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Women Taking the Lead with Jodi Flynn

Women Taking the Lead is a podcast containing interviews with women who have achieved success and men who help women develop their leadership; topical episodes giving insights and how-to's in the areas of leadership and personal and professional development, as well as "on-air" coaching episodes. The aim of Women Taking the Lead is to inspire you to overcome self-doubt so you can follow your true calling, earn the money you deserve, create more time for fun on your journey, develop relationships that support you, and to silence your inner critic, and make working on your mindset for success a top priority.
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Women Taking the Lead with Jodi Flynn
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Now displaying: March, 2020
Mar 30, 2020

The last episode of Women Taking the Lead was a celebration of 5 years of the Women Taking the Lead podcast and, in that episode, I also covered some ways to begin to relieve the stress you are likely experiencing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You are dealing with the work and lifestyle changes, as well as the uncertainty around your future health and finances.

It’s a lot.

It’s a lot, and for some of you, you need to face that fact that you’re not going to have the same level of focus and productivity. Not without making some changes.

Stress weighs on you and, from what I’ve seen and talked about with my clients, most of the stress you experience goes unacknowledged.

Try this stress test

Time yourself walking or running a half a mile. Once you are finished, note your time and take your pulse. Notice the pace of your breath and how much you are sweating. On a scale of 1-10, how do you feel after doing that half mile? Note how long it takes for your heart rate and breathing to return to normal.

Now pick up a 15-pound weight and time yourself repeating whatever you just completed, the half mile walk or run. Once you are finished, note your time and take your pulse. Notice the pace of your breath and how much you are sweating. On a scale of 1-10, how do you feel this time? Note how long it takes for your heart rate and breathing to return to normal.

The difference between the first and second half mile walk/run is the impact COVID-19 is having on you. It is like carrying around an extra 15 pounds on your shoulders.

And yet, if you’re like a lot of leaders I’ve been talking to lately, you’re aghast at how tired and unfocused you are about midway through the day.

It’s no wonder, you’re carry extra weight around with you, all day!

But what if you’ve been training and conditioning yourself to carry around an extra 15 pounds all day, even if you didn’t have to?

That’s what people who want to stay in peak physical shape do? They educate, develop and train themselves to endure more physical stress than they would experience on a day-to-day basis. As a result, when they are required to do more physical labor they perform and recover more quickly than those who have not been training.

The same goes for mental and emotional stress. If you have been educating, training and developing yourself to handle more stress than you would typically encounter on a day-to-day basis, when something like a pandemic comes your way, you are better able to handle it.  

Crisis Leadership Assessment

I’m now going to focus on leaders and the conditioning of leaders. There’s a lot you can learn from this current crisis to improve your leadership skills and the skills of those that you lead as well.

I want you to ask yourself honestly, how prepared were you to handle this crisis?

For those of you who lead leaders, how prepared were your leaders to handle this crisis?

I hope once you’ve gotten past survival and recovery modes you and your organization take the opportunity to analyze the performance of your leadership and identify where the gaps are, so you can identify who needs more training and coaching.

This is not to come from a place of judgment, we’ve all had our own leadership missteps as we were developing as leaders. The information I’m about to give is to make it easier to identify those who may be crying for help but can’t bring themselves to speak the words. That person might be you or someone you know.

Here are some of the symptoms of a leader who is not prepared for a current crisis.

They stopped communicating.

  • They ignored messages they found too overwhelming to deal with and only responded when prompted a second or third time.
  • They also may not be responding because everything feels urgent and they are unable to rank what needs to be done in order of importance. Most leaders ready for a crisis will typically have a template response such as, “I have received your email and I am currently working on a plan to respond to our current situation. I will have more information for you by X, Y, Z.” This at least let’s the sender know their email was received, and is important if not the priority.
  • They cancel or postpone important meetings rather than see the meeting as an opportunity to take the pulse of their people or to get everyone on the same page. A leader ready for a crisis knows the purpose and the structure of the meeting may change but it’s still important to connect with and reassure their people that steps are being taken to (assess the situation, come up with solutions, create a plan, or execute the plan).

Their communications became unclear.

  • One message says we’re meeting at this time, another message says something different.
  • Procedures have been updated several times but not everyone has the latest version.
  • After reading this leader’s email you’re still not certain what’s going on.
  • They contradict themselves in the same conversation because they can’t keep their thoughts straight.

They are disorganized.

  • They can’t find the email, the printout, or the glasses that are on their head
  • They have an agenda but the meeting goes off the rails because they can’t stay focused.
  • They start a conversation with, “Why were we meeting?” or, “What was I going to say to you?”

They are unprepared.

  • It becomes apparent by what they are saying and doing that they didn’t do the research, didn’t read the email, or didn’t read the manual.
  • There is no agenda for the meeting and it becomes clear they are “winging it”.

They began making a lot of excuses.

  • They know they are not fulfilling their role; it may be that they cannot fulfill their role for whatever reason, however, instead of owning it and seeking help they offer excuses for why it’s not their fault.

Explanations vs. Excuses

This is a good segue to distinguish between an explanation and an excuse.  

An explanation is an accounting to make something clear. When a leader is providing an explanation, they are taking accountability and ownership.

Taking accountability and ownership is not the same as taking blame. Typically, in this type of conversation there is a discussion of how to prevent the same thing from happening in the future, or if it cannot be prevented, how a similar situation will be handled in the future. A well-trained leader does not take things personally, they take responsibility or ownership of the solution.

An excuse may look similar to an explanation because it also assigns a reason, but when someone is making an excuse, they are not taking ownership of the problem or the solution. You will know what you are getting is an excuse when the individual refuses to own the problem or the solution. There is an attitude of, “it’s not my fault, there’s nothing I can do.”  

Here’s what it sounds like in real life:

Two people are late for a meeting both sighting traffic on the highway as the reason.

The person giving an excuse might say, “Sorry I’m late, the highway was backed up. Traffic” There might be a sigh, eye roll, or shoulder shrug.

The person giving an explanation might say, “Sorry I’m, the highway was backed up. In the future I’m going to leave 15 minutes early to make sure I’m on time.”

A well-trained, conditioned leader does not assign blame, they own where they have power and they take responsibility for it.

Mentality of a well-trained leader

In full disclosure, I’m not sitting here sparkling clean saying to myself, “Boy, these other people need to pull it together.” In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had my moments too.

I almost went into leading a meeting without a very clear agenda that had a purpose and expected outcomes. Another gracious and well-trained leader gave me some very kind counsel and direction, we put the missing pieces in place and the meeting well.

In my own training as a leader I’ve learned to let go of my ego and accept help when help is offered and is needed. In that situation, I clearly needed support and I am so grateful for it.

If you’ve developed your leadership skills and mindset, you’re likely feeling the change in your routine and recognizing these are extraordinary times, priorities need to shift and there’s a lot of work to do, but for the most part you are on top of thing and getting a lot done.

I will say before I sign off, these are extraordinary times. Be kind to yourself if you have found yourself not fully prepared to deal with everything that started coming at you recently.

Take on the mentality of a well-trained, conditioned leader. They would acknowledge that extraordinary events combined with a lack of preparation have given them their current results and state of being. Then they would ask, what can I do to prepare should this happen again? What was missing? What needs to change? Who can help me?

In next week’s episode I’m going to talk about some of those things and we are going to kick off with self-awareness; your self-awareness as a person and as a leader. How I create that with my clients is the Energy Leadership Assessment. If you would like to explore the Energy Leadership Assessment you can go to womentakingthelead.com/assessment to find out more and purchase it if that feels right for you at this time.

For those of you in leadership, I thank you for your contribution. We need well-trained leaders more than ever.

I hope this was of value to you and here’s to your success!

Women Taking the Lead Resources

Accomplished: How to Go from Dreaming to Doing: A simple, step by step system that gives you the foundation and structure to take your goals and make them happen.

Create Goals that are Worthy of you: If you are done with either pursuing vanilla goals, suffering through the struggle of goals that are not aligned with your strengths, or dealing with heartbreak of an unattainable goal this course is for you!

Private Facebook CommunityChat, share and collaborate with other women listening to the podcast!
Mar 25, 2020

This episode is a celebration albeit a somber celebration. At the time of the release of this episode on March 25, 2020 we are 14 days into the Coronavirus or COVID-19 being declared a pandemic.

The information we are getting from the news is startling, especially as we are all coming to grips with the fact that this isn’t going to pass in just 2-4 weeks, like we may have originally hoped.

Things are very uncertain but we cannot stop doing the very things that continue to develop us and remind us of our humanity and our connection to one another.

Let’s do some celebrating, then I’ve got some information that may help you get through the coming months.

The Celebration

The Women Taking the Lead podcast is 5 years old! The official launch date of Women Taking the Lead was March, 25 2015.

Here are some numbers for you.

Most podcast don’t go beyond 10 episodes and it’s uncommon to make it to 100 episodes. This episode is the 385th episode of Women Taking the Lead.

There have been over 687,000 downloads in 176 different countries. We are only 313,000 away from hitting one million downloads.  

Those numbers are amazing and I want to be clear that what this represents to me is community. And you, my community, while you have been listening to this podcast and sharing your thoughts and ideas, I‘ve been listening to you. Many of the best ideas I’ve gotten for this podcast and my business have come from you. I cannot thank you enough.

Thank you for your feedback, thank you for sharing this podcast with your friends, family and colleagues and thank you for listening!

The Elephant in the Room

While I will continue to celebrate and feel all the good feelings that come with hitting this milestone, it would not be an episode of Women Taking the Lead if I didn’t address the elephant in the room

You are under a lot of stress right now and could probably use some support. Being a high achiever, that’s probably hard for you to come to grips with – unless you’ve already had a meltdown. In which case, you can no longer hide or deny you need help.

I want to offer you some support by giving you some tips on dealing with the uncertainty and the changes that you are taking on to keep our most vulnerable loved ones safe.

We joke, and I’ve seen several memes on social media, about all we have to do is stay home. And yes, what we need to do or not do is easy to understand and execute but it is going to take a toll on you.

And for those of you who are leaders, it’s going to be even more important for you to take care of yourself, because you need to continue to show up and communicate with your people. They need your direction, your empathy and your steadfastness now more than ever. You must, you must, you must take care of yourself and your mindset to deliver on this.

The thing that steals most of your focus and energy is the mental stress of being out of a normal routine, and dealing with uncertainty and bad news.

How you mitigate stress is by changing your perspective, or the focus of your attention.

If you are struggling with all the uncertainty and have not yet read Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, now is the time to do it. You don’t have to walk into a store or wait for a delivery. You can download it on your Kindle reader or buy the audiobook.

If you have read Man’s Search for Meaning now may be the time to review it.

Man’s Search for Meaning is Viktor Frankl’s memoirs of his life during the Holocaust. He had survived, having spent three years in four different concentration camps. He noticed that those who were most likely to survive were those who could find some meaning in the experience.

Frankl believes meaning can be found through creativity and work, human interaction and experiences, and the manner in which we respond to suffering. Many survivors of the holocaust had coped with their experience by reminding themselves they didn’t want to disappoint relatives who were dead or separated from them, by helping others or, as Viktor Frankl did, to try to find the beauty in his environment.

If you feel guilty because you are trying to find positives in the devastation, I want you to let the guilt go because, it’s okay to do that. It’s what is getting you through this and it’s a good thing. I know you also see the reality; you’re not ignoring it. What you are doing is preventing yourself from being mentally and emotionally disabled by it.

You won’t be good to anyone if you are constantly watching the news, getting overwhelmed by all you see, and becoming too fatigued to cope.

It feels like doom and gloom but we are also seeing and hearing about people who are stepping up to help their neighbors and communities to address the challenges. I’ve seen businesses come up with creative ways to stay open and continue to provide services. I think this is why Kitty O’Meara’s poem has struck a chord with so many of us. It’s unlikely you haven’t read it somewhere by now but for those of you who haven’t heard this poem yet…

And the People Stayed Home

By Kitty O'Meara

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

It’s okay to recognize the positives. This is how we take advantage of opportunities. Adopting a woe-is-me attitude so as to not offend other people will not help anyone. Be sensitive to what other people are going through and recognize there are good things happening all over the world and you can be a part of it.

I am continuing to get new clients. I have passed 3 referrals to other business owners in the past few days that will turn into business. Yes, we are already seeing an economic downturn and it will have consequences but we will get through this and we will recover. We’ll do this together.

When things are turbulent, having a coach can make a difference. There’s no shame in getting extra support and accountability so that you are thriving in such a difficult time. I’m seeing too many leaders who are struggling, not asking for help, and it’s having a detrimental effect on those around them. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me if this sounds like a good option for you. I’m here to support you if you want the support.

In times like these, when so many things feel out of our control, and they are, I lean into the Serenity Prayer. Stress comes when we either deny the power we have in a situation, and render ourselves victims to our circumstances, or we try to assert power we don’t have, which only causes us frustration.

To bottom-line it, stress will typically come from one of two things:

  1. We fool ourselves into thinking we have no control in certain situations when we do. We always have control over our attitude, our actions, and our voice.
  2. Or, we try to control things we have no control over – like other people’s attitudes, actions, or words.

In the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, you can follow the CDC guidelines on hygiene and social distancing. You can shop for your elderly or medically vulnerable neighbors. You can buy gift cards from your local establishments. You can reach out to family and friends to see how they are doing. You can think about developing new streams of income. You can get 30 minutes of exercise in each day. The list could go on and on. Find what you have control over and take action. That will relieve stress and refuel your energy stores.

Alternatively, let go of trying to control things you don’t have control over. You can make sure the people you know are informed on proper protocols, and pass along tips for self-care, but you can’t force them to adopt them. And let me be clear, if you are getting upset it is because you are frustrated that you cannot control their behavior. What you can do is bless them, pray for them, and do what you need to do to take care of yourself. As long as you have done what is in your power to do, for your own sanity you need to make peace with the rest.

Here’s the Serenity Prayer to help you with that.

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him

Forever in the next. Amen.

I’m struck by the line in that prayer that reads, “Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.”

Now, it is my own belief that the world is not sinful, it is mistaken – but let’s not get tripped up by that word. If you read the line without the word “sinful” it reads:

Taking, as He did, this world as it is, not as I would have it.”

The world is what it is. This is the world we’ve got. Railing against the fact that it should be different doesn’t do you any good. Taking action to make positive changes, that is completely in your power. But you have to first accept that the world is the way it is before you can make a meaningful difference. That means first seeing things factually, unemotionally, and without judgment.

The world is neither good nor bad, right nor wrong. It is what it is.

Now, from this non-judgmental perspective ask yourself, “What would I like to infuse into the world?”

At the end of each episode I send you off with a Marianne Williamson quote with a little jingle playing in the background. Today it feels appropriate to just read it for you now.

Our Deepest Fear

By Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us;
It's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we're liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

Thank you for making this 5-year journey so joyful and memorable. We are in this together. Here’s to Our success!

Cheers!

Women Taking the Lead Resources

Accomplished: How to Go from Dreaming to Doing: A simple, step by step system that gives you the foundation and structure to take your goals and make them happen.

Create Goals that are Worthy of you: If you are done with either pursuing vanilla goals, suffering through the struggle of goals that are not aligned with your strengths, or dealing with heartbreak of an unattainable goal this course is for you!

Private Facebook CommunityChat, share and collaborate with other women listening to the podcast!
Mar 16, 2020

Roze Merditaj is the Founder and CEO of Real Women Collective Action (RWCA). She has over 10 years banking experience and over 8 years running small businesses. Her career in banking has involved many roles and responsibilities that she used every day to help and develop those around her. While in these roles she completed a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business all the while raising her children as a single mom.

Roze was born and raised in Kosovo, Yugoslavia. There, she felt the deprivation of limited life choices for women and being considered a second-class citizen. Years later, having overcome many struggles, being a resource and creating a path for women is one her main passions in life.

She mentors and coaches youth groups on financial management in Suffolk, Newport News, and Hampton, Virginia; and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, the Food Bank, Goodwill, and various shelters throughout the year. She believes anyone can achieve great success, with hard work, dedication, and focus.

In this episode Roze and I discuss...

  • The current number of women in senior leadership in the United States
  • How networking is helping Roze achieve her vision
  • The curriculum in a cutting-edge leadership development program
  • The importance of partnership and community as you develop yourself as a leader
  • The importance of starting by doing good work in your local community

Links

Website: www.rwcanow.org

RWCA Leadership Development Program: www.rwcanow.org/our-programs

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rwcanow.org

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/roze-merditaj-b341b7129

Instagram: www.instagram.com/rwca_now

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Zebralove Web Solutions: Close your online marketing skills gap, learn how to remain relevant in a quickly changing marketplace, and get ongoing support in promoting your businesses online. Stay ahead of the game by signing up for these Digital Marketing Forum. Go to womentakingthelead.com/zebraworkshops to register.

Resources

Create Goals that are Worthy of you: If you are done with either pursuing vanilla goals, suffering through the struggle of goals that are not aligned with your strengths, or dealing with heartbreak of an unattainable goal this course is for you!

Private Facebook CommunityChat, share and collaborate with other women listening to the podcast!

Accomplished: How to Go from Dreaming to DoingA simple, step by step system that gives you the foundation and structure to take your goals and make them happen.

Mar 9, 2020

Megan Jo Wilson is the Founder and Ringleader of Rockstar Camp for Women based in Portland, Maine. In the last year and a half, she has graduated over 50 women (and 10 brave men) through her experiential Feminist Leadership Camp which gives Women the tools they need to sing on stage in a spotlight with a live band and a live audience for one night. 

As they take these empowering tools off the stage and into their businesses, they expand their impact AND their income, and have a damn good time doing it. 

She has been a Certified Co-Active Coach and Business Mentor for 16 years, she is a Certified Sound Healer, and the author of two Bestselling Business-Books: “Who The Fuck Am I to Be a Coach?!” and “Who the Fuck Am I to Be a Rockstar?!” 

Her BIG-SUPER-NOVA-MISSION is to redirect Financial Wealth, Power, and Influence into the hands of modern-day Healers and Magic-Makers. 

 

In this episode Megan Jo and I discuss...

Rockstar Camp for Women teaches Women Leaders to be more Visible… Why do you think that’s challenging for Women, and why is Visibility so important?

You get Women who have no musical training to sing on stage with a live band and audience - why is the concert so important to this experience and what is your secret?!

You also say that this is a Feminist Leadership Development program - what is the role of The Feminine in your work and how does that make it different from other programs?

What are some of the results that you have seen after Women get on stage with Rockstar Camp?

 

Links

You can find Megan Jo and Rockstar Bootcamp here...

Website: www.meganjowilson.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/meganjowilson

Instagram: www.instagram.com/meganjowilson

Rockstar Showcase:  https://www.portlandhouseofmusic.com/event/megan-jo-wilsons-rockstar-showcase-6

 

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Zebralove Web Solutions: Close your online marketing skills gap, learn how to remain relevant in a quickly changing marketplace, and get ongoing support in promoting your businesses online. Stay ahead of the game by signing up for these Digital Marketing Forum. Go to womentakingthelead.com/zebraworkshops to register.

 

Resources

Create Goals that are Worthy of you: If you are done with either pursuing vanilla goals, suffering through the struggle of goals that are not aligned with your strengths, or dealing with heartbreak of an unattainable goal this course is for you!

Private Facebook CommunityChat, share and collaborate with other women listening to the podcast!

Accomplished: How to Go from Dreaming to DoingA simple, step by step system that gives you the foundation and structure to take your goals and make them happen.

Mar 2, 2020

Allyson Scammell is a master certified coach, EFT practitioner, and intuitive consultant. Her mission is to help soul-guided women entrepreneurs who are fed up with their efforts exceeding their income, to grow in life and business, using their own unique genius and soul's internal guidance system.

Allyson was born and raised on a cattle ranch in South Dakota and spent her days dreaming of traveling the world. Immediately upon graduating college, she joined the Peace Corps and served for two years in a village in the Danube Delta. After earning a Master in International Affairs from Columbia University, she went on to work for 17 years in international development and humanitarian affairs at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

At some point in those 17 years, she received a higher calling to leave that work and do something entrepreneurial in greater alignment to her soul’s purpose. Not sure what that was, she went on a journey to discover how she was truly meant to serve the world and found her answer as a coach and mentor to soul-led women.

Allyson is a proud mama to three VIPs. She has lived in 10 countries, loves adventure travel, and dreams of one day owning a buffalo farm.

In this episode Allyson and I...

Do something completely different! In this episode Allyson takes me through a soul-guided meditation that you can follow along with. Allyson discusses:

  • What a soul-guided meditation is what answers you can potentially receive from this practice
  • The four intuitive gifts and how to identify your dominant gift
  • How to vision the future you most want to experience and manifest that vision
  • How to recognize when your thinking mind or ego is getting in the way and how to easefully release it

Links

You can find Allynson here...

Website: www.allysonscammell.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/shegrowsnation

Closed FB group: www.facebook.com/groups/shegrowsnation/

Download 3 FREE soul-guided meditations:  https://mailchi.mp/0e8f34543c30/meditation

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Zebralove Web Solutions: Close your online marketing skills gap, learn how to remain relevant in a quickly changing marketplace, and get ongoing support in promoting your businesses online. Stay ahead of the game by signing up for these Digital Marketing Forum. Go to womentakingthelead.com/zebraworkshops to register.

Resources

Create Goals that are Worthy of you: If you are done with either pursuing vanilla goals, suffering through the struggle of goals that are not aligned with your strengths, or dealing with heartbreak of an unattainable goal this course is for you!

Private Facebook CommunityChat, share and collaborate with other women listening to the podcast!

Accomplished: How to Go from Dreaming to DoingA simple, step by step system that gives you the foundation and structure to take your goals and make them happen.

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