Success is a relative term. It’s deeply personal and drives the path of our lives. No matter what success looks like to you, there’s a measuring stick by which you see yourself and the contents of your life. Most of us spend our lives striving for success, but what happens when you find it?
Dream realized. Box checked. Now what?
The conscious next step for many is to seek meaning in the places and endeavors that set our souls on fire. To feel our journey and time on earth means something - that we will be missed is a sincere desire and fundamental part of being human. So, successful people looking for the next thing often seek significance.
Each year, a small group of such souls gathers together for a think tank hosted by the world’s most well-known entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, Kelleher International CEO and matchmaking maven Amber Kelleher-Andrews, and Co-Founder of Planet Heritage Foundation Cindy Mercer, with the goal of leveraging personal and collective influence for good. These thought leaders and change makers dive in for a healthy dose of soul searching and collaboration on ways to make our world a little cleaner, healthier, happier, kinder, safer, more joyful place to call home. There’s plenty of fun and adventure sprinkled into the five-day escape - zip line to lunch, explore the island, feed the lemurs, compete in a tennis tourney, snorkel, kitesurf, or just catch some rays and R&R on the pristine beaches of Necker Island situated in the British Virgin Islands.
A magical little thing happens when open hearts and minds come together, like little ripples in the collective energy ideas emerge. From casual conversations over dinner to roundtable breakout sessions to spontaneous collaboration, the ripple effect leaves a wake of possibility. These leadership gatherings organized by the trio, have sparked business partnerships, non-profit efforts, friendships, and sometimes even romance.
“The best leaders are those with real-world experience, who truly understand the problems and needs of the people they serve.”
This week business leaders heard from Paul Van Zyl, who combines his passion for what is right with what is luxurious in MAIYET his sustainable luxury fashion brand and his partnership with Nest. Van Zyl shed light on transitional justice which is rooted in accountability and redress for victims recognizing their dignity as both citizens and human beings. As a conscious leader Van Zyl showcases a better way to do business using passion for transforming the way we work.
Cynthia Germanotta and Maya Enista Smith of Born This Way Foundation led a conversation in bravery and how we can inspire more of it amongst both our peers and the young people in our world. Born This Way Foundation dedicates itself to supporting the wellness of young people and empowering them to create the world they want to see. With a simple message of kindness, Lady Gaga and mom, Germanotta founded Born This Way Foundation in 2012. Smith, long-time Executive Director, is a celebrated mover and shaker whose career has been in creating solutions to social problems. Together, Lady Gaga, Germanotta, and Smith are fashioning a kinder, braver world.
On World Oceans Day we were fortunate to hear from some of the biggest influencers in animal rights and marine ecosystem protection. Peter Knights is protecting endangered animal populations around the world through his organization WildAid dedicated to reducing global consumption of wildlife products by persuading consumers and strengthening enforcement. We all make an impact on our world with every decision we make and Knights shared why conservation matters and how conscious consumerism is critical for our planet’s survival.
Wolcott Henry combines his passion for diving, exploring, and photography to lend a voice to our oceans and marine life. As creator and director of The Ocean Foundation, he's developed a "community foundation" where passionate donors can pool their funds and efforts for a greater impact. Henry’s passion for saving our oceans is apparent in his work and instrumental in shaking up the status quo. He and Mercer discussed the importance of shark sanctuaries, areas that forbid commercial fishing operations from targeting the highly depleted shark population and the importance of speaking out against the illegal hunting trade whose negative impact extends far beyond the depths of our oceans.
Actress and philanthropist Bo Derek and retired NFL sensation Calvin “Megatron”
Johnson shared the importance of leveraging our power and status to be a force for good in the world. Derek is a WildAid Board Member and has served as a Special Envoy of the Secretary of State for Wildlife Trafficking. Johnson is using his celebrity to empower hopeful mindsets in today's youth through various programs at the Calvin Johnson Jr. Foundation.
As we wrap this year’s From Success to Significance leadership gathering, we’re inspired and hopeful by the conversations started and ideas shared amongst the peer group of world influencers gathered on Necker Island. Business has a significant influence on our world, and it’s imperative we each do our part as conscious consumers and leaders to make decisions beyond the impact of “me” and consider the influence of the collective on our world.
If the idea of “success to significance” resonates with you, consider joining us for our next leadership gathering. At Kelleher International, we’re in the business of matching not only for love but also for a better world. Whether you’re looking for love or an opportunity to grow as a conscious business leader, let us find your match - call to learn more.