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.
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.
Where do you start when you desire something that is outside of your comfort zone and therefore stirs up all kinds of resistance?
Glad you asked. You start with a VISION.
If you missed last week’s post, take a beat and read HERE for an intentional and simple take on writing a vision (that I guarantee will set you up for success).
For those of you who have your vision around something you desire, this is where manifestation enters the picture. First, I must set the record straight. Praying and reading your vision every day is NOT going to deliver the results you might read on social media.
Connecting with your vision daily is key, you must put structure around your vision, so that you align intentional action with your intention. Think about it. This is why most New Year’s Resolutions fail. My friend Jen decides she wants to lose 15 pounds so she can feel lighter and run a half marathon later in the year. Jen claims she’s going to go to workout 3x a week and eat healthier. While that might sound like structure, it’s lacking a few important pieces that will support her on the days that she feels like skipping her workout and eating ice cream.
If you really want to actualize your vision, here’s the tried and true structure I use that turns my goals into a project, making it much more attainable:
1) WHY is this desire/ goal important to you?
2) How do you want to feel as you experience the creation of this desire? Note: We often ignore this as we’re so attached to the result, but the process can be equally as fulfilling as the result
3) A clear vision (which you’ve likely already done)
4) Declarations timeline.
In other words a what by when. This is often where people get tripped up, because they don’t declare what they’re going to do by when and so very little movement happens.
5) Rewards tied to your Declarations – Do NOT skip this step.
Just like children, we to follow through when rewarded along the way. What will you gift yourself when you complete each declaration? (This is your project plan so you get to decide)
You can complicate this all you want, but I find the above structure has served me in creating a very lucrative business w/ the type of clients that truly inspire me, a house that I love calling home, a marriage I’m proud of and so much more.
What small action will you take by this Friday to continue to actualize your biggest desire?
So thinking more about this week and where you could shift some of your focus… Your Vision
I kind of shocked myself mid-week when I was looking at an old vision exercise I had done for myself, and realized when it came to visualizing a future home I wanted for my family and I…we now have it. we literally have what I put in a vision I wrote, and I didn’t even realize it
In the middle of the Pandemic, against many odds, we bought a house.
But we didn’t buy just any house, we bought a house that truly aligned with our vision.
This word gets tossed around a lot, but it’s something I put a lot of energy into with my own desires and my clients. The purpose of a vision, as I see it, is to get clear on what it is you want and how you want to experience it.
The mistake I see a lot of people make is they have ideas in their head around what they want, but they don’t take the time to write them down and create a clear vision.
So… The #1 Most Important Thing to do That Everyone Skips Over: Write a Clear Vision DOWN.
It’s the 1st thing you have to do to get closer to actualizing your desires. It’s something I do at the start of each year, and at the beginning of each new desire I have because it lays the foundation for the road map needed to actualize the particular desire.
Here’s a sneak behind the curtain on what my 2021 vision was about our new home…
“We’re living in a house that is NW Modern – or spanish style – it has a yard w/ a pool or on lake. A hot tub. Upstairs. A big kitchen we can cook in. A counter where boys are sitting and we collect in late evenings or early mornings. A garden w/ veggies. Tall, natural trees around. An open door policy. A place to read that’s cozy. A big fireplace. Big open, tall windows. Clean feeling, not cluttered. Art that we’ve collected over the years. Walking distance to a high street. Surrounded by beauty- bricks, old town…. Interesting people. I see myself in this house w/ music playing through it, it feels airy, light and spacious but isn’t massive. It feels lived in and cozy.”
The house we bought is spot on and you should know we didn’t have an agent nor were we actively looking. On a walk we noticed this house for sale and couldn’t believe how much it aligned with my vision. The whole experience was rooted in ease, which is something I’ve been wanting to experience more of the last couple of years. Side note- be as specific as possible. I mentioned I wanted *brick* and boy did we get a lot of brick (including two showers made out of brick).
So for your Coaching Call-Out, this week can you…. Consider what it is you really want AND do you have a vision for it?
If not, write it down on paper in the present tense and let yourself really go there. Do not limit yourself. Remember, the universe likes specificity so don’t be afraid to put it down even if it feels crazy or not possible!
P.S. This is a two-part series. Next week, I’ll share what’s next once you have your clear vision. We have to work in reality – it’s not as simple as just write a vision and then hope and pray for it.
Use this week to give yourself permission to own your desires and put them on paper.
Because next week, we’ll be diving into part two- actualizing your vision,
Today I launch my 2022 The Boardgroup and it has me thinking a lot about…first impressions.
As I prepare to welcome this incredible group of men and women I find myself jostling back and forth between feelings of confidence, nervousness, and *old habits* of wanting to “get it right” (whatever the heck that means).
I used to over-prepare when I was launching a new group or giving a talk. Because I value excellence, I would take this to the extreme (we’re talking notecards, late nights rehearsing, the whole nine yards).
As a result, I would come across as intelligent, organized, and polished, but also distant. Something was missing for me and for others – I could feel it. It was heart. I was so buttoned-up, that I’d covered up my heart, my authentic self.
I see this a lot when I’m working with clients – the desire to make a big 1st impression, to be seen as brilliant, a worker bee, and above all, buttoned up and yet it often overshadows their natural self. Their humanness. The part of them that lets people connect to them. Without that connection, it’s really hard to get behind whatever it is they’re presenting, selling, or solving.
So this week consider…
“Who do YOU want to be known as?”
& “Is that how people are experiencing you today?”
Pro-tip: Over the years one of the greatest techniques that have helped me in making a 1st impression that fully represents me is to choose a quality that I want people to experience and then lead from it wholeheartedly.
Ex: I want people to experience ease with me today. As do I. So I’m leading from grace.
Grace to me looks like leading from patience and compassion even in the face of discomfort, and being willing to own when I’m feeling uncomfortable. Full transparency.
What’s cool about this pro-tip is that you get to *choose* who you want to BE which I’ve found to be incredibly empowering and supportive.
Instead of trying to “get it all right”, give yourself a break and choose a quality in which you’re committed to leading from. Embody that quality and witness the magic that happens from there.
I’m directly speaking to all the mothers in our community, so if you’re reading this and you’re not a mother, pls gift someone the opportunity of being seen and share this with them.
I thank you, as will they!
As a Mother of a 13, nearly 11, and 9-year-old boys, I’m speaking on behalf of my experience and what I hear in everyday conversations with clients, friends, and family.
It’s no secret that mothers are being stretched in ways we never dreamed of.
There are some wonderful outlets out in the world that provide places to gather, share and collectively exhale, but often I notice that support helps give relief in the moment, but doesn’t necessarily translate to transformation.
There was a long stretch in my motherhood where I really couldn’t remember who I was.
Ask me what I did for fun? Couldn’t tell you.
Asked me how fulfilled I was? … meh. (Aside from loving my boys!)
Asked me how connected I felt to others? Comme Ci, Comme Ca.
Asked me if I felt truly supported beyond the point of colluding with someone?
Not so much.
Asked me what I was doing to change things up in my word? Not much. But I was really good at living in mediocrity (because on paper everything looked pretty fabulous).
Then came the movement of providing Mothers a ‘safe space’ to share, be heard and be seen thanks to social media. While I see the impact many of them have had on Mothers, for me they lacked intention beyond ‘sharing.’
I wanted more.
I wanted the kind of support that was going to truly shake things up, hold my feet to the fire, ruthlessly tell me what I couldn’t see, and ultimately inspire me to remember who I was. All in service to showing up more fully in my wonder.
So what does one do when they can’t find what they’re looking for?
*Spoiler alert* They create it themselves.
An intimate group coaching experience for women who all share the badge of “Mother” AND a desire to bring their most connected leadership self forward to experience MORE fulfillment and fun. This group of women serve as a personal Board of Directors to each other – the female transformational partners that I believe we mothers speak. No feeling of competition, comparison, or criticism. When one boat rises, we all rise.
One of the greatest gifts that I’ve seen come from my Mother Board groups is a newfound set of tools that empower women to create the world they want to be experiencing NOW, despite all the circumstances around them.
I was on the phone with my coach last week and came in quite hot around a situation that had me feeling misunderstood. I could feel the fire in my belly. As a result, I was showing up quite impatient and preoccupied – which is such a crappy feeling.
Can you relate?
As I worked through this and took a look at my part in the situation, I had a real aha moment and wanted to share it with you because I have a hunch it will serve you.
When something begins to feel messy, I want it resolved immediately. I apply a sense of urgency. I see it in numerous areas of my life.
Dirty Dishes in the sink? Not in my house, but I’ll martyr if I’m the one always doing them.
Disagreement with John? I want a resolution. Stat.
Boys bickering? I’m reliable to tell them to stop immediately.
The impact this has on me (thank you to my coach for reflecting this back to me) is… I operate over the top of things in an attempt to button things up. Close the loop. Which leaves me feeling resentful because I haven’t taken time to be with my thoughts when it comes to a disagreement, or ask for help when it comes to a household chore.
I realized I’m quite uncomfortable giving myself time and space to be with my thoughts and feelings. But there’s so much gold in doing so.
It’s a muscle I’m working on strengthening, and a super important one because the more we can give ourselves abundance of time and space, the more we’re able to see our part in things.
The more we can see our part, the more we can discern what’s true vs. assumed.
From that place, it’s a lot easier to lead from love even if we don’t agree with the situation.
If you’re one of my people, I’m asserting the impact you want to have in the world is one from a place of love and possibility
I’m on my flight back from Costa Rica, after 13 days in the jungle with 16 other humans from every corner of the world – all coaches committed to their work.
It was a transformational experience to say the least.
Something that completely struck me yesterday was when one of the participants asked me if I was excited to go home. It hit me in that moment. While I missed my husband, our cheeky boys, and my own bed….for the first time I didn’t have the anxiousness to get back.
This was a big AHA moment for me.
Normally, after a few days I start to get consumed with thoughts like…
“I need to get home to finish x, y, z”
“My clients are going to check out if I’m not there to support them”
“Is the kids homework getting turned in and are they prepped for their weekly tests?”
“John must be exhausted as it’s a full-time job parenting with two, let alone one”
Side Note: These thoughts have nothing to do with John, my children, or my clients, and everything to do with my stuff and the significance I would place on being ‘away’ from work and responsibilities.
Productivity for me (and probably you if you’re one of my people) has been a part of my DNA for as long as I can remember.
The feeling of checking things off, closing loops, ‘getting ‘er’ done had been a good feeling…a validating feeling of my worthiness AND it was costing me.
I struggled to relax, to be fully engaged, to be with whatever choice I made at the moment and the worse part was I could hide it. Others didn’t experience so much, but I could feel it in my body. I felt scattered, anxious, and disconnected and at times unfulfilled.
If this speaks to you, here are a few ways you can get practice:
I haven’t seen my crew in 13 days and I’m feeling incredibly calm and at peace in my body. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to see them, AND my clients this week, but I don’t feel the sense of anxiousness I used to feel after traveling and I certainly don’t have thoughts like ‘I’m going to be so behind in my life….” which use to run my mind!
And it feels really refreshing, freeing, and incredible.
I want this for you, too.
So for this week, I’d love for you to consider…
Imagine the ripple you’d create with this shift in your leadership!
I ran competitively most of my childhood and one of the things I learned very quickly (in a 300M hurdle race) was when people were in eyesight of the finish line they would exhale, literally. Following the exhale they would go into cruise control. They wouldn’t necessarily back off, but they’d cruise.
That was my cue to give it everything I got, pump my arms, lengthen my stride, and lock eyes 100 yards past the finish line.
When I look at how I finish my year, business or personal, it’s no different.
The goal is to experience JOY in the midst of finishing strong.
For my super-driven people who naturally finish the year strong, pay close attention to the experience you’re having.
I bet you’re reliable to create results, but where I see an opportunity for you, is to focus on the experience while you’re taking action.
When I finished a race, I would be in my zone. I didn’t actually feel like I was “working harder” but I was committed. Because of that commitment, I felt God partnering with me (insert what you believe) and because of that, (humbly) I generally won.
We have 4 weeks left in the year, and if you’re committed to having a heart-blowing 2022, then how will you choose to BE and what action will you take to finish the year strong? (Hint: who you BE has everything to do with who you are)
For anyone who wants additional support, pls email me and I’ll share you with a special ‘End of The Year’ process I’ve been doing with my clients for years that has helped them actualize desires that they never thought was possible.
In just 24 hours, I’ll officially be a parent of a teen: Levi turns 13 tomorrow.
I’ve been reflecting so much as we come upon this milestone. All the obvious “where did the time go? How am I old enough to be a Mama of a teenager? Oh my goodness, I have 5 years left to refine this young man so he can fly….”
And, in full transparency, my relationship with my oldest is the one that challenges me the most.
Here’s the truth: what got me here as a parent, is NOT going to get me through the next 13 years.
He’s become incredibly independent. He doesn’t want my help.
He’s all about being with John, his Dad. He doesn’t want me to hang with him.
One moment he’s smiling, being silly, the next minute he’s moody and answers in one word quips: “Yes. Fine. Ok.” My old ways of poking fun or giving him a big hug to snap him out of a funk are so circa 2010.
I’ve found myself stumbling the last couple of months as I navigate the new waters because I’m craving a deeper connection with him.
Parenting is a little bit like when I had ACL surgery. Everybody has advice, and while I know people mean well, it’s not a one size fits all solution.
But for me, I know that if I want different results, I have to show up differently. How I have parented for the last 13 years isn’t (completely) how I need to parent for this next phase.
I’m finding my teen requires more acceptance and compassion from me.
AND The more that I can do that in my relationship with myself, the more I’m able to accept and have compassion for him.
So I ask you to consider…
What is your teen craving from you? & Can you also be more of that quality with yourself?
I have a hunch that whatever quality your teen is seeking (patience, compassion, trust, joy, etc.) that way of being is a muscle that you need to also stretch towards yourself.
It probably isn’t the way you’re used to relating to them, and yet remember what I said earlier? What got you here, isn’t what will get you…there.
Are you going a mile a minute with back-to-back meetings, work, children, personal projects, while thinking about what you’re cooking for dinner and getting “organized” for the holidays?
You’re left feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and even bored from the groundhog’s day feeling that can arise when we push ourselves in overdrive.
I mean, seriously, where is the F-U-N
It can be easy to think that this chaotic schedule is happening to you (been there).
It’s Exercise Time
Instead of killing the fun, here’s an exercise that I give my clients that are in this de-fun spiral.
Make a list of 10 ways in which you squash fun.
Writing them down will require you to stare at how YOU are contributing to feeling overwhelmed. It can be confronting. And then choose one or two things from your list (to start) where you can show up differently in your leadership.
Here’s an example of a list I started a few years ago.
How I Squash Fun in my Daily life
Being busy every moment of the day
When I have a win, I ignore it and immediately focus on the next big opportunity
I tend to overextend myself in every area of my life.
I stay up late responding to emails. This means not being able to get up early and work out because I’m too tired.
I delay making decisions because something better may come along.
I do the easy stuff first. Which is often the mundane stuff and doesn’t inspire me at all.
I say yes to client requests no matter what.
I use fun as a ‘reward’. (Ex: I get to watch that movie once I’ve cleaned up the house)
I compare myself/my life/my kids to other people’s lives/kids.
I often over-effort/overthink.
As one of my mentors says, “this issue isn’t the issue, the issue is how you relate to the issue.”
As you move through your day, your busy week, and get ready for the holidays, I encourage you to come up with your own list of “10 ways I squash fun.”
Then stare that list in the face and see where you can show up in leadership. Can you stand in trust and not worry that that client will leave you if you say no and maintain a boundary? Can you stand in fun and choose the fun thing before the reward?
We’re here for a nanosecond and laughing and enjoying life is what it’s all about.
If you’re too busy to say yes to something you really want, are you willing to lead from a different quality in order to create it?
Almost all of my clients, and myself included, have a bias for action. We like to plow through things and get it done. That also tends to mean that are schedules are packed. Sound familiar?
Part 2 to that, those packed, productive days can also mean that when opportunities we really really want come up (professional, creative, personal, fun) we don’t know what to do.
We freeze, and often turn them down completely. Also sound familiar?
Case in Point: I was at a wedding a few weeks ago and one of my clients spontaneously invited me to the 3% Conference in Atlanta in two weeks.
I didn’t tell her this, but I’m telling you. My initial thought…. “Is she crazy? That would mean rescheduling nearly 15 client meetings across three days. And the boys… what about the boys, the homework, the cooking, and and and…”
…. Clearly, that came from fear.
Then I thought….” is she being serious?”
All the while I could feel a burst of positive energy and excitement course through my body.
Experience and impact are two values I live by, and the 3% Conference is something I’ve wanted to participate in for years. In a nutshell it’s a very established movement in the creative world that believes (as do I) that more women & more diversity = MORE creativity + more profitability.
Without speaking to my team, my husband, my kids, I blurted, “HELL YES.”
I let go of how I would make it all work and I chose to lead from trust.I get it, I really do. Leadership happens in the moment. Busy bees like us can get such tunnel vision and addicted to the high of planning and completing things, that we deny ourselves the joy of living in the moment.
But there’s another way to lead.
So this week in your leadership…
Can you identify what you’re craving, and then identify what QUALITY you need to lead from to experience that desire.
I chose trust. My team, my family, my own ability. To communicate changes and decide what things can be pushed back or let go. And I know you can choose a different quality to lead from too.
Stay tuned as I share my key takeaways and leadership growth from the 3% Conference this week (follow me on socials if you don’t already)!
I’m so glad we’re in this together learning and growing,
We’re on the brink of the holiday season and I’m slipping into old patterns.
We waited until this week to sort out Halloween costumes, and Amazon was not an option (gone are the days of excitement and appreciation for my handmade Halloween costumes). Sure enough, we were driving from one Halloween store to another trying to track down a very specific costume.
I could feel the tiredness and irritability setting in. As I was sitting in peak LA traffic with one of my boys and literally asking myself, “What are we doing? Did I learn anything from COVID?” The impact of my choice to drive around looking for one specific costume felt chaotic and wasn’t in alignment with the feeling of grace and ease I desire.
Does anyone else relate to leaving something to the last minutes only to create a chaotic, frustrating experience for yourself?
But I caught it – I noticed that I was leading from that place of chaos and frustration and I checked it.
If anything, COVID taught me to roll with things – to stay open – to lead from a place of flexibility and to model that for those around me.
That’s how leadership works. It’s a choice. It requires us to be an active participant. Even if you’re facing extreme circumstances, it still comes down to you choosing leadership from moment to moment. And yes, it can feel very uncomfortable.
I have a hunch that the holidays are going to test us this year. Most of us are still climbing out of a dark hole adjusting to socializing again. Sorting out the dance between supporting our own needs while also delivering on all of our commitments.
As we approach the holiday season, what quality will you choose to lead from in service to having the experience you desire?
I’m choosing openness, with the intention of not being attached to an outcome because I know that’s how pinch-me-moments happen. Bring on the ease and grace, please!
Today’s leadership kick: Where do you argue for your limitations/life circumstances instead of choosing possibility?
I just returned from 4 days in the majestic National Zion Park, where I hosted the retreat for The Board. These women have spent 9 months consistently choosing to show up for each other and themselves. Through two hour group coaching calls they grew their leadership and experience into the most authentic and powerful version of themselves. These women, like you, live very active lives. CEO’s, Entrepreneurs, Mothers, and had every good reason to cancel up until the last minute…BUT they didn’t.
They chose to come.
They chose to lead from curiosity.
They chose to BE uncomfortable.
Where most people want something different but continue to cling to cruise control, these women chose otherwise.
A lot of people talk about wanting to grow their leadership by reading a self-help book or listening to a podcast, but then get distracted with life and rarely anything changes
Not my people.
These women experienced their edge when it came to their own leadership last weekend. I was reminded that there is no replacement for experiencing coaching in the great outdoors. There’s a depth in the connection that gets created and that lends itself, so beautifully, to people dropping their armor and opening their hearts to being a stand for one another.
At one point, one of the women said how much she loved the hike, but hated having to look down all the time to avoid tripping on the rocks. Hours later realizing that was a telling metaphor for how she shows up in life –
if she’s constantly focused on what’s WAY out in front of her, it can lead to future tripping ⇢ which can stir up anxiety and in-action.
Realizing there are times where it’s necessary to focus on what’s right in front of her if she wants to take action and make changes.
Another Board member noticed she often chose to be in the back of the hikes, and when she would move to the front of the group, she felt wildly uncomfortable! She made it mean, in her head, that somehow she wasn’t as strong of a leader as the other women because she wasn’t in the front. Only to realize that leadership doesn’t look one way – and for her, hanging back and bringing up the rear allowed her to lead authentically.
If it weren’t for these women sitting in their discomfort and expanding their ability to sit in it, they wouldn’t have experienced these insights.
Subtle yes. Transformative, you better believe it.
You can read a version of this kind of growth somewhere, but when you experience it, embody it, that’s when you physically begin to show up differently in situations and lead from a more conscious place.
I have so much more to share, but for now, consider, “Who do you want to BE?”
How will you choose to BE in order to show up in leadership in ALL areas of your life?
If you’re one of my people and believe revolutionary growth happens inside revolutionary relationships, DM me to learn more about The Board 2022. We start in Feb. and the first spot has already been claimed! And…I’ll be announcing something very special about The Board for 2022 this week that has ME leaning into my edge.
Will you choose YOU this coming year?
Never underestimate possible.