On July 10, 2016 the world lost a special women – Angela Fletcher. I am among a huge group of family and friends committed to reminding the world that she was here. For those of you that knew Angela, I’m sure that you have your own stories of how she touched you. I’d like to share a couple of mine.
Each of us that had the opportunity to call Angela friend have become a part of her legacy. Angela was my sister, my friend, and my thought partner. When I launched my business we met over wine and hors d’oeuvres to toss around some ideas for names of my company. At one point Angela said, “What about Your SweetSpot?” My initial response was “I don’t know Angela, I don’t want people to think that I’m a sex therapist!”
We laughed and she explained the concept using the examples of the sweet spot of a tennis racket and the sweet spot of an athlete at the top of his or her game. I told her that I’d have to socialize it a bit before getting the business cards printed; and she said that she would run the name by a few of her male friends to ensure that we were on the right track.
We both did our due diligence and the business cards were printed. To this day when I hand someone a business card or give my business credit card to a store clerk or restaurant server there is a conversation, and sometimes I do indeed get the “side eye.” In all cases it is an opportunity to share that my friend and colleague, Angela Fletcher, came up with the name and “this is what it means.” That’s legacy.
Since her passing, I’ve received emails from people who describe Angela as vibrant, powerful, spiritual, life impacting, and amazing. She touched people in a special way.
I have several mental images of Angela, but the one that is most prominent is of her at the end of a one day conference during which she served as one of the keynote speakers. A core group of us were wrapping things up when I looked up from what I was doing and saw Angela – her image was fierce and striking. She had on these large dark shades that really complimented her face and set off her big hair. She was wearing one of her signature black outfits and she looked confident and very cool. She had lots of swag. As she exited the room that evening the small group of us remaining received one of her signature lines reserved for her family and friends — “Love you guys.”
Everyday since her passing, I think about all the things that Angela wanted to get done, but didn’t because she left before she could…her time simply ran out. Now, when I think of Angela I’m inspired to do the things that I’ve been talking about but taking no action on. Her friendship always stimulated my thinking. Her passing drives me to do more, to stop talking, and to get it done.
I also realize even more than ever that you never know what burden someone is carrying. It’s not always obvious. As a result, I’m showing more grace these days to everyone I interact with, demonstrating more patience, and listening more closely. I miss Angela, but her influence has left me wanting to be better. I’m thankful for that.
Learn more about Angela’s philosophy on what it means to Leading Differently