I’ve been in the executive world for a long time and built relationships with hundreds of amazing people doing all sorts of interesting and noble things. Occasionally, these relationships turn into job offers for coaching and consulting work and even invitations to join boards and leadership bodies. I’m always flattered when I’m considered for a position on a board, but I rarely take up these offers because I’m not certain I’ll have the time and mental resources to serve the way that I want to. (Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself and those you want to succeed is to say no – no matter how much you may want to help.)
However, I was recently invited to partner with two different organizations that I just couldn’t turn down – MentorTex and Women’s Fund of Central Texas. Both of these organizations are doing wonderful things to empower leaders and I’m excited to be a part of their work.
MentorTex is a community-focused platform that connects young leaders with mentors to help guide them through their career – offering advice, encouragement and camaraderie. As Baby Boomers get set to retire, it’s critical that we not lose their decades of experience and insight. Pairing experienced leaders with the next generation creates incredible opportunities for personal and professional growth that will make Texas business stronger for decades to come.
MentorTex combines two of my favorite things – data and technology and personal relationships. The platform is new and unique, but the practice of mentorship is timeless. With such a vibrant and vital community of startups and tech in Texas, it’s essential that we, as a business community, provide a support network that can grow young leaders and help share wisdom gained from experience about what people really need.
I’ll be serving on the MentorTex advisory council and I can’t wait to see what this organization will do for leaders (new and experienced) in Texas. I’ve seen firsthand the way mentors and advocates can help us achieve things we never even dreamed of and I’m delighted for the opportunity to pay that forward to the next generation.
The Austin Community Foundation’s Women’s Fund of Central Texas aims to measurably improve the status of women and children in Central Texas. They do this by providing research on needs and opportunities and using that data to educate women, train women leaders and inform impactful grantmaking. I know from my global work in diversity and equality that research supports this approach to community building.
Women’s Fund of Central Texas studies a variety of issues that deeply impact women and children in Austin, including – gentrification, economic sustainability, education, health and safety and more. These are issues that we all recognize as important, but often feel powerless to actually affect. Women’s Fund of Central Texas provides both the research and material support necessary to enact real change.
Starting at home in a more intentional way means something to me. Helping women be more independent actually impacts entire communities, be it organizations, neighborhoods or individuals. The work that Women’s Fund of Central Texas is doing is very aligned with what I want to do in the world and I will be serving the organization as a board member at large.
Before years of global travel, I used to do a lot of work in the communities where I lived and worked. Committing to and taking on these leadership roles is new territory for me. It took real thought and deliberation before I decided to say yes. However, when I ask myself the same thing I ask my clients, “What do you really, really want?” the final decision was easy. We never stop growing. When an opportunity arises that is in line with your vision of how you want to impact the world, sometimes you just have to take the leap.