Hello SOTGC community,
On June 30, 2006, at 4:02 pm I was told I would no longer be the CEO of Girl Scouts. I expected to be the leader of the number one leadership program for women well into my retirement years. Unfortunately, that did not happen. I had no idea losing a position I was most passionate about would change my life forever.
The following three months brought plenty of margaritas and depression. Although I was CEO of a national organization, I didn’t have my college degree. After far too many margaritas I made the decision to return to school with a goal of completing my bachelor’s degree. I completed my bachelor’s degree with a study of Organizational Innovation and decided I’d keep going. Today I have a double master’s degree ~ Masters of Public Administration and Masters of Business Administration. With my newfound confidence, I began applying for Girl Scout Council CEO positions from Maine to Miami and had no offers. Then, after deciding to lower my standards and apply for a Chief Operating Officer position, I was told I was over-qualified for the position. I’m too good or not good enough. Sound familiar?
The following year was life changing. The father I didn’t get along with died, and I learned he adopted me because I was the bastard child. That same year I became very ill. Looking back, I agree the illness came from my unknown depression. These events became my wake-up call to get serious about what my purpose was in life. I learned valuable life lessons that year.
My realization came when I received a call from the new Girl Scout CEO asking if I would support her in her new position. She was having difficulty making an emotional connection with corporate leaders and she was quickly loosing donors. Of course my immediate reaction was “no.” Why would I help someone who has my job? After her fifth call (plea) I realized my purpose was working with organizations’ training of personal and professional development. Before becoming the CEO of Girl Scouts Penn’s Woods Council I was the director at the United States Chamber of Commerce. My business background, knowledge from the school of hard knocks, and internal drive led me to organizational training and development in the corporate sector.
We each have moments in life when we get knocked down. It’s too easy to listen to your self-doubt, fear of the unknown, and allow the negative voices of others to become your own. Don’t wait for a tragic event to decide your tomorrow. Make peace with the past and try to learn from it. Take action today and when you reach your victory ~ shout it to the world!