I was so, so, so fortunate to be in the presence of some really amazing women a couple weeks back while visiting Toronto. Vicki hosted this group at her home (that would rival any 4 star restaurant in San Francisco!) for an evening of connection amongst amazing women entrepreneurs, vc’s, and other superb women in tech … plus little ole me. Thank you Vicki ~ I am in awe and with HUGE appreciation!
During this evening Vicki describes what she prescribes to — Radical Generosity … and she encouraged us all to consider following in her footsteps. Now, true to many women, and many Canadians, she practically apologized for saying out loud that she was practicing the art of radical generosity … which she shouldn’t … but I get it. Humility is a feature and it’s one we can’t shed (nor often should).
But the message came across without any feeling of ego or princess-likeness … It was simply her, from the heart, with what she believed in. And I was simply blown away because I loved being in the presence of that kind of giving and that kind of collaboration.
Even though I am both a woman, and a Canadian, and hopefully often display way more acts of kindness and humility than not, it still inspired me to really consider this statement and see what else I could be doing to be an owner of radical generosity.
For many reasons this resonated with me … history aside and the way my parents raised me .. which has everything to do with who I am … I believe in it because I.don’t.see.it.in.this.world.enough!! I am out there everyday connecting with new work colleagues, new personal relationships, past relationships on all fronts … and there is a huge gap on this planet (or at least where my latitude and longitude reside) … and it makes me, well, want to write a blog post!
Giving costs you nothing. It’s a smile sometimes. It’s a name of someone who can help with a problem. It’s a guide to a new trail run. It’s the courtesy of being honest. It’s the little note that says “you’re fucking awesome”. It’s the 3pm Sunday afternoon birthday happy hour. It’s the special invitation to new years eve. It’s the thoughtful text message after receiving an “I’m sorry” card. It’s the 40 miles you’ll drive to say hello … give a hug … see a smile. Hell, it’s the 3,000 miles you’ll do for that. It’s the text message that says “hey bud, you’re amazing – have a great day”. It’s remembering who your friends were before illness and before life’s inevitable challenges and sending an invitation to join in for the party just the same. It’s no judgement! It’s just really simple and it really, truly, costs you nothing for what you get in return.
I’m not sure why life gets so complicated. But I know that if we live within the world that we are meant to live within .. the world is not complicated … it makes perfect sense. So maybe we should really focus on radical generosity, but when it isn’t reciprocated, then we can’t take any offense and instead we move on. Maybe we taught the person something. Maybe not. That is never the point. The point is to give away that which we have, and to do it with a smile and without expectations in return.
Radical generosity. It’s my new motto. It will make the tagline on my next business card. Those that have seen mine know what I’m talking about. But it’s what I believe in and will happily deliver.
And for the person that felt that my world is too complicated because my generosity was in the middle, instead of driving to their world entirely, … then I’m sorry, but you haven’t learned the lesson.
And as a tribute to you, Vicki, for the inspiration of this post … here is a little quote someone shared with me awhile back. You’ll get the meaning as it is your motto … Cheers to you for paving the way! #SheCEO!!