Have a seat at the table!

Last month I went to the UK and met my friend Emma. We were catching up, chatting, making jokes, laughing, when she stopped and started telling me about her new life in the Leadership team. “…Yeah, now I am in the Leadership Team of a big organization, and nobody really knows me!…”

Emma is one of my best friends, we used to work on the same team back in the UK. While I was telling her how lucky she is to have the opportunity to start a role in Leadership with so many opportunities of learning, like, the type of speech, thinking, decision making, and the enormous visibility,  Emma was nodding with her head… and even I kept saying,… you are there because you deserve it! She looked at me and said:

“I am not prepared to sit at the table and speak up. These people are too high, and I feel leaving college again! Literally, I am feeling I am not enough… I am trying to beat this self-talk…”

Emma was telling about this big event with the representation of the Leadership Team. This time she was part of this team.

In this big event, there was a host who was introducing member by member of the Leadership Team with a picture in a small round shape of a powerpoint slide, asking for that person to stand up. Emma’s picture didn’t come up…

And now what?

Emma told me, her first thought was a relief… her name was not there, so she didn’t have to stand up! But then she remember…shit! I am part of this team… what should I do?

With all the class and humor,  Emma stood up and said, I know I am new here, I am Emma! Of course, the organizer promptly corrected the mistake and welcome Emma to the team!

After the conference, there was a dinner organized to the Leadership Team, Emma was confused about the local and timing, but someone told her to don’t worry, as they had organized taxis to take everybody together. Emma went to the bathroom, and then when she got back, she realized the room was empty, everybody had left!…

And now what?

Again…she thought!!… Should I go to the hotel, or I am going to find out the restaurant and meet them over there? She was telling me how tired she was, and getting back to her hotel bedroom was the best thing that could happen!

But… strong and beautiful, she called the assistant asked about the restaurant, got a taxi and meet them all in the restaurant! When she arrived, her heart was beating so fast, her chicks were red, but with a smile, she said Hello!

Of course, everybody in the table said I am sorry, the leadership team, the ones who make the decisions, the ones who care about the people in the organization, felt bad and gave her a seat at the table.

Emma didn’t enjoy at all these situations, and she was telling me how much she was struggling to fit in! But I was telling her how much she is a warrior and giving all the women a big lesson! Don’t give up… lean in, make a seat at the table!

Emma was scared, she felt fear that day! But she had the courage to stand up!

I am telling this story because I want to have these stories close to me, these stories of fighters and warriors who inspire me and I am sure will inspire you too! I know it is not an easy path, it takes time to overcome the fear and the self-talk,… but more than everything you can choose the attitude.

Emma

Thank you

AnnaJo

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