Why making a bigger impact is important

Amy Downs
First Published: September 24, 2019

Before ending my incredible journey with Lifesize, I asked myself a question that I had asked many times in my life, “How can I make a bigger impact?”. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting and really looking inward these past few months to better understand what makes me truly happy and fulfilled, not just in my career, but in life. Helping people made the top of my list. This notion of helping others is something instilled in me at a very early age by my mother who is one of the most incredible people I know. She was a self-less woman who spent her entire existence in service to others, her patients and her children. She worked with critically ill patients and I recall with clarity those nights she would come home crying because one of her patients did not make it. The compassion and empathy I witnessed in her on so many occasions was unparalleled. She was the hardest working person I knew and most of what I learned about service to others, being humble, being true to yourself and believing in your abilities came from her continuously leading by example. She used to say things like, “there is nothing you can’t accomplish if you make up your mind to do it, Amy”; hence I  grew up believing I was capable of great things. She was my biggest supporter and taught me what it meant to support others, what encouragement looked like, what adversity was and how to overcome life’s obstacles, viewing them as opportunities instead. She taught me about love and compassion towards others, and not just toward people we knew, but towards everyone. She taught me to have an open mind and an open heart, to be a continuous learner and to have a curiosity about how and why things are the way they are. What I didn’t realize back in those days was that she was my rock, my foundation and one of the strongest influencers in helping me to become the woman I am today.

And she is my inspiration for wanting to make a bigger impact by helping more people. Launching my consulting practice is the first step into making this dream a reality.

What this reflection period also uncovered is that I get a great deal of joy from helping others become the best version of themselves. The qualities that my mother instilled in me, what researchers like Carol Dweck, the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, now call a “growth mindset”, are ones that I wish to pass on to others through inspiration and guidance. This is particularly interesting to me in work cultures where it’s easy to give people opportunities to discover who they are, what they’re good at and open doors for them to accomplish things, further building their own self-worth and value. When your job is more about unlocking what is inside of others and helping guide them down a path bringing some of your prior experiences and knowledge as guide posts, the sense of accomplishment, ownership, confidence and value that people experience unleashes belief. And when people believe in themselves and in a higher purpose, they also begin to believe there is nothing they can’t accomplish. This becomes especially impactful when done in the company of others, with a team.

For these reasons, it’s important for me to share what I’ve learned over the past 19 years of my career with others to help them and their organizations be the best versions of themselves. Working with leaders, teams and companies, I hope to have a lasting positive impact.