Executive Leadership Development — Just like every great athlete, every great leader has an executive coach to help them take the gold.
I’m currently offering a 20% discount on my Individual Leader Package:
- Insight into your core strengths, behaviors, and challenges
- Exercises to boost creativity and effectiveness
- One-on-one coaching twice per month
- Receive learning tools and strategies to accelerate performance and potential
Reach out to me at email@example.com to learn more!
Offer lasts until May 1st 2014.
This blog posted was posted to The Coaching Fellowship on March 18th, 2014. I’ve posted here to be able to give an update on how and where the project is going.
Forty emerging leaders, twenty-one coaches, three months. What began as a pilot project to give back and help bring forward a handful of high potential young women leaders, The Coaching Fellowship now attracts scores of participants from all over the globe, and is ramping up to provide fifty more coaching places this coming Spring.
The Coaching Fellowship is an international community of coaches dedicated to helping young women reach their full potential. Coaching is largely reserved for the domain of boardroom executives, sadly where there are still very few women. We believe women who have access to coaching at a key earlier stage of their career gain clarity in what they want, step into their full leadership strength and effectiveness, and achieve better work life balance.
In early January 2014 I launched a personal blog post offering coaching fellowship positions in my coaching practice to three young professional women. I’m passionate about women living their full professional and personal potential. My idea was to give back some of my time and skills to help a number of young women on their path. Little did I expect more than 40 applications.
Less than six weeks later, The Coaching Fellowship was born. The fellowship provides women aged twenty-five to thirty-five with professional coaching opportunities at a greatly reduced rate; so they may focus deeply on personal development and attaining their goals. Fellows come from places such as Jordan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Bulgaria and the United States.
The overwhelming response to a call for coaching fellow applications demonstrated the strong awareness and desire for young women globally to excel in all areas of their lives. Many of our fellows are mothers, they are entrepreneurs and they want to create impact in the global community. They already know about the great benefits of coaching, and yet at this early stage in their careers coaching wasn’t a luxury most could afford.
And that’s how The Coaching Fellowship was founded - because at the same I had an overwhelming response for applications, I also had an unexpected groundswell of coaches who stepped forward to help. During those first weeks we were able to find coaches for all forty coaching fellowship applicants.
Michèle Taipale a founding coach said “I have been awed by the calibre of the young women. These are people who are ready to rock the world with their intelligence, enthusiasm and energy. With a little help steering their way through the complexities of career and life choices, a coach advocate who can help them believe in themselves and uncover all they have to offer, they are better able to embrace their role as world changers. These are young women who are ready and able to tackle some of the world’s challenges and inequities.”
“I have to acknowledge I am thrilled by the coach I have been assigned. Her mindful advice, her great listening capacity and her guidance have proven extremely useful to me both professionally and personally. I am glad I am part of such an experience!” said Aurélie Salvaire, a coaching fellow based in Barcelona.
The Coaching Fellowship isn’t about women ‘leaning in’, it’s about young women knowing their natural strengths, owning their power and choosing what fulfills them - so they can be happy, and successful, and in choice about who they want to be and what they want to bring to the world.
“What a way to honor and support young women and their growth. Every call is a privilege. It’s not just their innate strength, passion and desires, it’s the common bond they share: they want to make a positive difference. “ said Paula Ewanich, a founding coach.
We plan to do a call for applications four times per year, and have set ourselves the goal of serving more than a thousand women around the world in the first two years. Women who are interested in applying for a fellowship position should go to The Coaching Fellowship website to register their interest. They will be contacted when the applications are open again (late Spring 2014).
As an advocate for women in business, a former Entrepreneur in Residence at Astia, a non-profit that helps high growth companies by women succeed, I wholeheartedly believe coaching can help young women at a crucial point in their career manifest the change they want to be - faster and at an exponentially greater scale.
The Coaching Fellowship is bringing together an international community of coaches to bring forward a trailblazing new generation of global women leaders.
I was recently told the story of ‘The Two Wolves”. It goes like this:
"This is a story about two wolves. A good wolf and a bad wolf. The wolf that survives, is the one you feed."
It’s a very short story, and it’s incredibly profound.
In essence, life is always about the perspective you hold. The view point. The choice. In any given moment you are holding at least three different perspectives on a given situation, and at any one moment, one viewpoint is dominant. A good one, and a not so good one are included for certain.
The question is - is that perspective the one you want to hold? Is it the most helpful? Does it have you moving forward? Or is it stripping away your confidence, your self esteem, having you move away and be further from your goals and happiness?
Over the next week, when you feel an emotion rising I ask you to stop for a few seconds and ask yourself “What perspective am I currently holding?” and then ask yourself “Is this the most compelling perspective I can hold?”. Come up with at least two other perspectives. Then, choose one which is productive and helpful.
It’s takes practice for sure. And, choosing the more resonant, helpful, happier view point is always going to bring more joy than disappointment.
Perspective is powerful.
As we start this brilliant and bright new year, I’m beginning the ‘Coaching Fellowship Program’. It’s a coaching program aimed specifically at young professional high potential women. During my career I’ve borne witness to many women who hit that moment in their young career which could be the catapult to the next level. Sometimes great things happened, and sometimes (sadly more often than not), steps were missed, action not taken, and much time was spent in regret.
Coaching is a powerful tool, it’s something I wish I’d had access to in my twenties and early thirties. Coaching helps you get clear on what you want, and then holds you accountable to make it happen. The earlier you can find clarity, the sooner you’ll be creating the path you wish.
To give back I’ve created the ‘Coaching Fellowship Program’. Whereby, I’m offering three young high potential women two hours of professional coaching per month for six months at a rate of $50 p/m instead of $400 p/m.
> If you are interested in applying please complete the application form before January 15, 2014.
> If you know a great candidate please forward this blog post, and tell her to apply!
> If you are a coach and would like to join me in participating and growing this program, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s to a great year, and keep being brilliant!
Until very recently my life purpose was an illusive, shy beast that I was starting to question even existed. You see I’d been on a search on and off for at least 6 years, and even with an extended sabbatical to find ‘the’ answer - it refused to show itself. The harder I looked, the more I read, the more I contemplated, the further away it ran from me.
Sound familiar? Have you been looking for your reason for being You see the answer is right there - in the ‘being’.
The mistake I made and what I see others doing, is trying to find the answer to “What should I be doing?”. When the real question you need to ask yourself is “Who am I being”?
This isn’t as easy as it seems. We are blind. It seems impossible for us to know. Why is that? Because your purpose is so deeply part of you and has been for so long, that it’s almost invisible. You don’t notice, or see it as a skill, as an important thing. You forget the person you are naturally, is unique. There is only one representation of you in the world.
Furthermore, we tend to confuse purpose with vision, goals and legacy. Those are all equally important - they drive us to action, to impact. But it’s the who we be every day, that is the why you are here. AND, when we get conscious about that + fuse with what you want to see happen, untold fulfillment and greatness in the world can happen.
If you are on your search for purpose, here are a few things to try whilst on your journey:
(1) Find a pattern.
It might surprise you to know you have already been living your purpose your whole life. It most likely started when you were a kid in the playground, it followed you to college, it was there in your first job, it’s there’s right now. Who were you being back then, and who are you being now? The helper? The warrior? The one that inspires? The one that truly sees?
Take some time to observe the patterns of your behavior. Think about who are you at home as well as at work. Often we only think in career terms, but you are creating impact with your purpose everywhere.
(2) Take the Strength Finder test.
This test is one of the best out there. I have used it dozens of times with my staff, clients and I’ve even given to friends. The test focuses on identifying your natural strengths as your most valuable assets. In my humble opinion, it has never been wrong. It allows one to truly understand one’s key strengths, and the sum of this can nudge you toward uncovering your purpose.
(3) Ask someone!
Seems simple, and it is. Since becoming a coach, if I had a dollar for every-time some told me I’m clearly a coach, I’d be a wealthy woman by now. As mentioned above, my trouble was not asking who am I being? Others can see you better than you can see yourself. Ask them. Also ask people you’ve just met, after only 10 minutes they can tell you too. You see, you can’t help but be yourself, you are always being you.
Believe me, you have been living your reason for being every day of your life. Just ask yourself - who do you be? And be happy!
[This post was first featured on The Heretic on Dec 20, 2013.]
"Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life." [Proverbs 4:23]
What was that thought today that held you back, made you mad, wrenched your stomach, served the cold soup?
How long did you let it influence you? A few moments, 30 mins, an hour? Are you still simmering? Were you even aware until now that it was simply a thought?
As human beings we revere the power of our consciousness. It’s what separates us from the animal world. What make us think we are superior and special. Yet, on closer examination - most of you would agree, we spend a great deal of our time in unconscious thought and belief.
Some of those beliefs have been formed over many, many years and have become so commonplace in our mind, that we believe it to speak the truth:
"I’m not good enough…"
“I’m not smart enough…”
“I’m too much…”
“It will never work…”
“Why should they care…?”
Get the idea?
Every single one of us has a least one inner voice, some have dozens - and you are not alone.
The key is to notice that it simply is just an inner thought. Stop it right there in its tracks. Choose whether you want to believe it or not. And then, act.
I speak to people all the time who want to make a positive change in their lives, and I guarantee you 98% of the time - that inner voice is both the truth and lie. The answer is to know when to listen and when to say “Go…take a hike!”.
TRY IT OUT
Here’s an activity for you. Over the weekend try to notice when that inner voice is speaking. How many times a day can you catch it talking? What does it say?
The more you become conscious of your thoughts, the more you’ll be in choice about what you believe, and therefore you’ll be in choice about how you act.
One of the most wonderful things you can do for a person is to truly see them. We are rarely witnessed, and even when we are - we are rarely acknowledged.
It’s easy to miss the human being as we go about our busy lives at work, at the supermarket and even sometimes even same house we live in. My belief and experience shows me - we are yearning to be truly seen. That means another has noticed the uniqueness we bring to this life, they are grateful for what that means, and they are wanting more.
Here are three powerful statements which were shared with me recently as part of the CTI trainings:
"What I am longing for you is… "
"What’s next for you is… "
"My vision for you is… "
Try speaking these statement to someone you noticed, and watch their reaction of being seen by you. Keep your words short, it will land deeper. Also try answering the questions for yourself, at times we forget to see ourselves too.
For those who like a challenge: try those statements out with people you’ve only just met. You’ll be surprised by how much you already know, and how much you want for that person.
This has been a second year of awakening for me. It was in the spring of 2012 that somehow things seemed adrift. I was out of sorts and there was a longing, but I didn’t know what for. I decided to leave my big important job, and figure it all out. And I tried, and I failed. And I learned a bunch.
Then, in the summer of this year, I had a very visceral experience. A head injury after falling from my horse bolting at a rattle snake. It was a wake up call. An epiphany. A resuscitation jolt.
I knew in an instant. All that time spent laboring over what I wanted, and what I could bring to this life - was suddenly clear. I’m a coach. I’ve been doing it my whole life. Coaching school friends, college buddies, the hockey team, work colleagues, my own teams, mentoring start-up founders, recent graduates, neighbors, fellow equestrians, people on planes. It was staring me down the whole time. I was completely blind to my natural talent, and disposition to help people find their passion and live their purpose.
Now, I’m delighted to state - I’m doing this full time. It’s a joy. It’s a drug. It’s like coming home.
And I’m so very thankful.
I was struck by so many of her and Michael Krasny’s analogies to the act of writing: the courage required, of beginning, of creating, of laying oneself bare, of persisting — and how beautifully it appears that writing is like any project or desire you wish to accomplish, or even of life itself.
Shapiro spoke of starting a new book, like “diving into a swimming pool and not knowing if there’s any water” and then once beginning there’s a comfort of returning, and persisting and working each day - a looking forward to the journey, that there is a job to be done.
My favourite metaphor from the show spoken by Michael Krasney was by E. L Doctorow:
“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
I adore this quote, and personally want to surplant “Life” for ‘writing’ in the sentence. It’s true. We don’t get to look very far into the future, life wants us to live squarely in today!
Take full pleasure dancing in the moment with full knowledge that you can make it all the way home.
One exquisite moment every day. Everyone should have one.
I used to keep a diary of the three things I was most grateful for that day. It was a ritual I practised. Taking time to reflect, be thankful and celebrate. My ‘things’ ranged from important life events, such as my Dad getting the all clear on his aneurism for another 6 months, to watching a humming-bird feeding on our bird of paradise in the morning, to making supper with Pascal.
Practising giving thanks makes one happier, healthier, observant and self-aware. I did this for more than four years, taking small breaks when I ran out of time, and life just got hectic.
Recently, I tried something new — making sure there was at least one exquisite moment in my day. This is working for me in two key ways:
(i) Firstly, the word ‘exquisite’ itself defines the type of moment. The dictionary defines exquisite as “extremely beautiful and, typically, delicate”.
(ii) Secondly, this practise is active - not passive. If no exquisite moment has occurred in your day by 6pm, you still have a chance to create one!
It’s interesting to observe that most of my exquisite moments include Pascal, my animals, and nature. It tells me what fills my heart and what makes me happy.
Why not try it for yourself for one week, and see what comes up for you? Remember, you only get so many trips around the sun. Make each day count!
I’m collecting the most wonderful moments in my life. And for that I am thankful!
Made with ♥ in Saratoga, CA.