In the Junior League of Collin County, we have a tradition of the President choosing a theme for the year. Something to help set the tone and vision for our League year. It can be a daunting task – choosing something that will hopefully resonate with 1,000 members. I have a dear friend, a Past President, who likened it to revealing the name of her baby. You just hope everyone understands your passion behind the choice.
This year, you can’t walk into any meeting or our office without immediately knowing our theme for the year: Bold. I wanted to choose something that summed up our rich 41-year history as well as convey my hope for our future. When I look at our members, it’s what I see: bold women leaders in our community.
Webster defines Bold as, “showing a fearless and daring spirit.” At its best, it can be powerful and exhilarating. When you’re in your element, it can be down-right fun.
At its worst, it can be terrifying and definitely push us outside our comfort zone. We can be called on to make tough decisions, stand up for our values and demonstrate our character. When we are being pressured to be something or someone we’re not, staying true to who we are is when we show how bold we can really be.
This year, we are inviting in speakers to share with us their idea of what it means to be bold. How they’ve conquered their fears, embraced their passion and found their purpose. Our first speaker was Jill Donovan, founder of Rustic Cuff. Jill joined us for our August General Membership Meeting and shared her story. Side note: if you don’t know her story, I would highly recommend reading her book, “The Kindness Effect.” Jill told us about how what seemed to be one of the most painful experiences of her life ultimately led her to her life’s purpose. Jill is passionate, engaging, and truly lives by her value of giving back.
As women, we are uniquely familiar with the pressure to have and do it all. We all want to be the perfect daughter, the perfect girlfriend or wife, the perfect mom, the perfect employee, the perfect volunteer, the perfect leader. And, we want to do it all with no frizz and polished nails. But, it’s not realistic.
I think it’s much more bold for women to make a commitment to each other:
- We will support each other’s bold dreams. We all have them, and we need to feel comfortable sharing them without judgment. We need to help each other achieve our life’s purpose.
- When one of us stumbles, we will pick them up. We will be called on to make tough decisions, and when that happens we need to speak with one voice – show a united front. When one of us makes a mistake, we will rally to pick up the pieces and get back on track. When one of us, heaven forbids, has “life happen” (you know what I mean – the kids won’t get dressed, the dog just got sick on the floor, and the car still needs gas), we will show grace.
- We will finish as a team. We will lean on each other. We will do this together. And, when we see another woman succeeding, we will not see it as a threat but as an opportunity for us all.
When you take everything else away, the Junior League is an organization of women because we find value in having women “at the table” – wherever decisions are being made. Women’s voices are essential to balanced leadership and we feel strongly in developing and promoting the potential of women in our community. It starts here. We are each other’s tribe. Each other’s community. Together, we will raise women up to be the bold leaders they are meant to be.
Our work as a League is far from finished, but together we are unstoppable. Do you have what it takes to be bold? Come join us! Click here to learn more.
Written by Shannon Kmak, JLCC President 2018-2019