Hello. I’m Michelle Tenzyk, Event Founder of The Truth Behind Our Titles ™. I want to share with you how this event came to be.
For many years I have been thinking about corporate and professional women – the increasingly difficult paths we have forged for ourselves by “leaning in” just a bit too far at times. The seemingly lack of open, honest support structures. Having my own personal struggles with a often stigmatized illness over 20 years of my career and never feeling safe about speaking up about it – got me thinking. There has to be a way to create a conversation, a discussion for women, especially senior women, to find hope by hearing other women’s stories of adversity while holding prestigious and coveted titles and positions. I wanted to pull back the curtain of shame and embarrassment that some of us feel from these struggles. I wanted to make it ok. I wanted other women to not feel so alone as I had when I was suffering the worst of my illness and there was no one coming forward for me to relate to. How do you keep climbing the proverbial ladder when something so dark and difficult seems to be enveloping your life?
This is not about telling everyone all of our private details either. It’s about empowering ourselves for how we choose to be in our professional lives. And giving ourselves permission to live more full, more integrated lives without pause. And choosing more comfortably who we want to be when we show up for work – in whatever form that is. It’s about finding and having our voices, safely. I needed to reclaim that – and it took me a very long time. Until I founded my own business and fully stepped into my unique brilliance, did I truly begin to realize my greater potential.
About a year ago, I met Kelley Black, the Founder of Balancing the Executive Life™ and a member of Women on Fire (we met through this group). Kelley had her own powerful story and felt as strongly as I did about supporting women more fully in the corporate/professional world, especially considering the work she so passionately does. But we both wondered, how? Fast forward to November of 2013 when I was one of Susan Rocco’s radio guests for her program, Women to Watch™. With Susan leading me along during the interview, I told my story, admitting for the first time publicly that I have lived with my illness for 20 years and how it has impacted my corporate career. The puzzle was starting to fall into place.
I asked Kelley and Susan to join me in continuing to crystalize the idea for this dream of mine, which I believe, as do they, will and can be a movement. The Truth Behind Our Titles ™ Movement. No woman should feel alone and without a life-line of support for their professional journey. Providing practical strategies and solutions to managing the ever-complex professional lives we lead. None of us, I believe, want to lean in any more then we already have. And as much as we all want to thrive as Arianna suggests, we may need to do so our way.
So I leave you with this. This event concept was born out of our hope to empower you through our experiences that we will share with you, to consider changes in your own lives. Through a variety of stories, you’ll perhaps hear yours. By sharing our truths, you may find other ways to think about your particular challenge, how you are living, how you are managing it all. The business world is powerful, beautiful, creative, innovative, and amazing. It is also draining, 24/7, pressurized, demanding, unforgiving, and tough. The Truth Behind Our Titles ™ says it all in its tagline, “Strength, Resilience and Hope for the Professional Journey”. You choose what and how you want to use any of what we will share. For after all, it is your story, your journey.
I invite you to come on October 1st – join me and the incredibly brave, beautiful, and accomplished speakers who will tell you their stories. Listen and decide for yourself what it means for you.