My journey with Quade Circle 2 started in April of 2021 from a hotel room in Amsterdam where my husband and I were serving a 5-day quarantine. We were just completing a 7-night riverboat cruise through The Netherlands and Belgium when we both failed a COVID-19 test required to come back to the states. We were politely invited off the ship and whisked away in a cab to a hotel along with 9 other guests to convalesce. We called ourselves the Holland Hilton Hostages and kept in touch via text and phone throughout our time in captivity.
Five days in a hotel room, unable to leave for any reason, is a test even for the strongest marriage!
Thankfully, we are still happily married. And, as a side note, there is no apparent end to You Tube; my husband tried really hard to find it!
I am so grateful for technology and Mark McFatridge as I was able to attend most of my meetings while quarantined, including the inaugural Quade Circle 2 meeting, which I was really excited about!
Even from afar, I knew immediately that I was in the company of very smart, focused, and accomplished professionals who were successful in their respective fields. The conversation right out of the gate was honest, authentic, and candid and just felt real and went beneath the surface. I just had this gut feeling that this group of professionals would become some of my closest advisors and would allow a safe space for me to share some of my biggest challenges in my role as CEO. In return, I was confident that I would receive a high level of guidance and the candid feedback I desperately need in my role. Fast forward almost two years later, and my gut was spot on. They are my most admired colleagues and confidantes.
One particular meeting comes to mind as I found the words to share some of my deepest insecurities as a founder and leader in my organization. We all have them, it’s just not often that we feel safe enough to open up and share them. As a leader and CEO, you’re expected to show up on your ‘A’ game every day. You’re expected to be smart, fearless and have it all together. At least that’s the pressure many of us put upon ourselves whether we’re in leadership or not. But let’s be real, that’s not an everyday reality. The feedback and encouragement I received from my allies that day was genuinely therapeutic.
It gave me permission to fall short some days, and I needed to know that others felt the same way. It’s been incredibly liberating to be this vulnerable with my allies and not be harshly judged.
As of this writing, I seriously can’t think of a situation with my business that I wouldn’t be willing to share with my allies. The knowledge sharing is so valuable and there are few who I can go to outside of Quade to have these confidential conversations. I also gain so much insight from the challenges they face in their roles, and the innovative suggestions provided during our monthly discoveries. I learn so much from my allies’ experiences as well. Because of this, I am a more confident leader today than I was nearly two years ago thanks to my Quade community.