a message from Rachel Leslie, Chief Executive Officer
Do you feel like Clark Griswold and sick of the bullshit? Yeah, me too. So, if you’re looking for a traditional RJL leadership blog, quit reading. This one is not your jam, or lime inspired Jello mold!
The COVID era. The Great Resignation. Inflation. And, the most overused word of 2020/2021, unprecedented. Oh, so much was unprecedented, including true exhaustion, increased mental health concerns, increased fear, and the unknown. It’s nearly 2022, and the fear of the unknown remains. No matter how many lights we put on it, yard ornaments we attempt to stand up, or gifts we purchase … the damn lights won’t turn on. By some miracle of the unknown, the lights glimmer from time-to-time. Why? I believe, perseverance and support.
However, if I’ve learned one thing from Mr. Griswold himself, in the moment his family stood by him to see the lights not turn on in a pivotal moment of the movie, you immediately feel bad for Clark. For me, it wasn’t about the lights not turning on, it was about the reaction from some of the people he considered close family – his mother-in-law, for one. In despair, he’s committed to fixing the lights, but he’s tired and somewhat irrational. Although he eventually enjoys lighted success, it wasn’t because he was smarter, it was because his wife, Ellen, figures out the electrical connection … it took someone other than him to help him figure out the finale. It made everyone happy. In that moment, you wanted to live there, too.
Yes, that’s how I see 2022. Of course you’re tired, who isn’t? Imagine the case studies from these last two years! We’re making history. One thing I know about history, it’s often told to describe what people overcame. Yes, my grandparents walked uphill both ways in the snow to get to school, didn’t yours? Well, maybe it was your parents, sorry. Take inventory of your goals and commit to persevering against the unknown. Write them down! Hang them on your refrigerator. Maybe it’s putting a swimming pool in the backyard, or buying a new RV, but I would guess they’re much more aspirational. Don’t be afraid of big and bold because you’re tired. Don’t be afraid to find your edge.
Surround yourself with support. Did you read our culture blog written by Lily Pesavento? She describes a positive work culture as supportive. Sounds simple, but take inventory here, too. Who do you have around you that shows YOU support? Who is going to help YOU make sure your lights come on? Surround yourself with Cousin Eddies (yes, I meant that plural). When Cousin Eddie showed up with the mean, bad boss, we laughed, and yet, secretly applauded. He was there for Clark when he needed him.
As you end 2021 and enter 2022, embrace your written goals and big and bold aspirations, making sure you have support around you, and push forward. Clark reminds us that it’s okay to make a spectacle and dream big. His wife, Ellen, reminds us to be there, be supportive, and to not give up on those we care about. Eddie, well, he reminds us to be yourself and be supportive however you can … always, against all odds. Who are the characters in your real live Christmas Vacation? I know mine.
Rachel founded RJL Solutions in 2017 when she recognized the importance and value of advocacy and representation. The business began as an advocacy firm and has since expanded to include community development and marketing and strategic communications.