In my interviews with #menintech, one man shared how he wrote a 9-page letter to his daughter as she was leaving for college. As I saw my own son leaving for college this week, I looked up the story in my notes.
This man is a Samir on my Matrix. A sponsor of women’s advancement, driving change by encouraging, enabling and making women’s success visible in the organization. His genuine way shows as he talks about how he supports his daughters, and his employees. He’s determined to make a difference and ready to put his own name on the line to make a difference.
He wrote: “You didn’t choose me, but I’ve tried my best to prepare you for what society really is. You have to be a strong person. You don’t have to be a strong woman all the time, you don’t have to be a strong man all the time. You have to be a strong person. And you have to understand that your goals are yours. Stare at them every day. Make them a reality. But if you don’t take risks, calculated risks, but if you don’t take risks, you’ll never achieve what is possible.”
He goes on to telling me about his view on perfect versus doing your best: “Always expect the best out of yourself. There’s a big difference, and I think this is probably my number one learning, there’s a big difference between doing your best and being perfect. The world should never be about being perfect. We all have gotten to the places that we’ve come to by way of growth, and that growth is a series of failures that we have learned to overcome.”
When you want to sponsor a woman in her career. Talk to her about her goals, encourage her to make them her reality. Invite her to take risk, and let her know that challenge and set backs are part of reaching her goal. And please remind her that doing her best is just perfect.