What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid to Fail?


#MPOWR was a perfect theme for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day on April 23.

At DIRECTV, our headquarters campus was filled with the energy and excitement of visiting children. They got to see what their parents do each day to bring the world’s best video experience to more than 39 million customers in the United States and Latin America.

They also got to meet two amazing filmmakers, Sarah Moshman and Dana Michelle Cook. We screened their documentary, The Empowerment Project, which encourages girls, boys, women and men of all ages to dream big.

My daughter and I were introduced to the film at a National Charity League event. After the first few minutes, I couldn’t wait to bring it to colleagues in the DIRECTV Women’s Leadership Exchange and beyond.

With backgrounds in reality TV, Emmy-award-winning filmmakers Sarah and Dana wanted to show more positive images of strong women in the media.

So they launched a Kickstarter campaign, formed an all-female crew, and took a 30-day road trip across the U.S., interviewing  “ordinary women doing extraordinary things.”

It didn’t take long to see that the women were far from ordinary – both behind and in front of the camera.

“Be bold and naive,” said architect Katherine Darnstadt“You are a leader of your life,” said pilot Sandra Clifford.

“Do right by people,” said Navy Admiral Michelle Howard. “Treat people with dignity, and then that means in the last days of your life, you have no regrets. That’s a measure of success.”

“You don’t necessarily have to find passion in your work, you just have to find passion in your life,” said chef Mary Nguyen. “Just know that if that passion is your work it will become your life.”

How true. Writing is my passion. Why? It’s about thinking. It’s about making connections among sometimes seemingly disparate ideas and people. It’s about changing beliefs and behaviors. It’s about expressing thoughts and ideas in interesting, inspiring and engaging ways.

This is why I love my work in corporate communications and why I love writing this blog. They both absorb me in the amazing “flow” state that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi described as “the creative moment when a person is completely involved in an activity for its own sake.” In the film, Dana described her empowered feeling during the road trip as not having worked a day of it.

So what would I do if I weren’t afraid to fail? I’d write more often and share this blog with others.

When I launched this blog on New Year’s Day, my intent was to post twice a week. And while I haven’t been as prolific as I planned, I’m happy that a goal I set on January 1 is something I’m still doing four months later.

Now it’s time to move on from “designing at the whiteboard” as yet another extraordinary woman, Tara Sophia Mohr, would say, and leap into sharing this blog with others for their input and feedback.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid to fail?


To learn mThe Empowerment Projectore about The Empowerment Project and bring it to a school, business or community group, visit the film’s website, check out the project tour video and follow @EmpowermentDocu on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Their Instagram collage opened this post.       

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Caroline Leach

Hi, I'm Caroline Leach. I help people and organizations tell their stories. I'm a Marketing VP at AT&T, a former Communications VP at DIRECTV and an alum of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. This blog, How to Build Your Career through Social Media, shows you how to build your personal brand, advance your career and embrace your future. It helps you promote your employer and your network too. Opinions expressed in this blog are my own. Your comments are welcomed and encouraged. I'd love to hear from you!

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