In the spring of 2011, I was blessed with the opportunity to attend a leadership conference in Dallas, Texas. Overall, it was an incredible three days of learning, growing and networking but the best session by far was one presented by inspirational speaker Marilyn Sherman titled Why Settle for the Balcony? How to get a Front-row Seat in Life!
Ms. Sherman’s message was basically this: don’t accept a balcony seat or even general admission. You have what it takes to get a front-row seat, in your professional career and in your personal life, and you deserve it. While her message was focused on taking that front-row mentality into the workplace, empowering women to aspire higher within their organizations, for me it had a far broader impact.
I left the conference determined to use my gifts to shine professionally and become a better leader but I also realized I had a remarkable opportunity on a much grander scale, to affect not only my team and my company, but through my writing, impact my world.
Ms. Sherman advised us to ask, “What do I want?” and then, “How do I get there?” Two questions—pretty easy, right? They’re tough questions!
I thought about it, prayed about it, even posted a note on my desktop: WDIW? HDIGT? (Beside the mentally ever-present WWJD?) What kept coming to mind was not just making a difference in my workplace, but making a difference in our culture and what better way than through a widely published book or highly acclaimed film? To be able to share my stories with the world would truly be leaving my mark, impacting my world for Christ in a way that I pray would be wholly pleasing to God.
It is my greatest desire that through my stories I may have the opportunity to impart to others the true meaning of hope, faith and love, the importance of patience and perseverance and the beautiful, immeasurable rewards that come from a life built upon these virtues.
And while you may believe, as many do, that books, and especially movies these days, are not exactly the ideal venue to convey what it means to lead a Christ-centered life, I am hopeful there are still influential people in the business who doggedly search out these rare and poignant tales, these novels that make it to the top of the bestseller lists and get made into award-winning movies. The stuff of which classics are made.
Ms. Sherman's message gave me the encouragement and inspiration to aspire to being that author. She touched my life, both professionally and personally, and for that I will be forever grateful. I look forward to her sitting right there beside me in the front row on premier night.
Have you touched anyone lately?