Bridges? What do bridges have to do with business?
I have heard so much negativity in the past few weeks about the uncertainty of this year. Not being able to plan and move forward due to ambiguity involving our children, work situations, and politics.
This made me stop and think about focusing on the positive and letting go of the negative. I came across this quote from Oprah.
I am where I am because of the bridges that I crossed. Sojourner Truth was a bridge. Harriet Tubman was a bridge. Ida B. Wells was a bridge. Madame C. J. Walker was a bridge. Fannie Lou Hamer was a bridge.” — Oprah Winfrey
I immediately began to reflect. Who has helped me get where I am today?
Today, let’s highlight three women who helped me in my business life. As you read about my experiences, consider who has helped you.
Are you in your car or short on time? Listen to the podcast!
Here are three thoughts to provoke you, two ideas to inspire you, and one item to act on!
Three Thoughts to Provoke
Number One. Linda, AVP at JP Morgan.
Linda was the boss in the Systems Department at JP Morgan. She oversaw many teams dealing with the computer room and keeping JP Morgan online. As the department admin, I knew this woman hated me. I felt like she never was happy with my work. Supporting many team members meant I never knew exactly who I reported to, was it the team member or Linda. I remember at one point she asked me if I wanted to transfer to another department?
Yikes, was I being fired?
After that conversation, I was determined to work my tail off to succeed in this position. I took every continuing education course that was offered. These courses allowed me to certify for higher positions but I focused on making Linda recognize my value.
When I left the position, several years later, I had succeeded! She recognized and valued me as a team member.
Why was this important?
She pushed me to work harder, recognize the team players and key stakeholders. Through reading every piece of information that came across my desk, I understood better the politics and the culture I needed to be aware of to grow and mature.
Number Two. Barbara, CEO of a Fortune 200 Global Consultancy
Barbara was the first major client of Olinda Services. I was so happy to win the client that I did everything in my power to wow!
Early in our relationship, Barbara stated she wanted me to run her business like it was my own. I did! My work involved managing associates, travel, operations, bookkeeping. I was familiar with the ins and outs of every component of her business.
She was a great, collaborative boss. She was happy to let go of the day-to-day operations, which allowed her time to write and plan for strategic growth. I learned so much from her.
What went wrong?
Barbara ran a global business, and I was on call 24/7. I was a newbie business owner, and I did not implement boundaries early in our working relationship. After five years, I was burned out. Completely stressed and walked away.
What did I learn?
Reflection on my working relationship with Barbara helps me realize many of the problems I had were my problems.
Did I communicate to her that I was frustrated? No! When I was frustrated, I ruminated rather than confront the issues and discuss them with her.
Lessons learned included my need to focus on my business, not just making the client succeed. I worked so hard on her business, that even though I had saved a six-month reserve, it took a long time for me to recover professionally.
Number Three. Sue, Data Guru.
Sue was another client. Her day job was in Data Governance and then on top of that, she was the president of a non-profit group. Her specialty? Loving data and nurturing relationships.
To be quite honest, this brilliant woman utterly intimidated me! She was a powerhouse in a small body. Tough as nails in some ways, but nurturing and caring to those in her circle.
I worked with her for several years, and she taught me so much about data, data governance, and data privacy. Sue dreamed big dreams and worked hard to realize those dreams. She taught me about sacrifice, putting others first, and loyalty.
Sue helped me believe in myself and my dreams. I am a much better business owner because of her. We remain friends, today. If you are reading this, Sue, HUGS!
Two Things to Inspire
Number One. Who are your bridges?
Who has influenced you? Reflect on the joy, sometimes pain, and growth they have brought to your life.
Henry Drummond says,
“The people who influence you are the people who believe in you.”– Henry Drummond
Number Two. Are you someone’s bridge?
Laurie Buchanan says,
“Never underestimate the influence you have on others.”– Laurie Buchanan
Is it time for you to mentor someone? Pass on the knowledge and wisdom you have gained from others.
Your Action Item
Take a few minutes this week to send a handwritten note to your bridges. Maybe you can only reach out to one or two, but help make their day special. I will be writing some cards this week!
Olinda Services provides Executive Business Partner support for small businesses and non-profit executives. We are currently looking to partner with another great client.
If you are looking to grow your business or non-profit, nurture business contacts, or your systems need refining, email Michael at [email protected].
Michael will schedule a time for you to discuss your needs with me. I am Lisa Olinda, Chief Chaos Whisperer of Olinda Services.
What chaos needs to be busted in your business?
I am a teacher at heart. I would love for you to leave comments and ask questions.