Column: “Pulling while you climb”

Column: “Pulling while you climb”

I have always been fascinated by the story of Moses and Joshua in the Bible. While Moses led the Israelites to the doorstep of the promised land of Cannan, it was Joshua who would usher them in.

Moses wasn’t the perfect leader and suffered because of his many faults, but as we would find out, he was cultivating a leader in his shadows because true leaders raise up other leaders and are not threatened by the next generation.

This week we heard from several powerful voices on Context as we celebrated International Woman’s Day. Women who have not allowed power gaps to slow them down; but in most cases propelled them forward.

I recently watched a documentary on the Black Church, and it was the motto of the early female leaders to, “Pull as they climbed” this really struck me.

Pulling up the next generation of women leaders as they climbed the ladder of success.

While the climb might be challenging, it is helping those who are coming up next, and making sure their journey is a little easier and a little lighter – that will change the trajectory for the next generation.

I have never had a direct female mentor who actively walked with me on my journey – I know I stand on the shoulders of many women who, “pulled as they climbed.”

They fought racism, sexism, and misogyny in board rooms, classrooms, and the public square.

But I was struck by what one of our guests said on the show. Nkechi Nwafor-Robinson is an associate vice president at TD Bank. Nkechi said, while she is proud to be a Black woman, she doesn’t let herself stay in that, “box,” instead she sees her role as one who can elevate conversations and lead from a place of empowerment because empowered people, lead empowered people.

So, I challenge you as I have been challenged today: how can you pull as you climb?

Who in your circle of influence needs to be empowered today?

How can we, as women invest in future leaders who can blaze the trail?

A true leader always thinks about their legacy, pulling as they climb.

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