I had the joy of viewing the recent eclipse in its totality in Rexburg, Idaho. It was magical for my husband, for me and for the people who surrounded us, many of whom had come (some with their entire families) from cities in Europe and Asia to share this unique event. As we all looked up to the sky, staring in awe at the eclipse, I recognized that I was a speck in an illustrious universe and that while I felt very small, I knew that what each of us chooses to do and how we elect to govern our lives does have an impact on the greater whole. I drove away pleasantly pensive and very empowered, knowing that I had to courageously detach and humbly let go of anything that got in the way of living my life as my best self, more each day, in respect and service to this universe and our humanity.
As I write, I feel the suffering, the pain, the disappointments combined with the resilience, the faith and the will of all the people who are and have been directly and indirectly impacted by the recent natural disasters that have occurred around the globe, including:
- Hurricane Harvey In Houston;
- Hurricane Irma in the United States, Cuba, the British and US Virgin Islands and the European Leeward Islands;
- The earthquake in Mexico;
- The relentless fires in the forests of major Western States in America and in British Columbia, Canada.
I am also remembering the events of September 11th, 2001. I am touched to have met with men and women leaders last week who shared with me that they, too, remember 9/11 “with resolve, tears and hope.” As I said to colleagues on a conference call this past week, “let us all inhale courage” for the challenges to be overcome by all.
Together we must continue to live and go on, and we must connect in thoughts and in spirit to all the people who are affected by these events. We must develop the capacity to have compassion in these situations, inclusive of the leaders and people who help and are in service to others to rebuild and renew. Their efforts and contributions will be arduous for many months, and likely for years in the future.
We must consciously realize that in times of loss, whether it is our own distress or that of others, we are beckoned to courageously detach and to humbly let go. We are to examine and put in perspective who and what really matters in our lives. Importantly, we are presented with a disguised opportunity to take a look at how we govern our lives, our families, our boards and our organizations to better the world close to us and beyond, understanding and appreciating the ripples that our actions, our decisions and communications create.
Just as recently as Friday, I woke up in California to the news that there had been an explosion in the London Underground. While this event is remote for many of us, it alerts us to our vulnerabilities and that things can change at any moment. With that in our thought, we must resolve to live our best self in each moment.
Every day in our world, there are losses, deprivations, moments that throw us into distress and into fear, but we shouldn’t wait for these big moments to be inspired to truly claim our lives and to live them present to the good that surrounds us and the good that we can and must contribute.
We must embrace living as fierce leaders in times of renewal.
In our families, we must cherish the opportunity every day to connect, to relate, to support and to unite.
In our organizations, within our boards and our communities, we must prioritize governance over cashflow and growth, and seriously take the time to identify what must be strategically addressed. We must not bypass the essential foundational work necessary to build organizations that we can be proud of, serving all stakeholders.
When growth and profit are the only objectives, what is it that we are truly pursuing? When we step back and take the time to observe what has occurred at a number of organizations at the highest level of their leadership, the consequences of not thoughtfully governing individually and collectively, are unhealthy distractions stunting our potential to powerfully inspire and positively impact.
I invite each of us to courageously detach, humbly letting go of behaviors that are improper and contribute to the pain in our families, our boards and within our organizations. I invite each of us to courageously do what is right for the collective of our families, our boards and organizations– to care to harmonize without having to be confronted with a personal, social, political, environmental, economical or/and organizational crisis.
I offer you my hand, inviting you to reach out to me to do the work that I love to do with you. Together, let us constructively debrief about how we can grow with greater harmony that is inclusive of ourselves, our teams and our boards.
I lend you my hand to heal what needs healing with new, positive beliefs and perspectives to really meet the evolving needs of our society. Bring me as an observer to key staff and board meetings, and allow me as a supportive extension to your team and your board to share objective and constructive views that you might not have considered before.
I foster polling views, perceptions and feelings from employees, customers, investors, partners, boards and all stakeholders to invigorate leadership and collaboration. After all: we don’t know what we don’t know.
I encourage you to reach out to me to further galvanize your board by exchanging about its composition and to support you in leadership transition or progressive changes that appear sticky. A thriving board’s composition cannot reflect the past. Our world is too complex not to be adamant about having the most relevant talent and the needed diverse perspectives around the table to grow intentionally with natural and formidable agility. Board diversity needs not be forced for appearances or quotas’ sakes, but should be desired and striven for because it is absolutely the right thing to lead from a variety of valuable perspectives.
Nature is my friend. Debriefing one-on-one, with teams or with boards doesn’t have to take place in the confines of four walls. All of your voices can be heard in the beautiful silence of the outdoors around a bonfire or wherever you prefer. Let me assist you in hearing and listening to each other’s voices with no judgement while we enjoy a centering setting to restore, renew and focus with refreshed attitudes.
“…I face east
in the midst of this new day
and ask for something from the wind
something bright and clean to carry forward
and leave behind” -Lance Henson
I wish you a beautiful autumn!