Any success is a correspondence between us and the world
I was in awe of the way our merger with Common Future was pushed forward by what seemed like invisible tailwinds at our back. Something so monumental and complicated as the merger of two completely separate entities into one combined organization seemed to be propelled by a profound meant-to-be-ness. I know how hard I’ve worked over the years to achieve far less—or nothing at all in the case of fundraising and sales and hiring. So it was humbling to have our merger culminate in a way that seemed like it was moving forward under its own power.
It reminds me of writer and professor Tressie Cottom's distinction that our intelligence is not something intrinsic within us (as is often believed), but rather a correspondence between us and the norms, technologies, and timing of a particular moment. Similarly, our successes and our failures, whether they are organizational or individual, are the results of the many factors, circumstances, and timing that mix with our own efforts and visions. When we let go of success or failure being the domain of a person or a team and consider success to be something between us and the wider world, then we’re able to see ourselves with the humility we need and the world with the wonder it deserves.