Ladies, this might be the most unpopular thing I have ever written. But, I can honestly say that I have never felt that being a woman has prevented me from getting ahead. In fact, I think many times my gender has been an asset.
Last Saturday marked the largest protest in US history. Women, men and children from all around the world peacefully gathered to send one very big message. We want a world where all lives matter. Where power is used to create positive, respectful change that advances our human potential and protects the environment that makes it possible to live.
Last spring, I received a call from a woman who had just been laid off from her job. Despite the fact that she had a long commute and found it profoundly difficult to leave her young children each day, she loved her work and was the primary financial contributor to her family.
She had 6 months of severance so we talked about opportunities. She wanted to start her own company, but admitted she was extremely risk adverse and felt she needed the security of a large organization (as ironic as that was at that point). After further discussion, she agreed to dedicate the next 3 months to setting up her own business out of a home office.
A month later, I received an email that she had landed a small client. Three weeks later she sent me a note that she contracted with another. Last week, she let me know that she just signed the largest contact to date working on a project for the company that laid her off. She was now making substantially more money than she was as an employee while working at home and being accessible to her children. Now that’s security. Trust your opportunities. They tend to lead us where we really want to be.
I love the Olympics. It is the epitome of men and women demonstrating their personal best and the myriad of inspiring moments that galvanize families, fellow athletes and nations. It’s a time when our world comes together, sets aside our differences, and shares in the love of a game and the art of self-mastery.
Each Olympic season brings with it a collection of images. Moments aired several times that show great emotion, ability or controversy. Some of these videos are played too often, and some not enough. Thus, I am bringing forward my favorite moment in this summer’s Olympic games. A scene that demonstrates how much more powerful kindness is than winning, and a great example of women helping woman in the most competitive of fields.
Hope this inspires you to help a colleague this week.
Not long ago, I was sitting in a meeting with the CEO of a fortune 500 company. She is by all measure the epitome of a successful business woman whose time is limited and in high demand. Halfway through our conversation, her cell phone rang. Her voice softened as she picked up the call. She then looked at me as a smile wrapped around her otherwise stoic face. “Your soccer cleats are in the downstairs closet” she said to her child, “next to the vacuum cleaner”. She assured her she would be at the game, and told her she loved her before hanging up the phone.
Work does not ruin our children. What emotionally damages children is abuse, neglect, and unsafe environments–not our careers. Our responsibility as parents is to give our children a home where they can feel secure, seen, and loved. Where their cries are tended to, their talents nurtured, and their value as precious human beings is mirrored.
So for all of you parents out their that pick up the phone, go to the games, and assure your children are in the best possible care, give yourself a pat on the back. Raising kids while working is one of the hardest jobs in the world. And so far the studies are saying, the kids are doing alright.
Enjoy the Mother’s Day Weekend!
By the time I was 17-years-old, I had been in 15 car accidents. Most of which were my fault. Although the majority were fender benders resulting from the fogged brain of a teenager, the accidents were, as most things are, indicative of a larger issue.
Then one day, my high school counselor summoned me to her office. We knew, and liked each other well as we spent much time together at the request of my teachers (they use to call them pink slips). She greeted me with a smile and asked me to go for a walk. We strolled around the building to her classic, freshly polished, navy blue Mercedes SL convertible that was parked outside her office window. I loved that car as much as she did and we talked about it often.
“I want you to do me a favor.” she said. “They asked if they could use my car for the homecoming parade. I told them they could. But, only under one condition” She put her hand on my shoulder and looked me straight in the eyes. “I told them, you are the only person I trust to drive it.”
Something inside of me crashed open that day. When somebody comes into your life and believes you are capable of more than you are, it inspires you to achieve great things. Let’s play this one forward. Find a young person you can empower this week. Who knows, someday they might turn out to be a blogger.