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Harvard meets Hollywood

May 10, 2011

I’m sleepy — and laying under the covers in my plush hotel bed with a grunting 6 month old at my side.

The sound of crashing waves seeps through the cracked balcony door and fills the dim room with a rhythmic lullaby.

However — tis’ our last night in Cali, so I have a feeling that I’ll be emerging from these warm covers to enjoy just one more adventure. Or maybe some dessert.

It was a long day of learning from the best and the brightest at a work seminar taught by a highly-respected Harvard business professor.

I sat amongst some of the most powerful marketing and business professionals in the country, listening, debating, and absorbing business lessons that — at their best — were incredibly practical life lessons, too.

I’ll share with you three jewels that sat within all the great lessons and case studies and business-speak.

They were not the overarching topics or main points. They were not the rules-to-live-by or highlighted takeaways. But they were three subtle sentiments that stayed with me throughout the day — and that I’d like to share with you, if you don’t mind.

The first was a question.

In the context of our conference, it was a question regarding leadership in business; however, the idea applies to all human interactions.

The question: How do you show up?

Meaning, when you walk into a room – what is your energy? When your kids greet you in the morning – how do you inspire their day? When a friend calls – what tone does she receive when you answer? When your husband gets home at night – how do you greet him?

The energy we bring is more important than the words we share. And when all is said and done, we are measured by what we show, not just by what we say.

The second was a compliment.

Our professor told a story about when she met Bill Gates’ wife, Melinda. She said casually, “Everybody wanted to see her – to hear her. She just glowed with the power of her purpose.”

That phrase – while being a nice alliteration – said something profound about Melinda Gates. It wasn’t her fashion. Her beauty. Her celebrity status – or ostentatious behavior. It was her purpose that gave her a blazing glow. It reminded me of this:

“If you are who you were meant to be, you will set the world ablaze.” – St. Teresa of Avila

The third is a quote.

It’s by a Roman Emperor who lived forever ago, but said something very enlightened (I’ve paraphrased).

“To begin is half the work, but half still remains. Begin again – and you will have finished.”

These were tiny moments in the big day, but they sat happy in my heart.

Maintain an attitude of peace, find your power in your purpose — and to do this and more… simply, begin.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Leigh Allbritton permalink
    May 11, 2011 12:01 am

    Hi Lauren, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog! I love your observations on the small moments of life, and the meaningful things. Thank you so much for sharing, my friend! 🙂 Leigh

  2. Chris Buster permalink
    May 11, 2011 2:45 am

    What is the name of this well respected Harvard business professor? And, what was the general theme of the conference?

    P.S. Grunting baby sounds like a good companion on a business trip, no pretenses.

  3. Mom permalink
    May 11, 2011 8:32 pm

    You sit happy in my heart, baby girl.

  4. Amanda permalink
    May 13, 2011 3:17 pm

    I’m inspired by the “How do you show up” topic….thanks for sharing that enlightenment, I LOVE IT!

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