Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Corporate Cancer

In Sunday’s New York Times business section there’s an article about Trish May, founder and CEO of Athena Partners. She’s 56 and has used cancer to find her mission, passion and profit.
She had breast cancer at 39 in the midst of a big career at Microsoft. She is the creator of Microsoft PowerPoint. Now there’s a mixed blessing; we can love her or hate her for that gift to society.

But her next gift was taking her cancer experience and applying her business skills to create a line of products—Athena Partners—including bottled water, chocolates with 100 percent fo the profits (it’s corporate not nonprofit) going to cancer research.

I was moved by her story and impressed by her actions. I had to ask myself why I liked her while many cancer survivor “It changed my life” stories turn me off. I think it’s this: there is nothing whiney about this woman. She is a survivor –cancer did change her life—but she is not a victim. She is committed to the cancer cause because of personal experience and her attitude is forward, “Let’s do something” rather than backward, “Look what happened to me.”

Can I make this shift in my thinking too?

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