“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead
The first time I read the quote above I instantly felt inspired. I realized I was not the only one who believed in the power of individuals to make a difference. And, it didn’t hurt
that the quote came from another woman named Margaret!
Forget the ‘in’ crowd, I wanted to be part of that thoughtful and committed group — I wanted to help change the world....
I assumed my ‘how’ would be through charity work. Eventually, I told myself, I would get around to volunteering with the right group. Perhaps when I retired, my second career would be about teaching and working for charity?
With no firm plan in place, I continued on my way.
I worked hard as a computer programmer, then as a project manager and ultimately in an executive role. Along the way I collected terrific raises, bonuses and credentials. I earned my Masters in Business Administration and also the Project Management Professional (PMP) designation through the Project Management Institute (PMI).
“Work IS my hobby”, I joked to my family and friends. Not only was I spending more and more time at work, I took on as much responsibility as was presented to me.
My time in the office involved problem solving and I loved that the problems my co-workers brought to me became less and less about the technical aspects of the job and more and more about the human side of the job. This is when I discovered my true passion.
And as I continued to resolve the personal problems people were having, I couldn’t help but observe how damaging people could be to one another. I did not understand why it was necessary to manage others by degrading them or treating them badly. Didn’t people understand that what they did or said to one another at work left a lasting — and sometimes painful — impression?
My Turning Point Moment...
Little did I know I would be the target of the very same injustice I observed happening to others.
When I walked into my office one day to find that I was being let go, I can't tell you that I was surprised. In hindsight, I saw the signs (we always do) but ignored them thinking if I put in just a little more time and worked a little harder things would work out. Well, they didn’t.
Honestly, it felt like a breakup.
And as painful as it was, I was determined the “breakup” was not going to negatively impact my life. I chose to view this situation as another turning point in my life although I couldn’t see it clearly...at least not yet.
At the announcement of my departure, my phone rang off the hook! I had my turning point moment — my moment of true clarity — when I realized the people phoning me had either officially or unofficially been coached by me. It was then I knew I wanted to help others navigate conflict.
While I couldn’t always stop people from using their power and authority to abuse others, I could help people learn how to come to peace with the difficult people and situations they face in the workplace.
Energized by my new direction, I called a woman I coached with who pointed me to a professional organization for coaches. I started taking coaching classes and I was on my way to my future...
At first I was confused about my coaching identify. I was not technically a life coach and I was not a career coach. I did not want to write resumes nor do job placement. I was conflicted, not wanting to separate myself from my corporate image and not wanting to be overly touch-feely or risk damaging that corporate image.
Here I was, facing conflict again!
The more conflicted I was, the more unclear my message. I began working with clients who came to me for career coaching, and worked with others that needed my help overcoming ‘work wounds.’
And then finally, when I released my own conflict I discovered...
I am not a career coach and I no longer worry about what being touchy-feely will do to my corporate image. My higher purpose is to show people a path to peace.
We Can Change the World...
My vision is to be instrumental in the development of individuals who are at peace with their authentic selves; people who show others that it is OK to be human at work; who brings — and values — humanity to the office and thrives because of it. I want to create a world where peace and business co-exist.
How will I bring my vision to fruition?
By bringing individuals and groups to a place of peace — reconciling conflict in an honorable way — they in turn bring peace to others. This is how a thoughtful committed group of citizens who are ready to change the world...will. And it is my intention to be a part of this group. Will you?
Please check out my Services to learn more about my transformational programs that help you discover a path to peace.
To your peace,