Ten years ago, I visited this lighthouse near Ushuaia Argentina, while on a business trip. Nicknamed "The Light at the End of the World", it is the last light that ships departing for Antarctica pass. and the first they see on their return voyage. During 2005, I had several opportunities to visit this light, which touched my soul and spirit, both with its physical beauty, but also the metaphor of the light at the end of the world. The sure, steady, reliable light that welcomed sailors to port amidst the greatest turmoil of sea and storms, of winds and waves.
As a masters student at Stanford, one of my favorite courses used Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People as a method to developing a strategic plan for our lives ahead. Covey's discussion of our principles as a lighthouse, where principles are "guidelines for human conduct that are proven to have enduring, permanent value", that provide the basis for defining our values. The principles, which remain unchanging through turbulent times and help us differentiate what is just a difficult situation that needs worked through versus what is a situation where we are forced to act in conflict with those principles, had been an important concept for me. However, when paired with the Ushuaia light's beauty and purpose, the Covey lighthouse model became even more alive and vivid in my mind.
In the past couple years, I have struggled professionally as I realized the career goal I set for myself early in life, becoming a senior executive for a top global automotive company, was no longer the path I wanted to take. Although the right path for many, and certainly a commendable achievement, it conflicted too much with my other important roles as a mother, wife, sister, daughter, volunteer, and friend, as well as took me too far away from what I realized were my greatest joys and strengths of working - mentoring, developing, and nurturing engineers while running an organization based on core values and a strong commitment to those values.
I returned to the lighthouse model and started questioning what my core values are. If I think about my funeral, what would I want to be the summary of my life and what would people remember me as. Through this path of self-evaluation, with input from both professionals and dear friends and family, and paired with analyzing what I really enjoyed most and took the most fulfillment from in recent years, I designed a future path with this light as my guidance.
More will come over the next days and weeks on this future path, but while details are being finalized, I wanted to share the history and background that led to the foundation and purpose of my company's brand and image in hopes of creating some interest in what is to come!
I would also like to thank all the amazing and inspiring people who have supported me on this journey. There are way too many of you to mention, but I hope as you read this, you think about the inspiration and support you have given and/or continue to give and how much it means to me.