Over the past few months we’ve toured the country with Lisa Wilkinson.
Every event has been a sell-out and over the tour, Lisa has shared her story with over 4,600 women (and a few blokes)! There’s a lot to love about Lisa – her passion, her courage, her resilience, her conviction and her wit. But what stood out to me the most is the way she makes people feel. And it’s clear that it’s something that’s been her magic from the beginning, and stayed with her all the way through to the dizzying heights of her career.
On her third day as the new Girl Friday at Dolly Magazine, she was tasked with the job of going through hundreds of reader submissions for their Poet’s Corner page of the mag. This was the task everyone in the office loathed, but not Lisa. She said she felt honoured to be allowed into the hearts and minds of teenage girls around the country. Instead of just doing what she’d been instructed and finding a few good ones and chucking the rest out, she took the time to write back, encouraging girls she thought had talent to pursue writing. Years later, many went on to become journalists themselves, with Lisa watching and cheering them from the sidelines.
“We are good enough, in fact, we are more than good enough and we have to give ourselves permission to know that, to believe that, to acknowledge that, to embrace it and celebrate it and pass it on to the next generation.” – Lisa Wilkinson
Throughout our tour with Lisa, we kept hearing stories from people who’d had some kind of contact with her. One woman told the story that just a few years ago she emailed Lisa, out of the blue, asking her for advice on a career hurdle. Instead of the email being lost in Lisa’s inbox or passed to a PA, Lisa picked up the phone, left a message when the woman didn’t answer, and followed up with a call the next day to have a chat.”
Another woman shared that she’d gifted Lisa a swimsuit from her own label and instead of that being lost in the huge pile of things celebs like her get sent every day, Lisa actually called to say thank you.
At our Brisbane event this week, Lisa invited two women as her guests. I asked how they knew each other. The two women paused and looked at Lisa and then explained that they were friends with Allison Bayden-Clay, who tragically lost her life at the hands of her partner in 2012. They held a fundraising event for Allison’s three daughters and at the last minute reached out to Lisa on a whim and asked her to emcee the event. She said yes and they’ve been friends ever since.
All of us have the best intentions. But we get busy right? The urgent things become important, and the truly important things – like kindness and caring and giving a shit – can easily get left behind. You tell yourself you need to do that, call that person, send a card, do that for someone; but balls get dropped and other things get added to the top of the to-do list. So thank you Lisa for reminding me what’s truly important and what really matters – it’s all about how you make people feel. And you’ve proven it’s not just the nice thing to do, it’s been part of your success.
None of the things Lisa did in the stories above are complicated or hard, it’s just about caring enough to prioritise them and I think we all need to be reminded to get back to that every now and again.