I suffer. Some days a little. Some days a lot. Earlier this week I was having one of those days. I had an amazing opportunity and was surrounded by amazing people...
And felt like I didn’t deserve to be there. I didn’t belong and wasn’t qualified and at any moment everyone was likely to figure that out.
I was handling it by hiding behind my camera, staying back in the group, not taking a seat at the table.
I was doing well hiding right up until this guy, who happens to be the United States Secretary of Agriculture, quite literally pulled me out from behind my camera, from behind my group, and asked, “May I have my picture with you?”
Secretary Sonny - I know you likely do this a lot, it’s in your nature. But I want you to know that Tuesday morning when you did that to me you spoke much deeper to me in that moment than you’ll ever realize.
As you took a moment to visit with me about my career, my farm, and even tease me about being embarrassed, what you really said to this girl from Missouri who felt like she didn’t belong in our nation’s Capital City, was “It’s OK. Come up to the front. You can be here, you belong. You can talk and I will listen.”
Secretary, you have big, important things to do. And on behalf of all of us I’m so grateful you do. But in that small moment, you took your power and your position to pull someone else forward - to give someone else value.
And that Secretary, is the true definition of leadership.
I am forever thankful and will forever treasure this photo.