Today, a woman I held in deep respect and admiration passed away. I did not have time to say goodbye or send her a letter expressing all the gratitude I have for the role she played in my life. So this blog is rightly dedicated to her…
I remember the first time we met. I was stoked you had accepted my request for a meeting. From the first moment, you welcomed me with the vibrant energy, warmth and charismatic laughter you would show at everyone of our encounters for the following four years. On that day, the words you shared so wisely with me had a profound impact on my career. You saw something special in me and decided to be my guide on my leadership journey.
Oh I did bring a few twists and turns on this adventure – never a dull moment with me, you would say! We conversed, we drew, we laughed. You challenged me. Inspired me. We also learnt together. I would leave your office after each one of my visits with a huge smile on my face. You just had this way to make me feel confident.
When I decided to quit work and go wandering through foreign countries for a few months, you encouraged me to use my travels as a sabbatical, and to share my learnings through a blog. Lead Challenge Inspire was born.
When I returned with big yet unclear ambitions, you supported me to gain clarity.
You made those around you feel like the most important person in the world. You gifted this world a beautiful legacy.
At our last meeting, you announced the terrible news about your health. In true Ann style, you managed to highlight the positives about it and make a few jokes.
I so wish you could be there as I enter the next phase of my life as a leader, one which will see my role as a woman expand into a dimension completely foreign to me. But without a doubt, your wise words will continue to accompany me.
Ann, you were a strong woman; a leader with a warm, caring heart. And tonight, there is a very bright star shining high in the sky. Thank you for having been on my journey.