Intentionality

Client Spotlight – Kirsten Rutherford

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.

 

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I’m creating a space of belonging

You’ve probably heard or seen me talk about my program, The Mother Board, yes??

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.

 

So much love,

 

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Are you making everything significant in your life?

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.

 

Much Love,

 

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We Spent a Week in Belize 🌴

We just returned from a week in Belize.

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.

Email me to grab one of the spots. 

 

Anything is possible,

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One of the greatest moments in leadership came from the Oscars

What a week!

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…

Question:

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.

 

Anything is possible,

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Pt. 2 of How we bought our house…

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.

Question:

What small action will you take by this Friday to continue to actualize your biggest desire?

 

I believe in you,

XX

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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,

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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,

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Are you too busy to accept an opportunity?

THIS WEEKS LEADERSHIP INSIGHT

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,

XX,

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Was anyone ready for this week?

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!

I can’t wait.

XX,

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Do you CHOOSE possibility or do you argue for your limitations?

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.

Courage.
Growth.
Desires.

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.


Ah-ha Highlights

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.

SO….WITH THAT

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.

I believe in you,

XX,

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Preparing for something important?

Today’s leadership kick: Before that big event or meeting, take the time to create a vision for how you want to experience it. Then let that vision guide the choices you make.

This Friday I’ll be heading to Zion National Park with a group of incredibly driven, open-hearted, growth-minded women who have been part of my group coaching program over the last 9 months.

These are driven women who wear many different hats.  They are committed to growing their own leadership while at the same time being a stand for one another in a very honest, transparent and open-hearted way. It’s required a big investment of time, money, and energy. So now we’re off to do the work in-person in the midst of magical Zion.

For me, there was a time leading up to big meetings and events where the week prior would feel chaotic. I’d have an endless list of things to do, and quite frankly, wasn’t a whole lot of fun to be around because of how much pressure I’d put on myself. The big meeting/event would ultimately go well but the experience leading up was so far from what I wanted and I simply put I didn’t know any other way to BE.

How do you show up prior to an important work event?
  • Do you jam-pack your schedule?
  • Over-prepare to the point where you’re staying up late and then feel rubbish the next morning?
  • Do you become snippy with people around you?
  • Do you question if you know enough?
  • Do you obsess over all the details?
  • Do you feel a huge sense of relief when you actually get on the other side of the event?

If any of the above resonates with you, I so get it. I’ve realized through my own growth that the experience leading up to the event/meeting is equally important to me.

In fact, I often find it’s more enjoyable or equal to the event itself.  As I go into the final week leading up to this retreat now, I still feel a variety of emotions: excitement, jitters, a bit of anxiousness – but above all I feel calm and grounded.

That question will draw you into the present moment, and from there you can choose to course correct and lead from such qualities like curiosity, vulnerability, grace, etc.. And as a bonus, here’s a pro-tip.

Regardless of how big the event or meeting is, take time to create a vision for how you want to experience it. This will give altitude while also connecting you to the experience, instead of focusing on the end result. Length of your vision doesn’t matter, so don’t get caught up! Write your vision in the present tense and remember, it’s this vision or something even better for your highest good.

Then let that vision guide the choices you make.

For example: I’ve cleared my evenings this week, so I have space to relax and rest. I’ve also let colleagues know that I’ll be less available this week. Not so I can fill that time but so I can create space. That space is what allows me to lead with a wide-open heart. This is the key to being an impactful and effective leader.

I’ll be sharing more about Zion as I have insights and learnings for you all, but in the meantime, slow your roll if you want to experience the gold that’s available to you in those BIG moments.

I believe in you,

XX,

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Do you judge yourself?

Today’s leadership kick: It’s hard to show up in leadership if you’re full of judgment.

I had a doozy of a day last week. I was in a coaching session with a client who generously provided some feedback and my ego had a heyday. Before I knew it I had a pit in my stomach, I started to sweat, and my speaking sped up. I started talking too much, which is always a sign that I’m working way too hard trying to prove something. I’d lost my way, clearly, and it felt crappy in the moment and even crappier when I got off the call.

Fortunately for me, I had my weekly call with two coaches I work with directly after.  By this point, I was in a giant shame spiral and wishing I’d handled it differently.

One of the coaches gracefully reminded me about a concept from one of my favorite leadership books, ‘Getting Real’: the idea that I can go out and come back in.
As soon as she said it, my little voice went: ‘my clients, friends, and children get do-overs, but I certainly don’t.

Then it hit me. Why the heck not?!

I realized I have a pattern. When I don’t get something right, I beat myself up about it, leaking energy all over the place, which in turn keeps me from “going back in” and giving myself a do-over.  And because I had little-to-no self-forgiveness for how I’d shown up, I had zero capacity to see what was possible by going back to the client and cleaning it up.

” It’s hard to show up in leadership if who you’re BEING in the moment is full of judgment.”

So I got to work on the self-forgiveness bit – I’ll share practical pro tips on that in the coming weeks. I found compassion for ‘not getting it right the first time.’  Then I was empowered to go back to my client and have the conversation again but from a place of responsibility and accountability. 

It was another reminder that we have leadership moments all day long. The more we choose to BE in leadership, to cause leadership vs. be at the effect of it, the more we’re able to experience possibility and compassion for ourselves.

I believe in you,

XX,

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Stop Saying It Will Be Hard

Today’s leadership kick: Stop saying it will be hard and choose a different context to lead from.

Alright. I’ve been sitting on this for a while because it goes against what some of my most treasured writers and mentors reiterate over and over.  But I can’t hide my truth.

Absolutely, us humans CAN DO hard things. Need proof? Just look around.

I noticed this week:

  • A single mom raising three teenagers while working full-time
  • A 13 year old stepping into their sexuality and gender preference by sharing it with her family
  • The homeless person on the corner who’s just slept all night on the streets

Choosing to live by the mantra “I can do hard things” will actually keep reinforcing that things are hard.

WHY?

Because that’s the context you’re choosing to buy into. If you approach your day, that conversation, that idea, that big event as “this is going to be hard,” you’re damn right, it will be. Every time.

Understanding context will help you lead in a way that feels empowering and doable. Most of us default to circumstances informing our context. For ex: we just moved to a new house. If I tell myself weeks on end this is going to be so hard because we have to move with 3 kids in tow, how do you think I’ll experience it?

Or, I was on with a Creative Director this week and he mentioned he needs to have a conversation with a colleague and didn’t want to have it because it was going to be “hard.”

I asked him, “How do you know?

Which of course he then responded with a variety of reasons as to why it would be hard. All of which were assumptions. They might have even been good assumptions based on previous experiences, but they were still assumptions.

I challenged him to consider a different context to lead from. He chose curiosity. We worked on how he could frame having the conversation from a place of curiosity, and different language tone, and CONTEXT started to percolate. And guess what?! He started to feel more grounded and calm – which will no doubt help how he starts that conversation.

Instead of telling yourself, you can do hard things, which reinforces that it will be hard, choose a different context.


I’m leaning into the mantra  “We can BE uncomfortable.” Because I know when I choose to get outside of my comfort zone and feel the jitters that arise in that space, that’s where magic happens. By living from that context, I notice it creates a crack in the experience for light to come in and often more times than not, it wasn’t ALL hard.

Context is everything.  Everything. If you don’t choose your context for the day, trust me, the world will choose it for you.

SO IN YOUR LEADERSHIP THIS WEEK….

Notice if your telling yourself that things will be hard, and then buying into it even more by telling yourself you can do hard things *we know you can*.

Instead, what context might you choose to live from today?  

I’m choosing to remind myself that “we { I } can be uncomfortable.” 

Believing in you,

XX,

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Hustle vs. Intentionality

Today’s leadership kick: If you’re stuck in the hustle, It’s time to look at your leadership

How much do you think you need to “hustle” to get that promotion, to get that client, to get your new biz idea off the ground?

For fun, I googled the word “hustle”, and found myself getting irritated with how much visibility this word has been given in things like published books and podcasts.

It’s odd to me. Hustle means a variety of things but at the heart of it there’s a central theme of “do whatever it takes to make it happen” which often involves a lot of comparison, throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks, ignoring boundaries until you’re flat-out exhausted and overwhelmed.

Why on earth are we encouraging people to HUSTLE? I was coaching a group of top music managers this week and the LAST THING they want to experience is hustle.

What they DO want is to be more effective , more impactful while feeling more like themselves . Not the overworked, anxious, running a mile a minute version of themselves.

 


I can soooo relate. It wasn’t until I had my 3rd child and was completely outnumbered that I realized it wasn’t hustle that was going to grow my business to the vision I had. Instead, I needed to get super intentional. Daily. Hourly and sometimes minute by minute.
Being intentional requires you to be choosy about your goals, what you put your attention on and take action that aligns with what matters to you. Not what you think you ‘should’ be doing.
What I notice even more these days is that being intentional feels calm but committed. It’s not that there aren’t moments that can feel ‘hard’ at times, but the ‘hard’ is more like challenged instead of ferociously exuding energy in exchange for feeling ‘productive.

I’ve also noticed that when I, and my clients, show up intentionally, the feeling of ‘rush’ fades away. It’s so much more enjoyable and fun.

If you want different results, show up differently.

SO IN YOUR LEADERSHIP THIS WEEK….

Notice if you’re hustling and ask yourself how that’s going for you. Are you feeling not enough, exhausted, and overwhelmed? Instead, how could you BE more intentional about creating what you want?

Here’s to having some FUN this week,

XX,

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