Leadership & Humility: how they play on the court together

A few weeks ago, I’m reading these <140 characters on Twitter: If you loved Rio+Social, check out the Social Good Summit.  Within seconds, I’m ransacking the website, reading it backwards and forwards, practically turning it inside out, wanting to keep hold of the thrill and needing to know everything I possibly can about this conference that brings together some of the world’s most influential thinkers and innovative technologists to ignite conversation around using new media to make the world a better place.


I’m pumped.  My juices are flowing.

Yet it’s as if I’m on the edge of my seat in the stands cheering on my favorite team.

image courtesy of Kevin Coles, http://www.creativecommons.org

Though bloggers are clearly invited on the court, who I am to play among professionals?

It had only been a few days previous that my five year old daughter came home with a question: “What is a professional?”  My husband answered, “Someone who gets paid to do what they love, like a pro surfer.”

According to this definition, I am definitely not a professional blogger.

I couldn’t possibly consider flying to New York City to attend and participate in The Global Conversation with powerful social activists, corporate trailblazers and young entrepreneurs.


And with that one thought, I bind myself to the stands.



But guess what happens?  Over the next couple of days, it’s as if the commentator’s voice booms on the PA, calling me to the court.  And it fills the whole arena.

All I had to do was pay attention to what was happening right in front of me.  I could no longer deny my attraction to global conversation and social media for social good.  I “happen”  to read Jennifer James’ blog about her attendance at the first Social Good Summit, where her feelings of intimidation and being out of place morphed into her most  transformative moment as a blogger; for the first time, she saw herself as a connector, an opener of conversations, more than “just a blogger.”

Did she say she felt OUT OF PLACE?  Wasn’t that my same thought, my same fear?

Maybe that’s what it took- the feeling of unease as I make my exit out of the stands.

Feeling out of place…to get in my place.  

My place as a creator of global conversation, of new perspective.

Then Brene Brown’s words, exactly the right ones at exactly the right time, “happen” on my computer screen:

“Inspired leadership requires vulnerability and that often looks and feels like discomfort.”

That’s it.

Leadership and humility, they inter-are.

My decision was made.  Plane ticket booked.  Blogger status approved.

As if all this wasn’t enough, my dear friend Woody had been inquiring along the same lines and presented these questions to our community of women.  Now they are yours for living into the answer:

What does it feel like to lean fully forward into the sphere of influence you have on others?

Similarly, how does it feel to shirk your influence by holding back because you are concerned that others might judge you?


8 Comments on “Leadership & Humility: how they play on the court together

  1. beautiful, carrie. thank you so much for sharing! and from an objective perspective, you ABSOLUTELY need to be there — as a friend of mine says, “if not you, who? YOO-HOO! time to step up!”
    So glad to know you and have you out there, part of the global conversation for change.

    • Thank you SOOO much Gretchen! I too am so glad we’re still connected & engaging in the world with our unique gifts.
      Time to step it up! Ok, I got it 🙂

  2. Way to go! I’ll be there, too. Last year was my first Social Good Summit, and I am hooked. A lot of great things blossomed from so many conversations had afterwards that began at the conference. Hope to meet you there!

    Jen 🙂

  3. Pingback: My Seat at the Summit, Part I : Go Girl Magazine

  4. Pingback: My Seat at the Summit, part I « Carrie Lee Ferguson

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