Getting Gritty with GenXer Jacinta Williams

Written by:

ALLY Energy

At ALLY we define GRIT as — Growth. Resilience. Innovation and Talent. What part of grit resonates with you most personally? Professionally? And why?

While all 4 attributes resonate deeply with me, I would focus on the role that resilience continues to play in my professional and personal life. Resilience, to me, is about turning the pain of perceived failure into purpose in order to keep learning and inspiring others along my ongoing growth journey.

Resilience has enabled me to turn the wounds from disappointments into wisdom. Resilience fuels my drive to continue to Innovate and work hard, professionally and personally, as I keep my parents’ sage wisdom i.e. “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” as a driving force in all aspects of my life. 

Who in your work has been a role model of GRIT? Can you tell us who they are and what you learned from them?

At work, I’m blessed to be surrounded by so many talented and caring coworkers. This picture is of Decie Autin (Retired VP, Central Project Management, ExxonMobil) and HP (Heetal Patel, Senior Advisor Corporate Strategic Planning, ExxonMobil).  They represent two leaders, from different generations, who continue to inspire me.   Decie and HP demonstrate authenticity, regardless of the senior levels they occupy. Their courage of conviction and immense resilience in the face of adversity, while always maintaining excellence, and genuine care for others including the communities in which we operate motivates me immensely.

As a “Gen Xer”, I am right in the middle of the two generations Decie and HP represent; having them as role models inspires me to always do my part to nurture our talent pipeline and prioritize visible care for our communities.

Who in your life has been a role model of GRIT?

Outside of work, I continue to be inspired by the strong legacy that was passed down from my grandparents to my parents, which I now see embodied in my 3 children ages 22, 21, and 15.

My grandparents and parents positively transformed our family tree.  My paternal grandfather (who couldn’t read or write) and maternal grandmother (who had a first-grade education) were each widowed in their late 30s-early 40s and chose to raise their families (6 children and 9 children respectively) on their own after their spouses passed away. 

Their strength of character, integrity, resilience, care, courage, and the immense sacrifices they made to afford my parents a better life continue to pay dividends for my siblings and me, as well as our respective families. My grandfather’s favorite saying was, “Live your life so that when you stand before our Creator one day, you will hear the words ‘Well done my faithful servant’.” 

My grandmother’s favorite saying was, “Don’t cross the finish line on your own, stop to help someone across even if it might slow you down momentarily”.  These simple phrases continue to be my North Star in my leadership journey.  When I hear my children echo my mom’s wisdom to “do your best and remember that everyone you meet is someone’s child”, I am reminded that these values are enduring.

Rapid Round / Getting to Know You

Favorite Band or Song and why? Casting Crowns, they have a song for each season!

The cost of gasoline when you got your first car? $1.15 per gallon

The person you would be keen to have dinner with (dead or alive) and why? Jesus. His parables/gifting as an orator, charisma, self-awareness, deep care for people from different walks of life and brilliant situational leadership continue to inspire me. I have so many questions for Him.   

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