My guess is that normally when you see a blog post by the CEO of a 3D augmented reality company titled 'Perspective' you expect content like this (thank you Wikipedia)...
Perspective (from Latin: perspicere to see through) in the graphic arts is an approximate representation, on a flat surface (such as paper), of an image as it is seen by the eye. The two most characteristic features of perspective are that objects are smaller as their distance from the observer increases; and that they are foreshortened, meaning that an object's dimensions along the line of sight are shorter than its dimensions across the line of sight.
But in my life perspective has taken on a far different meaning since December 10, 2014. A day that I now refer to as my own 9\11 - the day everything changed for our family. Simultaneously my perspective was forever altered and my heart crushed. As a parent, outliving your children is one of your greatest fears...not seeing your child finish grade 3 is beyond words. Having your child found dead in the trunk of a car - debilitating.
Over the course of my life perspective has had different meanings. As an young athlete it involved learning the meaning of "role players" and suffering the harsh reality of being very good yet still not good enough. In college it meant understanding that I had to make decisions about what I did with my time not simply do what I wanted. It was about whether I should focus on what I was already good at or focus on becoming good at something that looked to have more long term value.
In the early stages of career it was accepting that you have to earn your way up the ranks regardless of your potential. I remember being somewhat horrified when it became clear that rising to the top did not involve fairness nor was it a linear progression. How did that guy get to be a VP? Why did everyone at the top go to the same school? Why don't they consider this factor in decisions? As the CEO of NGRAIN people no doubt ask some of those questions about me! I don't resent that and in fact love talking to our young team members to help share the contrast of my perspective then versus now.
Over the last few years the perspective I was really trying to groom in my personal development was understanding the balance between great technical innovations and business operations. No technology or strategy is valuable or likely to be successful without dogged persistence, value propositions, good marketing, distribution and all that other MBA stuff. That seemed to really matter in November and now it seems so insignificant! Or does it?
On December 10, 2014 my beautiful, innocent and loving 8 year old daughter was murdered by her biological mother. So what do you do in this situation? What does work mean? What does perspective really mean? For every person it would be different but I think there are two specific themes that I hope my colleagues can take away from this terrible event...
- Career and Family are not mutually exclusive - my relationship with Teagan was enhanced by my career as she loved my work ethic and being a part of NGRAIN. I was not sure that would be the case when she was born but it certainly became true. That has emboldened me to make sure her brothers are also closely attached to the work I do, who I do it with and most importantly why I do it.
- Every Day Matters - we all have good days and bad days, hard days and easy days but in the end every day matters and creates memories. Each day is called the 'present' because that exactly what it is - a gift you wake up to each morning. Do not waste it because who you are able to share it with changes over time and is often beyond your control.
My hope with this post is that some of you can share in my experience without having to suffer such an unimaginable loss in the process. That is Teagan Batstone's gift to you.