In our business, you know you’re doing something right when the “What about me?” implications start emerging.
They were distinctly there earlier this year when we celebrated our first McKnight’s Women of Distinction class. Oh, sure, it would have been natural for many unchosen to wonder, “What about me? With hundreds of nominations, however, there was just no way for the judges to fit every deserving person on the boat, so to speak.
But there was also another notable “What about me?” vibe we occasionally received. It came in the form of sullen comments from men, as in why aren’t you also having a recognition program honoring male achievements? If you need a black-and-white answer for that one, I’ll let you ponder it a little longer on your own.
But I will also point out that men were, and have been, central to so much of this program. For anyone — man, woman or child — to overlook this, or quickly gloss over it, would be incredibly short-sighted. Setting aside the original spark at our company for getting the program off to a flying start, there are other poignant male influences to consider.
Numerous honorees, for example, thanked male colleagues, mentors, loved ones and friends. A great example comes from a video interview with “Rising Star” honoree Erin Donaldson, a Life Care vice president. Right off the bat, she chooses to credit long-ago coworker Jim Biggs for helping her become established and rise in the profession. (See the video and others online at www.mcknights.com.)
A “village” of women and men, in other words, raising leaders and working together toward the greater good.
For anyone thinking it’s just a he-said-he-said or she-said-she-said world, they need to think again.
Support and celebrations deserve to be spread around. We are stronger together than we are apart. Not a terribly complicated concept, when posed in other settings. No pouting or effigy burnings welcomed.
And instead of worrying “What about me?” think about making a positive impact on someone else. Then say it while taking credit pridefully, with an exclamation point: “What about me!”
That counts too.