Growth

Creating a Culture of Candor

Well, Good Morning, you.

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?

That is what I want for you!

 

Much Love,

Sarah Gibbons signature

 

Mother’s Day gifts are getting an upgrade

This one’s specifically for the Mothers.

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:

1.
My ability to speak up and ask for support was non-existent (asking and then martyring about it didn’t count in her book).

2.
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.

That’s why I created The Mother Board.

This. Is. Why. We. Need. It. 

 

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.

 

Much Love,

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What’s the 1st impression you give?

Today I launch my 2022 The Board group 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 believe in you,

XX

Sarah Gibbons signature

 

The GOLD I learned this week with MY coach

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.

Sound familiar?

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

 

So for this week, I’d love for you to consider…

The next time you feel ticked off….

 

I believe in you,

XX,

Sarah Gibbons signature

 

My #1 insight after coaching in Costa Rica for 13 days

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 believe in you,

XX,

Sarah Gibbons signature

 

Will 2022 be your mind-heart-blowing year?

THIS WEEKS LEADERSHIP INSIGHT
Experience JOY while finishing STRONG.

 

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.

Coaching Question
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.

Remember, anything is possible. Truly.

XX,

Sarah Gibbons signature

 

Parents listen up!

THIS WEEKS LEADERSHIP INSIGHT
What got you here, isn’t going to get you THERE.

 

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.

 

You’ve got this,

XX,

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