This ain’t a song for the broken-hearted / No silent prayer for the faith-departed/ I ain’t gonna be just a face in the crowd / You’re gonna hear my voice / When I shout it out loud.
It’s my life.
At that time, I was at the beginning of my corporate career, having just graduated from the University of Regina School of Journalism program with a degree and a major in English, and a degree in Journalism and Communications. As I sat there on the stage at convocation, I began to think about goals. What would I strive for when all I could think about up to that time was my degree? What grand vision would take me off my chair and into my life?
I started working for the local newspaper on the weekends covering community events, fires and things that go bump in the night. From Monday to Friday, I worked as a communications officer at a federal crown corporation, working for the one woman who I regarded highly as a good human being. I worked there for six years, and learned about how to write and publish award winning annual reports and corporate plans, how to develop and market a vision, craft strategies and communicate them in such a way that people would engage. I became aware of the power of one - the idea that if a company could inspire loyalty, anything would be possible.
Blue skies, nothing but blue skies.
"Each person is the CEO of his or her own life.
CEO means Creative, Optimistic, Energetic.
Don’t hold me back: Never say no to an idea. Ask how it can grow.
The power to lead comes from vision. Yours. Mine. Ours. Vision is two ways.
Vision is not necessarily for the sighted, or the promoted.
Vision keeps you going when everything else tells your to stop.
Inspirare. Breathe in and live. Oxygen deprivation does strange things to the human body.
Heart rates go haywire, brain function decreases, blood thickens, and intestines shut down."
I found my way ahead that day, and they didn’t fire me, but I never thought they would. I was not afraid. I was excited about the possibility of discovering this place that I could see so clearly.
The Power of One.
Leaving that job was like leaving home. In fact, I cried when I resigned. But I knew if I wanted to continue growing and learning, I had to take a chance, joining the credit union system as the manager of corporate planning. When I interviewed for that position, I asked them if there were any changes on the horizon that would be particularly important to know about. They both said, "no, business as usual.”
The Belly of the Great Whale.
I was part of the joint venture, responsible for leading the business planning function of multiple entities. It was exhausting and overwhelming most days, as we struggled to make the changes we needed to reduce costs so that we could basically keep our jobs. I worked long hours, and became exhausted. In 2006, I knew that the current state was not sustainable, and so I made changes. I created my own strategy to change what ever was necessary to find balance. In that year, I gave myself permission to say no and time to reflect on my part in helping to create this crazy existence. I changed whatever didn’t feel good, from the food that I was eating to the people that I was spending time with, to my tendency to say yes all the time.
Deciding that enough was enough, and that it was time for a change, I took a job as a director of business planning and risk management for a provincial crown corporation where I worked for three years, where I learned the true measure of leadership, the importance of good intentions and purposeful visions, and the importance of living in one’s own values in all the parts of life.
It’s my life.
I learned that the language of the corporate world was nothing like the language of my new world, that in this new world, visions and intentions are not words in a plan, but lived. I learned in this world that good companies are those that are led by leaders who are able to inspire with integrity and honesty, that doing good things is the true measure of worthiness.
In working with entrepreneurs, I discovered a gap in their ability to share their stories in such a way that others would be inspired to seek them out. And so I went back to my roots - to my love of journalism and writing - to create a magazine that would bring the stories of these great entrepreneurs to light, so that others could read them and know them as well as by inspired by them.
SKY: a book of dreams.
SKY is my story and the stories of people like me who chose to walk their own path as leaders. Watch for the next issue of SKY Magazine to read about the great entrepreneurs who inspire me every day of my life.