Last week, I attended my company's National Sales Meeting. And it was actually my 6th NSM with the company. So as I walked in for this event, I ran into familiar faces, knew the general format of the agenda, and was excited to keep running into more people from across that nation that have become great friends.
I couldn't help but think back to my very first NSM. I knew hardly anyone but the people on the local team. But as I started thinking back to that first event, I found myself extremely grateful. I had two team mates that reached out and let me ride with them to Chicago instead of driving alone (Mike and Del!). I didn't have to make the first step into the meeting not knowing a soul because I had two team mates to walk in with that knew many of the people we passed.
And then were was my room mate- Telynda. Telynda was in a role with the company that she actually could have been in a room by herself but guess what she did? She gave that up and offered to be my room mate that week. I went to networking receptions with her, to the general sessions, and the evening social outings. Telynda would introduce me to everyone she knew (She knows everyone, btw) and was so kind in her introductions. She probably barely remembers the details of this NSM, but I certainly remember them all well.
For a newbie, it goes beyond words for someone to spend a week doing this, to take you in as a colleague and friend. I know it required some sacrifices-- giving up that private room, communicating to everyone that her tag-along was new, etc. etc. But I bet many of you can think back to a moment like this when a veteran like T took your newbie self into his/her world and showed kindness and the type of person you wanted to be.
Especially in a world that stereotypes women (and sometimes its the reality, too) as each other's competitor... there is only so much pie to go around so gotta get your full....
Not Telynda. Not that week nor throughout the time I had the pleasure to work with her. The example was set-- women champion other women. You make introductions, you invite along for opportunities to develop business acumen, you encourage when it's a rough day.
After this year's GROW gathering at our National Sales Meeting, I couldn't help but be full of gratitude yet again for this "Telynda factor" playing out. GROW is for women in the company to grow relationships, opportunities, and their network. We had a TED-talk like event in which peer-to-peer speakers shared some really creative and inspirational stories. Some of you may have attended and are rolling your eyes thinking, "Kirby you were one of the speakers, how kind of you to mention how great the talks were." Ha! I am describing the 3 other individuals who shared their stories in this way. And then the coolest part? The Telynda factor happened-- as a speaker, I saw the other speakers high fiving each other, taking notes, and smiling the biggest smiles. The women in the room were listening intently, sending texts to champion the talks of the day, and nodding along during each speaker's time.
I left that day with abiding gratitude. So if you were at the event, keep being a Telynda. This is the good stuff, y'all.
Champion, encourage, call out the good stuff. Be a Telynda.