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Inspiration Friday: The Power of Grit

Sarah Bundy Keynote

Last night I gave my first official keynote speech to a room full of University of British Columbia 3rd and 4th year engineers, computer scientists, international trade majors and entrepreneurs. There were also about 30 other CEO delegates who attended, and it was wonderful to see these incredibly smart, ambitious and curious young innovators mingle and discuss possibilities in the world of business, robotics, social services, human evolution and more.


One of the joys I have, is speaking to rooms full of students like this, from all walks of life. I love seeing the spark in their eyes, the look of wonder or appreciation or intrigue on their faces. I can see, as I speak, light bulbs going off, and the connection of whatever story I’m telling to something impacting their life in that moment. Sometimes people cry. Sometimes people laugh. Always it’s rewarding.


The theme of my talk last night was grit. I told them what it was like growing up in a one income family in the beginning. My dad stayed home and took care of us the first few years while my mom worked hard to make sure we had food on the table and a roof over our heads. I told them about what it felt like struggling to get good grades and feel valued or hopeful of my future based on what my scorecard told me I was worth.


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Inspiration Friday: The Power of Visualization

Every Friday, I send my team an email with something inspiring from the week, some life lesson I learned, or something that I'm feeling particularly passionate about. After several of these, my team expressed that these emails should be shared with others.

Here is my email from today. A little life lesson on the importance and power of visualization:


Dear Team,
When I was 15 years old, my high school won the Provincial Jr. Girls Championship in volleyball. It was the first time I ever won an award. I played as a blocker for three years with a group of girls who loved the game, loved to compete and loved a good challenge. 
My coach, who was a bronze medal Olympian in wrestling, taught me one of the most important lessons of my life that year. A lesson that helped us beat every other team in the province that year, and is something that I’ve carried with me ever since. 
He taught us the importance of visualization. 
If you go back and read about some of the best performance sports teams in the world, successful actors, singers, business people or independent athletes, they all talk about the power and importance of visualization. 
Consider these three examples:
  • Boxing legend Muhammad Ali was always stressing the importance of seeing himself victorious long before the actual fight. 
  • As a struggling young actor, Jim Carrey used to picture himself being the greatest actor in the world. 
  • Michael Jordan always took the last shot in his mind before he ever took one in real life.
Vision, carries the same power as visualization. It’s seeing the future, where you want to be, thinking through every detail of what it looks like, feels like, smells like and how you will feel in that moment. It’s picturing the outcome you want to receive and be part of. 
This week, I heard a few different people on our team talking about vision, and I was thrilled. Here are just a few examples:
  1. Phil used the term “vision” when he was describing his vision of our Phase III CRM System
  2. Beth used the term “vision” when describing the future structure of particular high performance teams
  3. Brad talked about what he visualized for AIM’s resource center and how what he’s started can help our entire team grow and scale our knowledge base
  4. Jules talked about her vision of our social responsibility program, and what it will mean to this company, our team, our clients once rolled out. 
Vision, is HUGELY powerful. It inspires, it motivates, it engages, it brings teams together, and it produces powerful results.  Each of us has the power to envision the future of AIM and our part in it, and to visualize the steps and results we want to see in order to help us get there. 
Just as in sports, business can be visualized too, and it takes the focus and vision of people on the team, to achieve champion level greatness. 
Thank you, to the people who continue to step up, embrace our present, talk about and visualize our future, and take the steps necessary as a team to help us get there. 
Have a wonderful weekend everyone, and let’s keep our vision of excellence, and our visualization of our future, going strong!
Have a wonderful Friday, everyone,



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