Remember those things called New Year’s resolutions? Do you make them? Do they last past January? At the start of 2019, I stepped back and did some soul searching (sounds deeper than it was!) and came up with three broad “intentions” rather than resolutions. They are balance, passion, and engagement.
By balance, I wanted to figure out how to make my goal of working closer to three-quarters time rather than full-time a reality. Being two plus years into our business, StarBridge Advisors, I was working much more than I initially intended. One of my goals when I stepped off the permanent CIO track in early 2016 was to have more flexibility in my career and work three-quarters time over the course of the year. When I do an interim engagement, it is obviously a full-time commitment, but then there are breaks in between.
So, in January, I decided I would be more intentional about scheduling down time. A great way to do that was to block off Tuesdays when possible and spend them with my daughter (a nurse practitioner) and two grandkids. We’ve had many fun Tuesdays together.
Since I said “yes” to another interim engagement in May, it’s been more like having two full-time jobs considering how busy StarBridge Advisors is these days. Evenings and weekends are very full, to say the least. A good problem to have for anyone with their own business! But I need to get back to a better balance during this period. It’s a work in process for sure. But I am loving the work I’m doing these days, and the people I’m working with.
By passion, I wanted to focus some time on developing next-generation leaders which has long been a goal of mine. I had been thinking about an idea for some time to grow the next generation of women leaders. With a big push in January to be ready for the HIMSS conference in February, I did just that partnering with an experienced coach, Gale Thompson. We launched C-change, a service of StarBridge Advisors focused on developing women leaders in health IT.
The initial response to C-change was very positive and enthusiastic from many colleagues – both men and women. Online courses require more of a B2C approach than the B2B marketing we’ve been doing the past few years for StarBridge Advisors. We are still learning the best way to get the word out to individuals and organizations who could benefit from our courses and coaching services.
The recent webinar Gale and I presented through HIMSS Women in Health IT was a great way to share content and plant a seed for more. The response to our offer at the end of the webinar to do a free 30-minute consultation was overwhelming. In the coming weeks, I look forward to talking to several women and helping them think through the next steps in their career. Our next online courses start in the fall and registration is open.
By engaged, I wanted to start giving some volunteer time to organizations that share my values. This includes the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island (WFRI) which “invests in women and girls through research, advocacy, grant making and strategic partnerships designed to advance gender equity through systemic change.” I volunteered to be on the grant review team. What a humbling experience! As I read the 20+ grant applications from non-profit programs serving the many needs of women and girls in Rhode Island for a maximum of $10,000 award each, I wanted to support many of them and give them more. But in the end, WFRI can only award 5 of them with the $50,000 available. The needs in our community are great as they are in every state. Yes, I’ve given a small amount of my time to this grants review work, but learned a lot about my community and met some amazing women.
I also said yes to another three-year term on the AAMI board, where I will serve as Vice Chair of Information Technology. The mission of AAMI is to lead global collaboration in the development, management, and use of safe and effective health technology. With AAMI’s focus on improving patient safety and the increasing integration between IT and health technology, I know my volunteer time there makes a difference on a much broader level.
Balance, passion and engagement – good intentions. As I take stock midyear, I’m recommitting to all of them. Taking care of myself and having a greater purpose. It’s that simple.