For Christmas my family and I opted for a ski holiday in Austria. Having grown up in the Caribbean, careening down a snow-covered mountain has always seemed like a somewhat distant pastime. However, my husband and (step-)daughter love the sport so I’ve now embraced it as best as I can.
The fear I feel when it’s time to head down a new slope with a snowboard can sometimes be paralysing. As I launch out of the ski lift at the top of a run I have to get comfortable with being out of control, albeit momentarily. Very quickly I must get accustomed to the new yet familiar sensation of speed, wind, ice and snow. Most importantly though, I have to focus on my capabilities and remove any mental blocks that say ‘You don’t know what you’re doing…This mountain is too big and too dangerous’.
As I make my way down the slope I accept that I may fall. But I also trust that the skills and tools in my arsenal will help get me to the bottom safely. I assess every bump carefully, stay alert and adjust my approach quickly when needed. Most importantly, I am present and enjoy the ride to the end. By the time I am at the bottom I feel a mixture of excitement and relief when I am successful. And for the runs that don’t go as expected, I’m still happy that I chose to step into the fear and take calculated risks while navigating the mountains on a snowboard.
As I move into 2023 I find myself contemplating professional advice I was recently given: ‘You’ve just been promoted to one of the most senior levels of MD. This first year is the best time to take a risk’.
With this promotion I am starting to navigate a new ‘slope’. Like with my snowboarding journey, I have quiet confidence in my skills, yet recognise that there is still a lot left to learn. The course is familiar but with many pockets of unknowns to decipher. I am excited take a step into the unknown on my quest to make a lasting positive impact in an authentic and purposeful manner … all while enjoying the journey.
Farewell to 2022 which was all about moving with precision and impact. In 2023, I’ll raise my hand to the challenge and strap in for the ride: 2023 is the year to take a risk!