In the last 6 weeks Shine has gone global – working with women across three continents. The furthest was Australia – and Anna loved it so much we thought she wouldn’t come back!
The last 2 months of Shine have been international. To say the least. In March we travelled to NY to work with WPP leaders from the US, Canada and Latin America and then onto Miami to work with the global female leaders of Wunderman during Spring Break. For those of you who have never experienced Spring Break in Miami you have to understand that every student within a 20-hour driving radius of Miami descends on its unsuspecting shores with the express intention of partying their asses off for a full week.
For those of us whose student days are somewhat behind us, it was quite an experience. Little Minxes and Nikki Minajs covered every inch of Ocean Drive wearing minuscule clothing and oozing confidence. It was as insightful as it was empowering although ultimately putting our middle-aged status firmly in place!
In April we headed off to Bali for Group M APAC which was held at the beautiful “W Hotel” in Seminyak, a perfect location for Shine. Nothing like a gorgeous sunny beach to get everyone thinking big. Then 48 hours later, headed home and then back to NY again with Group M Americas. To make it a true “Shine round the world tour” we kept heading West this time, bound for Australia (after squeezing in a quick “Rise & Shine” morning inspiration session for men and women in Manhattan before jumping in a taxi to to JFK). In Australia we worked with 80 female leaders from WPP Australia and New Zealand in Byron Bay (which reminded us just how important location is for the success of Shine).
It is part of our modern-day adventure to travel to a country where you have not been. What is even more magic is that we had the privilege to work with a large group of women from that country which gave us deep insight into the culture and way of life, into social norms and the values of that country. It was my first visit to Australia and I fell madly, deeply, in love with it.
In Australia we were welcomed and treated as true Shine stars: first a genuine “hurray” that we had arrived – understandably – it’s a long way, a beautiful welcome dinner, yoga and breakfast together, ideas for hikes that we took us to wonderful places, the most delicious fresh healthy food that gave us energy plus magical moments like kangaroos on beaches during early morning runs. It was easy to take a moment to appreciate just how extraordinary our work and lives truly are.
Whilst running the Shine workshop we experienced all that is fascinating about AUNZ women; they are a great mix of feisty and vulnerable, they work and play hard, they have a deep sense of compassion and exposed a heartfelt human side that I found very touching. They are thoughtful and full of praise and happy to share their opinions and feelings. They are professional with a smile and they lead from the heart. It’s no wonder I fell in love with the women and the country.
Needless to say – we wanted more, which resulted in a meeting with some of the male leaders who were genuinely interested in doing what’s needed and the journey will continue, which makes me feel a little bit better right now – sitting on a plane to the UK with a heavy heart, a bit like a teenager who had a fling with a handsome local during a summer holiday – Australia, I know we will be back. We love you.