Good morning everyone. It’s great to be with you on another Elevated Wednesday. And as weeks have become months with the current health dynamic in our world, we’re still in virtual space. And though it’s not the same as being in one physical room, it’s had some bright spots – among other things, we’ve had visitors from the UK, Portugal, Australia, and many other parts of the world. We continue to join together as an engaged community, with a common goal of growth – in business and otherwise.
Speaking of communities, there have been other significant circumstances that have unfolded in our world since we last came together. And I believe it’s important to recognize them. Before I say another word, I want to be crystal clear that my intention is not to be political. This forum is not about politics and it’s not my job nor my intention to impact what any of us as individuals or a collective thinks, says or does through a political lens. However, we are a group of leaders – of bright, capable, entrepreneurs and business people. And from a human point of view, I don’t believe we need to avoid. We can be present. We can recognize. We can connect and share.
At the same time, while in many ways this is a very serious period, one of the joys of our meetings is the creativity in our commercials, the humor, and the laughter. Rather than have these things in opposition, I invite us to make space for all of it.
So let’s have a moment of silence to acknowledge the reality of what’s happening in our world. Then I’m going to say just a few more words, and we’ll then do what we do best and roll into a connected, productive meeting.
This pause can be about whatever it means for you – it can be about George Floyd, and the symbol his loss represents, the multitude of those lost or impacted by the pandemic, an eye of calm and quiet inside what can sometimes feel like a raging storm, or anything else that occurs to you. It’s a chance to recognize, and to experience something together as a community. We may not have the same experience. We may not have the same perspective. But here, as members of this community, we are in this together.
Let’s pause… Thank you.
In closing, I want to leave all of us with a question that I believe is relevant everywhere – in all aspects of our lives. In our businesses, our families, our communities – including Elevate, and elsewhere.
“What role do we want to play?”
Whether in our homes, in our meetings and dealings, with our clients and customers, on social media, anywhere – are we silent or do we speak up? Do we share our feelings? Do we take action? And if so, what action? Do we show up for others even when our own needs are challenged? And no matter what we choose, what are those decisions in service of?
Mahatma Ghandi famously said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Again, I am not here to preach or direct – to say what the right answer is. But I invite us all to take a look, and make choices based on who we want to be in the world.
So, who do you want to be?