I make my living center stage, but if I’m being totally honest, I’d much rather be stage left.
In March, the business I spent the past four years building vanished into a germ cloud of coronavirus. This doesn’t make me special. It happened to a lot of us, in lots of businesses, all over the country.
And like a lot of us, I freaked the fuck out.
Up until that moment, I was spending a lot of time center stage, in the spotlight, as a keynote speaker at large events, promoting the hell out of my bestselling little sensation of a book, Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life. (Sensation? Sure, why not!) My role on stage was simple: inspire people to get unstuck and make the changes they need to make to become the best versions of themselves and live the life they’ve always wanted.
Well, enter COVID and exit travel and events and everything that came with them. And, so I panicked. And, in that panic, I doubled down on how to create center stage from home.
I created an online course and a series of masterclasses (LINK to a page that says coming soon, sign up to be the first to know).
I did lots of media. (GMA LINK).
I even created my own DIY daily show.
It was all an effort to put myself back center stage.
But I missed a really important learning: I don’t actually like being center stage.
I know, that’s a really weird admission for someone who just told you that she’s spent her last four years building a business to put herself just there. But, it’s true. I’ve never liked it.
I spent the earliest part of my career helping get Bill Clinton elected President of the United States. I spent the next part of my career building AmeriCorps which would allow young people to make their communities better places while also changing their own lives. And then I went into executive search and my job was to find incredible people and put them in positions where they could help make the world a better place.
Every one of those jobs was a stage left job, even the last one where for 15 years I was the founder and CEO of a global executive search firm. As CEO, I was center stage, but it was my job to identify, highlight, and amplify others. It was also my job to be the chief champion of my employees. If it was center stage, it was certainly in the outermost ring of center stage.
I liked it there. I thrived there. I was home there.
But when COVID hit, I forgot that I was really a stage left leader hiding in the center of the spotlight.
The problems that I want to solve in the world are vast. They include inequities, imbalances, inconsistencies. The solution lever that I can pull — the work I can do that the problem actually needs (LINK TO TEDx) — is that of talent. It’s been talent in politics, it’s been talent in service, it’s been talent in recruiting. And, now it’s you.
The way that I serve the problems at hand is to be stage left, helping others to be the very best versions of themselves. Because, when all is said and done, there is only one thing the world needs from us, and that’s our best. So, I’m going to go back to my little corner of just left of center stage and double down on what brings out the very best version of me: bringing out the very best version of you.
See you on the stage.