The theme for this month’s Changemaker Chat is Choice. In our chat with Wendy Taylor we learned about the choices she has made that have had the greatest impact on her career. As Director of the Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact (CII) at the US Agency for International Development, Wendy opened up about the choices that have led her to do work that she loves, all while make a meaningful impact in her field of global health.
“Live life with no regrets,” said Wendy Taylor during Thursday’s chat.
Here are a few additional key takeaways:
- Don’t be afraid of failure. Wendy reminded us that you can’t be afraid of failure when going for career opportunities. By sharing some of her experiences in her career shift from domestic policy to global health, we were reminded that we must follow our passions and keep looking forward, maintaining our focus on what’s going right, not on what could go wrong! The windier your career path, the more you will learn about yourself and your capabilities.
- Taking no for an answer? Not an option. Early on in her career, Wendy learned to be creative in order to get things accomplished. Thinking outside of the box, especially when faced with obstacles or naysayers, has been paramount to driving change throughout her career. Developing solutions where others see dead ends can catalyze your ability to drive change.
- Finding your moments. We all have those “aha” moments, and while sometimes difficult to admit, the commonalities between them are frequently that you’ve taken yourself outside of your comfort zone. How can anyone forget the story Wendy shared that involved bringing two contentious groups to an agreement through on-the-fly moderating skills and pure gumption? By using an unexpected moment to push herself outside of her comfort zone, Wendy became more comfortable there. She shared that the more you venture into the uncomfortable, the larger your comfort zone gets.
- Balancing work and life. Finding the balance between giving your all to your family and work is definitely a delicate balance. Wendy reminded us that, although you can have it all, you can’t have it all at the same time. However, when things get tough, we as women do a great job of taking care of managing both.
Wendy closed the chat by reminding us that you need to frame your experiences with confidence – focusing on missteps or the things that could go wrong will only bring you down. The question remains, what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?