At our company’s annual retreat, I had the opportunity to interview Emily Jones, Executive Assistant to the President at Block Imaging, and Chris Sharrock, Vice President of Equipment Solutions at Block Imaging on stage, in front of our team.
I’d qualify these two leaders in our organization as “the most” in two specific areas. For Chris, it’s the most intentional person I know. For Emily, she’s the most other-centered person in the room, no matter the room. In the twists and turns of life and business, Emily is constantly looking to see and serve those around her.
You can read some of the highlights of the conversation with Chris, but I wanted to touch on something Emily shared during our conversation that has resonated ever since.
Emily grew up in East Africa before being dropped in the heart of Auburn, Alabama at the age of 18, with her family on the other side of the world. Talk about a culture shock.
After marrying a Marine and moving 12 times in 13 years, she found herself a single mom with four kids. 10 years later, she’s battling stage 4 cancer and enduring chemotherapy for the third time in 3 years.
When someone presses forward through life challenges and continues to grow and care deeply for those around them, there’s an opportunity to lean in and ask questions about how they did it and what they learned through it.
So, I did. Here are some highlights of what Emily shared about navigating the twists and turns of the most tender and difficult times in life:
“I get to choose who I’m going to be in every moment, and it matters.”
“I had a choice on what I shared with my children after their dad left. How would I navigate that relationship for the sake of the kids?”
“I get to choose who I’ll be, how I’ll treat people, what I will focus on in the midst of chemo treatment.”
“There’s a whole lot that I don’t have control over, but one thing I do control is ‘who will I be in this moment, this conversation, this situation?’”
“The circumstances of life don’t have to rob me of who I already am. I can continue to grow, be challenged, and see and meet others where they are, regardless of what’s going on in my day-to-day life.”
Have you ever experienced a time when someone shared something that resonated deeply, and you knew you’d remember it for the rest of your life? This was one of those times for me and, I believe, many others on my team as well.
Once we acknowledge that we have a choice moment-to-moment, we can begin to take hold of who we will be in those moments.
Cheers to those who choose to see one another. We’re grateful for your leadership and example.