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7 Q+A: Kristen Hyman

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Kristen Hyman puts the ‘leader’ in LeaderShape. We are so grateful for the work she is doing and the impact she is having on young leaders.



What are you grateful for today?
Today I am grateful for technology. My husband, daughter, and I live far from our families and my husband travels a great deal for his job (he is in Delaware as I type this). Technology helps us to stay connected easily and in real-time. Our magical i-Products allow us to share moments via text and photo sharing as well as allows us to talk face-to-face. This sure can warm a lonely heart.

Tell us about one of your friends and what you love about her.
My friend Hope. Our friendship began in earnest during a Halloween event when we worked together in Maryland. There we were, two grown professionals, dressed like characters from Harry Potter. But it was at that moment when we began to learn just how much we had in common. One of the things I love about her is the fact that we love so many of the same things. It’s comforting to spend time with a friend like that.

Describe one of the best days of your life.
I have a few best-days-ever. How lucky am I? One of them was a couple of days before my wedding. I was in Las Vegas with my then-fiance/now-husband and none of our friends and family had arrived yet. It was just the two of us running around town, getting our marriage license, checking out the chapel, and feeling giddy over the anticipation of the ceremony and celebration. Anticipation and possibility and love…that is what most of my best days boil down to.

What’s the best lesson you learned from your mother/grandmother?
My Gram taught me what it is to love unconditionally. When I was younger, I didn’t quite understand this part of my grandmother.  I sometimes confused the generosity of her heart and how she accepted those she loved with being passive. I’m thankful that I learned the truth, which is that my Gram has the amazing ability to truly know someone—their strengths and their imperfections—and love them anyway. And I try to do the same with the people I love. She also taught me how to make the perfect chocolate cake (it’s best not to debate me on this).

We’re all unique. What is your special gift?
Talking to strangers. I’m not afraid to say hello and learn about another person. On my honeymoon, my husband and I befriended a retired surgeon on an elevator ride. One morning he joined us for breakfast and as he departed, gifted us with a Mikimoto pearl necklace.

I also make a mean chocolate cake (see above).

What could women be doing to make their community a better place?
We could all love ourselves and one another. It’s pretty awesome to be alive and it’s pretty awesome to be able to share this life. Let’s give ourselves and each other the space to be good and to do good. With this as our foundation, we can lift ourselves up, lift up one another, and tackle the causes outside of ourselves that are most important.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
I would write more.

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