The past year has been one of intentional growth and unprecedented difficulty. At The Vida Agency, we’ve been able to continue growing our team and service offerings to achieve things that I hadn’t dared to hope possible. Yet the political climate, the rise of a global pandemic, and the events unfolding in our country over the past weeks have left us with profound sadness.
When our world feels out of control, it can often help to focus attention on the immediate: family, friends, colleagues, the tasks ahead for that day. But in the Pacific Northwest of today, my daughter, family, friends, colleagues, and tasks find no shelter from the bombardment of COVID-19 and everyday injustices that rule our narrative.
This gives the appearance that the world we know is inescapably falling apart at the seams. For me, it sews doubt in my effectiveness as a leader, a woman, a mother. It deceives me into believing I have lost my agency, instilling uncertainty and limiting my periphery vision of what’s possible.
Where once a horizon of opportunity felt within grasp, these conditions leave me poised to accept only a slice of what I, my team, my family, or my community deserve.
- -Rather than a well-balanced life, I’m asked to pick: Would I like to be a strong leader or an involved parent? Would I like an active professional network or a healthy lifestyle?
- -Rather than an equitable society, I’m asked to pick: Would I like quality healthcare or quality education? Would I like justice for victims of police violence or upstream solutions to urban homelessness?
- -Rather than having the resources to do meaningful work, I’m asked to pick: Would I like a well-paying job or a passionate vocation. Would I like stability or purpose?
One slice is not enough.
I want the whole damn pie. For me and for everybody.
And if we want the Northwest to become a climate resilient, anti-racist region, then we’re going to need a whole-pie approach.
Today, we launch a new series, The Whole Damn Pie, to explore balance, inclusion, and innovation in the modern workplace. Published weekly by members of our team and guest contributors from our region, we’ll explore models, tools, tactics, and roadmaps for resilient leaders and organizations.
This is a series for you, the public servant scrambling to rework your budget to better care for those on the frontlines; you the CEO attempting to change course amid a pandemic; you the startup team ready to instigate innovation; you the freelance artist negotiating for a livable rate; and you the young professional or recent graduate, launching a vocation rather than just a career.
We explore what it looks like to level up in your career amid layers of uncertainty, to map a game-changing course while traveling at warp speed, to manage transition within remote and in-person teams, and to negotiate for what you deserve. Where we can offer expertise, we’ll share what we’ve learned from our own mistakes and successes. Where we explore ideas or tools that are new to us, we’ll highlight those who have pioneered these methods.
Sometimes change will require stepping up, sometimes it will necessitate getting out of the way so others can lead. Sometimes it will require failing spectacularly and then sharing all about it. But one thing that change will always be is uncomfortable, even when you’ve been asking for it for years.
There will be days when just showing up is all that we’re able to contribute. But by prioritizing purpose and values in our change-making decisions, and by centering the lived experience of those most impacted, we can move through this discomfort together, and perhaps evolve into a balanced, equitable community.
At TVA, and for me personally, we work to set the standard for equitable communication that authentically connects organizations with their priority communities. We hope you’ll join us on the Whole Damn Pie journey, so that we might grow through this moment together.