When I left Deloitte, I was mentally and physically exhausted and knew I needed some space to figure out what was next. I am so grateful for each of my 14 years at that company, which helped me develop invaluable skills for the work I do today.
As my wave of fatigue lifted in mid 2008, I began to reconnect with my passion and ultimately launched my leadership development company, right before the economy tanked. Yes, perfect timing! What I learned from building a business in a downturn is to never underestimate the power of passion. Not only does it fuel creativity, initiative and tenacity; it helps people overcome fear and roadblocks. When I started my company, I knew I wanted to use my experience and skills to have a bigger impact – to create a ripple effect. I just didn’t know exactly how. Today, I’m doing it, and my company continues to grow and have a broader reach.
But I’m certainly not the only one. Every day, I see people who want to make a difference in the lives of others, regardless of whether they are recognized for doing so.
For example, I recently attended a screening of an independent film called "I Dream Too Much." This was especially meaningful to me because I facilitated a strategy session with the team that made this movie a reality, The Pantheon of Women. The team reached out to me very early in their process, as they were strategizing about how to best use their passion for portraying women and girls differently in the media.
Pantheon of Women includes the CEO of a chemical company, a successful attorney and other successful businesswomen with limited experience in filmmaking. Despite this, their passion ignited their resourcefulness and they assembled a strong creative team to help them make it happen. Now they have a successful film to show for it, and are well on their way to making their second one. I was so excited to see "I Dream Too Much" with my dear friend Donna Cole, one of the key leaders who brought it to fruition.
As you go back to your day, think about one small step you can take to create a ripple effect. Perhaps it’s simply lifting someone else up, providing some words of encouragement or advice or moving forward on an idea you have been sitting on. And remember, small steps lead to big results.