I thought I would share the speech that I am giving tonight at the PRSA San Antonio annual Del Oro Awards. My peers in San Antonio were so kind as to honor me with the PR Professional of the Year award (press release).
The truth is that the description of the award reminds me more of what I have to live into versus what I have already achieved.
The award itself is meaningless, it is the people behind it, like Scott Baradell, Alan Weinkrantz, Katie Paine, Ike Pigott and Trisha Box, who nominated me for the award and sent supporting recommendation letters, that actually make the award meaningful.
I hope to use my two minutes on the podium to inspire others.
Three Principles of Change
I am privileged that you have chosen to honor me with this award tonight.
This is my last full week in San Antonio. Along with my wonderful husband Luc (here tonight) and our two children we are making a transition to Houston where Luc will embark on a new and exciting chapter in his career.
It has been six wonderful years since we moved to San Antonio, and along the way, I have made many fantastic friends, many of you whom are here tonight and many more that aren’t.
The dilemma I find myself in tonight – at the seeming top of my career in San Antonio and on the doorstep of anonymity in Houston – reminds me of an a book by Dr. Seuss that I started reading to my 4-year-old this week, here is an excerpt:
Oh, the places you will go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all
Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.
Except when they don’t.
Because, sometimes they won’t….”
Isn’t it appropriate?
The only constant in life is that things are always changing. As Seuss might say, “Sometimes you are top, and sometimes you are not.”
I have learned that the moment that one believes she has arrived in life is the very moment that she begins her ascension into stagnation and decline.
Change is the only way out.
Inside of the uncomfortable throes of change comes creativity and renewed passion. It is a requirement of excellence.
You can’t get different results doing the same things that you always have done.
The three principles of change that I try to live my life by are universal:
- Be devoted to lifelong learning;
- Learn how to mentor and to be mentored, and,
- Give without expectation of return;
Luckily, I have had some outstanding mentors in this regard, one of which was the late Marilyn Potts, whom we honor tonight. She was devoted to these principles, and went out of her way to help me when I was unknown in San Antonio – and she expected nothing in return
If each person in this room did the same on annual basis, and agreed to help just one other person strive for the goals of learning, mentoring and giving, we would together make a difference for nearly 200 people this year alone…in Houston, San Antonio, or wherever we may go.
The first step is to get involved – in an organization like PRSA or wherever you can make the most impact. It takes surprisingly little time to make a very big difference.
Friends like Marilyn taught me this.
Thanks for your attention and your many kindnesses. Now, pass it on.
Listen to Oh, the Places You Will Go by Dr. Seuss in it's entirety. It's also great timing for graduation.