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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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Nov 26, 2020

Nicole Tersigni is a comedic writer who lives in Metro Detroit with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. Since childhood, Nicole has felt an intense need to diffuse uncomfortable moments with laughter, so writing a book that finds humor in dealing with tiresome, entitled men was inevitable. Drawing on her experience in improv comedy and women's advocacy, Nicole is excited to combine these worlds and bring some much-needed levity to the fight against the patriarchy. When she's not writing feminist humor books, she's working on screenplays, or (more likely) cracking jokes on Twitter.

In this episode Nicole and I discuss...

In this episode Nicole and I discuss…

  • 😯 The concept of mansplaining and when it starts to impact women
  • 😯 What caused Nicole to take up the crusade to call out mansplaining
  • 😯 The post on Twitter that caught fire and inspired the book
  • 😯 The five types of mansplaining Nicole pokes fun at in her book
  • 😯 The galling assumption that is at the heart of mansplaining
  • 🤨 Raising daughters to recognize mistreatment and deal with it in a way that allows the other person to hear the critical feedback

Links

Twitter @nicsigni 

Instagram @nicsigni_writes

Book Men to Avoid in Art and Life

Website: https://www.nicoletersigni.com 

WTL Leadership Survey

I’d love it if you could help me to do some research on the coaching and training that is most needed right now. I’ve put together a quick survey (5-10 minutes) to gather this information so I can make sure you are getting exactly what you need as a leader right now and in the near future.

Go to womentakingthelead.com/survey to add your voice to this project.

Thank you so much for your help!

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!

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.

Nov 16, 2020

Dr. Carmen W. Landrau is a board-certified cardiologist and professional keynote speaker who uses her experience navigating a male-dominated career, to empower women to embrace their talents and acknowledge their achievements so that they may transform into phenomenal leaders.

Carmen is a keynote speaker at corporate conferences and associations events and has participated in panels, workshops and national TV interviews with great acceptance. Her talks are sought-after by those actively involved in the advancement of women into senior executives of an organization.

Her ability to elevate an event and engage the audience is repeatedly well received. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, exercising and spending quality time with her husband and kids.

In this episode Carmen and I discuss...

  • Her journey from cardiologist to keynote speaker in women’s empowerment
  • How making a difference is what can help you overcome fear and take action
  • If you are called to do something new, no matter what you try, that feeling is not going away and you will only feel better if you explore the possibility
  • The importance of celebrating your successes, big and small
  • Tips for women to take that next step

Links

Website:  www.drlandrau.com

LinkedIn: www.Linkedin.com/in/drlandrau

WTL Leadership Survey

I’d love it if you could help me to do some research on the coaching and training that is most needed right now. I’ve put together a quick survey (5-10 minutes) to gather this information so I can make sure you are getting exactly what you need as a leader right now and in the near future.

Go to womentakingthelead.com/survey to add your voice to this project.

Thank you so much for your help!

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!

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.

Nov 2, 2020

Ellen Miller grew up in rural Maine and is a leadership coach and operational executive for TRC Companies and Former Vice President of AVANGRID. She understands the challenges of being a pioneer and breaking trail in a non-traditional role. As a leader, she has experienced digging in, charging ahead, and rising above both personally and professionally. She is curating on Instagram, “Illuminating: Women In The Shadows”, to highlight and honor women pioneers in the past to inspire and empower the women pioneers of today.

In this episode Ellen and I discuss...

  • Why all women are pioneers, whether a business owner or an employee forging new paths for women to succeed. We have to blaze trails and make inroads that require us to engage and motivate people all around us.
  • Why starting with vision, mission, vision sounds cliche but is an absolute must if you want to avoid the common pitfalls involved in leading a team.
  • How Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be used to motivate your team and reduce stress.
  • Why it is crucial to be able to redefine success, especially when you are in a crisis, so you and those around you can focus on what's important.

Links

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mpoweredus/

Instagram:  @mpoweredus

Email: ellen@mpoweredus.com

WTL Leadership Survey

I’d love it if you could help me to do some research on the coaching and training that is most needed right now. I’ve put together a quick survey (5-10 minutes) to gather this information so I can make sure you are getting exactly what you need as a leader right now and in the near future.

Go to womentakingthelead.com/survey to add your voice to this project.

Thank you so much for your help!

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!

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.

Oct 26, 2020

In this episode I’m going to cover being forceful versus being influential. We all have an idea of what we want and there are many strategies we can utilize to accomplish our goal. However, in regard to using force, which many of us can default into because of the short-term gains, there are many more benefits to cultivating influence even though it takes more time and conscious intention.

Hello, I’m Jodi Flynn and welcome to the Women Taking the Lead podcast. I’m an executive leadership coach, author, speaker, workshop facilitator and I have the joy to work with women leaders who want to hone the skills they’ll need to thrive in Senior Leadership. I know I’ve met a woman I would love to work with when we start having a few laughs about our tendencies toward perfectionism and people pleasing.

I have been living in Maine for the past 18 years and thanks to the beauty of technology I’ve been able to work with women all over the world.

I do individual coaching as well as workshops and team retreats. I am currently in the processes of taking my coaching system and turning it into an online course for those who prefer a Do-It-Yourself model of learning.

I am the current President of the board for The Maine Women's Conference and I am a Curriculum Partner for a Women’s Leadership development program through Real Women Collective Action (RWCA).

I spend my free time catching up with friends and family, planning trips to Virginia to visit my guy, working out and watching the Great British Baking Show.

Communication and Relationships

Because of my expertise in communication and relationship building there have been times I’ve been approached by organizations looking for scripts of what to say. And hearing what this episode was going to cover, you may also have wondered if there are the right things to say to be more influential.

I always respectfully hear what they have to say and why they want these scripts and then I explain to them that communication, relationship building, and gaining influence are more about who you are being that what you are saying.

When I talk about who you are being, I’m referring to your demeanor, your attitude and the overall experience you are creating for the other person or people around you.

You’ve probably heard this before: communication is comprised of only 7% word choice or verbal communication. The other 93% is split 38% vocal (think tone of voice, inflection, volume, etc.) and the final 55% is nonverbal communication (facial expressions and body language).

That means, that while you may have 7% of your communication nailed down the other 93% of what you are communicating may not be in your conscious control. Even if you can get conscious control of some of your vocal and nonverbal communication and get that percentage up to 50% or 60%, you still have 40%-50% of your communication sending different messages.

[Listen in to get more information on transforming subtle force, which only gives you short-term gains, into influence.

How to Increase Your Influence

  • Have a strong sense of integrity; keep your word
  • Be clear on your core values and live by them
  • Be confident and secure in who you are and your abilities
  • Continue to develop yourself personally and professionally
  • Respect and treat the people you lead with fairness
  • Own up to your mistakes and make amends
  • Be inclusive, invite others in, letting them be a part of the process
  • Make others feel valued and heard
  • Be agile and flexible, especially when faced with challenges
  • Demonstrate openness, transparency, humility and intelligence
  • Have a good sense of humor; value fun and enjoyment in the workplace and elsewhere
  • Take your work seriously but don’t take yourself too seriously
  • Be curious and embody a sense of possibility
  • Assume good intent
  • Inspire people by sharing your vision with them and helping them to see themselves in that vision
  • Be a team player and make others happy to be on your team, playing alongside you
  • Be willing to roll up your sleeves, work hard, and do what it takes
  • and so much more...

If you are already doing these things you are probably very in tune with having a blessed life. Well done and keep going. We are blessed to have you among us.

And, if while going through that list you realized you could use some support in developing any of the characteristics and the demeanor that creates influence, I would love to partner with you on this. What is so great about coaching is the things that help to make you a better leader are the things that cause you to be happier and healthier in all areas of your life.

If you’re ready or you would like to hear more about how coaching can help you develop influence reach out to me at jodi@womentakingthelead.com. It would be an honor to be a part of your journey.

And if you thought of a friend or colleague whom this episode would be helpful to, please share it with them. Some of the most useful resources I’ve gained on my journey have come as recommendations from those who cared about me.

As always, I hope this was helpful to you, and here’s to your success!

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Zebralove Web SolutionsYour website tells a story about your business! At Zebralove Web Solutions, Milly and her team are going to make sure your website tells the story you want your customers to hear. Connect with Milly at zebralovewebsolutions.com to create the impression you want to make!

Resources

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.

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!

Oct 19, 2020

Mary Cheyne is a TEDx speaker, MBA and Transformational Public Speaking Trainer & Coach who has trained over 15,000 people in 30 cities internationally. Mary is the 2009 World Champion of Public Speaking first runner-up, out of 25,000 contestants from 14 countries and is also the best-selling author of the book, “Present” Yourself in Public Speaking – Tell Your Inner Critic to SHUT UP! And the Real You to SPEAK UP!

Mary is proof that transformation is possible, as she began her career as a self-conscious, introverted computer programmer!

Two fun facts about Mary is that she also holds a Karate Black Belt rank and plays the ukulele. 

In this episode Mary and I discuss...

  • The invisible force that causes you to hesitate to speak up even though you know what you’re talking about
  • How to manage your inner critic so it doesn’t sabotage your best efforts
  • Public speaking is not people’s #1 fear. Do you know what is?
  • What it means to wake up the warrior woman with yourself
  • How to be confident and assert yourself in any situation

Links

Download the “Bypass Your Inner Critic” Cheat Sheet:  https://magneticpodium.com/InnerCriticSummary/

Website: https://www.magneticpodium.com

Watch Mary’s TEDx Talk: The Hidden Power of Bruce Lee that We All Have https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sq7FxNyKURY

WTL Leadership Survey

I’d love it if you could help me to do some research on the coaching and training that is most needed right now. I’ve put together a quick survey (5-10 minutes) to gather this information so I can make sure you are getting exactly what you need as a leader right now and in the near future.

Go to womentakingthelead.com/survey to add your voice to this project.

Thank you so much for your help!

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!

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.

Oct 12, 2020

Were you one of the people who, when the pandemic shut downs began, took a step back to reflect on how you were living your life; checking in to see if you were on the right track?

If you didn’t like what you were seeing, you’ve probably been doing some research to see what changes you could make and how to make those changes. From there, the next natural step is to get into action.

When the pandemic began, I redid a series on the Cycle of Change and completed 3 of the 4 phases that make up the Cycle of Change. The phases I covered were: The Toss-In Phase or the ending of a cycle, The Shuffle Phase which includes deciding what you want to do next, and The Deal Phase when you decide what strategy you’ll utilize in the next phase.

The timing did not feel right to cover the final phase back in the spring but I am feeling it now.

In this episode, we’re going to cover the fourth and final phase of the cycle of change, Play the Game.

Hi, I’m Jodi Flynn and welcome to the Women Taking the Lead podcast. I’m an executive leadership coach, author, speaker, workshop facilitator and I have the joy to work with women leaders who want to hone the skills they’ll need to thrive in Senior Leadership. I know I’ve met a woman I would love to work with when we start having a few laughs about our tendencies toward perfectionism and people pleasing.

Originally from Massachusetts I have been living in Maine for the past 18 years. Thanks to the beauty of technology I’ve been able to work with women all over the world. If you have a device and Wi-Fi we can work together.

I do individual coaching as well as workshops and team retreats. I am currently in the processes of taking my coaching system and turning it into an online course for those who prefer a Do-It-Yourself model of learning.

I am the current President of the board for The Maine Women's Conference and I am a Curriculum Partner for a Women’s Leadership development program through Real Women Collective Action (RWCA).

I spend my free time catching up with friends and family, FaceTiming my boyfriend who lives in Virginia, working out and watching the Great British Baking Show.

Play the Game (Action!)

“Play the Game” is an exciting and mostly positive time during the Cycle of Change when you are all-in to live your dreams and reach new levels of success, fulfillment and well-being.

Whereas in previous stages you were either reflecting on the past or imagining the future, this phase is about being fully in the moment.

You are living the strategy and the plan you created in The Deal Phase.

It is a time of action but the amount of action you will take in this phase is based on your personality, how clear you are on your goal, how feasible your plan is and how much support you have.

That’s why The Deal Phase is so crucial to set you up for success in this phase, though most plans will work if you can only get out of your own way.

What that means is in the Play the Game Phase it’s important to manage your inner critic, which always comes to life when you are doing something new, big or scary. This is where self-doubt can start to plague you and if you allow it too much power you will unconsciously begin to self-sabotage.

Know that it is natural and normal for your inner critic to try to have a field day with you. Change the perspective that hearing your inner critic is a bad thing. Rather, hearing your inner critic means you are playing full out and that’s a great thing.

If you are able to manage your inner critic you will, for the most part, feel harmonious, optimistic, determined and fully alive.

If you are able to remain flexible you will be able to pivot and adjust if things don’t go according to plan. Let’s face it, things rarely go exactly according to plan so it’s important not to get too attached to the plan or judge yourself and others too harshly for not expecting the unexpected.

Things may not go as planned but you are 100% in.

While this stage is usually associated with wins and success, it can also be the setting for disappointments, setbacks, and new challenges. You can probably look back on times in your life where the Play the Game Phase of the Cycle of Change did not go well.

If this is happening to you right now it’s important not to judge yourself too harshly. Look on what is happening as a valuable lesson that you can examine and learn from so you go into the next Cycle of Change stronger and wiser.

Place your focus on what is working and what is not working without judgment and you’ll be able to make adjustments and pivot pretty easily because you won’t be heaping the past and emotion on the situation. Remain nimble and empowered by staying curious and looking for opportunities no matter what is happening.

Being Fully in the Moment

People typically love this phase the most out of all of the four phases and wish it would continue on like this indefinitely, or better yet, for the rest of their lives.

Although that sounds great, chances are if you are still open to growth and being your best-self, you will be back in the Toss In Phase and the cycle will begin once again. It doesn’t mean you’ve backtracked, it actually means you are moving forward, even though it may not feel like it at first.

For instance, have you ever hit a time in your life when you want to stay in action because being in action makes you feel productive? However, if you are not regularly taking time and a step back to reflect on the goal and your progress, and making sure you are using the best strategy you will limit your own progress.

Every phase of the Cycle of Change is important and requires your participation, even if participating looks like sitting idle and looking out a window or writing in a journal. Powerful things are happening internally that will increase your chances of success the next time you find yourself ready to Play the Game.

What phase of the Cycle of Change are you currently in, in regard to your career? I’d love to hear from you. Send me a note at jodi@womentakingthelead.com or comment wherever you see a post for this episode.

Also, please share this episode with anyone in your life whom you think could benefit from it. Word of mouth is still one of the most effective ways for us to find the resources we need to make changes in our lives.

As always, I hope this was helpful to you and here’s to your success.

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Zebralove Web SolutionsYour website tells a story about your business! At Zebralove Web Solutions, Milly and her team are going to make sure your website tells the story you want your customers to hear. Connect with Milly at zebralovewebsolutions.com to create the impression you want to make!

Resources

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.

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!

Oct 5, 2020

Cara Macklin, a multi award-winning entrepreneur and business success coach has been recognized for her achievements including Women in Business Outstanding Innovation, IoD finalist Director of the Year for Innovation, Women in Business Young Business Woman of the Year and Northern Ireland’s Top 40 under 40 and has been featured on BBC, Thrive Global, TedX, and in 2021 on FOX TV

Both an entrepreneur and coach, Cara’s journey began at 5 years old, growing up in her family business where her education began around the kitchen table… Starting her first business at 15 and spent over 15 years as a Director in the family business an award-winning healthcare & hospitality group which grew from 3 businesses with 250 employees to 7 businesses and 600 employees. She disrupted the elderly healthcare industry in Ireland creating the first ‘Lifestyle Care Home’ cited by IoD chairman as a ‘world class concept.’

Cara left her family business and founded Caram as a Visionnaire Success Coach to elevate dynamic leaders ambitious to do things differently and achieve even more, through her unique blend of business acumen, creative thinking, and success mindset.

In this episode Cara and I discuss…

  • Cara’s work as a visionnaire success coach
  • The biggest challenges leaders have when working on the future vision and next level of the business
  • Cara’s success in working with teams to disrupted the elderly healthcare industry in Ireland.
  • Steps you can take to tap into your creativity to create a vision of success for you.

Links

Email: hello@caramacklin.com

Website: https://Caram.org.uk

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caramacklin/

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Zebralove Web SolutionsClose 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!

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.

Sep 21, 2020

Linda Fisk is a multi-award-winning leader, keynote speaker, author and university professor dedicated to amplifying and extending the success of other high-caliber business leaders. Linda serves as the CEO of Collective 54, the only national peer advisory network for owners of professional services firms, focused exclusively on growing, scaling, and maximizing firm valuation. As CEO, she accelerates the success of Collective 54’s members, enabling them to live their most meaningful lives.

Prior to leading Collective 54, Linda was the global head of brand marketing, public relations and communications at Susan G. Komen following a 5-year executive leadership role at YPO, where she developed her passion for bringing leaders together to solve problems. Linda forged a career as an entrepreneurial and forward-thinking marketing leader on the cutting edge of customer acquisition, retention and loyalty.

Linda has a Ph.D. and M.A. in Clinical Psychology and has written extensively on the subjects of social comparison, depression and anxiety, subjective well-being and personality theory, with a focus on relating scientific research to commonly understood concepts.  Currently, Linda is interested in the psychology of influence, persuasion and negotiation.

In this episode Linda and I discuss...

  • The power of partnerships
  • Core values or principles of an effective partnership
  • Examples of unlikely yet successful partnerships
  • How to know if a partnership will benefit you and your goals
  • The power of peer advisors and collective wisdom and expertise

Links

Website: https://www.collective54.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lindafisk

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!

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.

Sep 7, 2020

Hello there! Before we dive in, I wanted to let you know that Accomplished: How to Go from Dreaming to Doing is coming soon in Audible!!  I’m crossing my fingers that it will be available by September 18 because that is my 10-year anniversary of being in business. It would be something special to be able to talk about both of these events simultaneously.

Stay tuned on more information about the book.

This episode is dropping on the US holiday of Labor Day so if you are listening to this episode, I hope you have had a chance to take some significant downtime this weekend.

And downtime is the topic of this episode of Women Taking the Lead.

I recently shared an article I found on The Daily Muse titled, "Yes, You Should Still Take Time Off Work During COVID-19—Here’s How to Make the Most of It" by Regina Borsellino.

The post was liked and commented on across platforms it so I knew it was hitting home. I got the feeling we needed to talk more about this.

The article made a case for why you should take time off during COVID-19, for both personal and professional reasons. It also contained 6 tips to help you make the most of your time off. It’s all about setting yourself up for success.

Self-care lays the foundation of the work I do with my clients. Just recently I was meeting with a new client and she was very wound up by a lot of things that were going on at work and was near her wits end.

Our next meeting was the week after she came back from a week off and the difference was astounding. The circumstances at work were no different, but she was able to see things from a new perspective and felt that resolving these issues was very doable.

She also talked about feeling lighter and more productive. The time away had helped her to crystalize her thoughts about how to take better care of herself.

That week off gave her an opportunity to stop focusing on the problems she was facing and as a result, brand new solutions started presenting themselves to her. I want to underscore that – by intentionally putting the problems to the side and relaxing, her mind started to formulate solutions to the problems without her putting any effort into solving those problems.

I also had an experience with a friend this past week that also underscored the need we have for rest. My friend has a lot going on in her life right now. She is getting pulled in many different directions, is up against some big deadlines and there was a lot of work to be done.

She texted me a week ago because her anxiety had spiked and she was in a really bad place. I did what I could to support her in the moment but I was really worried about her for the rest of the day.

When I checked back in with her that evening, she reported that she had laid down in the middle of the day to catch her breath and wound up sleeping for 2 ½ hours. She slept so soundly she woke up in the same position she fell asleep in.

Her anxiety was gone and she accepted she was just going to have to take everything one step at a time and do what she could. She called me a few days later to let me know the biggest project with the hard deadline was completed a day ahead of schedule.

She’s taking a break before she dives into the next project.

We think we need to be a non-stop superwoman but the fact is we need to stop periodically to take care of ourselves to be at optimal.

There is a principle of diminishing returns that you’ll want to be aware of. In the realm of productivity, it states that there is a point at which the same investment of resources will yield fewer results.

For example, you may be able to complete four reports every hour. However, if you continue to work at that pace without a break you will reach a point when you are no longer able to produce four reports an hour. And if you continue, your output will continue to diminish.

We need to take breaks to stay productive. And as was shown in the case of my friend, we need to take breaks to maintain a stable mood and confidence in our abilities.

If you find that you are pushing yourself too hard, ask yourself what is the story you are telling yourself that is preventing you from taking a break?

The story can take on many variations. It could be you see other people appear to be working harder than you are so feel like you’re not doing enough. It could be that you feel you must keep working because there’s no way it’s all going to get done if you rest.

You may be afraid that you’ll lose your motivation for good if you slow down for a bit. Or, you’re afraid your business will tank or your job will be at risk if you don’t keep going full speed.

I’m not going to tell you your story is true or false. I am asking you to challenge your story to see if it’s really true.

And, what could you gain if you took some of the pressure off yourself and allowed yourself to recover and re-energize after all the work you’ve put in thus far?

And if you lead a team, remember what you do sends a louder message than what you say. You may say you want your people to take breaks and fully unplug when they are on vacation. But if you don’t do it, they will think that your words are only words, and that you expect of them what you model.

Lastly, here is an Instagram post from a colleague of mine, Elizabeth Ross Holstrom. She is the founder of Mindful Employer, and supports companies who are creating or would like to create mindful and conscious work environments. This post is a picture of cards she’s created to give some ideas for what you can do to renew yourself if you are taking a break – whether it’s one minute, three minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, or more. Check them out and if you’d like them for yourself or your company get in touch with Elizabeth!

Stay tuned for Accomplished: How to Go from Dreaming to Doing in Audible. Subscribe to this podcast on your favorite platform or sign up for my messages through the Women Taking the Lead website. Pretty soon you’ll be able to get Accomplished in print, kindle and now the audio version! This book is based on my Accomplished coaching system, and the accompanying worksheets will help you develop your own personalized care plan so that you are regularly renewing your energy and doing the things that satisfy and fulfill you.

As always, I hope this was of value to you and here’s to your success.

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Zebralove Web SolutionsYour website tells a story about your business! At Zebralove Web Solutions, Milly and her team are going to make sure your website tells the story you want your customers to hear. Connect with Milly at zebralovewebsolutions.com to create the impression you want to make!

Resources

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.

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!

Aug 17, 2020

Malinda Gagnon specializes in launching and growing products and companies, and has 20 years of experience in business strategy and digital communications. She is the CEO and Founder of Uprise Partners, a consulting and investment firm specializing in engineering, IT and marketing. At Google, she was a founding team member of the advertising technology organization in Cambridge, MA. At WPP/GroupM, the world’s largest media investment organization, she founded and led a digital consulting practice, as well as the Product Management and Technology group. She has advised clients such as Procter & Gamble, General Electric, Volkswagen, Unilever, Land Rover Jaguar, Allergan, Walmart and many others. She is also a mentor for MassChallenge and Techstars. 

In this episode Malinda and I discuss...

  • Her journey working in male-dominated fields and what made her successful.
  • How we are multifaceted and can draw on feminine and masculine energies/approaches to respond to what's needed in the moment.
  • What instigated the transition she made to owning her own business.
  • How she managed recently to loosen up and take herself less seriously.

Links

Website: uprisepartners.com

Podcast: datamyths.com

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!

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.

Aug 3, 2020

Meredith Bell has been an entrepreneur since 1982, and she’s an expert in helping companies develop the people side of their business. Meredith is co-founder and President of Performance Support Systems, a global software company based in Virginia. Meredith heads up marketing and sales for the company. Over the years, she’s served as an informal mentor and coach to the coaches, consultants, business owners and human resource professionals who use their products. One of her strengths is creating strong, long-term relationships. Meredith and her business partners have worked together for 25 years, and many of their clients and resellers have done business with them for 20 years. She understands what’s required to build the loyalty and commitment that lead to repeat business and referrals.

Playing Small Moment

Meredith’s playing small moment happened when she was bullied by a possible client to lower her price, and because she wanted the client’s business she gave in and lowered her price. She says she would not handle the incident the same way today.

The Wake Up Call

Meredith had a wake up call when she found herself ignoring her inner critic, telling her she wasn’t important enough to take a certain action. She acted quickly before there was time to second guess herself. She realized there was nothing wrong with being bold.

Style of Leadership

People sense that Meredith cares for them. She pays attention to what people are saying and not saying. She lets them know she is there to serve them.

What Are You Excited About?

Meredith is excited about her new online coaching system, Strong for Performance. It applies to those who are developing leaders. It excites her every day to see people motivated and inspired.

Current Business Challenge

Meredith finds it challenging to get the word out about her new product as quickly and as grand as possible.

What Does Your Business Support System Look Like?

Meredith’s business partners have supporting skill sets that help make everything work. She also benefits from outsourcing and automation tools.

Leadership Practice

Listening deeply to people when they are talking is Meredith’s effective leadership practice.

Book to Develop Leadership

Straight Line Leadership by Dusan Djukich

Advice For Younger Self

“Have more fun. Be less serious and lighten up.” And, “Make more bold requests.”

Inspirational Quote

“How can I serve this person so powerfully that they never forget this conversation for the rest of their life?” ~ Rich Litvin

New Book:

Connect with Your Team Special price for Kindle is just $.99 during launch week only (August 3-9). https://amzn.to/3jL0pEI

Links

Website: http://www.strongforperformance.com/

Email: meredith@prostarcoach.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/meredithmbell

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/meredithmbell

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MeredithMBell

Free Gift:

Support Coaching videos and ebook:  http://prostarcoach.com/coachingebookandvideos.asp

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Zebralove Web SolutionsYour website tells a story about your business! At Zebralove Web Solutions, Milly and her team are going to make sure your website tells the story you want your customers to hear. Connect with Milly at zebralovewebsolutions.com to create the impression you want to make!

Resources

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.

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!

Jul 20, 2020

Have you ever had one of those days when you wake up and immediately you dread having to get out of bed?

Before your feet touch the floor a list of things you really don’t want to tackle start floating through your mind. Or, you recall a recent interaction that didn't sit well with you and you feel those feelings all over again.

Your mood is heavy, but you’re determined to make it a good day. So, you start the coffee, turn on the shower and focus on positive things. You pick up some steam and before you know it, you’re on with your day until…

…it's mid-morning and you’re already excited for your lunch break.

Even though you’re trying to remain positive, your nerves are on edge and you could use the time away. You have lunch and are able to breathe a little easier while plotting how you’ll make it through the rest of the afternoon.

But your energy never fully returns and you pull yourself through each meeting or task as if you are hiking up a mountain. Before the end of the workday, you’ve given up on being productive and you move on to the typical distractions: Facebook, videos, the news, etc.

If you’ve been seeing too many of these days lately, don’t lose hope! There is a solution. But like most remedies, it will take a little work to see actual results.

Your energy is consumed by the things you tolerate

Your energy is impacted by more than just your diet, sleep, exercise and aging. It is also impacted by how closely you live according to your values and the life you want to be living.

If you are putting up with or avoiding something in your life that goes against your values or the life you want to live, you use a lot of your energy to be "okay" with it.

The things you tolerate weigh you down, and it takes a substantial amount of energy to put up with things that annoy you. It also takes energy to avoid addressing nit-picky problems you wish would just go away on their own.

Often times this looks like saying “yes” when you really want to say “no.” Spending time with negative people, listening to gossip, being taken for granted, or putting up with people who are unreliable - these are all things that you may be tolerating.

Tolerating can also look like avoiding a noise that your car is making or when the check engine light goes on. It could be a bodily pain that needs to be checked out or an appliance that doesn’t work as well as it used to.

You might be avoiding your finances, your health or your relationships, even though they need your attention.

The danger of letting things go

Imagine you are holding a beach ball under water. If it’s deflated, this is no problem. You could hold it under the water all day with hardly any energy or effort being used.

Now imagine that for each thing you are tolerating you blow one puff of air into the beach ball. Again, no problem if you’re only tolerating a few things.

However, chances are you are tolerating more than a few things. Chances are you may be tolerating a hundred or hundreds of little things without even being consciously aware of it.

What makes the things we tolerate so insidious is that, when you look at each one individually, it’s not that big of a deal. So, you dismiss it and it remains.

You do this to countless things throughout the day and the busier you perceive your life to be the more tolerations build up because you tell yourself it’s not that big of a deal or you’ll deal with it later.

Slowly, over time, that beach ball gets bigger and bigger. And it starts taking an enormous amount of energy to get through the day holding it underwater and pretending it isn’t there.

Until one day, something comes along that demands energy you have been giving to the beach ball. It could be the figurative straw that broke the camel's back or it could be something big.

Suddenly, you don't have enough energy to keep that beach ball underwater and it shoots out of the water and you lose it! You don’t have the energy to tolerate those things anymore and you wonder why you’ve put up with them for so long.

If someone happens to be in close proximity to you when this happens, they will likely be the unsuspecting victim of your wrath – which you will later regret and apologize for.

How to keep tolerations from creeping in

To prevent the blow up, first and foremost, be vigilant.

If something doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t work for you. When you address things in the moment, you’re able to do it calmly and in a matter-of-fact manner. This keeps the interaction or transaction low drama and thus quick and easy.

Also, watch for when you try to convince yourself something isn’t a big deal and so doesn’t need to be dealt with or dealt with right away. Tolerations, individually, are typically not that big a deal so don’t let that be an excuse to avoid it.

If it's something that will become a big deal if it is repeated indefinitely, it's a big enough deal to address the first time it happens.

If you can’t deal with it immediately schedule when you are going to deal with it. Don’t say you’ll deal with it later with no plan to do so.

A couple times a year I do a Tolerations Detox.

This is a process I take my clients through to help them address and remove the things they are tolerating and avoiding in a simple and non-threatening manner, so they can maintain a high level of energy, confidence and motivation.

I’ve seen this process work time and again. My clients make simple changes and find themselves flooded with the energy that has been missing for months or even years. With this sudden flood of energy, they start rearranging their offices, cleaning out their garages, or tackling other projects that have been neglected for some time.

I’ve had several people tell me going through the process of the Tolerations Detox was life changing and removed huge burdens from their minds.

The Tolerations Detox is a process that address 5 different areas of your life and I am making one area available for you to try out.

Just go to HERE to sign up to access how to address the things we tolerate in the area of Work and Technology.

Now, you may be aware you’re putting up with some things around your work but you’ll be surprised at some of the smaller things that can be easily addressed, giving you more energy to get through the day.

I invite you to start your Tolerations Detox by signing up at https://womentakingthelead/workandtechnology.

And as always, reach out to me at jodi@womentakingthelead.com with any questions or comments you have.

Life is going to feel so different when there are fewer things you are putting up with. Imagine where you could put that excess energy.

As always, I hope this was of value to you and Here’s to Your Success!!

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Zebralove Web SolutionsYour website tells a story about your business! At Zebralove Web Solutions, Milly and her team are going to make sure your website tells the story you want your customers to hear. Connect with Milly at zebralovewebsolutions.com to create the impression you want to make!

Resources

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.

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!

Jul 6, 2020

Carolyn Delaney is the heart and soul behind Journey, an inspiring magazine devoted entirely to the Recovery Community in Maine.  As founder and publisher, she leads a diverse team of 30 volunteers who are called to take positive actions to combat the current climate surrounding addiction – keeping the content hyper-local by sharing local stories, resources & services.

As a woman in recovery, Carolyn knows firsthand how large the ripple effect one can have on their family and community, and the importance of support throughout the process. With decades of experience in technology leadership which started with Desktop Publishing in the early 90s, Carolyn is able to combine her skills, expertise, and personal experiences to offer a magazine that supports the message that Recovery is possible.

With a grateful heart for how life has blessed her Journey to Recovery, she wants to give hope to those who struggle, and hope to those who love people who struggle. Carolyn and her team’s mission is to shine a light on Recovery, and what freedom from addiction looks like in our state of Maine.  Her vision is to create a platform for celebrating recovery, and amplifying a message of hope, empowerment and connection. Along with others who wish to remain nameless and anonymous, the Journey team is made up of kind, caring and compassionate people what want to make a difference.

In this episode Carolyn and I discuss...

  • Starting a business without knowing how to be a business owner
  • The stories we make up in our heads which we then project onto others, causing us to play small and hold ourselves back
  • What is actually going on when you’re afraid of success and why self-sabotage will potentially kick in
  • The growth that has occurred since Carolyn has read the book Accomplished and how the benefits continue to ripple out
  • The mission of Journey Magazine and why this is important for everyone

Links

Website: https://www.recovery-journey.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/recovery.journey.in.maine/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/journeymagazine/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/recoveryjourney2/

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!

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.

Jun 15, 2020

Nicole Burgess helps introverted, high achieving, and/or highly sensitive women be exactly who they are meant to be. She is an empowerment and leadership coach for introverted and sensitive women and the host of the soul-filled sisterhood podcast. Her dream is to create a sisterhood, one sister at a time, with women around the world supporting each other in achieving their heartfelt desires and creating more inclusion, so that together we take the lead in our own lives.

In this episode Nicole and I discuss...

  • The highly sensitive and high achieving woman.
  • The traits of a highly sensitive person (HSP).
  • The #1 issue Nicole hears from her HSP clients and why they seek coaching.
  • What creates stress for an HSP and what you can do to mitigate that stress.
  • Some ways to be more empowered in a chaotic world.
  • Managing the expectations of those who do not understand if you are an HSP.

Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NicoleBurgessCoaching/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicoleburgesscoach/

Website: www.nicoleburgesscoaching.com

 

Free webinar: 5 Steps to end overwhelm and live balanced, connected and calm as an HSP women entrepreneur:  https://nicoleburgesscoaching.com/endoverwhelm

 

Dr. Elaine Aron’s self-test, Are You Highly Sensitive?: https://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-test/

 

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!

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.

 

Jun 6, 2020

This episode shares my quick reflections on the racist and political events of May/June of 2020. 

I am reaching out to my community in the hopes that I can ease overwhelm, validate the swirling emotions many of us are feeling and offer some resources to begin actively being antiracist everyday.

The First Steps You Can Take

Sign petitions and donate:

Black Lives Matter: https://blacklivesmatter.com/

Change.org: https://www.change.org/

Color of Change: https://colorofchange.org/

 

Next, Educate yourself

Films:

Just Mercy: https://www.justmercyfilm.com/ (currently free on many platforms)

Neflix Original, 13th: https://www.netflix.com/title/80091741

 

Books:

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad

Please consider buying your books from black-owned businesses: https://afrotech.com/10-black-owned-online-bookstores-to-support-while-at-home

 

Other podcast episode for white women:

Speaking Your Brand, The Work of Anti-Racism as White Women with Carol Cox and Diane Diaz: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/work-of-anti-racism-as-white-women-ep-175/

 

Massive Resource list

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BRlF2_zhNe86SGgHa6-VlBO-QgirITwCTugSfKie5Fs/mobilebasic?fbclid=IwAR2mUzWm1BXxQZ-pV-zxzvR8J16Zipi2h5H1P8bz5kMOeO6bGnwJOEYP6Vo

 

Articles on how to be an Ally:

For Our White Friends Desiring To Be Allieshttps://sojo.net/articles/our-white-friends-desiring-be-allies?fbclid=IwAR21Gm97ZmSRSAp0MST1ZPbfOaulK0VDlaT10N9Aot3dQy-80e_59hJNBxU

75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice, https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234

The Great Unlearn (Patreon): https://www.patreon.com/thegreatunlearn?fbclid=IwAR1KwfHB2ZdujGv9FrxfY9BlBAD1VixReHoyq-7Z8MazHkvkpfC18Gr0irw

 

Other resources:

The Center for Transformation and Change: https://drkathyobear.com/

 

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

 

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Zebralove Web SolutionsYour website tells a story about your business! At Zebralove Web Solutions, Milly and her team are going to make sure your website tells the story you want your customers to hear. Connect with Milly at zebralovewebsolutions.com to create the impression you want to make!

Jun 1, 2020

Kate Erickson is the engine at Entrepreneurs On Fire, an award winning podcast where John Lee Dumas interviews inspiring Entrepreneurs who are truly ON FIRE. She is also the host of the podcast Ditch Busy and co-author of The Podcast Journal: Idea to Launch in 50 Days. You can learn more about the free training Kate & John have created for entrepreneurs who are ready to achieve financial and lifestyle freedom over at EOFire.com!

In this episode Kate and I discuss...

  • What it means to “ditch’ busy”. Not just the strategy behind time management but the lifestyle change that occurs and what becomes possible when you are feeling great about how your time is spent.

  • How to break down overwhelm so you can overcome it and prevent it from cropping up over and over again in the future.

  • An approach to your to-do list that will make you feel amazing rather than feeling defeated.

  • A mindset that you can take on that will focus your time and energy, even in the midst of chaos.

Links

Website: https://www.eofire.com

Website: http://ditchbusy.com

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.

May 11, 2020

In the last episode I continued our exploration of the Cycle of Change using the analogy of a card game which was first introduced to me by iPEC Coaching.

If you have not listened to the first two episodes covering the Cycle of Change, I recommend you go back to the episodes. They are titled How to Process These Unexpected Changes and Contemplating Your New Normal, respectively.

These are quick episodes and will catch you up on The Cycle of Change as it looks during the COVID-19 pandemic, or really any time of crisis.

I mentioned in Contemplating Your New Normal that when you move into the Shuffle Phase you require more time to reflect and begin researching different options for the future.

You start doing some research and reaching out to others who know more about whatever it is you are exploring. In the Shuffle phase you don’t have a lot of information yet, so you are thinking and gathering, exploring ideas, imagining different possibilities that could play out in the future.

The Cycle of Change

phases

Phase 2: Deal (Preparing/Developing)

The next phase in the Cycle of Change, using that card game analogy, is The “Deal” phase. The Deal phase is marked by an increase in activity – this will include active networking, testing out interests or experimenting, training and skill building.

The plan that was developed in the Shuffle phase is beginning put into action!

You will have more energy and a more positive attitude because now you can actually do something. You are following a path; you have a direction to go in.

You’re open to new experiences, new people, and preparing yourself for the intensity of the next phase.

When you are in the Deal phase you are more optimistic, seeing life as an opportunity, and you experience more confidence in this stage than in any other. You are the proverbial adventurous student of life eager to stretch, learn, and grow in new directions.

Think about it. When you’re playing a card game and the cards are being dealt, there’s so much opportunity. It’s anyone’s game at this point.

When you first enter this the Deal phase in life, you will shy away from making commitments. Remember, this is the phase of experimenting and because of this you’ll tend to want to keep your options open and take things “one step at a time.”

What’s important in The Deal phase is your ability to move to the point where you can make a choice to move forward with commitment and make something happen. You may not know how it’s all going to turn out but you are ready to execute your plan.

Here you’ll also be looking around for allies, mentors and guides who can help to see you through the next phase successfully.

You’re now developing a plan that will take you into the next phase, beyond networking and experimenting.

You will identify one or more goals for the next phase, and thus the work at the end of The Deal Phase is to have a strategy and a plan formed that lays out the steps that will take you to your goal.

Anticipation, excitement and energy will increase as you gain more clarity around all of these pieces.

There is also fear of failure or success, likely a combination of both, but you will be poised for action.

The Deal Phase During COVID-19

You may have experienced the full cycle of change during the COVID-19 pandemic in certain areas of your life. There is no definitive length of time that you need to spend in each phase, what’s important is that you are doing the work in each phase.

You may have found that with some things in your life you felt grieving and despair, a longing for what was. This may have passed relatively quickly as you contemplated and absorbed the changes.

You may have then found yourself reaching out to others to see what they were doing or going to Google or Youtube to find ideas for how to do things differently.

Before you knew it, you may have found yourself experimenting with your new ideas and noting what worked and what didn’t work.

And not long after you found yourself saying, “This is what I’m doing. I’m all in.”

For other things in your life, you may find yourself still in the Toss In, unable to accept that things won’t be the same, at least not anytime soon.

What will be helpful to you in the Deal phase is:

Having a vision of what success will look like in the next phase.

This will not only get you excited for what’s to come but may also help to identify any gaps in resources or training that you will need to set you up for success.

In the last phase you were identifying your core values and how you wanted to live your life. Here, it’s also important to know what brings you alive, what value you want to bring and at least a sense of what your purpose or mission is.

If you can connect your goals to these things it will fuel your fire.

However, don’t overthink it, experiment with what you want to bring forth in this phase.

For instance, in my case I can boil down my purpose to the statement, “my purpose is to wake people up to how awesome they already are so they can get on with their purpose.”

That is clearly tied to the goals I have for Women Taking the Lead and yes, it fuels my fire. It motivates me on the days when I can’t see progress or I just don’t feel like it.

Start with the change you’d like to see in the world and let it unfold from there.

If you are externally motivated, find an accountability partner or and accountability group.

This will help you keep up momentum. That’s not to say you cannot pivot based on what you are learning from your networking and experimenting.

Forward movement coming from informed decisions is what you are looking for here and the accountability will help ensure that this is what’s happening.

Also, having trusted advisors who have your highest good at heart and who can listen intently, cheer you on, and help you clarify your next steps is priceless.

If you have someone like this who is also great at setting priorities and making a plan, especially if this is not your forte, that’s a bonus!

If you are in this phase and you have not yet read my book Accomplished: How to Go from Dreaming to Doing I’m going to strongly encourage you do so. A lot of what you need to do to navigate The Deal phase successfully is in this book.

 

From creating a vision of success, to getting at your core values, your purpose and mission, Superpowers, and even creating goals and designing a plan are in this book. It’s a tool you do not want missing from your toolkit.

 

You can find the paperback and kindle version of Accomplished in Amazon, and as soon as I can get into the Portland Pod recording studio once again, I will have the book recorded, mastered and uploaded into Audible for your listening pleasure as well. Stay tuned for that!

 

If you have read Accomplished and you are finding yourself in The Deal Phase, read it again. This book is a process that will take you to new levels of knowing yourself and finding success with each reading.

 

Okay, that’s The Deal phase. We only have one more phase to cover, Playing the Game phase and I’ll be covering that in next week’s episode.

 

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

 

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Zebralove Web SolutionsYour website tells a story about your business! At Zebralove Web Solutions, Milly and her team are going to make sure your website tells the story you want your customers to hear. Connect with Milly at zebralovewebsolutions.com to create the impression you want to make!

Resources

Private Facebook Community: Chat, 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.

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!

May 4, 2020

I hope this post finds you healthy and well, maybe not everything going perfectly but seeing some sort of a light at the end of this tunnel. I truly believe we are all going to get through this and be okay and I believe this because we always do.

We always get through our worst days, we always come out the other side of things. The question always is, really, “what do we want to experience while we’re going through it? Who do we want to be, how do we want to show up as?

So, I have been using these episodes as a way to support you and let you know you are not alone and what you are going through is very normal.

The Cycle of Change

phases

 

Last week, I introduced The Cycle of Change using the analogy of a card game as I learned it through iPEC Coaching. I gave an overview of the four phases you can find yourself, in any area of your life. I’m going to dive into each phase and I started with the phase that we are all probably finding ourselves in due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Toss In phase.

We don’t go through The Cycle of Change once; we go through it over and over again with each cycle ending in the Toss in. The Toss In is a stage of completion and probably some bittersweet feelings as you start to accept everything that happened in the last phase.

Eventually, you start emotionally detaching from the last phase and in some cases, there may be a physical separation from the environment and people who were in the last cycle with you. This is true in the cases of buying a new home, ending a relationship, changing jobs, starting a new business, etc.

So, using the card game analogy, this is when the last game comes to an end but you’re still alive and so you will continue to play one game or another. Again, it’s a continuous cycle.

The phase that comes after the Toss In phase is the “Shuffle” phase. It is a non-committal phase where you want to contemplate what was and what could be next. In the Toss In phase of non-action, the contemplating and reflecting had more to do with grieving and letting go of the past and what could have been.

In the Shuffle phase the contemplation and reflection moves toward focusing mostly on possibilities for the future.

I know a lot of you will feel uncomfortable allowing for inactivity for an indefinite amount of time. But believe me, if you give yourself the space to do this you will then naturally begin to move into the part of The Shuffle phase where you begin to research and network, and you will find the next thing that will re-energize and re-engage you.

When you enter The Shuffle phase you will find that you are better able to deal with the pain you began experiencing in the Toss In phase. You will also find you are better able to think on those events from the last cycle without becoming emotional. Rather, you can reframe what happened and logically process the information to find what worked and what didn’t work, giving you more expertise moving into this new cycle.

This is also the phase where you will evaluate where you are in your life. You’ll examine your core values and feelings so you can decide what is really important to you in your life and that will help you decide where you want to move next and how you want to play that game.

If you are in the beginning of this phase, you’ll likely feel that you have lost control in this area of your life and that may spill over into other areas because you will second guess yourself. However, you’re also likely feeling like there’s an opportunity here for you – you just don’t know what it is yet.

This is also a phase in which you will likely experience spiritual growth because of the need to go inward and connect with something greater, causing a leap in personal growth.

At the end of this phase you will have more inner strength, a plan to grow, and renewed energy. You will have a new vision for the future which will give you hope and a new purpose.

With all of this you will have more enthusiasm going into each day and will probably be breathing a sigh of relief that you can now move on and DO something.

If you allow yourself to do the kind of work required in this phase (reflecting and researching) you will be able to focus on the right activities that will move you forward, rather than engaging in activities that are just what you think you “should” be doing.

If you find you are enthusiastic about researching, exploring new ideas, and networking and connecting with people who can move you forward in this area, you are likely well into this phase.

I believe that because we are getting news about some of the restrictions due to COVID-19 being lifted many of us are starting to come out of the Toss-in phase and getting into the Shuffle phase.

You may have come to a place of acceptance that while some things will be allowed this summer it will be far from normal. In the Toss-in phase there is grief for what was lost, in the Shuffle phase you begin to think about creating some new activities and traditions.

I’ve already had friends say, “we can’t sit in a restaurant but we can grab take out and sit 6 feet apart either on a large blanket or at a picnic table.”

You may have already started reaching out to people you know to explore new business or career opportunities. You team may be literally “shuffling” responsibilities to allow for more growth and development.

If you’re not there yet, don’t worry. This phase begins with contemplation. That can look like long walks by yourself, sitting in your yard or staring at nothing. As you move toward the end of this phase you begin researching and networking to explore ideas.

Wherever you are, you are the perfect place for you.

Here are some things that may help you take advantage of The Shuffle phase.

First, trust that everything you need to move through this phase will come to you. You don’t have to control or force it, just let it unfold and follow what interests you. Your curiosity and your interests are your north star right now.

Second, if you’re starting to reach out to others, only give your time and energy to those who want your highest good.  Avoid those who seem to be pushing or pulling you in a direction that doesn’t feel good or make sense to you right now. If you can sense judgment coming from them, just put some space between you and them for a while.

Third, when you’re ready to take a little bit of action, don’t overthink it. Just start somewhere. You can always pivot if your first moves aren’t giving you the information that you need.

Fourth, there may be some anxiety and you will likely find yourself coming face-to-face with beliefs or automatic ways of being from the past that make you anxious and hold you back. Confront them and challenge the truth of it.

For instance, for me an old belief that I get confronted with on occasion is the belief that if I have needs then I am burdensome and a bother to people. In this phase, that would hold me back from reaching out to others to ask them to impart their wisdom to me. The reality is, those with wisdom crave the opportunity to pass on what they know to those who are ready to receive it.

When I am confronted with thoughts like, “they have so much going on, I don’t want to disturb them”, I have to consciously let that go and trust that if I they really don’t have time for me, they will kindly let me know.

Lastly, when you’re ready, begin creating goals and a plan to accomplish those goals. Then decide how and when you want to begin. Tap on those people who have your highest good at heart. They want to help in this stage because you are acting in alignment with your own highest good.

If this was helpful to you, I’m going to ask a favor. Please share this episode with a friend or colleague whom you know could benefit from this information. It’s sharing resources that helps us all get through tough times.

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

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Zebralove Web SolutionsYour website tells a story about your business! At Zebralove Web Solutions, Milly and her team are going to make sure your website tells the story you want your customers to hear. Connect with Milly at zebralovewebsolutions.com to create the impression you want to make!

Resources

Private Facebook Community: Chat, 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.

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!

Apr 27, 2020

In September of 2017 I did a few episodes on the Cycle of Change. Given what we are going through currently I think this is a good time for a review.

I was first introduced to the concept of the cycle of change when I was getting certified as a coach through iPEC Coaching. They had a nice analogy of the cycle of change as a card game.

The Cycle of Change

Change occurs in a cycle and we’re always in some part of the cycle of change in every area of our lives. Each part of your life is likely in different parts of the cycle.

Because we tend to interpret different stage of the change cycle as good or bad, we commonly have the experience of feeling like there are always some areas of our life in which we are winning and other areas that feel like we are struggling.

In this episode I’m going to give a brief overview of The Cycle of Change and discuss the overarching phase we are currently going through during the COVID-19 pandemic.

phases

Using the card game analogy for The Cycle of Change there are several phases.

Before you play a card game you have to decide what game you’re going to play. This usually happens as you’ve started to shuffle the cards so this phase is called The Shuffle Phase.

The game is chosen and cards are dealt. During The Deal Phase your mind is considering your resources, the other players, a strategy is chosen and you are formulating a plan.

Then you move into the phase called Play the Game. Obviously, this is the phase of movement and action.

Then the game comes to a close and you are now in The Toss in Phase. During this phase you are absorbing what just happened and either celebrating a victory or considering how you feel about defeat.

Phase 4: Toss In

All things come to an end and typically people are rarely ready for the cycle to end because when you’re in the Playing the Game phase there’s a lot of energy and excitement. At the end, the Toss In, there is loss, grief, confusion or a lack of clarity for what’s next. Whether it is the end of a job role or a relationship, people in this part of the cycle are usually unhappy and cannot see how they will be able to go through it all again.

In this part of The Cycle of Change you will take little action on your own and resist change because of fear and uncertainty, and depending on how the last phase ended, there may be a lack of hope.

In this phase you may also feel victimized and like you don’t have control over your circumstances. You may find yourself being grumpier, ill at ease, and even experiencing pain more.

At the end of the Toss In, there can be an intense state of “hibernation” or “cocooning”. If you’ve read my book, Accomplished, you’ll be very familiar with. This state eventually passes, and if you let yourself just be during this phase you will naturally find yourself getting renewed and re-energized, ready for the next phase.

Does this all sound familiar to what we’ve been going through lately?

When our events were cancelled, when the schools and business establishments were closed, when the Stay at Home orders were issued, we all found ourselves unexpectedly in The Toss In phase. This is why so many of us have been experiencing feelings of grief. We are grieving a way of life that will either take a long time to get back to or may never be the same again.

Here is some guidance for you that may help to ease the discomfort of being in this phase.

Allow yourself to experience all the thoughts and feelings created by loss and uncertainty.

Don’t try to rush through it, or numb the experience, because you feel uncomfortable. It is normal for this phase to feel uncomfortable and unnatural, especially if you are living in a culture that celebrates achievement, productivity, and getting things done.

It’s okay to give in to the need to withdraw for a while because the reflection and contemplation you will do while you are feeling low energy is critical to gaining clarity to go into the next phase.

I also want to underscore that numbing this experience by overindulging in sugar, alcohol, tobacco, Netflix, exercise, etc. will prevent you from doing the deep work that strengthens you and provides clarity for the next stage. I’m not judging having anything in small doses and moderation. It’s using these things to distract yourself from uncomfortable thoughts and feelings that will cause suffering in the long run.

If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in indecision because you just had no clue what you wanted or didn’t want, it was probably because you skipped past the Toss In phase and so never got the information you needed to do the next phase well.

In this stage of grieving you are doing an analysis of what went right and what went wrong while you were in the last Cycle of Change. You are considering your thoughts, feelings, actions and the results you got during that cycle.

Many of us have been looking at the lifestyle we were living in the last few years and questioning if that’s how we want to move forward.

All of this is important information that you need to synthesize, and then integrate, to strengthen you to move forward.

Do the work. And the work looks like being with yourself even if it feels yucky.

It’s okay to vent to release the emotion.

Fear, anxiety, doubt, loss and anger are all normal during this phase. Find people you trust implicitly and make it clear to them you don’t need them to fix you or make you feel better, you just need them to hear you and validate where you are.

Let them know you’ll tell them when you are ready to take some action but until then you need them to respect where you are in the process. It may help to explain to them that this is a grieving process.

Look for the positives.

What is going well? What can you count on? This will give you some foundation to stand on while other things feel like they are coming undone.

Lastly, be good to yourself.

Give yourself some guilt-free space to just be for a while without the need to do, accomplish or achieve anything.

Remember, this too shall pass but don’t force it. Otherwise, you’ll just find your back here again without having made any progress.

If this was helpful to you, I’m going to ask a favor. Please share this episode with a friend or colleague whom you know could benefit from this information. It’s sharing resources that helps us all get through tough times.

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

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Zebralove Web SolutionsYour website tells a story about your business! At Zebralove Web Solutions, Milly and her team are going to make sure your website tells the story you want your customers to hear. Connect with Milly at zebralovewebsolutions.com to create the impression you want to make!

Resources

Private Facebook Community: Chat, 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.

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!

Apr 13, 2020

If any of you have ever met Amy, you know she is passionate about three things.  Family, Finances, and WINE!  This comes through in all that she does and all that she is.  When asked to describe herself she first and foremost states, “I am a wife, a daughter, and hopefully a good friend, who happens to also be a financial planner.” 

Amy holds a Master’s Degree in financial planning and is a Certified Financial PlannerTM, Enrolled Agent, Certified College Financial Consultant, and a Financial Wellness Coach with over 25 years of financial planning and industry experience.  She is the Founder and owner of Rooted Planning Group, Amy is definitely “doing it her way” and has been recognized by her financial planning colleagues as being a “disrupter,” a title she holds close to her heart and is proud of.

On her website it states, “I love what I do, but I also very much enjoy warmth, good conversation, wine tastings, and volunteering.

In this episode Amy and I discuss...

  • The measures she is taking in the financial upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The steps you can take to get your healthcare initiatives in order
  • Highlights of the CARES act and what you'll want to pay attention to
  • How Amy is working with her clients to alleviate their fears and plan for the road ahead

Links

Website: www.rootedpg.com

Email: amy@rootedpg.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rootedpg/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/rooted-planning-group/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rootedpg/

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.

Apr 7, 2020

March started off a celebration of Women’s History Month and ended with episodes on how to identify and support leaders who are struggling, especially now that we are in the midst of a pandemic.

Ironically, the focus in March changed the week of the 5-year anniversary episode where I offered some perspectives that will help you to look at things differently so you could release some of the stress that you are likely experiencing.

Changing your perspective, depending on the perspective you choose, can be like releasing a pressure valve.

The next episode, which was the episode before this one, talked about the effects stress has on your system and why you may be finding it hard to function at your very best.

I listed out some symptoms of a leader who is struggling and the mindset of a leader who, while being challenged in a crisis, can continue to function and grow in the face of those challenges.

I know it has not been easy to talk about hard things but the way to the other side is through. We need to acknowledge what we are dealing with before we can get through it.

Common Responses to Stress

Under stress, we typically go into a Fight, Flight or Freeze response. Flight looks like avoiding or running away from a problem. Fight looks like getting defensive or combative. Freeze looks like going still as you take in information and formulate your next move – are you going to Fight or take Flight?

New research is also showing a female response to stress will also include Tend and Befriend. Some of us under stress will have increased nurturing behaviors and seek out social connections.

How many of us in the current crisis have gone on a baking frenzy?

My hand is way up in the air.

How many of us have increased the amount of reach outs to friends, family, and colleagues to reassure them and ourselves that they are thought of and the connection is still there?

Again, my hand is way up in the air.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, it is not business as usual. While you can’t expect that you’ll have the same performance that you had before this crisis there are some gentle things you can do to increase your focus and productivity.

First, you must find calm.

Perhaps not feeling calm all day every day, but injecting calm throughout the day.

When we are stressed, we tend to be very active but not always productive. When we feel stressed, we often also feel time-pressured. We start moving so fast we can get stuck in the weeds, losing sight of the big picture and important details. We start giving unimportant details too much time and attention which results in lots and lots of wasted time. We are also more likely to make mistakes when we are moving too fast and under too much pressure.

The goal is to avoid or, if you are already there, to get out of this frenetic state so you are functioning optimally.

Start with a practice in the morning that helps you calm your racing mind and get clear on what the priority of the day is.

Set timers or put on your daily calendar time blocks to unplug and engage in activities such as meditation, prayer, reading, walking, stretching, yoga, breathing exercises, fun and play. You choose what works best for you.

Those activities will help to take you from feeling energetically stretched and scattered to bringing that energy back in your body and feeling centered.

This level of calm has several benefits. It quiets the chattering, distracting, monkey mind thoughts so you can give whatever you are currently doing your full attention. A state of calm comes with a heightened level of awareness so you are able to see things more clearly.

Additionally, this level of awareness helps you to realize everything will get done in due time. It all gets done one step at a time.

This practice of finding calm will help with the next practice to help you continue to increase your focus and productivity.

Practice being aware of your thoughts and emotions.

Your thoughts and emotions are your signals to your state of being. If you find yourself anything but calm, joyful, or enlivened, you are likely feeling threatened by something and it’s creating fear, however subtle. You may not even recognize the fear.

The emotion of fear gets a bad reputation in our culture because we see it as a weak emotion only felt by those who lack courage. When in reality, courage is the ability to do something that frightens you. An act is not courageous unless the person taking the action is feeling fear but does not let the fear paralyze them.

By definition, fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

Guess what? The current crisis is threatening to you and to people and things important to you. If you can become aware of your experience and name it you have some power over it.

You can then look more closely at what the fear is and challenge the belief that is causing it. 

I’ll use myself as an example. When I find myself getting wiped out, I notice it’s after spending too much time reading the news online. The numbers and the stories overwhelm me because I feel powerless to stop it or make a difference.

The belief is I am powerless in this situation and am a victim of the circumstances. To challenge this belief so it no longer has power over me, I ask myself, “Is it true that there is nothing I can do that will make a difference?”

The quick realization is that there are many things I can do to make a difference:

  • I can social-distance to prevent myself from getting sick
  • I can produce a podcast to help others get through this crisis
  • I can email, text, or call someone to check in on them
  • I can work on projects I wouldn’t I have time to complete if I was traveling more
  • I can get prepared for when the restrictions are lifted
  • I can donate money to any of the organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic

Name your fear and the belief that is causing it, and then challenge that believe so that you can see that you do have some power and there are some things you can do to control your destiny, however small.

Find a trusted person to talk about your feelings with. It is so powerful to have someone you can go to admit that you are sad, angry, joyful or “meh” without your emotion being judged.

Now, all that being said, this exercise isn’t to push you through the emotion so you can move on as quickly as possible. Do this exercise gently and know it’s okay to sit with the emotion for a while before you take a closer look at it.

The next practice I recommend to increase your focus and productivity is to…

Accept help if it is offered.

For some (or many) of you, this is really hard to do because you’re accustomed to being the person who is on top of things and gives off the impression of having it all handled. Some leaders even feel threatened by this.

But if you want to have more focus and be more productive, you’re going to have to make this a team effort.

Let’s face it, during a crisis it must be a team effort so let your team shine.

Be open to new ideas and ways of doing things. You show you’re open by listening, asking questions, showing appreciation for an idea (even if the idea isn’t going to work acknowledge the person for speaking up and bringing the idea to you).

I started with accepting help if it’s offered because the next one can be even more challenging for over achievers.

Reach out for help

Lay your cards out on the table. Make and a list of what needs to get done and ask your team and your colleagues for help. If you have a team, make them a part of the process of identifying everything that needs to get done and ask if they are willing and able to take on some tasks.

I’m hearing stories of teams shuffling tasks around so the tasks are being done by the person it makes sense to be doing it.

For some of you, you need to step away from daily operations for chunks of time to attend webinars on the changes in your industry. You need to rely on your teams even more right now.

You may be quarantined or sick. You’re going to need to rely on your friends, family and local community to get groceries, medications and other supplies.

Now is not the time to let the identity of being the superhero get in the way of the greater good, and your own good.

Believe it or not, there are people right now who are dying to be more helpful.

Helping others gives us a sense of meaning and purpose. If you don’t give others a chance to be helpful you are blocking an opportunity for them to find meaning in this crisis and to also show how capable and caring they really are.

If you struggle with any of these recommendations to help you increase your focus and productivity (finding calm, self-awareness, accepting help and asking for help) I’m going to invite you to take the Energy Leadership Assessment as the solution to that problem.

Forbes magazine listed the Energy Leadership Assessment as One of the Top 11 Assessments Every Executive Should Take.

The reason for that is, quoting right from the article, “The Energy Leadership Index Assessment provides a unique lens on self-awareness and emotional intelligence, two key ingredients for any leader. Situational awareness of yourself and others is critical for a leader to respond appropriately to the people in their charge. Understanding where you are at any moment and how you respond to stress can make all the difference.”

The knowledge you gain from taking the assessment allows you to continue to grow and develop as a strong, compassionate, effective leader.

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.

I would love to work with you.

Again, for those of you in leadership, I thank you for your contribution. We need self-aware, skilled leaders more than ever.

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

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 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.

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