Forming Storming Norming
Greetings from Florida!
I’m here on my annual girls’ trip. It’s the 30th year that the women in my family have gathered on Treasure Island to laugh, love and be with each other.
It’s the original SheHive. Except there’s a beach drinks and beach chairs. (Which reminds me… we need need beach drinks and beach chairs at the SheHive, STAT!)
There are storms in the forecast for tonight which kinda sucks. No one comes to Florida to sit in a hotel room and watch heavy rains fill the gutters. But I love a good overnight storm in Florida because tomorrow, on my morning walk at the water’s edge, there will be a bevy of treasures washed ashore just waiting to be discovered. I am giddy at the thought of what the morning will bring, which has me thinking…
Storms almost always bring about the greatest hidden treasures. So why do I fear them so much? And in case I am being too clever with my metaphors, by storms I mean those struggles we all face but try so damn hard to avoid.
As if we ever really could.
I abhor the idea that we ever have to suffer...
But it is true that it is often the greatest pain points that bring about the greatest growth.
Andrea and I were practically strangers when we she agreed to be my partner and help launch the SheHive. We spent our first few months being incredibly cordial to each other, but once familiarity and comfort set it, the politeness ended and we started to get real with each other. And what we found was that our real selves - well, they had very different needs.
As like-minded as the two of us are, Andrea and I have incredibly different styles. I thrive amidst chaos, high levels of collaboration and near-non-stop activity. I feel most alive when my mind is awhirl with one hundred ideas and I’m acting on 50 of them. Andrea, on the other hand, is designed for peace, tranquility and simplicity. While her mind is also always awhirl with one hundred ideas, she needs to concentrate on one at a time and she needs space and quiet to do so.
Both are, of course, valid ways of being, but at their heart kind of incompatible. We tried to avoid the storm that was brewing, ignoring our own needs… upset, compromise, rally. It became a pattern. Until about two months ago when it all kind of imploded. The storm hit. There were tears, words, more tears, more words and then a realization and resignation that this partnership wasn’t serving either of us. We were at an impasse.
Our business coach, Jane, suggested we explore the idea of brining in other women to help run the SheHive - a leadership team that could provide additional collaboration for me and free up time and space for Andrea. We both fell in love with the idea and called our Community Curator, Amanda, to walk us through the design of this new community.
A month later we launched the SheHive KeyHolder pilot...
a special, invitation-only membership that was created to expand the capacity of the SheHive while opening up leadership of the space to a group of trusted advisors who will help direct it’s future. Over the course of the next six months, the KeyHolders will share in the creation and delivery of SheHive programming while also working together to shape the future direction of the business and answer the questions, "What could the SheHive become if run by a collective of female leaders?"
If you thought this concept was the hidden treasure, let me assure you - it wasn’t nearly the half of it.
The group met for the first time last Sunday. One by one our new KeyHolders walked through the SheHive doors and carried with them the hopes and dreams of our future on their shoulders. (They also carried breakfast, a toaster, and stock piles of snacks, water and toilet paper for the Hive because women THINK OF EVERYTHING!) We talked, laughed and dreamt together and then set a date for our official planning session in early May. What has amazed me most about this group, so far, (besides the fact that they all said YES!) is that there is nothing - nothing - that has been asked of them yet that they have refused. In fact, they have answered every question with an offer even greater than the original request.
I’m so in love.
As I drove home last Sunday I found myself in tears again, but this time it was happy tears. This group exactly captures my original vision for the SheHive of collective female leadership.
And we would have never gotten here without the storm.
Had Andrea and I stayed silent in our suffering, had we not each been brave enough to say out loud what we needed - we would have never gotten here. We braved the storm and even though it sucked for a while, there was so, so, SO much hidden treasure on the other side.
Brave the storm, Queen Bee.
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD
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