Inspired – Kat van Zutphen


As I sat at one of our Gravista Leaders luncheons, taking in the mix of international female professionals, listening to the updates shared around the table, I recognized something.  Something happening inside of me.  Five women.  Two recently landed big new roles.  One new business.  One book written.  One major art exhibit.  These last three, impressive as standalone achievements, even more impressive because they were achieved over and above these ladies’ primary corporate professions.

Beyond the rah-rahs and the accolades, something deeper was taking place.  We joked about how much had occurred in the short few months since we last met; further joking that it would be hard to match that level of achievement between meetings again.  That thought settled into the space, but did not shift a sliver of the sensation that lingered.  Why was that?  Why was it that this ever present force driving people to be more and do more, didn’t at all dampen the mood?  The accomplishments were impressive – yes, but the real story was not of the outcome, not of the end product, but of the journey.

The end product for each of us was unique, distinct…but the journey for each was not.  Mired in will, passion, courage, vulnerability and strength, defeated self-doubt, our stories were cut of the same cloth.  This is the story.  This is the real story.  That these ordinary women, trying to live extraordinary lives, share so much on a human-level that belies the diversity of their industries, ethnicities, nationalities.  We are so much more alike, than we are distinct.  I realized that I wasn’t leaving as much impressed, as I was inspired.

This is Gravista Leaders.  I often find myself trying to describe the essence of Gravista Leaders when the topic comes up.  This is it.  This idea that it is nice to accomplish great things, but greater still is that we are living courageous lives.

This is who we are.  Ordinary people, living courageously, and doing some pretty amazing things along the way.  We are special, but only in the same way that all of our sisters out there are special.  Human.  Passionate.  Willful.  Capable.  Poised to make a difference.  Daring to admit, it is not always easy.  This is who we are.


by Kat van Zutphen
(Inspired Gravista Leader)
25 November 2014