For a very long time in my career, I felt a little like a double agent.
My cover was an organization effectiveness consultant, leadership development expert and executive coach assigned with the task of helping business professionals and their organizations increase productivity, profit, market share and customer satisfaction while decreasing waste, inefficiency, and expenses.
I took this work very seriously (and still do).
My undercover mission
But my undercover mission went deeper – to help people find meaning in the work they do, to live happier and more fulfilling lives – both professionally and personally, to come alive in any setting they found themselves in – fully engaged, present, energized and inspired.
While I work with my clients to increase their effectiveness, I also help them explore who they really are, what lights them up, and how to bring more of what they love into what they do. Though this has always been an integral part of the work I did, I didn’t always talk openly about it.
This duality was reflected in my own life.
From the outside in…
From a very early age, I was gripped by an overachiever syndrome, compelled to excel at everything I did and habitually take on way more than I could handle – working myself into a frenzy that often had me collapsing in exhaustion.
At school I had to get all A’s, join multiple extracurricular activities and then become president.
At work I was determined to climb the corporate ladder and scale the heights of success – though for a long time I wasn’t really clear exactly what “success” meant for me.
As a wife and mother of three, I strove to be the perfect woman who could juggle multiple balls with ease – though I lived in constant fear that despite my best efforts, something would come crashing down at any moment.
From the inside out…
I have also always been drawn to personal and spiritual development, consuming books, attending workshops and seeking mentors that would help me learn about mindfulness, intuition, creativity, courage, motivation/inspiration, transformation, meditation, philosophy, quantum physics, the mind/body/spirit connection, neurobiology, communication and human relationships.
I journaled and meditated regularly, enjoyed running, became a student of martial arts, and took up yoga. These endeavors were a reprieve – a way of learning to replenish my well, regain my sanity, and learn more about who I really am. And they saved me from myself.
Over time, I realized that achievements are empty if they are devoid of passion, purpose, and presence.
The turning point
My turning point was about thirteen years ago when I turned down a promotion despite the likelihood that it would have catapulted my career. I had become increasingly aware that the journey was just as – if not more – important than the results.
When I quit my cushy corporate job three years later to start my own coaching and consulting business, many (including me) wondered if I was crazy – sacrificing a good income and steady work for my heart’s calling.
But what I began to see in myself is the same dynamic I see in my clients. Slowing down to truly experience the journey rather than my attachment to the results allowed me to make better decisions, increase my energy and creativity, deepen my relationships, and do my life’s work in a richer, more meaningful and fulfilling way – and it also allowed me to get better results.
I finally got it
Over time I realized that there was no longer a need to be “under cover” with helping people to be who they really are in a world that would often have them thinking they need to be someone else – and to live happier, more fulfilling lives both on and off the job.
Because in my case, as well as that of my clients, it seems the “under cover” work has just as much, if not more of an impact on profitability, productivity, increased market share and customer satisfaction than anything else I do.
And it also allows me to live a life that I absolutely love.
But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For heaven and the future’s sakes.
– Robert Frost
Does my story sound like yours? Are you looking to stop running in circles and working yourself into a frenzy – and also achieve more significant and lasting results, while enjoying your life in the process? Would you like to lead others in your organization do the same? If so, let’s connect.
More about me…
- I have over twenty five years of experience in organization and leadership development, strategic planning, speaking, team building, facilitation, workshop/program design and executive coaching.
- I am a Certified Corporate Coach and graduate of Corporate Coach University International, (a division of CoachInc.com).
- I published a book in 2011 called The Pinocchio Principle: Becoming a Real Leader.
- I graduated in the top ten percent of my class with a masters in business administration and in the top five percent of my class with a bachelor’s degree in English, business and communication.
- I reside in Phoenix, Arizona (my native town) with my husband (the man of my dreams) and our three beautiful children, a Golden Retriever, and two cats.
- I have practiced martial arts for over ten years and have a first degree black belt in Tang Soo Do Karate.