When I entered the Minerva Foundation’s Women Leading the Way™ program, I was in my dream job – Arts and Life Editor at the Vancouver Sun newspaper. I had the honour of serving my community, the luxury of working with subject matter that was dear to my heart, and the responsibility of managing a group of experienced journalists.
And now my wonderfully supportive boss was putting me forth for this exciting professional development program, with a view to grooming me for succession to a senior management position. I was well aware of my good fortune, and grateful for it.
I expected a lot from my Women Leading the Way™ experience. I knew that I would really enjoy connecting with other ambitious professional women. I was sure that I would benefit from direct contact with the program’s highly accomplished speakers and facilitators. And I hoped that I would develop stronger management skills and greater insight into my own leadership style.
I received all of these benefits and more from the Women Leading the Way™ program. But the greatest gift went far deeper than that. As we explored our values and our strengths, I found myself in an intimate encounter with my own life purpose, confronting the stark realization that I was not living it. I realized that, although I felt valued at the paper and was energized by the prospect of advancement, no matter how high I might climb there, I would always be putting my talent in the service of someone else’s vision. I realized that what I really wanted was to found and lead a company of my own.
At the same time, the program was gently opening my mind to the magnitude of my own potential. I had not been fully aware of the limits I had subconsciously placed upon myself until I gave serious thought to the possibility of expanding beyond them.
I began to ask myself what my vision for a company would look like, and as that vision started to take shape in my mind, I felt as though a fire had been ignited within me. My company would be built upon a foundation of love. It would aim to have a positive impact on the lives of every employee, client, customer and supplier it touched. Its products and services would be designed to elevate the human condition and bring health, insight and understanding into people’s lives.
Those are some pretty big dreams. But with a renewed sense of my own capability, and an army of inspiring women leaders whose example to follow, I began to work toward them.
I researched, made plans, and reached out to my mentors for support. One year after joining Women Leading the Way™, I launched LifeTree Media, a publishing company dedicated to books that help, heal and inspire. Now in our second year of business, we have published three books and have four on the way for the coming season, and I am proud of every one of them.
In January we hired our first employee, in what I hope will be the first of many new jobs that LifeTree Media will add to the economy. This modest but meaningful expansion of our little team is already opening up new possibilities and giving me a taste of what it will be like to watch my organization grow. On top of it all, I have started writing a book of my own; a guide for experts who want to become authors.
Business ownership – and leadership – has already been an incredibly gratifying experience, and I am filled with excitement for the journey ahead. The Minerva Foundation’s Women Leading the Way program helped me to find the courage and vision to step out onto life’s grand stage and truly make the impact that I was born to make in the world.
Learn more about Maggie at www.maggielangrick.com.
We are now accepting applications for the upcoming Women Leading the Way™ program. To learn more, please click here.