It’s been a few weeks since Caroline, (a friend, and the Editor of WeAreTheCity India, who kindly supports me with posting these blogs, patiently working through all my typos) has been asking, ‘Where’s my next blog, Vinita’. But when we met at a dinner earlier this month, I knew I had to get writing.
The dinner was hosted at Bloomberg by Vanessa Vallely, the Managing Director of WeAreTheCity, and was a time to celebrate the nominees for the Rising Stars 2015 awards. It was a great event with plenty of inspired minds to chat with.
It all started in July when a colleague nominated me for the award and I made the shortlist. Now, if you have met me, you would know that I’m a very strong woman, bold, confident and all that good stuff; and dare I say, the type who doesn’t need an award to feel validated. And yet, I’m a total sucker for awards. And medals. And certificates.
Sometimes, when I collect my seven year old from the after school club, I see a sparkle in his eye and a smile that he can’t contain. And I just know that the next thing he will say is, ‘mama, check my bag’. And somewhere in there I will find a certificate. Very diligently, he files them all away, showing them all to anyone who cares to watch. He loves Fridays, not because it’s nearly the weekend, but because the teacher announces the ‘star of the week’ – his opportunity to get another one for his stash. Yep, the acorn didn’t fall too far…
When I made it to the shortlist, the email said I needed to get people voting for me because votes would be one of the things the panel would consider when deciding winners.
Once when I was mapping a process at Sky, my director noticed me walk about his office in true Gemba style, chatting to every person who had ever touched the process. He later said that I had met every man and his dog in the team. Once again, I was reaching out to every man and his dog. I wasn’t reaching out to strangers, just people ‘I know’. But as the world gets more self-contained and we do more stuff online, people I speak with are people ‘I know’ – there are no strangers. I value interactions because in life there is no such thing as a coincidence – if we have met, we were meant to have met. It really wasn’t about winning or gathering the most votes, it was about giving it all I’ve got.
What transpired was truly overwhelming. Having trained over 1000 global colleagues via webinar, I sent the link out to them. Not only did they vote but they sent me such supportive emails, some with screenshots saying their vote had been counted, others even asking if they could share it further! People from New York, Monaco, Singapore, Geneva, Dubai, people I have never met and may never meet. And the many local Londoners who stopped to say, ‘hey listen, I voted for you’. Everyone from my CEO to my ex-husband wished me luck and those are not moments you take for granted. Well actually, in life, there is very little I take for granted. It’s all about the attitude of gratitude.
I don’t know how many votes I’ve got and don’t know if they will be enough to take me to the finishing line, but if you ask me how I feel, I am already a winner. Because what I am coming to realise is that awards matter – not because of the joy derived from a piece of paper but because of what they symbolise – a culmination of hard work and perseverance recognised or just so many positive vibes making their way to you. And if we learn to truly anchor that emotion, making it our foundation from where we operate, that power is quite something.
So while we await results, I’ll take this moment to thank all those of you who took the time to vote for me, and to Vanessa and team for helping me make the shortlist, because right this moment, you are the reason for my smile and it is in these little moments that our greatest strengths lie.