Superpowers, Gratitude and Happiness for the WIN

Superpowers, Gratitude and Happiness for the WIN

Answer this question: What are you grateful for? Take 60 seconds right now to jot down what you’re grateful for in your work life. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Are you done? How many items did you write down? 2? 5? 10? If you wrote down several, you have a high level of gratitude. That means that your brain has been trained to recognize the good stuff, and generally helps you be an optimistic person. That positive, optimistic outlook can have a big influence in helping you to be engaged at work and home, and a happy person overall.

Did you only get 2? No worries. You can actually train your brain to focus on the positive. A positive outlook helps you at work, helps you with your team members if you’re a manager, and helps you cope with any curve balls that life throws your way at work and at home (and make no mistake, sooner or later, you’ll have something to deal with – everyone does).

The Women in NetSuite (WIN) Waterloo chapter had its official kickoff event in August, with many staff members in attendance (both men and women). We were honoured to have Lois Norris, Chief Financial Officer at Communitech, and Jennifer Moss, Co-Founder of Plasticity Labs, as guest speakers for the afternoon.

Jennifer had us complete the gratitude exercise I just described, and her message was that happiness is a choice. It is possible to train your brain to be more optimistic. To become a mentally strong person, exercise your brain every day by thinking about what you are grateful for. Eventually it will become second nature. Then when adversity hits, you’ll have a much better mental attitude that will help you get through it and you’ll be a happier person overall.

Lois talked about her career path and her superpowers. Did you know we all have superpowers? I’m not talking about invisibility or flying, although that would be awesome. Superpowers are the things that we do better than most other people. If someone comments on something you did well and you say, “Can’t everyone do this?”, you have just found one of your superpowers – something you do well that comes very naturally to you.

Recognizing your own superpowers helps you be successful. Recognizing superpowers in their team members helps managers build outstanding, engaged teams who challenge, innovate and push things further. Lois shared some tips on discovering your own superpowers, building great teams, and avoiding roadblocks, like making things too complicated or exhibiting “imposter syndrome” (downplaying your abilities/ successes).

Oh, and that dream that most people have of achieving balance between work and home? Not gonna happen. There will be times in your life where your home life is more important and other times when work is more important. That’s life and that’s normal. What matters is that you feel energized and engaged about what you’re doing, whether you’re at work or at home.

What I have seen at NetSuite Waterloo so far is that all staff members are highly engaged and everyone is treated equally. We’re about doing more and continually improving the things that we’re already doing to provide even more innovative solutions for our customers. And compared to many software companies, NetSuite Waterloo/TribeHR has a higher percentage of women in technical positions. But we want to do more. WIN Waterloo is launching several initiatives aimed at advancing the professional development of women at NetSuite:

  • Education – provide development events for all staff members, offer speaking opportunities for women in the tech community, and challenge assumptions about the leaders in the tech industry
  • Social – foster community among women in NetSuite Waterloo and offer a relaxed and fun environment to socialize
  • Recruiting – encourage gender diversity in the office and advocate for the recruitment and/or promotion of women at all job levels
  • Mentoring – guide the development of technical, leadership, management, and professional competencies for women in NetSuite Waterloo and foster the development of professional relationships.

That’s a lot. Fortunately there are nine steering committee members (including three men) to work towards all of these goals. The launch event received an enthusiastic response from all staff. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

We might not think of ourselves as superheroes, but we all use our superpowers daily to build something awesome. And we’re pretty happy and grateful about doing it. Still, it would be pretty cool to be able to fly.

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