What are you doing 100 days from now? That's a question that most of us, myself included, virtually never have an answer to. But today, I do. And it’s a biggie.
On November 5, I’ll be joining a group of fellow energy leaders to run the TCS New York City Marathon, the largest marathon in the world. It's the second time I've done this. The first, in 2011 just after the birth of my daughter I ran the marathon hitting the wall at Mile 15. And I'm so grateful to TCS for sponsoring this team - they are the innovation fuel for the energy transition!
While it’s an exciting and daunting challenge, and we’re working hard to prepare for it, this journey is not just about us. It’s about the entire energy sector. The Women & Allies in Energy team will be representing people across the industry that fuels the world.
The 50 of us on this team come from different backgrounds, work in different forms of energy, and have different roles. But we all share a mission, as expressed by our tagline: “Running toward net zero.” If you’re part of the community of allies in energy who share this goal, then no matter where you are that day, and no matter what you’re doing, you’ll have a stake in the race.
By taking on this challenge, we will stand -- make that, run -- for everyone who shares a commitment to the energy transition. To the goal of building what I call Energy 2.0, a future in which all forms of energy work together for a low-carbon, cleaner era. To make this happen, we have to act as one team, helping each other along the way.
The TCS New York City Marathon provides an especially apt metaphor for the long road ahead. It’s filled with tough terrain, including hills. It’s noisy, including sound so powerful it “vibrates in the gut.”
And there are five bridges, which I consider the most meaningful part of all. I can’t say this enough: We need to build bridges across the energy sector and across society. To achieve a better future, we have to learn to keep pushing uphill, tune out the noise, and cross bridges (and Burroughs) to build true teamwork and collaboration.
Pushing through the toughest stretches
There are times when it may seem that these big goals are out of reach: addressing the perils of climate change; meeting the world’s growing energy needs while reducing emissions; empowering people of all backgrounds to be a part of the Energy Workforce of the Future; creating workplaces that are truly diverse, inclusive, and equitable; and much more. The “better world” we want to create can feel like an impossible, utopian vision.
Everyone who has achieved big goals knows that perseverance is key. No matter what we face, we work to overcome it. We continue moving forward.
Grit is the key
So let me tell you about what happened just a few weeks ago. While out doing a morning run as part of my training regimen, I took a spill, busting my ankle and arm. I listened to the doctors and took time to heal. But then I got right back out, as soon as I could, and resumed raining.
There will always be pitfalls and stumbling blocks -- or, in my case, tree stumps -- along any journey. Setbacks are inevitable. But giving up isn’t an option.
That's why I say that for us, this marathon is a team sport. Sure, we each have to run our own race. But we spur each other on. We help each other. We root for each other. We act as allies. And the teamwork includes not just those of us running, but everyone who supports us along the way. We’re especially grateful for our sponsors, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Worley, and for the many clients and friends we have who are training to go the distance in New York.
In the coming weeks, you’ll be getting to know some of my fellow runners as I bring you their inspirational stories. They have and represent grit.
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