Leading with Compassion, by Oluwatobi Adeyinka
Updated: Dec 10, 2019
I have been lucky to be a part of GirlBlazer this fall and it has been a whirlwind of new experiences working with a social enterprise. I wanted to just share a bit about my experience supporting the launch of GirlBlazer’s Kickstarter campaign and a short reflection on how Khloe’s story has inspired me.
Our Kickstarter campaign has been in the making for more than a year before I joined, and I am pretty lucky to be a part of it. This is definitely the first time that I have worked in an international team based in 3 different countries and time zones. So, as you can imagine, coordinating in the weeks leading up to Kickstarter was pretty intense. After all, I was also busy studying for two 7 hour exams written 2 weeks apart. I absolutely used my work on prep for Kickstarter as a break from studying!
So, the day came to finally launch Kickstarter. It was the day after my exam, and I was at Tim Hortons (Canada’s national coffee shop, if you will) with Christmas music playing and eagerly awaiting a message from Cora that the campaign had launched. I think I was more nervous about the Kickstarter launch than I was for my exam and was glad when we launched without any problems. Also, that day, I was traveling home (home was about 4 hours by bus from where I was taking my exam) so my correspondences were done en route. At a point in my trip, I got a message from Cora that the internet on her end was so slow and she asked if I would be able to complete the social media posts. I will forever be grateful for the amazing Wi-Fi service on the bus because I was able to upload the posts without issue and our launch day continued without any problems!
Inspiration from Khloe
In all of the busyness and logistics, I found myself reflecting on Khloe’s story and being intrigued all over again by what she accomplished. I learned two lessons from her.
Lesson 1: Focus on Strengths Not Limitations
From the first moment I got to know about Khloe and her work helping homeless women in her neighbourhood, I was struck by how Khloe showed an authenticity to who she is and what she stands for. She knew from a young age that she wanted to help people and could not just walk away from someone in need. Even more so, she did not let her young age stop and that resonated with me. How many times have I, as an adult, focused on all my limitations instead of focusing on what I can do and finding a way to make a change no matter how small?
Lesson 2: Leading with the heart
Khloe’s story is definitely a challenge to the education and socialization I received about what it takes to be a leader. Usually, soft skills like compassion, empathy, and understanding are not the skills people promote in leadership. Yet here was a girl who, at 8, used these skills to change the lives of so many people and continues to be such an accomplished young woman. As an introverted individual whose strengths lie in these “soft” skills, I see Khloe’s story as an inspiration. To see her use compassion and empathy as guiding principles for her advocacy, is a lesson I am happy to have learned.
So now instead of trying to get my voice out there above everyone else’s voices in this loud world, how can I be more purposeful in my care for others and helping them in a more tangible way? To me, Khloe’s story is one that even adults should read and learn from.
So please continue to share about GirlBlazer’s Kickstarter campaign with your friends and family, and if you are able, we’d love to have you as a backer.
- Oluwatobi Adeyinka