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"Participation is Required, Own Your Journey" guest article for the Athena Alliance


By Danna Lewis, COO | Athena Alliance

I stumbled upon this quote recently while looking at my intense schedule and wondering how to fit ‘it’ all in. You cannot fail without your consent. You cannot succeed without your consent.

I’ve been reflecting on this quote as it pertains to my personal and professional life, and how the two integrate and intertwine. I’m (still relatively) new to Athena Alliance and I’m swimming in the daily intensity and demands of a startup COO. That means seemingly endless meetings, events and networking, projects, an inbox that multiplies by the minute–and of course my personal obligations. Sometimes it all flows and sometimes these elements collide to resemble more of a rollercoaster ride than a smooth-flowing schedule of activities and events folding into each other.

Happening in parallel: my own executive development journey. As a leading member of the Athena team, I’m grateful to have the incredible opportunity to become more board savvy, increase and improve my leadership presence, and work towards my own journey to the boardroom—with Athena Alliance backing me every step of the way. Not only am I deeply enthusiastic about the possibilities this holds, but it’s been a process I’ve enjoyed. So far.

That is, until I realized it had been at least two months since I looked at my board bio.

That is, until I realized I had missed that meeting with a journey advisor.

That is, until I didn’t take the time to send our writer edits on my resume.

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