“I to the Power of We” is a phrase we hear a lot at LinkedIn. It’s about how the individual, with the power of their team, their relationships and connections, can be successful in a way they simply couldn’t be on their own. It’s a value that we not only talk about – but one that I experienced in an incredibly moving way.
It all started when I heard about this amazing program the sales organization was launching called Transformation Grants. Anyone in the LinkedIn sales organization could apply for a $3,000 grant for to do something that would transform you, your family or your community. I immediately applied.
I had been planning the Annual Fred Gabler 5k Fun Run in San Francisco for the past 11 years in honor of my friend Fred Gabler. Fred was a summer camp friend of mine who was killed on 9/11. The funds raised from this 5k help a cause near and dear to my heart, sending underprivileged kids to camp. I applied for the grant with the hopes that I could grow the event from the average 80 participants and $3,000 to something more.
I was lucky enough to be awarded the grant and was then asked to tell my story at our Global Sales Kickoff. So, the next thing I knew, there I was – on stage at the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas, telling my story about Fred and the 5k fun run to 1,000 of my colleagues from around the world.
What happened next was beyond my wildest dreams. As soon as I finished my story and got off of the stage, the emails start coming in. “That was so inspiring”, “That was so moving.”, and “How can I help?” Colleagues came up to hug me with tears in their eyes (“Rachelle, you are making all the men cry!”) asking how they could be involved. I didn’t realize it at that moment, but my 5k run that I intended to plan in San Francisco just went global.
One thing led to another and with the help of dozens of LinkedIn colleagues around the world, on November 11, 2012 – instead of having 80 participants raising $3,000 from one event in San Francisco, 460 participants from 16 different cities around the world raised ~$20,000.
I am so thankful for all of my LinkedIn colleagues that stepped up and made this happen in the following cities around the world: Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Singapore, Stockholm, Milan, Paris, London, Dublin, Sao Paolo, Toronto, New York, Chicago, Santa Monica and San Francisco.
I feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of a culture that encourages & supports making a positive, transformational impact in the world. I definitely felt the spirit and the LinkedIn love around the world that Sunday. And the best news is that 16 underprivileged kids will feel that love and support when they are at camp because of all the work we did together.
I to the Power of We, baby!