At a recent event I heard Nicola Horlick share her personal and business story – so far.
Hers is a fairly well documented story with great successes and incredible pain and loss but it was her insights into her fathers support and influence on her, her love and natural aptitude for her work and the honesty and openness with which she spoke which allowed me to connect with her in a way I haven’t before.
Interestingly a few women around me commented “Wow, that was heavy”.
Deeply personal and heart-wrenching information served alongside business insight without access to a bar is not to everyone’s cup of tea and business has traditionally focused on keeping our feelings in check.
But I am learning when our hearts and minds are connected and aligned, powerful inspired and sustainable action can follow.
I connected with one women at the event who is successfully and happily combining her career with having children and I also spoke to another who is not enjoying the experience so much.
Being in love with work and your career as much as your children.
Not choosing one over the other but loving both.
I use the word Love deliberately.
Both women expressed that they could feel guilty for time away from one or the other; both still juggled and struggled at times; but their why and their passion was evident in its difference.
When there is a heart-felt connection to your work the results speak for themselves and I believe businesses should be encouraging and embracing these feelings and allowing them to flourish. Otherwise work becomes very transactional. Like sex without love. Kind of pointless and generally disappointing.
When companies tap into their own real why and really feel it they build a tribe of passionate employees who are deeply connected. Maternity and motherhood – my great love and area of expertise – can just become part of the process.
The practical considerations of flexible working, maternity leave and policy detail are still there but when there is a mutual trust, respect and love for the business like any great relationship compromises are made and resolutions are sought.
This viewpoint was inspired in part by the McKinsey article on ebay Realising the Power of Talented Women