I hadn’t planned to write about this. But when moments in life take your breath away, they’re worth talking about.
Earlier this week, I had the privilege to join an outstanding crowd for an evening gala that honoured the one and only David Foster. Each year, the University of Manitoba’s Business School Foundation presents the IDEA (International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award) to an outstanding business leader and humanitarian, and David Foster is nothing short of that. Besides an impressive lifetime list of accomplishments and stories that seem too surreal for one person, he has given back extensively to others and gone as far as starting his own foundation.
The evening was a collection of moments that filled my heart with gratitude and inspiration. It was one of those times that reminded me of how thankful I am to be on this journey we call life.
I left the evening with three things on my mind:
- Community: close to 1000 people came together to not only honour David Foster, but to raise funds for the University of Manitoba’s Business School Foundation. Experiencing the joy of walking through a room filled with many familiar faces and the same powerful vision made me stop and realize how lucky we are to “belong”. To a community, to a movement, and to something far bigger than us alone.
- Spontaneity: we expected David to come on stage and accept his award (AKA give a speech and the night be over). Accept he did, and then some! For the rest of the evening he treated us to some of the biggest hits – essentially what has been the soundtrack of our lives – and every moment was as spontaneous as the next. He then picked one person from the audience to come up and sing. In a moment completely unplanned, a young woman named Lisa Windsor joined him on stage and belted out “Natural Woman” in a performance Aretha Franklin would applaud. The audience was blown away by her raw talent, and the energy in the room was electric. It reminded me that sometimes, the best memories in life are those that are unplanned.
- Courage: David’s life has been filled with moments of greatness, those that came from overcoming challenge and failure. But as he said, “good is the enemy of great” and “compromise breeds mediocrity” and if you’re going to fail, fail big because it means you’ll win big on the other side. Certainly something we can all give some thought to, as we move throughout the many roles we perform daily. It also took Lisa courage to jump on that stage and let her talent shine, which created a moment she will never forget.
The night ended with a performance by David and Kelly Levesque (I share a snippet below that a colleague of mine captured via iPhone!), which sent us energized and on our way to share the memories of the evening with our families and friends.
Lastly…it took a little courage of my own to ask David for a photo together. I’m so glad I did! 🙂
So go for it. Why? Because we can.