We are nearly at the halfway point of 2017!
On June 21st, we experienced the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. It is a significant turning point and an opportune time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished since the year began. It is also a perfect moment in which to be conscious of what is occurring around us (positive and/or needing improvement), and what it is that we can thoughtfully initiate and engage with in order to enhance our lives at home and in the workplace.
So far this year, I have been very fortunate to witness many positives, as I intentionally chose to see the good in others, to notice how many people do persevere, how many individuals care to honor values and how many understand that we are part of history and that we all make history for future generations.
- I had the privilege of attending the finals of the 2017 FIS Ski World Cup, being an avid skier and follower of the circuit, held for the first time in 20 years in the United States, in Aspen. The athletes gave their best, even if some of their titles appeared to be secure. They are unquestionably accountable for their success.
- I had the privilege of meeting locals in New Orleans who greeted me with a smile, keen to share their very touching and humble survival stories from Katrina. They expressed their gratitude for their lives as they courageously continue to rebuild and create anew day by day.
- I had the privilege of watching the beginning of the Stanley Cup playoffs with my 81-year-old mother who knows every single player’s name and position, further inspiring me to be young at heart and to know that life carries a vibrancy at any age.
- I had the privilege of meeting and speaking to women who serve on public boards and are keen to increase their influential voice for corporate social responsibility, inclusivity and healthy governance, proactively addressing everything that affects their stakeholders.
- I had the joy of following a dear couple of friends and my husband into a double-black run with an incredible feel of open spaces, which in prior years was intimidating – I was ready to let go of any fears that held me back to enjoy it freely. It was liberating and fun.
- I had the joy of congratulating one of my mentees of 15-plus years, whom I had encouraged over the years to trust herself and to be true to who she is. She emotionally, intellectually and financially supported herself becoming a pilot and returned to school to earn another degree to follow her passion for aviation. At the age of 40 she graduated as an aerospace engineer and landed a full-time job at NASA this Spring. It warmed my heart, and I applauded her perseverance and integrity!
Each of these situations crystallized for me a clearer vision of possibilities abounding. I’ve met many wonderful human beings thus far this year, and it fills me with great optimism. I have witnessed acts and character that conveyed and reinforced for me that there are people helping each other evolve, there are people who are eager to continue to evolve, and I believe I am one of those people—and I want to invite everyone to be one of those people.
Are we willing to evolve together? What does that mean?
Evolving means that the work begins with each of us.
When we regularly check in with ourselves objectively, we consciously take the opportunity to self-inquire about progress (or lack thereof) in our personal lives, within our teams and within the boardroom. Should we desire to rise to new heights of fulfillment, effectiveness and evolution, this is the work we must do within ourselves. Progress is about being on par with who we are, not attempting to be who we are not.
When we communicate effectively at home, when we listen to each other, when we humbly apologize, we can intently listen to each other in the boardroom, and we are candid and respectful leaders while being decisive and effective. Then we are doing the work of evolution with others.
When we wake up in the space of scarcity, when we live in fears, we can’t have the capacity or the opportunity to experience abundance, being resourceful, being open-minded and manifesting new and unfamiliar possibilities. This is what comes of avoiding the work and the power of evolving.
The collective is made up of “the I’s”: each of us. Each of us has an ownership of the collective. The collective will evolve as we care to evolve individually.
We must become ambassadors of evolution.
We must address unhealthy behaviors at home, dubious business practices inside and outside the boardroom and inside and outside our organizations. We must wisely influence, not manipulate, outcomes. We must be aware of the climate and tone we are responsible for setting at home and how we positively fuel or dilute the climate and tone we establish within our teams, boards and organizations.
- We must find the courage to address toxicity when we see it, not turn away.
- We must embrace and empower each other beyond genders.
- We need to own our responsibilities without over-extending ourselves.
- We need to practice changing and adapting.
- We need to espouse self-awareness.
- We must expand our lens by being introspective.
- We must learn to be uncomfortable to grow and be prepared to welcome uncertainty.
Most of you know that I deeply care to stay away from blaming, shaming and punishing, and that I am a relentless truth finder who applauds what works, identifies what needs improvement and surfaces hidden opportunities so that those I work and interact with and I emerge with our full potential realized – individually and collectively.
It is healthy to take the time to understand how and why communication and actions are preventing or propelling our evolution!
For those of us in the United States, we will see a total solar eclipse in real time on August 21st 2017. Its mystery and appeal are timeless as many of us will be near its path experiencing the day totally shifting to night and temperatures dropping as much as 25 degrees. Eclipses signify the closing of one door and the opening of another. They mark an evolving sense of self. Let us be prepared to bring about exciting positive changes and re-focus what we must, individually and collectively.
I wish you a wonderful summer!