In January 2014, my colleagues from Chadwick Martin Bailey and I attended the Greater Boston Chamber’s Annual Pinnacle Awards. I was so inspired by the stories of success from the honorees and felt so proud that the president and CEO of my company, Anne Bailey Berman, had herself been a recipient of a Pinnacle Award back in 2007. While I went there to support the women in our community and hear about their journeys toward achieving their goals, I left with a new personal goal I was committed to working towards.You see, during the ceremony, a group of women were asked to stand up as the room applauded them. These women were members of the Chamber’s Women’s Leadership Program—women who were selected from a large pool of applicants who were given the chance to attend seminars, workshops, and networking events to grow their leadership skills. I wanted to be part of that group.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago – when I achieved that goal, sitting among the new Women’s Leadership class being recognized at the 2015 Pinnacle Awards. And once again, it was an incredibly inspiring event.
Using my experiences from the program, I examined the honorees’ speeches through a new lens. I listened to identify how the skills and tenets I had learned myself helped this amazing group of honorees achieve their success. Four great insights left a lasting mark in particular:
1). Embrace every opportunity that’s presented and don’t shy away from something that’s outside of your comfort zone. When Emily Rooney, Host and Executive Editor of Beat the Press, was interested in creating Beat the Press, she learned that Arianna Huffington wanted to pitch something similar with the same name. Emily wasn’t afraid to take a risk when the odds may have been against her, and she came out the victor.
2). It’s ok to be emotional and passionate. Deb Re, CEO of Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, said it best: “If something doesn’t make you emotional and passionate then it probably isn’t worth your time.” As women, showing emotion does not make us weak. We’re likely to produce better work when we care about what it is we are doing.
3). Having a good support system is just as important as having a good idea. All of the honorees had family and friends in the audience who helped them get to where they are today. I loved hearing the loud cheers from sections of colleagues who play a role in the honorees’ every day successes – and in turn, the honorees acknowledging the importance of these partnerships in their speeches.
4). Pay it forward. Many of the honorees were also members of volunteer committees. As we move up in the working world, it’s easy to succumb to the pressures of the job, but also important to make time to give back. This was illustrated best by honoree Cindy Laba, Founder and Head of School at Beacon Academy, when she made every person in the audience take out his/her cell phone and say hello to someone who means a lot to them.
I was so inspired by these amazing stories of success and look forward to attending the Pinnacle Awards in the years to come.
The Chamber has created so many opportunities for women in the Boston business community and continues to serve as a support system by helping women in our community achieve their goals. It’s an honor to be part of that.
Caitlin Dailey is a Project Manager for Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB). CMB is a Boston-based Gold Top 50 market research and consulting firm, partnering with a select group of the world’s leading brands to deliver critical insights for confident, strategic decision-making.