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Fun is Not Frivolous; It is Fundamental. Renew Yourself and Your Relationships.

Jul 27, 2016

This week I had the honor of attending the Network of Executive Women's annual Executive Leaders Forum, learning from powerful women running multi-billion dollar businesses and gaining insights from trailblazers like Ava DuVernay, filmmaker and Academy Award nominee (Selma).

There were so many great leadership insights and lessons I gained from the experience, but I wanted to share a couple important ones that are applicable to every leader, every person, everywhere.

We all acknowledged the amazing inflection point we are at in our history. So much change, transformation, heightened emotions, volatility.

We are on the cusp of tectonic shifts and we all feel it.

And we are all searching for some stability, some familiar ground beneath our feet so we can catch our breath and make sense of all this change and movement and dismantling and creation.

In the end, the only familiar ground we have to stand on is the foundation of our beliefs and our connections and commitments to one another. 

Cathy Engelbert, CEO of Deloitte and the first female CEO of the "Big 4" professional advisory services firms, reflected that, "Great leadership means being your best in your darkest moments." 

In order to do that, you need to "put on your own oxygen mask first," so you don't burn out before you are able to analyze volumes of data, solve big problems and take advantage of big opportunities. 

This means renewing yourself regularly, so that you always have the oxygen you need to take on the challenges you will face. As I type this overlooking the Pacific Ocean on a beautiful summer day, breathing in the sea air, I'm literally and figuratively adding oxygen to my tank.

What are you doing to renew yourself and get the oxygen you need to thrive?

Cathy Engelbert also shared the jaw-dropping statistic that 90% of the data that exists today did not exist two years ago. Yet, relationships are still at the heart of everything. 

We can't underestimate the power of genuine, human connection and collaboration. It's what sparks ideas, builds business, and create movements--like the Civil Rights Marches--that change the world.

This evening, over dinner with industry colleagues I've known for over ten years, I will have an opportunity to recharge relationships with those who've encouraged me, guided me, picked me up when I was down, and inspired me to a higher level of contribution and leadership.

What are you doing to renew those relationships that fuel you and give you the energy and the courage to go for it? 

To me, it boils down to this. Fun is not frivolous, it is fundamental.

When we care for ourselves and our relationships, we have everything we need to shape our future. 


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