LeaderShape strikes again.
Five years ago I was the On-Site Coordinator for a session of LeaderShape Institute. I'm always excited to meet new people, and I love the program, but to be honest, I didn't anticipate meeting one of my best friends.
What started at baggage claim in the airport, blossomed into nonstop GIF texting, and has grown into immense Support and friendship.
Mary has an incredible ability to listen completely, reserve judgment, and truly Support me as a friend and colleague. I think above that there are three impactful things Mary always does for me.
She expects a lot from me. The bar, it's really high. Like... sometimes I don't know if I can reach it, high. She does this because she knows I can and will meet the bar. When I do, she tends to raise it again (and again, and again). I am so grateful that she does.
She asks great questions. She is able to see concepts and projects through a lens I don't possess. Sometimes it's to clarify, and sometimes it's to help me see an angle I wasn't already seeing. When she does this, it enables me to become more inclusive.
She is honest. Not brutally by any means, but nonetheless, completely. If I send her a rendering or a script, she always has feedback. Sometimes there's so much feedback that she'll jokingly ask "why do you ask me, I'm so mean to you!" I love the feedback. Not only does the final product become so much more, but I know that if she didn't help me from the getgo and point out errors, potential and current clients certainly would.
Having someone who expects a lot from you, challenges you, and tells you the truth, to me, is the ideal form of Support.
Seven Incredible Women. Seven Incredible Lessons.