See the bigger picture. Trying to see the big picture in conjunction with the immediate task and being aware of how we fit into the greater journey allows us to approach projects in a more conscious way. It leaves us feeling more fulfilled, supported and satisfied.
As a part of my series about “How to Slow Down To Do More” I had the pleasure to interview Rebecca Metter, CEO and Co-Founder at Wambi . As CEO, Rebecca is focused on strengthening Wambi’s core business by combining compassion, gratitude, and recognition with leading-edge innovation. This integration serves to produce positive interactions for patients and their families while improving healthcare organizations’ bottom lines. Rebecca draws on her experience from multiple disciplines, including sales, technology, marketing, and law, which provide her with the unique insight necessary to build a global technology enterprise. Her passion for business and technology have been cultivated over the course of her career with LexisNexis, a leading global provider of content-enabled workflow solutions for legal and corporate professionals. Rebecca spent eight years at LexisNexis in a variety of roles, winning numerous awards, which culminated in leading sales for the Managed Technology Services division. She is thrilled to apply this experience to the health care space, which has been a longstanding personal interest for her. In addition to her CEO responsibilities, Rebecca is the Founding Chairwoman for Global Circle- Los Angeles, American Jewish World Service’s young philanthropist division and remains an active member of AJWS. Rebecca grew up in Lower Merion Township, just outside Philadelphia, PA. She attended New York University and received a Bachelor of Science magna cum laude and a Juris Doctor from Rutgers University School of Law. Rebecca currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.
Thank you so much for joining us, Rebecca! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to this specific career path?
I have always had a passion for creating and making an impact. It was never my style to join an organization and go with the flow; I always found myself starting something new or taking the lead on a project. I did the same thing in college and again in law school, co-founding a chapter of a non-profit, leading young professional organizations, and more. Shortly after, I became involved in technology and worked for LexisNexis for over 8 years. It was there I worked in a number of roles, earning high performer awards and leading sales organizations. I enjoyed my work but yearned for more.
In 2011, I developed an auto-immune disease and began to see firsthand the challenges that patients experience in health care. Through a very difficult experience, I had some amazing nurses and doctors who lifted my spirits as well as provided outstanding care. When I had the opportunity to enter healthcare, combining my professional and personal experiences, I realized I had found something very special in Wambi. As CEO and co-founder of Wambi, I’m focused on growing our core business by leveraging technology to optimize human experiences within healthcare for caregivers and patients across the nation.
According to a 2006 Pew Research Report report, 26% of women and 21% of men feel that they are “always rushed”. Has it always been this way? Can you give a few reasons regarding what you think causes this prevalent feeling of being rushed?
It is natural to want to perform at a high level and with that inclination comes the need to produce quickly. There are loads of productivity tools that help us to do more in less time and what’s great is that they work! They help us to work efficiently. That said, “feeling rushed” has a different connotation than working with a sense of urgency. It seems like “feeling rushed” stems from an underlying feeling of being overwhelmed. When we are rushed we lose focus — yielding careless mistakes. We fail to prioritize and we more frequently miss the bigger picture.
Based on your experience or research can you explain why being rushed can harm our productivity, health, and happiness?
At some point or another, we’ve all been guilty of not stopping to see the bigger picture, take a breath, reprioritize and get intentional about the work that’s ahead. All of this can lead to a feeling of being rushed, and in turn, our work and our health suffer. Pausing more as a practice means creating space to be more intentional. It also creates an opportunity to celebrate achievements and express gratitude, no matter how small the win. This is a great boost because it allows us to realize the impact of what we do, which increases not only our self-esteem but also productivity, lending itself to improved health and a greater overall sense of happiness.
On the flip side, can you give examples of how we can do more, and how our lives would improve if we could slow down?
Slowing down allows us to ultimately speed up. It allows us to be more present in the moment and more aware. This naturally cultivates more authentic productivity.
We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed. Can you share with our readers 6 strategies that you use to “slow down to do more”? Can you please give a story or example for each?
- Pause to reflect and celebrate what’s been accomplished. At Wambi, we have a company-wide intention to appreciate our journey and celebrate each victory along the way. To that end, we have tasked ourselves with pausing more as a means to celebrate our achievements and express gratitude. As a result, positive momentum continues to grow.
- Feeling gratitude. Sharing and receiving gratitude helps us recharge for what’s next by reflecting on the impact we have had and others have on us.
- Meaningfully produce. Slowing down gives you the opportunity to check in with yourself and attune internally as well as build awareness. As a leader, I do not encourage busy team members to keep their heads down and slave away. This leads to poorer work product, increased stress and ultimately, burnout. Instead, I recommend stopping and asking, “Is how I am feeling now impacting how I approach this project? What’s getting in my way today?”
- See the bigger picture. Trying to see the big picture in conjunction with the immediate task and being aware of how we fit into the greater journey allows us to approach projects in a more conscious way. It leaves us feeling more fulfilled, supported and satisfied. When new team members start at Wambi, I ask that with every project they ask themselves, “How does what I’m working on fit into the greater Wambi vision?” This creates a broader perspective on the project at hand and gives our team members the ability to provide important guidance if what they’re doing may not fit into our big picture and we need to pivot.
- There’s more time than you think. Pausing makes you more creative as well as productive and helps you find more space and flow to your day. As CEO of a rapidly growing company, I am a major proponent of taking meaningful pauses during the day to extend “in-the-now” moments and make those moments meaningful. One meaningful moment is more important than 100 inconsequential moments.
- Clear your mind. When we take a minute or two for a few deep breaths, reality changes. Stillness breeds calm and therefore clarity.
How do you define “mindfulness”? Can you give an example or story?
Mindfulness is being aware of the present. It’s tuning in to what you’re experiencing in the moment. The majority of my days include back-to-back meetings where I bounce from call to call or meeting to meeting without a break. As a result, there are times when at the beginning of a meeting I will ask for a minute to pause so I can recalibrate to get focused on the topic at hand. In that minute I will take a breath and let go of my previous thoughts or what’s still on my mind from my previous meeting… and get centered and ready to take in what’s next. This creates the space I need to be fully present as I tackle what’s next.
Can you give examples of how people can integrate mindfulness into their everyday lives?
Some people on our team have alarms set periodically during the day. The alarms are a reminder to stop, take inventory of their own being and oftentimes, regroup with a simple breath or quick meditation.
Do you have any mindfulness tools that you find most helpful at work?
Although unconventional, the best mindfulness tool for me is establishing next steps. By establishing clear next steps at the end of every meeting it allows me to know that we know what actions need to be taken and can approach that in the future when the time is right. After the next steps are set, I can re-center and fully focus on what’s next. I also find that celebrating victories and sharing gratitude daily helps me and my team to stay present and meaningfully connected to each other and our work.
What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to use mindfulness tools or practices.
There are more and more wonderful tools coming onto the market than ever before in this arena. It’s hard to single out a few but I feel I must mention the following: Awake at Work by Michael Carroll, Radically Happy by Phakchok Rinpoche and Eric Solomon, and everything by Brene Brown.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
There are so many, but I really really love, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would want to inspire a movement around promoting positive human connections. If we could show that each moment has the potential to change the world, we would all be a little more generous with our intention, time, love and care as we interact with each other.
Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!