Caroline talks about new and continuing partnerships as well as solo retreats
I hope your summer is off to a great start! June is always a dizzying month for me, between the end of my kids’ school year here in NY and work at its peak before things slow down for everyone’s summer vacations. This June felt even nuttier now that in-person work and life are fully back with vengeance. And for me, the constant flow of tough news events has been depleting, to say the least.
It’s so hard to walk away from work opportunities when you work for yourself. But recently, I have been trying to say "no" as much as possible to any new projects. I’m trying to make some room to take care of myself, spend time with loved ones, and recharge so I can prevent burnout and feel lighter. I say a fried coach is a useless coach, haha.
So this month, I thought I would keep things simple with this note too, and share a short list of things I managed to start or expand earlier this year. Maybe that will help me feel okay with saying "no" to things for a couple of months? Let me know if you have questions about any of these!
Wind + Sail
Wind + Sail Leadership Partners is the newest partner I said “yes” to in the last couple of months. Wind + Sail runs a comprehensive leadership development program with The Leadership Circle Profile (LCP), my favorite 360 assessment, at its center. I have run and debriefed this assessment for so many individuals and teams but I have done so always on my own and sometimes, I wonder how other coaches might do it differently. Amanda Mills Cutright and Katrina Calihan, the co-founders, are super thoughtful and systematic in their approach to building a wraparound leadership program, and I know I will learn so much working with them and the other coaches at Wind + Sail. I almost have that back-to-school feeling as I begin working with my first cohort.
CEO Forum with Bolster
I’ve written about my excitement about Bolster and my participation in their Ascend-Bolster Panel: “The Path to On-Demand Executive Work" in my June 2021 notes. You can read the excellent debrief notes on the panel here.
In March, two of Bolster’s co-founders, Matt Blumberg and Cathy Hawley, invited me to help them pilot a CEO forum to support the member companies' CEOs. Together, the group crowdsources solutions to difficult CEO issues, shares perspectives on critical business trends and issues, and learns leadership development and best practices for CEOs.
We’ve now completed three trial sessions, and we are relaunching in the fall with a few new members. This work puts me a little out of my comfort zone in a way that is supposed to help me grow. Haha. I’m so happy I get to continue this work. Between Bolster and Chief, I’ve learned so much from facilitating conversations among these leaders during truly challenging times of transition and never-ending pivots. Man, being a boss (of bosses) is hard.
I host a lot of offsites, but I recently did a type of retreat I have hosted only for a couple of clients, and was reminded of how much I enjoy working deeply with one person at a time. I call this a “solo retreat.” During the retreat, we reflected on what she accomplished since the last time we got together and what’s been challenging for her. Together we also scanned all the big and small issues in her professional and even personal worlds to gain clarity on the major themes she needed to make plans to tackle. We also worked through a couple of complex things we normally wouldn’t have time for in a single session. We met in my lovely co-working space near Bryant Park and treated ourselves to a fancy lunch and yummy snacks throughout the day. The thought of the day brings a smile to my face even now!
In the past, I’ve also worked with an aspiring entrepreneur who brought in a dear friend and advisor to brainstorm and plan a business idea during her solo retreat. That was really fun for me too. I plan to make time for this type of work once I’ve cleared some space.
Quarterly Stepbackfor My Own Practice
Inspired by my solo retreats with clients, I’ve also started to slow down with my colleague, Malina Coulter, who provides all administrative support to our team of two, for a quarterly review meeting. It’s so hard to carve out several hours every three months when we are both so busy with “real work” and our never-ending Mom duties, but we both find it incredibly effective for improving our work together.
These meetings give us a sense of pride as we reflect on the progress we are making together. They also allow us time to talk through issues we need to address and come up with some creative solutions we can implement for the next quarter. I am truly grateful to Malina for helping me grow my business over the last 1.5 years with patience and kindness. I really need to do a version of this meeting with my husband!
Cousins in Washington Square Park
One last thing. On the day the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, taking away women’s health and life choice to keep or end a pregnancy, I was spending time with my dear cousin and her children visiting from Hong Kong.
We ran into the protesters in Washington Square Park and our teenage girls immediately joined them and started chalking the ground with words like “Our Body Our Choice” and “Make Abortion Safe.” They then stood around looking at their work and talked to the protesters. It was a small thing but sparked little hope and a lot of joy in me. I hope that you too are finding little moments like this to keep you from falling into despair while we all try to figure out how to help. Also, please consider supporting Planned Parenthood and share with me what you are doing.
See you all soon!
This month, we added the Media section to my website. Let me know what you think. The “Work” section is next!