I’m thrilled to announce the launch of my 2022 virtual leadership workshop, TIDAL. This only happens once a year and I love, love, love this event (that’s a lot a love).
For 3 powerful hours participate in Tidal 2022 to learn how to harness your leadership power and walk away with a refined relationship to the term ‘leadership’ (hint: it’s not as corporate and boring as you might think, it’s about your POWER in every moment).
” Yes, You can harness your power. ” -SG
IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO…
REDEFINE YOUR relationship to ‘leadership’
Find out how you get in your OWN WAY.
Identify where you’re WANTING VS CHOOSING
Walk away with a clear understanding of your TRUE GOALS
TIDAL 2022 is for YOU.
– What You Need To Know –
September 17th, 2022 | 9 AM – 12 PM PST
In the Zoom Room
Early bird $175 if registering before August 10th!
($195 after August 10th)
3-hr coaching workshop, digital workbook, + digital swag.
This work is for EVERYONE, and I truly mean that when I say it. My goal is to assist in helping you create MORE of what you want by sharing your most powerful self, and this workshop will ignite inspired action in you.
I’ve been working with Kristin for a few months now and she’s one of those people who could intimidate you with her achievements, but because she’s so dang nice and real, there’s an automatic sense of comfort in her presence.
Kristin is not only a vet in the Advertising world, she’s also a Mother and a wife – so plenty of responsibility on her plate and yet she’s making time for herself in service to her growth.
We all live extremely busy lives, but I just have to share some tidbits from our conversation, because I believe it will nudge you. In a good way.
SARAH: You work for 22 Squared, tell me about your favorite project you’re working.
KIRSTIN: Right now I’m focused on a few behind-the-scenes efforts to help re-architect 2023 marketing opportunities for Publix Super Markets. For decades the brand has carved a niche in customers’ hearts with emotional connections and exceptional service, but is facing broader and more intense competition than ever. Partnering with our key clients and agency leads to tackle our evolution opportunities is igniting my curiosity, possibility-based thinking, bravery, and creativity – all the things that bring me spark.
SARAH: How has your view on leadership shifted this past year, and what is the impact on you, your team, your family life?
KIRSTIN: I’m shifting my focus from contribution to connection – at work and at home. Not just being there, but being present. Moving from an open mind to an open heart. The last two years have ravaged our norms for simple interactions and connecting to one another. It’s palpable in the shift to WFH in which hallway conversations and physical proximity are replaced with faces in boxes in scheduled cadences, and blurring the lines of work/home balance. And the emotional strain on folks is heavy. Their hands are full of their own baggage, leaving little room for them to be a helping hand to someone else. My priority is re-igniting humanity, empathy and connection.
SARAH: How are you living your legacy TODAY?
KIRSTEN: My attention is on fanning the flames of “What if?” Encouraging curiosity and empowering pursuit of possibilities knowing that my best impact is creating a widespread ripple effect of power and potential in others.
” My priority is re-igniting humanity, empathy and connection.”
SARAH: How would you describe working with YOU?
KIRSTEN: My husband likes to call me a chameleon, adapting to the style and pace of the people I’m with. But you’ll pretty consistently find honesty, love for levity, and enthusiasm for a good happy hour.
In a world that constantly celebrates people’s productivity and output, my hope is that by giving you a peak into the HUMANS I work with, you realize that the value you bring into the world is based on WHO YOU ARE first and foremost.
Your leadership is your legacy.
How we show up in all these various ways is modeling leadership and creating your realities.
Who we are at the core is the engine and the foundation behind the impact we make in the world.
When Kristen Rutherford walks into a room (albeit virtual or in person) one is immediately drawn to her, sun shiny, authentic disposition and her groundedness. Zero pretentiousness with this Kiwi transplant. She’s a safe haven for her team. She’s not afraid to speak up and she’s wildly creative. She’s also the Executive Creative Director, TBWA Chiat Day, Los Angeles.
SARAH: How are you living your legacy TODAY?
KIRSTEN: I’ve journaled every night for the past 33 years. In the last few years since my Dad passed away, I’ve tried to change the spirit of that daily summation into one that leads only with gratitude. If I have something to write on the page, then I’m living my values which feels pretty awesome.
Whether that’s seeing growth in my team, or seeing them feel appreciated…that makes me feel appreciated.
I’m grateful to be able to find the intersection between my purpose and profession– whether that’s working on accounts that do good, or finding opportunities with brands to help them find their soul.
I’m also grateful that at this stage in my career, I’ve been given the trust and support to bring even more humanity to place with the words ‘Be more human’ written in 12ft letters on our outside wall.
SARAH: Tell us about the opportunity to speak at Cannes and why it’s important to you?
KIRSTEN: I’m privileged to be talking to the Cannes Young Lions Creative Academy. The Academy is a talent accelerator for the brightest young (under 30) creative talent in the world. My session is called ‘Balancing your creativity with purpose’. We’re discussing how to intersect your values / purpose with your profession and how to use your moral compass if something doesn’t sit well with your beliefs and values.
It’s such an honor when this conversation allows me to live my own purpose: making the world a better place through kindness and creativity!
SARAH: How would you describe working with me?
KIRSTEN: I’ve been lucky enough to work with Sarah in both group workshops and personal coaching. I’m grateful for her insight- she has a glorious ability to take a step back and summarize what feels like a mountain, into a very walkable hill! Sarah holds you accountable. We all know the power of being challenge to articulate our 3ft toss and stay true to that. She’s challenging… in all the right ways!
A huge thank you to Kristen for taking a beat to slow down and share with me what she’s up too.
My oldest son’s 14th Birthday. Everybody older always tells you how quickly life goes by. It’s so cliche, but it’s so true. I found myself getting a bit nostalgic so stepped outside to write you all. When my oldest was born, we were quite settled in London and if you’d told me this PNW gal would be raising her boys in 72 and sunny LA, I never would have believed you.
I’m confident that John and I made the best choices we could, given what we knew at the moment, which have lead us to the life we’re leading now. I’m quite thankful for ALL that we’ve created and the people in our lives.
Certainly coming out of the pandemic, now more than ever I’ve found myself paying close attention to how I’m experiencing day to day, and sitting with the question…
“Is this as good as it gets?”
I was in a conversation this month with a potential new client, and when I asked how things were going, he said, “pretty good. I mean I can’t complain. I have a really good job and I’m healthy.”
I dug in a bit more and asked, “On a rating scale 10 being I’m incredibly fulfilled and 0 being not so much, what number would you say?”
He answered with…
“I’m a 7. It’s good for now.”
A 7?! My insides shrieked, because 7 in my mind is the danger zone. It’s another way of saying, things are good. Fine. Specifically, I make that response mean, “I should be thankful for what I have, even though things are OK, they’re but not amazing.”
I so get it. We are taught to be thankful for what we have, and to not desire more. Especially when there are people hurting more than us, and the political and economic landscape is as turbulent as it currently is right now.
I disagree. I believe now more than ever is an opportunity to evaluate the experience you’re having day to day, and ask yourself, “Is this as good as gets?”
This doesn’t have to mean you pull the ripcord and do a complete 180. It does mean that you carve out space to visit your values and measure how you’re living by them (if you don’t know your values, email me and I’ll send you my values guide to help you get clear).
It will also require you to believe that you are worthy of experiencing life a 10/10 regardless of the circumstances around you.
John and I have been doing this over the last couple of months, and recognized that within the value of connection, particularly within our family, we weren’t anywhere near a 10. We’d fallen prey to ‘life.
We’re changing things up for 2023, and I’ll be sharing more about that in the coming weeks.
For now, as you begin to go into December, really ask yourself, ‘Is this as good as it gets?” From there, pull out those values and do some evaluating.
We’re constantly moving into new seasons, albeit another birthday, children growing up, new job…
All of these can quickly cause busyness, overwhelm and as humans, our knee-jerk reaction is to cut stuff out. Only I see it all the time with my driven clients, the stuff that gets cut is the stuff that feeds their spirit. That fosters the most creative ideas and problem-solving.
I was reminded of this over the weekend, as I help run a Guild for Seattle Children’s Hospital with Mateo Messina, a dear friend and award-winning composer. This was our 23rd concert, and when I got involved over 16 years ago, neither Mateo or I had partners, children or mortgages. We both lived in Seattle and had all the time in the world to gather our group of volunteers and meet regularly in person. Looking back, life seemed so simple, all though I remember feeling like we both had a lot going on. Ha! Little did we know.
Fast forward to this year, after taking two years off for the pandemic, with the help of our small, but mighty group of volunteers, we put on another symphony concert to raise money for Seattle Children’s Hospital. Many of these volunteers live similar lives to Mateo and I, and also live outside of Seattle, Washington. It would have been so easy for any one of us to quit and focus on other priorities.
And yet, we didn’t. One might wonder where Mateo finds time to write a new symphony each year, let alone practice it, and I certainly get asked how I find time to host meetings regularly and keep the trains running on time w/ in the Guild. There’s no magic answer, other than we commit and recommit. This year I brought all my boys up to see it, since only Felix had experienced it in the past. I loved having them there to experience this part of my life AND, you can imagine, it created additional responsibilities, especially since John, my husband, was in Germany all week for work. This is where we have to let go of perfection, and roll with the punches.
The answer is quite simple.
I’m crystal clear on my values and am very intentional about living and leading from them. 3 of my values are connection, experience and impact. In this example, the relationships I I have with the other volunteers are really special, and this fundraising event is nothing like any other experience I’ve had – I get goosebumps (the good kind) every time I hear one of Mateo’s concerts.
To know we’ve raised over $1M for Seattle Children’s Hospital over the years, blows my mind.
It requires discipline and re-commitment to lead and live from your values, but I promise you, the more you embody it, the more fulfilled you will be. The more ALIVE you will feel.
Need help identifying your values? I get it. Email me at Sarah@sarahgibbons.co and I’ll send you my values guide.
Are you wanting your team(s) to make a bigger impact?
Put out bolder creative solutions?
Attract a sexy new client?
Increase your revenue?
Grow your own leadership?
Experience way more FUN in the process?
We’re often told to swing for the fences and take the big risk, do the big ‘thing but what I notice from talking to Execs, Entrepreneurs and in my own business is it starts with taking time to do the mundane things that create consistency in all aspects of your business.
I know it’s often the things that don’t fire us up, however, getting consistent with things like reviewing talent monthly,not just annually, reviewing your financial goals and where you’re at daily, not just quarterly, and being intentional about outreach to potential clients, weekly, all contribute to a well oiled foundation.
In order to “do” the above, it requires commitment. Re-commitment. We’re all being pulled in a thousand different directions and our days can easily be experienced as distraction over distraction.
Here’s where I can help you so that you can make your BIG desire happen!
If you are getting distracted easily, there’s a high chance that you have energy leaks all over the place. Some of the most common ones I see in my clients are:
+ Ignoring boundaries and saying YES to everyone and everything
+ Not putting your basic needs first (rest, movement, diet, pleasure, connection)
+ Being agreeable instead of saying and doing the uncomfortable thing because you want to avoid ‘conflict’
+ Thinking life will get better when….. (fill in the blank) only nothing changes!
+ Feeling lonely because you’re at the top of your game and don’t feel like you have a community you can turn to and be super vulnerable because it wouldn’t be ‘appropriate’
If you’re nodding your head AND your willing to take the bull by it’s horns because YOU want more than ‘good or fine,’ than reach out.
I’ve opened my doors to the one group program I’m running next year: ‘ The Board’. You can read all about it HERE, but what you need to know, is that I heavily curate this intimate group (10 or less) and is designed for:
👉️ Men & Women who are just as excited about other people’s success as they are their own
👉️ People who will not accept ‘fine or good’ and instead desire feeling deeply connected, alive, and calm while also making an even bigger impact AND increasing their revenue.
👉️ People who are open-minded, kind and value integrity.
👉️ People who value the experience along the way as much as traditional success.
👉️ Men & women who are driven and have a track record for success. *This is not a program for people just starting out.
You will get out of this program what you want, but most importantly you’ll transform your ability to create your life from your soul and your giant heart, rather than your head. Imagine all the self-trust and confidence that comes from living that way?!
Spots are filling up, so please don’t wait. Email me directly at email@example.com if you’d like to apply to be a part of the The Board 2023.
When it comes to hearing inspiring people talk, I’ve seen a lot of really incredible people over the years. Truth be told, I’ve never quite had the experience like I had last week.
My dear friends, founders of Creative Visions, Amy and Kathy Eldon, set up an intimate conversation between John Turtletaub and Norman Lear.
Norman Lear is known for his story-telling talents as a Screenwriter, film and television Producer (responsible for shows like Allin the Family, The Jeffersons, Good Times, The Facts of Life….and so so so much more) and his ability to impact equality through the arts.
But what I love about this man is who he embodies as a human being. And I’m confident after experiencing him, it’s the reason he just celebrated his 100th Birthday. Ya’ll, he walked out on stage!!
I can’t even begin to describe the surge of energy, laughter, truth and heart-felt connection I felt throughout my whole body as he answered each question ever so presently and candidly. I walked away so grateful for this experience because it gave me confirmation on what I’ve suspected all along
*BEING NICE* is a key ingredient to success and living a healthy long life despite most of the world dismissing this quality.
The word *nice* I find gets overlooked.
It’s the quality that I worry feels too light, maybe even weak, and not special enough. Yet, I often find myself in conversations w/ my husband at the end of the day saying something like, ‘if we can just raise nice boys’ I’ll feel like I’ve fulfilled my motherly duties.
As Norman put it, *nice* is the quality that slows us down. Right there, is the challenge.
Who the heck wants to slow down?! Yet, it’s the quality that has us look up from our phones, smile at a stranger, hold the door open for others, say please and thank you. It’s also the quality that, when we’re in argument with our partners, has us *think twice* about our words in an attempt to fight fairly, and not attack one’s character.
Beyond that, it’s the way of being that fosters being generous with our time, energy and money, empathetic to others situations and compassionate towards ourselves and others when we experience disappointment.
It’s the very quality that allows others to feel seen, appreciated, and acknowledged. Most importantly, connected to ourselves and others. From there, doors open. The impossible becomes possible.
Imagine a world where each of us are 5 degrees *nicer* than we currently are? What would you experience MORE of in your life?
Norman also confirmed for me that laughter, or call it fun, has to be a part of every day. Norman’s pretty confident that the reason he hit the century mark, is that he has prioritized JOY in his life.
If there’s one theme I hear all the time from my coaching conversations, it’s “I want to experience more joy, levity and laughter.”
I observe people being resigned in one part of their life. It looks something like, “I don’t have a choice. It’s just how it is.” If you’re craving more laughter, then take a look at your life where you feel you’re at the mercy of your circumstances. Once we get clear on where we really are, we can wake up and consider another choice.
We can never have another Norman Lear, but we can learn from everything he’s put on this Earth while he’s been here.
The lesson to show up as our most alive selves, messiness and all, to be *nice* always, and to prioritise joy. And guess what? It’s contagious.
When’s the last time you answered the question, “How’s it going?” with the real stuff, and not just, “I’m good, but busy and tired.”?
When was the last time you sat at another human’s dining room table and talked about your relationships, your work, your health, your worries, politics or your faith and really felt like you were the only one that mattered in that moment?
When’s the last time you totally let your guard down and asked for help?
When’s the last time you said NO and didn’t worry about others liking you less?
When’s the last time you felt like quitting, and someone said to you… ‘oh no you don’t.’ This is who you are and you owe it to yourself to go for it?
Over the last 6 months I found myself craving a deeper sense of community, particularly around my desire to live a more soul-filling life, which means really being choosy in how I spend my energy. Still ambitious, but a more simplified, intentional version of life. I was craving spaciousness and connection that was not only deeper but had a wider range.
What I’ve realized is that we’re sold community, as if the minute you join a group you’re going to instantly feel like you’ve made best friends; you know friends who totally get you and see you.
This isn’t really the case!
Finding a community of your people is a combination of laser-sharp facilitating and showing up fully in SELF.
Even then, I find the getting-to-know-each-other phase can be a bit slow, especially if you haven’t met in person. Real community can be awkward, boring, average and, dare I say ‘just fine.’
I’ve just come off a weekend spending time in person with a community I recently joined. Thank you Allison Crow for creating Cultivate; a group of female business owners, all craving a more soul-filling biz and life. Our group connection started with meetings over zoom and at times it felt nice, sometimes awkward, average and dare I say ‘fine.’ What I realized after spending time together in person this past weekend, is that if we want to experience the kind of community where we feel completely understood and seen, we have to fully show up.
I don’t mean fake it until you make it, I mean here are my dreams, biggest fears, things that keep me up at night, shame stories and everything in-between.
What I’ve experienced time and time again is that when I show up with all my parts, all my stories and give people my full presence, real community is created and this is what is life changing.
Each time I’ve elevated to the next level in my marriage, motherhood, or my business, it’s because of one belief I swear by. Revolutionary growth happens inside revolutionary relationships!
I can’t imagine not having a group to lean into who has my back, believes in me 100%, accepts me exactly as I am encouraging me to choose discomfort over resentment, and reminds me who I am when I forget.
Connection is the gift at the heart of community. It’s not just about depth, it’s about range.
So… how’s your relationship to communities?
I know for me the more I let go of the dream of experiencing an ‘ideal’ community and I embrace the messy, real community, which means I show up from my truest self, I experience belonging. Boom. That’s when transformation happens. When one human transforms in a group, you better believe there’s a ripple.
If this kind of community resonates with you, email me. I have something to discuss with you.
We live in a world of information overload – right? – and it’s easy to get sucked into thinking that the more we know, the more we’ll become better leaders. As if by simply reading or listening to ‘the best 5 tools’ will translate to new behavior.
Information doesn’t equal transformation. Just because you might have a new tool in your kit, by no means will it extinguish you humanness. Your humanness can show up in the form of your Achilles Heel.
SO WHAT TO DO
If you really want to up your game in how you show up and lead, start by getting clear on what your Achilles Heel is. And rather than trying to banish that part of you, build a relationship with it. I’m learning loads about the IFS model, and really subscribe to the idea that all of our parts are welcome (e.g. the anxiousness, the judgment etc) and we learn to build relationships with these parts, we experience so much more confidence and self-trust.
“Build a relationship with your Achilles Heel”
Here are some of the most common ways I see my people getting in their own way of leading. In other words, their Achilles Heel:
Choosing comfort over discomfort
Trying to get it right, which creates analysis paralysis
Too many priorities
Working on what’s urgent instead of what’s important
Not asking for help
Once you’ve identified it, have a conversation with that part of you and find out what it needs you to know. Now, this can be a 2-minute conversation.
It looks something like this…
*My Achilles Heel is trying to get it right, so I might say to my ‘trying to get it right part’….
SG: “Trying to Get it Right – I see you. What do you want me to know?”
Trying to Get it Right: “I’m worried that if you get it wrong, you’ll feel stupid.”
SG: “I see you wanting to protect me. Thank you for that, AND, just because I might not get something right, doesn’t mean I’m stupid. I can always course correct. I’m committed to putting myself out there instead of playing it safe. I’m going to need you to step to the side while I be brave.”
Each time I talk TO the part that’s feeling triggered and trying to get my attention, I feel myself re-centered and ready to rock.
These parts of us that get in the way of us showing up and being who we’re meant to be, don’t have to derail us. They can actually help us.
If you try this exercise on, let me know how it goes. This is something you can do on the fly and be a quick exercise, but hugely profound. We owe it to ourselves first and foremost to show up as the brightest and fullest version of ourselves.
I have a bee in my bonnet about all the talk I hear in the self-help world as it relates to wanting and manifesting desires, because it’s simply not enough to ‘want.’
I think back to when I was desiring a career that invigorated me, while making a positive impact on humanity and still paid me good $$. The years were passing by and I felt stagnant and underwhelmed.
It simply wasn’t enough for me too ‘want to do something different.’ I had desires, but I wasn’t doing anything about it.
Even with the most colorful & inspiring vision board in my office, *nothing* and I mean *nothing* was happening.
It wasn’t until an Executive coach I was working with at the time suggested I consider checking out a grad school program for Spiritual Psychology and I consciously chose to go the open house.
It was the act of *choosing* that changed my life forever.
After attending the open house, I chose to have a convo w/ John about applying for the two year program.
From there, I chose to apply and got accepted.
If someone had told me 10 years later I’d be running a massive 6 figure coaching business spending time with people who inspire me, I’m not sure I would have believed them. I didn’t have a detailed business plan, but I did have the inner knowledge to keep choosing what I wanted.
– Choosing vs. Wanting. There’s no competition. –
If you’re wanting something to be different in your life, it begins with your leadership and choosing is one way you can harness your power.
I’ll be diving more into choosing vs wanting at TIDAL.
In case you missed the announcement last week, I’ll be hosting my TIDAL workshop on Sept. 17th from 9am PT- Noon PT and the theme this year is “Learn how to Harness Your Leadership Power.”
You’ll walk away with a refined relationship to the term ‘leadership’ and clear next steps (Hint: it’s not as corporate and boring as you might think, it’s about your POWER in every moment).
I believe in connection and community as key ingredients to stepping more fully into your life, so everything about Tidal is designed in such a way that you experience self-connection and belonging.
Now more than ever I see ALL of us craving connection.
Grab your ticket HERE. For all my introverts, don’t worry. I got you. You’ll be held in the brave container we co-create together.
Money is on my mind this week as I filled up my car this weekend and $100 didn’t even fill my tank. Not to mention all this talk about a recession. Seriously?! There’s a massive sense of unknown right now, and I’m noticing how it’s bringing up my client’s money stuff (me included) and it’s nerve-wracking.
All relationships are important in life, but our relationship to the money I find is one of the most important because if we get careless with it, you’ll find yourself living anxiously and full of doubt. Our monkey minds can take over in a heartbeat.
Money comes and goes, but how we relate to it on a daily basis is our leadership being called forward. What’s even more important is the energy behind our relationship to money, which is an area I’m constantly revisiting. It’s like a garden. You have to keep checking in on it, watering it so that your flowers continue to flourish and not dry up!
I know the topic of money can bring up so much angst for people, but in service to supporting you in this area, here are a couple of go-two habits that I’ve found wildly helpful in transforming my relationship to money.
On a very regular basis, ask yourself, “What do I really want to use money for?” Being crystal clear with your answer will bolster your connection to your desire and motivate you in times of uncertainty.
Get clear on where your energy leaks are around money. Make a list of outstanding debts, bills etc and revisit it weekly. You’ll be surprised at how your energy goes up when you close loops around money.
Be willing to be honest and transparent on a daily basis with your relationship to money, and stop ‘wanting.’ Willing is different than wanting. When I’m on a call with a client and they’re telling me they want to make $1M, there’s no action in that statement. However, if they’re willing to look at their finances daily, if they’re willing to set tangible goals, if they’re willing to own why they want to make $1M they are stepping into action.
Btw, the number of zero’s you have in your bank account have very little to do with your relationship to money. I work with people regularly who have excessive bank accounts, and they too are taking the same actions above to ensure they are financially and energetically fit.
Speaking of $$, I want to transparently share that my team and I have been working on the next Tidal Summit for September ’22 and getting our heads around what the cost should actually be.
SAVE THE DATE! Sept 17th in the morning (details coming).
With all of this swirl around finances the coaching business can be one of the first things to cut (I see it all the time) as it can feel like an add-on, luxury item. We won’t get into that now, but I get it. So I’m working out how to ensure that Tidal Summit (virtual) is as accessible to you as possible, while still being a meaningful and tangible investment in yourself.
Here’s to strengthening our relationship to money so we can experience all the wealth we desire.
Golly gee whizz, time goes fast. I’m on a two-week holiday up in the PNW, and it’s been wonderful and tiring at the same time – traveling with 4 boys. Grateful for my amazing husband.
The woman in this photo is like a 2nd grandma to me, and she’s going to be turning 90 this December – which I’m always reminded after spending a week with her, age is simply a number. It all comes down to attitude. And how great is that red suit?!
I’m in rest mode, so intentionally not focused on enrolling, but my team nudged me to share what I have going on come Sept because it’s all good stuff. I know some of you are planners!!
Things are feeling FULL steam ahead. Here are ways you can get supported by me in the very near future:
Anyone else find themselves needing space over the last couple of days to mentally, emotionally and physically recharge from ALL that is going on in the world?!
I spent time with John and our oldest son (littles are still away at sleepaway camp) doing a whole lot of nothing and I LOVED IT. I found myself shying away from big groups and wanting to hang with my family, where I know they have my back no matter what.
It really got me thinking about how much as humans we crave a safe harbor. A place we can pull into at any time and dock. Even if we’re in rough waters there’s a sense that we can feel buoyed in the midst of the unstableness.
Now more than ever are you finding that you crave a sense of belonging?
Those people that totally get you?! The kind of relationships that when you share, you instinctively feel like you’re the only person that matters to them in that moment?
Those people that have the guts to tell you the truth (from a place of love) because they’re more committed to seeing you fully BE even if ruffles you a bit, vs. saying the thing that keeps you comfortable?
For me, I have my husband, but I also have a group I’ve invested in that has become my safe harbor. It’s been a place for me to nurture my heart while also getting honest support around being a business owner, a mother, and a wife.
Sometimes we *think* we have a safe harbor, but we come to realize it lacks depth – SG
Are you desiring a greater sense of belonging, where you not only feel totally seen, but you can receive honest and open feedback on actions you’re taking to move your goals (personal and work) forward?
If you are, we should talk. You can email me at Sarah@sarahgibbons.co. For my working Mothers, I have an immediate opportunity for you to consider. I’ll be going live about The Mother Boardtomorrow at 8am PST.
We’ll I’m circling back – because the next group for 2022 is starting this fall and you need to know more about this now.
Also – something happened last week that struck me about this program and the women who participated in 2021 – and I had a big moment of pride. Of joy. Of warmth.
“Transformation gets created, and these women experience a true sense of belonging well beyond the program.
We working moms owe it to ourselves to get supported. Our deepest desires matter. We’re not here just to support others. I know my working Moms know that.”
I notice how easily it is for women to bond over what’s not working in their life, and while that might feel good in the moment, it certainly doesn’t foster long-term change. If anything, it fosters more resentment, frustration and overwhelm.
I love this program so much because these women not only redefine what leadership means, they finally get the support they’re worthy of from other working Moms who get them. From there, I witness the Mother Board members truly be the author of their lives and lean into their deepest *desires* despite the circumstances around them (not enough time in the day, a partner who doesn’t carry their weight, lack of energy, money etc).
“One of the greatest gifts I see women experience in this program is the ‘ongoing’ support after the program completes.”
If you’re a working Mom, or know one, please consider this my invitation to invest in yourself. Doors will close Aug. 1st and I want you to experience the gift of not only having myself be a stand for you, but also other women who will believe in you like you’ve never felt before – all from a place of compassion.
It’s official. We now have a 4th, 6th, and 8th grader in our house. GULP.
Summer has arrived in the Gibbons zoo, and now more than ever I’m feeling called into leadership. If I don’t stand in leadership in motherhood, our boys will be sitting on screens 24/7 (the repercussions of that are terrifying)!!
If you’re new to the SG community, you might not be used to hearing the word ‘leadership’ associated to anything outside of ‘work.’ We’ve been trained to think of leadership as people who hold the highest jobs in a company and get paid the big bucks. Full stop.
I define leadership as who we ARE in ALL aspects of life. Not just in the boardroom or the traditional sense of what you think when you hear the term. Leadership happens in the moment – at home, in your marriage, in motherhood, fatherhood, with friends, and with yourself.
To all my parents out there, now that school is out, schedules are shifting, our kids are growing up, work demands are shifting – I bet you’re feeling it. ALL of it. For my my corporate peeps, how’s it going with the reentry back into the offices?!
It hit me last week with our middle culminating from 5th grade, and realizing how grown up our boys are becoming – I was one part nostalgic, one part ecstatic for the break-in school work, one part overjoyed seeing them step into their own and one part frustrated with all the bickering – leaving me feeling like a big ball of mush.
There was a time before I really got what it meant to stand in leadership, that I would get swept away with Summer overwhelm as a working parent, which resulted in a very complex spreadsheet detailing all of their camps, sleepovers etc. Just thinking about those spreadsheets stresses me out now. As if all that planning would eliminate ‘difficult’ situations with our boys. Wrong again!
As we go into Summer 2022, I’ve discovered that standing in leadership for me looks a little different. It’s less about all the doing – and more about the qualities I’m leading from that will create the experience I desire for the boys and myself.
I crave simplicity in all areas of my life – in reality this means our boys have ‘some’ plans, but not every day is filled. There’s spaciousness. Same in biz. I’ve made some decisions in the past year, that have really simplified how I work with clients – a win, win for all.
I also crave clarity in all areas of my life – this means I’ve communicated clearly to the boys what we have planned for them (with their input) and what I expect of them when they’re lounging about at home. At work, this looks like crystal clear communication with my team as to how my work days look during the Summer and clear milestones for all of our projects coming up in the back half of the year.
If you were to stand firmly in leadership this Summer, what would you have MORE of in your work and personal life, that you currently don’t have? I want to know.
What I love MOST about success coaching is spending time with my clients because of WHO they are – bold, creative, fun and brilliant. Above all, they’re committed to leading in all areas of their life. They’re just so dang inspiring! I was lucky enough to ask my Patrick O’Neill, Chief Creative Officer, client and dear friend about his leadership, current project and what’s come from our time together.
1. How has your view on leadership shifted this past year, and what is the impact on you, your team, your family life?
My view on leadership has shifted, down shifted, to a lower frequency and I’ve benefitted from this – as the high energy approach is pushing people away in these hostile and impatient times we live in. Everyone appreciates the lower key approach, especially my family.
How are you living your legacy TODAY?
By living in full creative mode – Creating content people remember and adore.
That’s my zone.
Tell us about your favorite project you’re working on.
I just launched the Pride activation “WHIP IT OUT” for Whipshots, the vodka-infused whipped cream, co-founded by Cardi B. We wanted to connect with the LGBTQ+ community with authenticity and a big dose of fun. And Cardi brought it to West Hollywood this year, for sure.
4. How would you describe working with me?
I’m a culture vulture and working with me means talking about musicians, new tracks, movies, art exhibitions, food trends, streaming shows, soup diets, etc. all of which inspire my creativity.
A huge thank you to Patrick for taking a beat to slow down and share with me what he’s up to. I hope his candidness and words have inspired you as much as they have me!
My heart is numb from all that happened last week at Robb Elementary.
In fact, it’s been numb for a while as I’m still processing what happened in Buffalo. As a Mama of an 11 year old and a 9 year old boy, the pain I imagine the families feel must be unbearable and paralyzing.
Like you, my world doesn’t stop *even* when the most horrific events happen in my country. I still chose to show up and Mother. Coach. Wife. Cook. Drive the boys to various practices etc. I laughed, I cried, I got frustrated and everything in-between.
Just because we carry on with our lives, doesn’t mean that we don’t care.
Do you ever feel like in moments like this, that you *should* be…
Taking moments of silence
Giving your team the day(s) off
Keeping your kids home
Galvanizing your community to voice your opinion about gun laws
Whatever your ‘should’ is I totally get it.
What I notice is how much we all live in an either/ or world. In other words, you can’t possibly be excited over your current WIN at work, and be grieving at the same time.
Well I call B.S.
We are spiritual beings, having a human experience. That means our humanity can be feeling a smorgasbord of feelings at the same time – excitement, sadness, joy, nerves, rage, loneliness and so on.
In the midst of ALL of our humanity, there’s nothing wrong with you still choosing to lead in all areas of your life. Standing in responsibility and following through with your commitments. That doesn’t make you a selfish, unaware or an uncaring human being.
Your humanity and leadership are not mutually exclusive, they co-exist
What I will ask is that you give space for YOUR humanity to breathe as well as your teams. In practical ways this looks like:
Building in space for you to share your feelings (yes people, talk about how you feel…it’s super liberating, and the more you do it, the more you give others the opportunity to express themselves
Loosen the reins on the work agenda, and make space at the start of work calls to check in with your people.
If you feel called to do more, then wonderful. Take the pressure off and be with ALL of your humanity and continue to lead in service to sharing your full self with the world.
If you want support around this, just hit me back.
Something has happened in the last few years (ok… a lot has happened) but *in* this moment, I’m really noticing how we make *everything* have so much significance.
I notice it everywhere.
I notice it with business owners, who get stuck taking action because they’re so fixated on knowing their purpose.
I notice it with people in various seasons of life.
The 50 somethings who crave a different kind of purpose in their life then they’ve had, but are concerned about agism. Not saying that they don’t have evidence as to why they should be, but I’ve noticed how much it contributes to their worry.
I notice it with the upcoming driven 20+ somethings who feel they MUST know their purpose in the first quarter of the life.
So much significance placed on every bloody exchange, that it can become a real time suck and energy drain.
So much pressure!
I notice I do it with my husband when he writes to me and doesn’t reference me by the nickname he calls me. Before I know it, I place so much significance on the exchange, that it causes me to question myself, question him, our relationship.
My intention for pointing to this, isn’t to have a conversation as to why us humans make so much significance out of things, because I think we know why (hello technology that has us connected 24/7, hello expectations and ambition that can cause us to obsess over details).
Instead, my goal is to help you see where you create unnecessary significance in your life, and by doing so, it’s that *leadership* that’s actually getting in the way of you having a better life.
Consider what happens to you when you give something a lot of significance? Do you start to over-analyze? Do you get stuck in the paradox of choice and not make any movement? Do you become overly prickly and barky with your partner?
When I start to give something a lot of significance I notice I have soooooo much expectation, so much desire to get it all right, and ultimately not a lot of trust.
My leadership in those moments are very much rooted in doubt.
One of the breakthroughs I’ve been actively creating this year in my leadership is instead of holding everything with so much significance, holding things with more grace and ultimately being grace. Which to me means a few things:
+ Assuming the other person has positive intent.
+ Being okay with murkiness and sometimes that means only knowing the very next baby step I’m taking, but not the one after it.
+ Letting myself change my mind and being okay with others changing their mind.
Question for you…
In service to your leadership, what in your life are you making significant, and if you were to hold it slightly differently, how would your life improve for the better?
The #1 desire I hear my clients want day in and day out is more inner peace. A sense of calm. A sense of spaciousness. As I deepen in my leadership and practice not making every dang thing so significant, I notice a much greater sense of calm. If this speaks to you, give it a go and let me know you get on with it.
For all my peeps out there whose #1 value is connection, read this carefully as you might be falling into the trap that I notice a lot of my community, clients and friends are.
Now more than ever as we emerge from 2 years working at home, little to know travel and/or interactions with others, we’re all craving connection. So much so, that we often choose a connection over saying what we really need to say.
I was working with a company’s president this week and we were discussing a conversation that he was planning on having with one of his C-Suite Execs that was the kind of conversation that if it didn’t happen, they’d have a major issue with retention in the near future.
I noticed every time we started to talk about the intention behind the conversation, how we was going to show up and what he was going to say, he would start to squirm and get distracted with other priorities. It was obvious he didn’t want to have this conversation and just the thought of if was bringing up a ton of discomfort.
This president values integrity as much as connection, but when it came to the possible thought of having a conversation that could trigger a colleague and cause a possible argument, he was paralyzed by fear. So relatable right?!
We live in a world that’s constantly telling us to ‘Be authentic. Speak up. Tell your truth.’ Yet, even when the stakes are high in the boardroom, or at home with our partners or our children, how many times do we (YOU) choose connection over authenticity, thinking they’re mutually exclusive?
Let’s be real.
There is a massive impact on each one of us when we choose comfort and connection over speaking up.
Where, in your life, are you avoiding sharing your most authentic self, because you’re prioritizing connection even though it’s at the cost of you really sharing yourself?
Think about it.
I bet you don’t have to look too far.
We’re human and we have a bias for comfort – but the last thing we need in this world is people avoiding speaking up and dancing around the truth.
Will you be courageous today and share your authentic self over connection in the moment?
Guess what… More times than not, the more authentic you are, the greater sense of true connection you end up creating in the long run.
For all my people who live by checklists, and go through the day trying to ‘get it all done in EVERY area of your life, this is for you.
From one driven leader to another, going about your day that way can feel really dang good in the moment, *but* it can leave you feeling burned out and even worse – UNINSPIRED.
When I feel uninspired, nothing works – I’m disconnected from my work, my family, and myself. Ugg.
So what can you do?!!?
Last week I spent the week at Camp Cultivate, which is an annual retreat that takes place in Dripping Springs Texas and is the brainchild of my amazing friend and life coach Allison Crow.
When we walked into the gorgeous room where we were going to be for the 4 days, she had a set of paints on every woman’s seat (50) and colored pens.
Throughout the whole week, I found myself picking up the paints to draw metaphors for what I wanted to remember. Each day went on, I found myself settling more into my body and less in my head. New ideas were coming to me and I started to experience even more ease around my business and what’s next for the back half of 2022.
I know you might be thinking there’s nothing new about this idea of using color markers and paints, but here’s what I know about myself and my community! We often don’t, because we’re so busy, the idea of anything that could slow down productivity gets an eye roll.
If you want to experience more of your creative brilliance, I’m telling you, get your paints and pens out and carry them everywhere.
Do NOT underestimate what happens when the little child in you gets to draw.
To BE inspired and commit to leading from your heart, THIS is one brilliant way that will crack it open.
So this week I’ll ask…
If you were feeling more inspired today, what would you put your energy toward that would have you feeling more alive than ever?
Commit to taming your busy and reignite your creativity,
Are you ready to embrace the day!? Here’s what I’ve been seeing this week that may help you lean into the day as a stronger leader….
So for context, I spend a lot of time with corporate execs from creative agencies and foundations, and one of the biggest desires I’m hearing from them is a culture of candor.
I credit companies like Amazon, MSFT and Netflix for leading the way 4-5 years ago to create cultures where it became expected to speak your truth in service to tearing down ideas, and leaving no rock unturned. Caveat- I’m not saying that they’re nailing it, but I am saying they kicked off a trend. But I would still hear stories about how these exchanges would go, and quite honestly, it frightened me.
There was an undercurrent of ‘its business…leave your feelings out of it’ which results in a lack of harmony and collaboration, and more of a ‘get it done’ attitude.
Today, the desire for a culture of candor is even more present, but what got us there 4 years ago, isn’t what will get us to that brutally open, honest and transparent culture now.
I was coaching two groups of creative execs this week, and was blown away by how each of them were showing up. Both groups have big missions, big revenues to hit and lots of employees to manage – and each meeting was two hours (not a lot of time to jam through the top priorities).
What stood out to me was how these execs were relating to one another:
1. People were giving feedback in a way that was direct and respectful. 2. People were actively listening to one another, instead of talking over each other. 3. People were genuinely curious about other’s people’s ideas and how they arrived at certain decisions.
These execs had dropped their armour and lead from open hearts.
People don’t use the world ‘love’ much with leadership, but it’s the secret sauce to growing your culture and ultimately your bottom line. I’m literally watching my clients experience transformation and they’re creating a ripple in their organizations.
Remember, how the leader is being, is how the team is being.
I’ve been working with these groups for the past year and they’re incredible examples of exec teams prioritizing doing the work on their leadership and who they are in the world.
As a result, they’re pacing ahead on their revenue and, equally important, they’re on their way to creating cultures that foster transparency and humanity at the same time.
(It’s the humanity that was getting left out pre-Covid btw).
I can’t say it enough, investing in your teams is one of the greatest gifts you can give your people. If you’re looking for an immediate baby step to help you drop your armor, and instead lead from an open heart so you can experience more candor in any of your relationships, check out Brene Brown’s new doc series on HBO Max, ‘Atlas of the Heart.’ Her ability to breakdown emotions and put words to them (remember it’s our emotions that we hide behind when we experience fear) is so valuable. John and I watched it together, and it sparked a ton of really important conversations that I experienced bringing us closer.
SO HERE’S SMTH FOR YOU TO CONSIDER THIS WEEK….
If you were to 10x your ability to be more transparent and honest in any area of your life, what’s the biggest impact you can imagine creating?
And for those of you who might not be a mother yourself, I know for sure you know one – so please also read along and forward forward forward.
So Mother’s – My Dear sweet Mother’s – we’re a tricky group of people.
Because we’re 1st to say YES to everyone else….and we deplete ourselves. And when it comes time to put ourselves first, to actually nurture REAL growth in ourselves, we often
…DON’T DO IT.
Please listen up.
There’s nothing wrong with being of service, until you lean so far to the edge that you’re running on empty. You have a combination of a low energy, irritability, overwhelm and exhaustion. Zero space left to make any decisions, let alone implement them.
But underneath that …
There’s a women who had BIG dreams. But, now fully having stepped into Motherhood AND working AND generally keeping up with life, those dreams seem super out of touch? Forget trying to implement them at this point.
The question that I see that stumps driven Mama’s the most is this….
“What do you really want more of in your life, that you don’t currently have?”
I was one of those mothers for a long time – ask me what I wanted, and I could give you some general, neutral answer but felt zero connection to it (not because I was dead inside, I was just feeling an overall disconnect with myself, my partner, friends and colleagues at times).
Thank goodness for my coach at the time who quickly reflected back to me two things:
My ability to speak up and ask for support was non-existent (asking and then martyring about it didn’t count in her book).
My experience of disconnection had nothing to do with other people, and everything to do with my leadership and how I was choosing to relate to people and experiences in my life.
I wanted something different. For the sake over everyone around me, they too wanted something different for me.
I soooo get it.
Ultimately it’s up to US, to commit to investing in ourselves and get support.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I’m inviting you to ask to be appreciated in a way that will truly impact you and the ripple you create around you. Ask to be supported by joining The Mother Board.
This isn’t Mother’s sitting around talking about parenting. It’s Mothers declaring their desires, and doing the work to remove any obstacles in their leadership while being supported by other Mothers who want you to WIN.
It’s a gift that I wish I had received at any stage of motherhood as I go into my 14th year of mothering. We’ve all felt our identity get mumble jumbled when we become mothers, but this is an opportunity to create REAL, meaningful, impactful, change with a support network and professional coaching experience.
Doors are OPEN for The Mother Board beginning Sept 2022, and we have limited spots. Reply directly to this email and we’ll grab time to discuss what’s possible for you through the support of The Mother Board.
It’s incredible what happens when you create space in your life and protect it with clear boundaries. Despite having a very full business and an incredibly loving and involved husband, I was feeling conflicted the month leading up to this holiday – excitement for what’s to come, grief over past losses, anxiety and confusion over what I want to create next in my business. All of my humanity was showing up as a 10! I could feel myself wanting answers, solutions, a playbook stat, leaving very little reverence for where I was at that particular moment. And, not a lot of curiosity for what was underneath those feelings, which — spoiler alert — was a lot of “should” and “expectations” for what I should want and what I should be doing. I bet you can relate?
When we left for this trip, I vowed to my clients, my friends, and my team that I would not be bringing my laptop, AND I would not be online at all: no texts, emails, or social posts. Zilch. And truthfully, I was really looking forward to being unavailable (I still had my 3 little[ish] people, so it wasn’t like I was entirely free from responsibility).
For us driven peeps who are incredibly reliable to be productive, get in the trenches and see it through, no matter what, it was a major victory for me in keeping my commitment to myself and honoring the boundaries I’d set. That happens on the soul level, and that is what I call leadership transformation.
The ability to transform who we BE in our soul, in service to experiencing more internal harmony, growing spiritually while creating our true desires in the physical world.
It’s not lost on me for one moment how fortunate we are as a family to be able to travel AND the choices we’ve made that have allowed us to create the life we leave.
I intentionally designed this holiday, so that we would be integrated into the local culture and environment and away from tourists, big hotels and, busyness. I wanted to be influenced by the Caribbean way of life, not the Western culture that I live and breathe every day.
We spent the first half of our trip on a secluded island with a very small group of people and several local guides. We slept in clean, airy tents and enjoyed fresh homemade meals by two women who were locals from a nearby town on the coast and who proudly presented each meal with gratitude and excitement. The beach had beautiful white sand with loads of local birds, hermit crabs, and iguanas running free plus vibrant hammocks hanging throughout our camp. I was gobsmacked by the beauty and the love these women poured into the preparation of delicious yet very simple meals.
The days were filled will snorkeling with nurse sharks and spotted rays, fishing, kayak-sailing, stand-up paddleboarding, and my favorite hammock surfing. Not a hotel or car in site (or tourist for that matter aside from our little group). This way of life created a clearing for creative thoughts to flourish.
Every morning, I would wake up to the ocean breeze, beaming hot sun, and the feeling of wonder and possibility as we started each day. My mind had begun to relax, and I could feel calm throughout my body and spaciousness in the days to come. Because I had set such clear boundaries and stuck to them, I was in a position to fully take in and receive what was available each day. The weather in the Caribbean is quite unpredictable and, because of that, we didn’t know what activities we could do until that morning. There was a sense of mystery and unknown about each day, but my relationship to uncertainty was shifting. Instead of feeling anxious, worn out, and worried, I was feeling curious, excited, and calm.
Clarity and creativity come with space.
There’s just no way around it.
When I first take on a new client or a team of leaders, I see their struggle to birth new ideas, and yet be productive at the same time. It’s not that they’re mutually exclusive, but any kind of expansion requires spaciousness to explore and be curious. Days that aren’t filled with back-to-back meetings, meal prep, homework help, and so on. It requires leadership transformation – a commitment at the soul level to surrender and trust that the world you’ve built around you will hold as you step away to slow down.
What would be possible if you were to commit to trusting that the world around you is strong enough to withstand your absence at times if you were to create more space throughout your days? What would you have MORE of that you currently don’t have at all?
As I step back into ALL of my responsibilities (full on, as my husband is back east all week), I will experience contraction as that’s the result of expansion. I’ve intentionally created space to move my body, connect with friends, and serve my clients in a way that allows me to show up from a place of fullness, rather than a deficit.
This wouldn’t be possible without the ongoing transformation I’ve committed to creating in my leadership (shout out to my coaches for all of your support!).
I want this for you, too.
It’s so much more fulfilling and fun. I’ve opened up space in my diary at the end of the month for 3 people or organizations who would like to experience a complimentary coaching conversation in service to exploring what’s possible right now for you or your team.
Yes, I live in LA, and work amongst a lot of people in the creative industry, but I still couldn’t get over how many conversations I heard in the past week following the Chris Rock + Will Smith moment at the Oscars. Not to mention all of the op-ed pieces, social posts, and memes written from all around the world.
The conversation that interests me the most is actually one I haven’t heard discussed much and it’s about Chris Rock’s ability to lead in the face of any circumstance.
To be clear – I’m NOT saying I thought his joke was ok, but the conversation I want to point to has nothing to do with the content itself – it has everything to do with how we relate to circumstance, person, event, etc. I’m a big believer that the issue is never the issue, instead, the issue is how we relate to the issue (read that twice)!
When I think about leadership opportunities for my clients (and myself) across the boardroom, in marriages, and with our children, it all comes down to how we show up at the moment and relate to the person or situation.
Every single one of us has found ourselves in situations where we feel fired up, embarrassed, disappointed, dismissed, ignored (I could go on). Chris Rock showed us that even when you’re feeling all the feels, it is possible to hunker down in your body and stand grounded and calm. That struck me as an incredibly teachable moment in leadership. He made it look easy.
Brene Brown does an impeccable job in her latest book and TV series, “Atlas of the Heart” helping us build a bridge between our thinking and our emotion, so when we put our head on our pillows at night we can look back and know that we were leading from integrity.
Not the wild ego that lives inside of us and can attack viciously, leaving us feeling ashamed and embarrassed.
It’s that bridge that allows us to connect to others, but ultimately stay connected to ourselves during the most difficult times when we start to feel the charge inside of us.
When I watched Chris Rock during that moment, I imagined the charge in his body that lit up. The pressure of having so many eyes on him, the shock of a physical slap, the part of him that felt foolish and wanted to get revenge… and yet, in a moment, in one second, he was able to ground his feelings, and leverage the bridge between his thinking and his emotions. He showed up calm and open.
That required courage and vulnerability.
Can you imagine a world where every single one of us, despite our feelings getting completely bent out of shape at times, and yet LEADING the way in which Chris Rock did?
Imagine the next argument with your partner or your teen, and instead of doing the thing you always do (dismiss, blow up…fill in the blank) you respond vs. react. Or a colleague gives you feedback that you totally disagree with and yet you’re able to stay connected to yourself and them, and even finish the conversation still feeling connected to one another?
*That* is leadership.
So the question for you, my friends becomes…
What would you have in your life (that you don’t currently have) if you strengthened your ability to lead in those difficult moments – instead of being reactionary?
That’s what I call leadership and it’s really the *thing* that defines us and redefines us, and it happens in a moment.