February 22, 2016
In May of 2015, I was fortunate to participate in Intuit’s We Care, Give Back Bold program in partnership with Team4Tech. The program, a two-week immersion in Brazil, teaching small business owners innovation techniques, financial sustainability, and marketing, was much more than an event; it was an inspiration to continue to make a difference in the world we live in.
Working with small business owners was very aligned with Intuit’s mission – improving people’s financial lives so profoundly they can’t imagine going back to the old way. Our team of 15, with nothing more than flip charts, markers, masking tape and a lot of enthusiasm, was able to teach over 40 participants how to improve their business ideas, their dreams, and the possibilities for success. Coming back to work, it has been a constant reminder that it is not the tools that make you successful, it is your intentions. As I have facilitated teams since returning, I am reminded what a small group of 15 accomplished in 10 days in Brazil. With that reminder, it has helped me inspire teams, help them realize a vision they did not think was previously possible, and achieve outcomes many thought were not possible. I have drawn on my Brazil experience to work more effectively on teams, inspire my teammates, and even make more awesome products for our customers.
But it has been my personal transformation that has been most impacted. Brazil provided me the motivation to rededicate myself to helping others. Since returning in May of last year, I joined a group of 50, ages 8-70, traveling to Mexico to build two homes for the poor in four days. Again, an inspired, enthusiastic team can do amazing things in just four days and change the lives of two families forever. I have begun mentoring high school students in their pursuit of developing a program to help students in China get the critical information they need about the US education system to migrate to the US. Working with a team of six 18-year-olds, with their passion, energy, and never-say-never attitude is but another example of how intention and enthusiasm can achieve great outcomes. Lastly, the impact on my family and kids has been the most rewarding. Living in the Silicon Valley, my family is blessed – great home, education, access, etc. After seeing me participate in events like Team4Tech, I have seen a change in my kids. My 11-year-old son joined me on my trip to Mexico. He and my 9-year-old have an amazing awareness of the world beyond Silicon Valley and appreciate what they have, but more importantly are willing to act to help others. I cannot think of a better outcome from my Team4Tech experience.