Day 1 – I wake up this morning with a brain wave. The process of undertaking a quest is full of promise and peril. Why not write about it while it’s happening?
I feel a bit sick in the stomach. I am mostly a pretty private person. There is no neatly wrapped ending to this quest. It feels a bit messy, like inviting strangers into your closet when the clothes are strewn about and the big pile of laundry in the corner tells them you’re too lazy to do laundry until you run out of underwear.
And yet it’s also exciting. I’m pushing myself outside my comfort zone. I’m stepping into connecting with how life is messy and accepting the messy part of me. Truth be told, when I was 25, I created an excel spreadsheet that laid out a project plan for my life. It had the years across the top: how old I would be, how old my husband would be. It had the major milestones when we would have kids, what promotions I was going to go for at work, what our financial plan would be. It was my way of feeling like I had some control because ambiguity is super scary for me.
My project plan didn’t have the heart break of not being able to have a sibling for our daughter. It didn’t have a timeline for when I would lose a promotion I had planned, but get a different more meaningful assignment in Mexico. It definitely didn’t have when we would get divorced. It didn’t have when I was politely asked to take a different assignment (and not given a choice). It didn’t have my decision to go to an ashram in India to learn how to meditate or a timeline to leave my corporate job. Life has a way of intervening with your best laid project plans. But I digress.
The quest started in January 2020. Toward the end of last year, I had been thinking about writing my next book. It would be about leading in disruption. Blah, blah. Then I was confronted in January by several experiences during my time in Davos. Satya Nadella announced that Microsoft would be carbon negative by 2030. The World Economic Forum announced two manifestos: to plant 1 trillion trees and to reskill 1 billion people by 2030. There was something about the sheer boldness of these moves that stirred me. The act of putting an ambitious stake in the ground without knowing the outcome.
The stirring was actually physical for me. I felt it like a fire in the belly and also a sinking feeling. I felt inspired by these bold moves for a better planet. The sinking feeling was that inner critic part of me: “And, what? Are you going to just stand by the sidelines?” Dare I be one of these people who is willing to be bold? These acts inspire me because I value courage and boldness in the face of challenge. Would I respect myself if I stood on the sidelines? What stories would I want to tell my grand children? Marshall Goldsmith challenged us to ask this question of ourselves.
So the quest begins. I have shared it with a few friends. And this is the first public declaration of it. I am committing to impacting a community of 1 million #DisruptForGood leaders. These are leaders who will seize the day, find a way to be a force for good in the midst of the workplace disruption that is happening. We will learn from each other, support each other, and together co-actualize for a better workplace and world.
I’m also committing to the messy act of writing about this journey and sharing the personal trials and triumphs along the way. I’m doing this publicly to disrupt my own self but hoping that it will inspire others to join the quest for 1 million #DisruptForGood leaders. This journey is hard and I believe if we open up to each other and ask for help it is easier. If this inspires you (or even if it appeals to the part of you that likes the drama of reality shows), follow this quest on my website for now, or on LinkedIn (hit follow). I’m hoping my daughter will teach me Instagram this weekend so I hope to be on there with pictures of the people I’m learning from soon. Along the journey, I’m keeping this quote by Tim O’Reilly by my side: “Pursue something so important that even if you fail, the world is better off with you having tried”. My gratitude to the people at Hubspot’s Culture Code where I found it.
Until the next time my friends.