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Who You Are Being is What Most Matters

What did Harriet Tubman, Katherine Hepburn, Maya Angelou, and Amelia Earhart have in common? All are role models in my life, all dreamers, who pursued their great dream in the face of circumstances and culture that was not in any way supportive of who they were in their time.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” - Harriet Tubman

What did Harriet Tubman, Katherine Hepburn, Maya Angelou, and Amelia Earhart have in common? All are role models in my life, all dreamers, who pursued their great dream in the face of circumstances and culture that was not in any way supportive of who they were in their time. This required that they dug deep within themselves to find the strength to trust who they were as human beings. Do you struggle and suffer under the burden of change, staying in a nice, neat, comfortable frame for your life, and end up feeling regret? When you think about or choose to research these women, notice that had, they not pursued the dream that they knew really enlivened them and brought them to full satisfaction, what a great loss there would be for us in this world.

What is your dream that your inner dreamer seeks to manifest this year? Coaching offers an opportunity to have a huge ripple effect by awakening each person, catalyzing and energizing their access to unconditional self-love that fuels the dreamer in you. Everything you truly want lives outside your comfort zone. The only thing that life gives you is feedback. Think about that for a moment. That means you must change your perspective and turn things upside down a little bit if you want to get feedback that supports your dream. Stimulate your curiosity, now. The game of life has changed. The rules are completely different at the convergence of so many disruptions, a global pandemic, economic contraction, and social injustice. This time in history asks each of you to dig deeper into your hearts and ask, what is it that truly matters and what will you choose instead of your trusty habits that are no longer sufficient?

Early in my professional life, I was a sales representative for a clothing manufacturer. I learned from an early mentor (my father) that who you know is more important than what you know. After some failures, large and small, I came to understand that who I am being is a prerequisite to who I know. When I am not being authentic, not being true to the essential traits that make me, me, then nobody can see me as reliable and consistent. People didn’t know who would show up the next time and experienced me as a chameleon. I was responsive in a moment in a situation, yet at a great cost. I missed out on new opportunities better aligned with my strengths. More important, I denied the core essence of my being, shrouded behind my personality, and as a result underperformed to my potential. And yes, I was unhappy.

Who you are being is what most matters. Choices about who to be in any moment determine who you attract and who you are drawn to engage and cause greatness with and for. What if equity could cause greatness for all, no matter how you or others socially identify? What way of being encourages you to pursue courageous conversation even when people appear closed and hostile, so that you can establish a respectful human connection? When you perpetuate difference and make a person ‘other,’ you actually diminish yourself. Corrupt, oppressive systems can seem overwhelming to challenge and change. Yet, you and I contribute to those corrupt systems sustaining by our passive tolerance. Set up a system for belonging, starting with self and being a contagious voice with and for others to do the same. Model belonging in your choices of who you are being with the company you keep and invite those people into changing the story of our world.


In closing, a quote from Maya Angelou comes to mind, “when we know better, we do better” and I add, “and be better, together.” Here’s a short 28-minute audio story from the Bioneers Radio Series, that inspired this month’s column. Why Equity is Good for Everyone: Changing the Story, Changing the World \ john a. powell and Heather McGhee. Be energized by inviting change.

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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