Over these past 6 months I’ve been going through a divorce behind the scenes.
It was probably as amicable as a divorce can be, however, it was still so hard and full of so many big feelings.
In the months leading up to making this impossible decision, I found myself describing my failing marriage as an “extremely low-functioning team.” I don’t know why I hadn’t really thought about my marriage as a co-foundership before, but it is. A young family is a lot like a startup.
As a coach, I’ve facilitated many difficult co-founder conversations. I’ve helped teams decide to break up gracefully. I’ve supported hurt teammates as they clear the air and learn to collaborate positively again. I’ve coached founders on how to bring out the best in their partners. And yet I was unable to deploy any of these great strategies and tactics on myself.
I’ve been through so many feelings over this past year from shame and guilt to hurt and even empowerment. I keep reminding myself not to push through them, but to laugh and cry and be still in grief all in one day if I need to. The feelings need to come out or they catch up with us eventually.
It’s all so fresh still, but I wanted to let you all know that this big life transition has had a profound impact on how I think about my role as your coach. My divorce has given me an entirely new perspective on what it means to support you as a co-founders and as teammates.
As a single mom and CEO, I've been thinking about how we, as leaders, have a critical role to play in making work inclusive for families of all shapes and sizes on our team.
This experience has given me a deeper empathy for all of the messy middle parts of complex relationships of all sorts.
It felt really important to me to share this with you all. It feels ingenuine to ask you all to be vulnerable with me in our coaching sessions and for me to withhold this monumental personal shift from you.
Sometimes we learn the most from our failures. I know I’ve gained a tremendous awareness of myself already and I'm only just beginning to process it all. I am sure I'll be sharing more with you all in due time.
In the meanwhile, it's often hard to know what to say to someone when they tell you they're getting a divorce - or just went through one. For me, you can say "Congratulations! I'm excited for you and this next chapter of your life." The darkest part of every tunnel is just before the light begins to shine through. For me, I'm focusing on the vibrant sunshine that's already peeking through ahead.