Returning to my desk following the Winter Leadership Summit was hard. Being out of the office and away from work for so many days… well, you know the build-up that happens. I found myself with a pile of work to catch up on, a backlog of emails and two sick children at home. Forget getting back to the grind, I was in the middle of a grinder!
Gloria Schuck, our MIT instructor for the CREW Network Leadership Certificate program (at our first session held in Tucson at the summit), reminded us at the end of the session to take some time to reflect on our experience and give thought to how we will use what we have learned. She encouraged us to practice the techniques she taught. That’s how leaders evolve.
I was on my own whirlwind journey when I returned from Tucson and thought “how can I possibly reflect?” Then I received this email from CREW Calgary member Rhonda Holland (pictured below). She was six months a member of the chapter, had attended only one event and decided to take a leap of faith and put herself out there by attending the Leadership Certificate program and Winter Leadership Summit.
She noted in her email that she decided that she would not just be a pocketbook member—that for her to get true value out of her membership, she needed to take a risk and do something totally outside her comfort zone. She noted that she had never considered herself remarkable and that there were women half her age who had already achieved twice she had. As she thought about the leadership program, it appealed to her as an opportunity to experience something totally different and explore her leadership.
She admitted that her confidence faltered a bit when she arrived, but she regained her footing when at the welcome reception she met many others and was invited to dinner with CREW NJ members. The next day during the session, she stepped out of her comfort zone further by contributing to the dialogue and debating the topics. Others came up to her after the morning session and thanked her for bringing out other perspectives. Her confidence soared. She felt right in that moment.
As I read her email, I realized, yes, this is what CREW Network is all about. As I mentioned in my personal remarks at the Summit, before my leadership opportunities in CREW, I was trying to “fear less” and as I said hello to my confidence, I became fearless. I thought Rhonda was spot on when she closed her email by saying:
“Thank you, CREW, for helping me find my remarkable. I have brought home a feeling of worth and belonging that isn’t sold in any book stores.”
Rhonda helped me pause and reflect. So, I ask you, CREW Network members: What are you doing to step out of your comfort zone? When will you say hello to your confidence? How will you find your remarkable?
One thing I know is that you will definitely find it when you take a risk and participate fully in CREW Network. We are all about finding your remarkable. Thank you, Rhonda, for reminding all of us of that.
Tara Piurko is partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP.
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