It’s raining. And it has been for days! Heavy drops are hitting the window as I’m sitting here writing, in the usually sun kissed city of Palo Alto. It is a long awaited blessing for California and its drought, and like San Francisco, I have been showered with so much love over the past days before my final goodbye that I feel my love tanks are bursting – with no emotional drought to harm me ever again!
One of the most beautiful and unexpected love showers happened yesterday night. Hoping not to embarrass anyone, including myself, I want to share what was said during my team’s goodbye happy hour, when everyone got up one after the other to talk about what they had learned from me in the past two years – not to make myself look great, but to give you a window into how incredible and close to tears they made me feel this last night.
Here they go.
“I have learned from her that you have to fight and work hard for your goals and dreams, give it your all and never let go. She shows as a living example that it’s possible to have both the career and the life of your dreams.”
“It’s not all about building businesses, you need to enjoy your life around it too and embrace it with traveling, culture and exploring the world, and she gives both business and life 100% like no one else.”
“She believes in the ability of every single employee that walks through the door. It’s that belief and the positive energy that she puts into building a team that have made her a true leader.”
“I have learned that passion and business efficiency are not opposites but can and need to be complimenting each other”. “She is a straight-forward business woman on the outside, and a wonderful caring human being on the inside.”
“She taught me how to lean in, keep my head high, own my message and be the expert, no matter how intimidated or junior I might feel – just like she did it herself when she started at a young age and had to pull through in front of C-level clients.”
“She taught me how to put my abilities to the test in any moment. It’s not about getting ready when needed, it’s about being ready at all times.” “She was my corporate compass and taught me how to always be myself while adjusting the intensity of it to the moment.”
Reading through this, I’m tearing up again, as I can’t be prouder of all of them! Of the team we have built in the last 24 months with its incredible talent and personalities. Of the energy and pure dedication that all of them put in, and the trust they gave me in letting me try and make a difference in their careers. Of the courage to stand up and say these things in front of everyone. And of the incredible leaders that are now taking over the ship and are writing their own success stories in a 2.0 version of what we got started together. And through this all, I forgot to tell them what I have learned from them over the past two years. So here it goes, team.
I’ve learned that if you have the right people in place, anything is possible. I have seen people put in energy and dedication to an extend I have never dreamed of. I have learned what it feels like to be backed up 100% by your superior and your next level leadership team. I have felt trust, commitment, energy and dedication, and I have seen how much easier it is to achieve things together. I have learned to trust and let go. I have seen talent thrive, individuals grow and successes built, and while they keep thanking me for that, I know that if anything, I had only ignited their fire to be their true and successful selves that would teach me back my own lessons.
I have learned a lot for myself, my career and my life. What on earth could be better? I could not be more lucky and thankful for my team and my colleagues. On top of everything, I have spent my last days with the most amazing friends anyone could ask for, who have opened their houses, have fed me until my eyes glazed over, cooked a 5 star BBQ for all of my friends at my goodbye party, drove me around the area and, all-in-all, made sure that saying goodbye today will be the hardest thing in the world for me!
California, this is not a goodbye, but a farewell! I am full of appreciation for everything you did for me, and for the wonderful people I was able to meet and work with. ‘Tis a hard one to leave you, but I will surely be back.
So, fare well for now. Thank you for everything! And… let it RAIN!