On April 2, MarchFifteen celebrated its 3 Year Anniversary alongside an incredible group of partners, clients and friends. As we have done in the past, we wanted this event to centre around a theme – one that came up often in conversation throughout the year, and would resonate with everyone. This year our theme was significance. Edyta spoke on the topic, addressing what it means to be significant and how it can be achieved…
“Today I wanted to share with you a few thoughts on how to accomplish significance in business… not only success.
First, let’s define significance.
Significance is something that always lasts and carries on. Significance will always outlast you and me, it will keep on giving… When you positively change the life of another human being… and that person changes the life of another… who impacts the life of another… who influences another… Significance will feed your soul.
In my job, I observe people succeed, struggle, thrive and one thing comes back in many of my conversations – ambition. Ambition is the courage to dream.
But do we all have the courage to act on it?
Many of us have grown comfortable operating from a safe, protected zone. Those who make a difference and accomplish significance, operate from that uncomfortable space, where risk is higher and a degree of fear is constant.
These individuals have figured out that standing still is not an option. Playing it safe is not an option. The world will not wait. It keeps on moving and we are losing ground if we are not moving with it.
So, if we want to be successful and accomplish significance, we can’t stand still. We need to be “itching” to do better. Be dissatisfied with and questioning the status quo. Hold ourselves accountable to deliver only remarkable results.
For example, if what I did today was not hard, not challenging, I probably did not create value, I did not expose myself to enough risk and fear. Simple.
Unfortunately, I see us too often overly focused on hiding from criticism and not enough focusing on making a difference.
We are afraid of being vulnerable, of putting something out there into the world and allowing the world to react and evaluate. Instead we hide behind the committees to make the decision and don’t take ownership of the outcomes we produce.
We remain passive in times requiring our action. In the words of Dante Alighieri – “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.”
To drive significance we cannot watch the events turn. We need to be contributing to the shaping of these events. We need to break this fear to thrive… How? Here are a few ways…
- Realize that it all starts and ends with you. Your conviction that your thought, idea is worth fighting for is essential. Your investment of time and energy to make it qualitatively superior and different is paramount.
- Your idea/cause must be bold and big. It must provoke different thinking, shifts mindset, make us pause, act differently, move and be affected… And you must anticipate the impact of this idea not only on you and your team… but on tangible value to the organization and the world. Repeating what was done before will not be significant.
- Be passionate, in love with this idea, this thing, and be committed to keeping it alive.
- Make noise. Connect with people who are interesting, walk the tight rope and are generous. Choose your audience well – an audience with whom what you represent resonates, an audience who will become your echo and help be your voice. To magnify your impact you need to collaborate and transition from the ego-centric “me” to the socio-centric “we”.
- Be your own champion– do not wait for others to create a forum for you to shine. Take initiative. Why some do and some don’t? Fear of fear of failure. We are afraid of admitting to ourselves that what we did did not work, we are a fraud, a mistake. Trust yourself, believe in you.
- Your clarity and conviction will help you stay committed and act. Your determination will help you control your fear. People who are successful have failed more than succeeded. It’s character building – fail. And be proud of your scars.
- Know yourself – be humble, learn from mistakes, stay curious, realistically assess where you can make a difference and be intelligent enough to know where you cannot.
- GO FOR IT – full heartedly. Your approach will make heads turn. Others will join in. This is the world of interconnectivity. When you fail – you are either talking to the wrong crowds, your dream is too small or your idea is qualitatively sub-par. But when you succeed – beautiful things happen. And these things last.
At MarchFifteen we strive for significance. Not to satisfy our ambition, but because we are convinced, with passion and courage, and partners like you, we can make a difference. You have been a part of our efforts for the last 3 years.
And many of you even longer. We are grateful for your unwavering support.
My climb of Kili is the test of our partnership. We collected $100K for Outward Bound Canada. You have contributed over $25K. That is significant.
Sherry Prenevost is one of our champions and she is showing her art for the 2nd time at MarchFifteen. Her social consciousness and focus on significance is exemplary to me and inspires me always. If you choose to purchase – 100% of proceeds will go to help build a school in Africa.
I would also like to announce our newest partnership with Michael Ehling, who is an expert in the field of Sales Assessment and Coaching and will be adding to our expertise in that practice.
For now… here is to you. May your decisions continue to make the world a better place, our communities stronger, our organizations more successful, and our teams more vibrant. May they count. May they be… significant.”
On a related note, it has now been two years since we’ve introduced our Family Enterprise Services practice at MarchFifteen, headed by Maria Milanetti. Here are Maria’s thoughts on the progress and success of this practice since its inception…
“I came to this party two years ago now, to join this firm. At that time we launched the Family Enterprise Services practice – a significant event for MarchFifteen. Although both sides had their own experiences with family businesses and independent business, the combination over the past two years has been very powerful.
We are now tracking where we should be and doing better in the last several months than we could have imagined. Last month I was accepted an opportunity to speak at a US Conference for the Family Firm Institute – which is a big step forward and acknowledgement of our role.
We’d like to thank McCarney Greenwood Chartered Accountants who were our first partners a year ago and with whom we hold a joint event series covering topics related to Family and Independently Held Business. We also want to welcome the partnerships we have built along the way, and some of you are joining us today. A Big THANK YOU!! We expect the excitement and the business building to continue!!”