Keep it quirky — July 31, 2016

Dear Friends,

I’ve been putting off writing today because this last week has felt raw. Starting off the week with the news about Shane was jarring to all either because you knew him or because you have faced similar loss. It’s hard to know how to move on after that. I tend to just put my head down and push through. My mom thinks I bottle it up and don’t cry or let it out. I don’t really think I’m that stoic. The sadness seeps out in unpredictable and unsightly ways like getting choked up and having shaky voice during a meeting or being triggered by a nice gesture. And children singing is unbearable. That makes me cry like a baby.

We all grieve and process in different ways. I get hyper-focused and have clarity of purpose for my reason on this planet. One thing I know for sure is that as a member of society, I am tired and angry about losing people too soon — to mental illness, to disease, to violence, to poverty, to ACEs. From the turn out at our percolations and the anti-violence work group, I’m sensing that you feel similar and want to do something about it. I do, too.

I’ve been plodding through a workbook with a friend to keep refining who I am as a leader. One exercise asks “What is important to you regarding leadership?” The prompts were I demand…..I encourage….. The first time I went through this exercise, I struggled because I feel like demanding is not a quality I want in a leader. My responses sounded stupid and wishy-washy. I was “encouraged” to do it over. I did and here’s what I came up with this time:

  • I demand that we are committed to our mission and leave the world better than we found it.
  • I demand that we have a healthy work culture, where everyone can be their best self and contribute to our mission.
  • I demand that we keep learning and never fall into complacency and acceptance.
  • I demand that we use our collective talent and passion to start ripples of change.
  • I demand that you hold me accountable.
  • I encourage people to take risks and fail.
  • I encourage you to have fun at work and create a job you love.
  • I encourage you to let others know when you are having a rough time.
  • I encourage you to own your power in the workplace and take responsibility for your learning and contributions.
  • I encourage you to give and receive feedback.

I am humbled to be around such a passionate group of folks who can crank so much work, care so much for each other, and keep learning and innovating. And be so quirky and fun.

Have a great week and #keepitquirky.