Do you feel seen?

For more than twenty years, the mission of my work has been the development and support of leaders. A recent conversation I had with a female leader who I met at a community event reminded me why this work is so important.

A mutual friend introduced me to this leader at a local networking event, and I sincerely enjoyed the brief conversation she and I shared, so I reached out and invited her to join me for a cup of coffee—my treat! For about an hour, she shared with me her professional and personal journey, which was filled with impressive accolades and accomplishments. Her decisions impact the lives of hundreds of people every day, she has a seat at some tables that have a significant influence on the health and future of our community, and she mixes all of her professional responsibilities in with a busy family life as well. For almost everyone observing her from the outside, this woman has it all together.
After sharing her story, she looked me straight in the eye, and with a touch of skepticism, she asked me why I had invited her for coffee. I met her eye contact straight on and said the first words that came to my mind, “Because I see you. I really see you.”

She put her face in her hands right in the middle of that busy coffee shop and silently but sincerely wept…for what felt like a long time. I let her. She very obviously needed it. When she finally paused and caught her breath, she looked up at me, wiped her eyes with the back of her hand and said, “So few people do. Thank you.”

I wanted you to know today that I see YOU too. I see you out there doing the brave deeper healing work that will allow you to grow an even stronger, healthier business in the future. I see you refereeing conflicts between employees that feel annoying and childish. I see you juggling the demands of parenting with the demands of work. I see you trying new ideas that flop and trying some that are home runs. I see you carrying the weight of decisions based on limited certainty about what the future will hold.

I see you and I think you are amazing.

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