coaching

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

 

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

 

You’ve got everyone… But who’s got you?

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. 


Thus began…

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.

 

All the details are HERE

Registration is open (group size capped at 8)

We start on March 24th.

Reach out if you have questions and please share with any mother who comes to mind.

 

This is an opportunity for you to invest in yourself, Mamas.

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

 

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,

Sarah Gibbons signature