Leadership Insights by Jay-Ann Gilfoy
I would categorize 2019 as a year with plenty of turbulence; and yet, I ended the year feeling stronger and more capable to face whatever awaits in 2020!
As I reflect over the past year, I recollect on both the leader I am and the leader I want to be in a new decade: I am a busy person, like many. I am an independent and privileged woman. I have a big career. I am a mother and a partner. I am a sister, daughter, friend, and colleague to many people. I awake to start most days with a work out. I commute to and from work, and I am leading an organization in early stage growth mode.
Parts of this story have been fluid, and parts have been challenging. I choose to focus on the fluid and give thanks for the growth by way of the challenges.
I have set some new goals to try and be a better me, and that will make me try new things:
⇢ I am going to try to eat more plant-based food and look at incorporating new ways of keeping physically fit.
⇢ I am going to continue to listen to inspiring people’s stories on podcasts and putting ideas into action.
⇢ I am going to make sure I have time for really great friends as they feed my soul.
⇢ I am fortunate and grateful for the love I have in my life ~ my family, my friends and colleagues. I will continue to prioritize people-first.
⇢ I am grateful for my health and stamina. I will not take them for granted.
All of this makes me feel fulfilled both intellectually and emotionally. I am deeply thankful for wonderful relationships, great teachers, and interesting work.
On the business side of things, this year also had its share of turbulence...
Perhaps it was because I was on a plane 4-6 times per month crossing Canada between Vancouver and Toronto; bringing an organization to life that is a business but also has a grand purpose; or because I had to face lots of new things as a leader, understanding new markets, building a new team, acquiring a new business, figuring out how to inspire people when things take longer than expected... All of it felt turbulent.
Experiencing the turbulence of change is something I am also deeply grateful for. Turbulence means I am alive and kicking as a human being on a journey to be better at a whole bunch of things, facing new horizons that make me feel like running the other way yet compelling me to work through them and be a better and better version of me!
For me, success is working through challenges and obstacles and seeing the possibility of something flourishing as a result. Sometimes that reality comes to be, and sometimes we have to course correct. But I believe one of the greatest human capabilities we all have is our capability to adapt, and we only adapt in times of challenge.
If we don’t face things that make us squirmy and uncomfortable, it is very difficult to take our whole beings to a new level.
Athletes know this and put it into practice every day as they take their skill to a new level. Artists and writers know this when they get stuck in their creative process; and entrepreneurs when they have an idea that either takes off or flops. The trick is to figure out what to do when you are faced with a difficult decision or situation knowing the satisfaction comes from overcoming it.
Here’s to 2020, a New Year, a new decade, and new challenges!