Leaders & Daughters - To My Daughter

Go Play in Traffic!

Dear Egon Zehnder,

Thank you for inviting me to be part of your Leaders & Daughters campaign to collectively inspire, cultivate and pave a better future for the next generation of female leaders. I hope you’ll forgive me for taking some creative freedom with this assignment.

Instead of writing a letter, I decided to write to my daughter in snippets. Maybe it’s because I’m lazy, and this seemed easier. But I think it’s because this is how I see cherish her in my mind… in glorious flashes of color… long, flowing hair… a million moments just exploding with joy. I hear clips of uncontrollable giggles… and shrieks of unabashed laughter.

We’re running wildly through the streets of London… then sweating as we serve the homeless in Shanghai… peering excitedly into rock pools near Sydney… getting stung by jellies in the Maldives… hanging on to the back of a hot, stinky elephant… breathing in deeply the pale blue scent of freshly fallen snow. So, Egon, I hope you will bear with me as I jot down a few Unmotherly Words of Advice to my sweet girl.

1. Go Play in Traffic.

It’s ok. Go ahead. Take that first step off the curb, babe. Because as much as I love the feel of your little hand in mine, I won’t always be there to walk you across. So remember to look both ways before you cross. Make sure you have enough time before the light turns red. Be smart and be safe. It’s how you’ll learn to navigate your way through this world. I’m right behind you.

Emily Chang is the Chief Commercial Officer, Greater China, for IHG.