As we start a new year, many goals are in front of us – and that is equally true for our new Culture and Community team and the other virtual teams we are forming at PTC. One of the most challenging goals, and a metaphor many use, is climbing Mount Everest – which nobody achieves without a Sherpa – a guide in many ways.

At PTC, we have guides for many different needs. Sometimes we are guided to ensure equality, diversity and inclusivity. Sometimes we are guided through challenging moments in our careers. At other times, our lives can veer off the trail and we need a guide to get back on track.

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Giving and Receiving Help from Others

When I think about my life and career, I have been fortunate to have worked with colleagues who have been there for me. I can remember their names and faces. If you want to practice social justice, it is important that all have the guides they need to be successful in school, careers and life. Here is the secret: Each of us can find this in others, and each of us can be this to others. We just need to find the right people to give of ourselves to for their benefit and take from them guidance, inspiration and support.

Building Culture and Community at Work

What if part of the solution to making any community better is to arrange for everyone to have a guide? If everyone needs a guide,  benefits from having a guide, and can be a guide, then we need to think and act more like guides. Where can you be a guide?

  • When you look at your team and think about practicing inclusion, ensuring opportunities are equal for everyone, and making space for all voices to be heard? Can you be the person that advocates for equality, diversity and inclusion?
  • When a TPP Intern asks you to describe your career journey, how to equip themselves, and how to get a career started? Can you also listen and be inspired by an intern’s fresh point of view?
  • When a member of our community has suffered tragedy or loss, or just needs something to eat? Can you provide comfort?
  • When you see a teammate struggling to be their best due to challenges at work or home? Can you give words of encouragement or help them with a need?
  • When you see a new hire struggle with writing their goals, making connections with other colleagues, or looking for a role model to live our PTC Expectations? Can you be a trail guide as they start their PTC journey?
  • When you think about some of our communities and see students living below the poverty level, not understanding how to leverage their strengths, not believing in themselves? Can you mentor that student?

These are just some of the ways we can give and receive help from others in order to build and enhance a culture of inclusion, respect and collaboration. If everyone needs help like a mountain climber needs a  Sherpa – and we are all in a position to give help – then we can all participate in our internal and external communities where needs present themselves and where we can make the journey easier for others.

Please, be on the lookout for ways to participate in the give and take of your community.