How prouty i•will transformed this participant’s perspective on life and leadership
Over and over at The Prouty Project, we come back to this Oliver Wendell Holmes quote: “A mind stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” prouty i•will has done that over the course of the pandemic, in humble and grand ways, which brings us to today.
As we move full speed ahead into 2022, we’re feeling reflective and grateful. The past two years have challenged us in so many unexpected ways. And the idea of understanding our purpose, both professionally and personally, has emerged as a common theme for many of our clients, friends, and families. What is our purpose? How does it guide our actions? Is it different at home and work? Does it matter?
We at The Prouty Project had been thinking a lot about purpose even before the pandemic (prouty i•will was conceived in 2019). However, we had no idea how purpose would become a prominent part of the broader workplace nomenclature—a guidepost for how people saw what they did and how they did it—and then it happened.
The unexpected realities of the pandemic amplified an emerging theme we had been exploring: women in the workforce were recognizing that purpose mattered; professionals were no longer compartmentalizing work and home; women were experiencing a unique set of challenges and opportunities across many dimensions of their lives.
Our instinct was right as we walked through prouty i•will, a transformational leadership journey, alongside the 22 diverse women who were a part of the first cohort that launched in 2020. We learned a lot, and so did they.
We wanted to share just a little from the conversation between our team and Christina Carroll, an inaugural prouty i•will cohort participant. We discussed the impact of purpose and the role prouty i•will had in her journey.
Prouty team: Tell us a little about yourself, Christina.
Christina: I’m Christina Carroll. I play a lot of roles in life. I am mom, wife, sister, and leader. I’ve been in the logistics industry for 21 years. I began my career in a sales role and worked my way up, now leading the business I’ve been selling throughout my career.
Prouty Team: You’ve shared that prouty i•will was a life-changing experience. How so?
Christina: While participating in the program, you’re very intentional about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. And for me, it had a ton of benefit and value not just in my professional life, but even in my personal friendships and with my family.
The prouty i•will experience is very immersive. You’re fully in the moment; you don’t have a lot of visibility to what that experience is going to be, which makes it even more exciting. It has provided a lot of benefits for me, not just in my professional life, but also with my relationships overall.
Prouty Team: This is a leadership program designed for women. What was your original reaction when you learned about prouty i•will?
Christina: When this opportunity was presented to me, I was a little bit skeptical only because it was really the first type of program that had been offered to me that was gender specific. Most of the other opportunities available were alongside some of my peers, whereas this opportunity, being designed for women, was exciting. I quickly lost the skepticism as soon as the first session began, and I really got to see the value of the program, both professionally and personally.
A lot of the women in my cohort were in a similar place, either in their career or the type of position that they held. Having that community of women that were in similar situations was invaluable. My biggest “a-ha” moment was understanding what things were holding me back—why I was, at times, not taking the initiative in certain areas.
Prouty Team: What’s one word you would use to describe prouty i•will?
Christina: The first word that comes to mind is validating. There’s a lot of unconscious bias that you encounter in professional and personal situations. The ability to hear from other women that were in similar positions with similar experiences was refreshing.
Prouty Team: How would you describe the prouty i•will guides?
Christina: It wasn’t what you would typically expect in a professional development experience where you’re being “facilitated.” The guides in the program were with us; they were sharing their perspective and experiences and were doing the activities with us. As much as they were guiding us, they were actively along for the ride. I’ve not been through an experience where I really got to understand what makes me tick and what motivates me. And, ultimately, one of the biggest outcomes of this program was that I’ve discovered what my true purpose is.
Prouty Team: What are two ways you are using what you learned in your everyday life?
Christina: When I’m heading into a meeting, I’m a lot more intentional about what I want to achieve. I’m clearer with my purpose. I’m also going in inspired. I feel more empowered with the knowledge that I have about myself and how to best leverage it to my advantage and to my company’s advantage.
I am more confident in my interactions in the workplace. I’m a more confident being my authentic self at home. I’m more intentional when spending time with my family and my children.
To hear more from Christina and learn more about prouty i•will, visit proutyiwill.com.