It must be the shoes – Yes and No, but mostly No

First it was Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, wearing the ruby red shoes.  Then Michael Jordan did a whole ad campaign that immortalized the line It must be the shoes!

Yesterday, I received my own set of special shoes – Chuck Taylor Superman Shoes.  They were a gift from a group of people in the Shifting Gears Program where we spent over 100 hours together on a career transition journey.  I was part of a great team of people that facilitated the journey, but these 21 individuals did the work.  The shoes became a symbol that we needed to remember what strengths and talent are inside of each of us.  I love the shoes.

Performance can be attributed to a lot of things, but in the end it is about confidence and commitment to learn/grow through the peaks and the dips.  It is also about being in community with people, giving to that community, and leveraging the the strength of that community to celebrate the peaks and to climb out of the dips.  For 21 people in the Shifting Gears program, it was about coming together on 13 different days, spending 80+ hours working at a real company on a real business need, spending another 100+ hours networking/rebuilding a resume/mock interviewing and other work to move towards a preferred future.

One individual shared the story – I went back to a familiar place (my old company), but as I entered I could feel that it had stayed the same and I was a different person.

Is it the shoes?  No, it is what is inside of us that we need to see AND to unleash on something that we are passionate about.

But I do love the shoes. 🙂