.
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