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The Journey to Serve the Collective Good

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

My Dad often asked me as I grew up, “Are you helping people?” Among his many amazing sayings that have had a lasting impact on me, this one served both as the roots under my feet and my own working north star. As I sought out educational and professional opportunities, it was a question he’d often ask me. It is a question that still today keeps me honest about my work and who I am.

My commitment in this work has been to figure out how to help people live better today than yesterday. This sometimes winding path emerged from work in policy, direct services, international efforts and living in war zones.. It also evolved through work in the nonprofit sector, government and philanthropy. As my work has evolved, it has been critical for me that we find ways to weave power, resources and ideas together in service of the communities we serve. We don’t live our lives in neat “sector silos.” Both our problems and successes are due to the complexities of the systems that built them. I am committed to learning how to connect the dots from inside the dot to lean towards justice.

There was a lot of noise when I was launching Saathi – from inside and outside!

What is your 5 year business plan?

What is your market?

Why “Saathi.” No one will get that, just go with BP Consulting or something.

And also: Can I really do this? The world doesn’t need any more consultants! Should I? Can I? How? What is this work all about? Really about??

I found a quiet corner in a coffee shop on a cold snowy day and did some soul searching. I didn’t have a 5 year plan – my own thinking doesn’t conform to that. I didn’t have all the answers. Learning, curiosity and asking questions is part of who I am. I didn’t know if it would work out, but I knew I could figure it out and try. I would try to turn down the volume on the noise. I would get quiet. And with that, I began to articulate my principles.

First: to be of service to my mission. Advance good and better for people. My mission is to be of service, not a “bottom line” but to humans.

Second: I resolve to do solid, honest and good work for my clients. I will hustle to find answers, tools and pathways for those also committed to social good. Your mission is my mission. I am all in.

Third: I will come from abundance. Our challenges are big and complex. There is more than enough space for our collective smarts and energy to invest in problem solving. Scarcity is the work of the master - it drives fear and disconnection.

Saathi means “with/partner”. This word deeply defines how I work with clients – we partner on making progress. I don’t consult from behind the glass or through templates. Partnering means we listen, we collaborate and we connect.

My work is ever evolving. I aim to work with clients who are deeply committed to social good, progress and taking on the authentic, real and tough challenges of reshaping our systems, selves and communities.

Let's do this.