Our Community Shapes Us

When I think of community, I think of people with a shared mindset or common interest working together towards better outcomes. Community is so important. A community is a support system and an accountability system for growth. When I was 26 years old, I began connecting with people and really joining a community. Peers and coaches helped me see a vision for where I was going and that’s when I began to take steps into business development and sales and truly finding that sweet spot for my career. Please note that I have an undergraduate degree and graduate degree in mental health and thought I wanted to be a counselor. My community helped me with self-discovery tools and feedback that shaped my path.

Three of the most impactful things I learned from my first coach, Tommy Richardson (who is still my coach and like family to me):

First is to strive for excellence, not perfection. Excellence is one of our core values at PeopleForward Network and really illustrates what it means to strive for excellence every day versus perfectionism. Simply keep making things better and moving things forward, don’t get caught up in overthinking or contemplating. Life is too short and we must act with speed and excellence at the same time.

I learned how to embrace failure. Always striving for betterment and in that, take risks to try new things. When things don’t work or poor decisions are made, come forward and say, “I messed up,” and take ownership. From there, commit to learning from the experience and getting better. Failure is one of the greatest ways to move forward in life. If we don’t try things and we don’t learn from failures, advancement will stall. As a people-first leader, I think this is one of the greatest builders of psychological safety on a team. 

Tommy taught me that feedback is the breakfast of champions. I learned early on the difference between taking things personally and seeing the gift of feedback. I am grateful for people who share, vulnerably, to help me advance and I strive to do this for others. THIS is an example of the greater good. 

A dear friend taught me the power of focusing on the greater good. Simply surrender the ego to make the most impact on humanity. When you can get to this place with your team knowing that all decisions are in an effort towards the greater good, then you can have those relationships rooted in growth and not threatened or defensive. Trust has to be strong for this to play out and the experience can be so freeing.

My perspective comes from the influence of a few great leaders in my life and my community. I joined Tim Spiker on the Be Worth* Following Podcast to share my story of community and growth.  Listen to the full episode here.

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