Terrie M. Williams tells us how to attain “Real Power”
Terrie M. Williams, 2013 Commencement Keynote Speaker
Terrie M. Williams is the Olivia Pope to Black Hollywood and that title would still be putting what she does as a public relations guru mildly. When I think of super women in business I think of Terrie M. Williams, it’s not because she is so dope at her job it’s because of the morals and values that she brings when doing her job. We are taught from movies and other people in business that you have to be cold and cut-throat to climb your way up the ladder. Terrie’s approach to business is quite the opposite, she brings “a personal touch” to business, pairing that with hard work and a desire to be excellent at all times you have Terrie M. Williams.
One thing that gives me inspiration when I need it is watching commencement keynote speeches by people I admire. Commencement speeches are often thought to be boring and rather long, and they usually are, but there are those rare moments when the person speaking drops many gems. Here are 5 gems I caught while listening to Terrie M. Williams give her commencement keynote speech at Metropolitan College of New York…
Real Power Is: Choosing your friends wisely because spirits are transferable
For as long as we are on this earth many of us will have friends whom we love, admire, and trust. Some of our friends are beacons of light and some bring the darkness (just keeping it 100). I learned with this one line hitter quitter that choosing my friends can help or harm my own spirit. We all know the saying, “choose your friends wisely,” but often we only view this as a way to measure how well they treat us not how well they are as people. I learned that my friends need to be good humans and not just nice to.
Real Power Is: Never comparing yourself to others because you will never win. If you compare yourself to who you were last year, last month, four years ago it’s a better comparison.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” I see a meme on social media every day about comparison stealing joy, but still as humans we look at others success as our point of reference. Perhaps comparing yourself to a person isn’t bad, maybe it’s who you compare yourself to. I learned that comparison can be a good thing when you are comparing yourself to yourself. The next time you want to see how you measure up with someone, scroll your old photos on social media, do a time hop and see where you were last year. Compare and contrast using your life, I think that’s healthy.
Real Power Is: Taking a layer of the mask off to share your journey with someone else for the sake of healing.
Now I don’t think Terri meant to tell the world a sob story, but I do think that when a person shares who they are and tell the truth even when it’s ugly it helps someone. Recently, Mia Ray an online social media fashion/lifestyle guru snapped (on snapchat) a video of her personal video journal. It was a past video journal entry and she was crying her eyes out (don’t know about what) but then she showed herself at present moment and she was happy. Because she is heavily on social media and shares so much people assume her life is perfect, but in that moment she kept it real and acknowledged that one, she is human, and two, she has bad days. She let us know that if you are having bad days it will get better. I received that and really loved her even more (especially because on that day I was going through it). Share your story it can really have a positive impact on someone.
Real Power Is: Being kind to everyone you meet because we are all fighting some kind of battle.
In true Terri form she reminds us to be kind, being kind does not mean being kind to people we know but also embracing people who are complete strangers with our kindness. In one of my past jobs kindness to customer was something the CEO enforced. You could come back from just about anything else but being unkind to a customer was a major no no. What I found most interesting at that job was people actually paid for kindness. I wondered how this company kept their business going so well (because their items were expensive) and I remember hearing over and over, “we love you guys, you are so kind.” Then something clicked, the customers loved the products, but they also loved the experience they got when purchasing from this company. I spoke to strangers everyday and would learn so much of their daily struggles, they opened up to me because I was kind, and even if they never spoke to me again I provided some form of relief.
Real Power Is: If you don’t get up everyday with some butterflies in your stomach, that means you are going through life being pathetic or you’re flatlining.
When I heard this line I literally had to scrub the video back for a replay. The “major key” that was dropped was worth a consultation fee. Terri’s message on having butterflies everyday consists of us stepping out of our comfort zones every single day. Nope, she didn’t say sometimes and she didn’t say when we get bored, she said every single day. I had to sit with this aha moment for a minute and I am still sitting with it. It’s one of those super soul questions where you just sit and ask yourself over and over, “what are you doing everyday to ensure you feel butterflies?”
Terri M Williams has been thriving in her field long enough to drop a couple gems and make us sit up straight. Watch Terri’s commencement keynote speech below it’s powerful…