“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” --Zora Heale Hurston
I have always enjoyed this quote. Looking back, 2015 asked me many questions, some of which I was not ready to answer. I will continue to ponder these answers on my journey in 2016 and will work to be open to more questions, challenges and some added discoveries. A few years ago, at a gathering of gal-pals, a friend asked us each to announce a single word to frame the New Year. This fall an unexpected gift was presented to me in a large platter embossed with the simple word, inspire. This will be my word and my work for 2016.
This year, I hope to continue to inspire candidates as they discern if new opportunities are their next steps. I hope to continue to inspire students as I help them in their career discovery. I hope to continue to inspire employer partners engaging us in Executive Search to dream big as they plan for their investment in their expanded team. I also hope to continue to inspire aspiring cooks and those who want to lead a healthier life-style.
I am an advocate of goal setting as we start our next chapter and a new year. I have always set personal and professional goals allowing myself to dream and also reflecting on my progress. I know first-hand that this is a powerful exercise. At the conclusion of most of my leadership workshops over the year, I will ask my participants to write themselves a letter about something that they have uncovered about themselves or something that they want to capture from the sessions and do not want to forget. Core to my presentations are challenges reviewing their career pathing, successes, missteps and developing action plans. When I see former students/participants they remember me as the letter lady and many times even confide where their letter is posted or saved. I know at least one has been laminated; another is taped to a mirror; one makes its way to the front page of each new calendar and I know one that is folded and kept in a wallet. I am preparing to return letters to almost two hundred folks. I am committed to keep the USPS in business with this project!
When these letters arrive later this week, recipients will recognize their hand-writing as they sealed these promise in an envelope in preparation for my mailing. Spouses will question what is within that envelope addressed by a familiar hand. Dreams and aspirations are sealed in those envelopes soon to be opened, challenged and freed to become reality. I hope the authors smile and take some time to reflect on the commitments they made to themselves when this old-school reminder appears. Over many years, I have forwarded thousands of letters. The phone calls and e-mails I will get when these letters are returned to their author reinforce this practice as one of my hallmarks.
If anyone is inspired to write a letter of commitment to themselves, I stand ready to mail this letter back to you when you least expect it and need it most!
This is my year to inspire! What will be your theme for 2016?