This week, I’ve been re-learning about how important it is to have fun, to play, and to dance in my work. I want to share what happened recently that sparked this learning moment.
Jane McGonical is a world renowned game designer. She is the director of game research and development at the Institute for the Future. I love this quote from her – ‘reality is broken and we need to make it work more like a game’.
A few months ago, I was invited to participate in an exciting event for a women entrepreneurs, called Urban Campfire. The event was an entire day of networking, resource-sharing and story-telling that helps women connect in deeper and more meaningful ways. There was a dynamite list of speakers, all sharing personal examples of rising from the ashes and owning their style. Many of their stories were about very serious topics: losing millions of dollars, terminal illnesses, business model failures, depression, sexual assault, divorce, poverty, and how all these traumatic experiences shaped their business and livelihood. Many of the women in the audience were experiencing similar challenges.
Leading up to Urban Campfire, Melody Biringer, the founder of Crave and this event, and I were messaging each other about a failure conference I heard about on the east coast. A colleague of mine in D.C. had written a failure song about the woes of producing online learning events in other countries. I told Melody, jokingly, I would write a fail song for her (to the tune of “What a Feeling“). One thing led to another and before I knew it this silly idea turned into a live song, an ensemble of 18 women and the grand opening to Urban Campfire. Teamed up with another fabulous dancer, our job was to help open Urban Campfire in a way that helped promote authenticity, vulnerability and connection… and start it off with a bang!
There was a small part of me that felt jealous of the speakers. My ego flared up a bit. I wanted to be considered credible. I wanted to be invited to speak. I wanted to show off my presentation and facilitation skills. I wanted to be a keynote! Wahhhh!
And, it looked like this! The results?
I helped 18 business owners and CEOs find the courage to step outside of their comfort zone and dance with me, leading to these women feeling more confident and more courageous. Being surrounded by powerhouse women is an amazing feeling.
I got to help connect women with one another in more meaningful ways because they were willing to be vulnerable… and dare I say it, taking time to enjoy their bodies in motion!
I got to celebrate a story of failure and triumph with the founder of the event, which not only inspired her, but deeply inspired me … and likely the other 300 people in attendance. (She called it a life highlight! Woohoo!) I got to model feminine leadership by integrating my cognitive, emotional, social and physical being. Damn it feels good to bring my whole self to work!