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A Reflection on Gratitude in 2020

inviteCHANGE CEO, Janet M. Harvey reflects on gratitude and what that looked like in 2020.

From November to February most spiritual traditions around the world engage in celebration and giving blessings and gratitude for our lives. Humanity is profoundly interconnected and the Zulu word, ubuntu captures the beauty I see and experience in being interconnected, “I am because you are”. In this season of celebration in 2020 turning into 2021, we are all seeing the pain and suffering that, has surfaced from many sources, and all too often comes from injuring our own humanity by demonizing those who are different from us. In the words of Professor, john a. powell (yes, lower case on purpose as he desires) the Founder of the Othering & Belonging Institute, “same-ing is not the opposite of other-ing, Belonging is. Belonging embraces difference and learns from difference.” For any person to transform “other-ing” into belonging, we each must learn to bridge. Bridging, as john describes, is “always about connecting, something we each must do constantly, inviting empathy, deep listening, listening to and suffering with others, engaging, organizing and loving.” This is the gift and opportunity in the movement, Black Lives Matter, because Black lives matter, period.

inviteCHANGE as an organization, as a collection of human beings that stretches around the world, experienced 2020 with open hearts, compassion, and commitment to bridging. Each moment, each day is an opportunity for learning and living with the humility and vulnerability necessary to “make the other as myself.” I learned this phrase and experienced the meaning directly from don Oscar Miro-Quesada Solevo who contributed his deep wisdom during the Be.Choose.Cause. Global Leaders Conference we hosted in September. Each of the social progress causes – Racial Equity, Climate Emergency, Human Trafficking, and Healthy Communities – generated interconnection, profound learning, and inspiration for action. More than fifty speakers, authors, leaders, coaches, and educators shared their wisdom and passion for bridging our world-views, not breaking them. Beyond how we treat each other, belonging is about organizing all of our spaces to evoke belonging.

Whether engaging customers in organizations or individuals who seek out coaching and learning and development experiences, our work in the world is soul-satisfying. Pride without humility is arrogance, and when I say I am extremely proud of the global delivery and customer care leaders who contribute in the world through inviteCHANGE, I do so with equally extreme humility. The power of choice belongs to each person, and when we choose to be together and through our synergy create a positive impact in the world, the results ripple far beyond any one event or experience, out into the interconnected field of human society. That our customers and colleagues around the world choose inviteCHANGE, evokes gratitude, and joy. The honor and privilege to serve others by partnering respectfully and engaging boldly, in ways that invite change, offers the possibility for all of us to move from surviving to thriving.

Thank you to all. May the season bring experiences for connection, deep listening, and love that embrace you and yours in belonging.

Janet M. Harvey, MCC

Experienced with individuals at the Board of Directors, “C” Chair, Executive and Senior Management levels, Janet assists executives in adopting effective habits of perception and behavior to lead and accelerate corporate strategies. Typical engagements address executive development in the following areas: articulate and inspire through clarity of vision, enable respectful challenge, debate and catalyze synergy for strategic business choices, risk/reward critical thinking about investments and shareholder value, plan leader succession and architect sustainable cultural/strategic change.
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