Caroline is talking about some new opportunities she is taking for her business; as well as some much-needed downtime with her family
I’m starting this note on a flight to Mexico City! I’m stuffed into a cramped seat, but I’m relieved to be at the finish line of a hectic week. I am now buzzing with excitement for all the tacos I will eat, all the art I will see, and all the walks I will take with my family to explore the city and shed some of the calories before I return home!
In Ciudad de Mexico with my family
Collective Leadership Assessment
So, I entered my 9th year of coaching and leadership development work this year, and…I just cannot believe it. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to reflect on my first ten years as a coach, and how I might evolve my work in the next ten years. One way I’ve decided to explore my next ten years is to learn more this year, by reading, taking classes, and talking to my mentors.
On that note, I just completed my certification in the Collective Leadership Assessment (CLA). CLA is built on the same leadership competency model as theLeadership Circle Profile, (LCP) my favorite 360 leadership assessment tool. LCP looks at the individual leader, whereas CLA measures the impact of the collective behavior of an entire team within an organization. For example, a senior leadership team would receive feedback from the rest of the organization on how they are showing up as a team to build relationships and get work done in a creative, generative way. Sorry about all the acronyms but I really love this kind of stuff.
For this course, I was delighted to be taught by Steve Athey, the same inspiring leader I had for the Leadership Circle Profile certification course, and became even happier when he remembered me from our in-person classes back in 2018! See below for the photo and my post from that time. This time, the classes were completely online and I didn’t make any new friends. I was even too shy to ask if I could take a screenshot photo. Haha.
To pilot this assessment within my coaching practice, I would like to offer a pro bono opportunity to one team within an organization, for CLA administration, on a first-come, first-served basis. Please let me know if you are interested in piloting this program with me and your team. In return, I would only ask for feedback on how the process went for you and your team and what I could do to improve for future CLA projects.
Positive Intelligence (PQ)
Shortly after completing the CLA course, a few of my coach colleagues invited me to join a small learning pod to take a course together called Positive Intelligence, PQ for short. (Get it, like IQ for intelligence quotient and EQ for emotional intelligence?) I jumped at the opportunity to learn with this group of women.
Valia Glytis, the founder of The Paradox of Leadership, is technically younger than me but she has been a generous mentor and sponsor to me. A few years back, she brought me onto her team of fantastic coaches and trainers for facilitation and leadership development work. Katie Stricker, our PQ learning pod leader, is a co-founder of Sayge Coaching and provided me with lots of coaching work when I started expanding my practice beyond nonprofit and social impact space. When I asked Katie for her recommendation on the best facilitation resources and trainings several years ago, she introduced me to Valia and the Paradox of Leadership. Phoebe Vaughan, another excellent coach from Paradox, completes our pod of four.
If you’ve worked with me before, you’ve undoubtedly heard me speak of Saboteurs. The self-sabotaging voices in our heads, often fear-based and survival-focused, have an outsized influence on our inner lives and hold us back from being our very best and achieving the goals most important to us. I was exposed to this idea when I got my coaching certification at CTI, and it helped me to name and weaken some of my worst survival instincts that no longer serve me, like being a people pleaser and having a victim mindset. See my post from 2019 to read more about these negative inner voices.
What is resonating most with me at this time is the reminder that when your inner Judge (of yourself, of other people, and of circumstances) is strong within you, and your inner Saboteurs are heightened, they will trigger and interact only with other people’s inner Judges and Saboteurs. On the other hand, if you can activate and lead with your inner Sage, your inner Sage will bring out and interact with the inner Sage of the other people. You get to experience a different level of connection and collaboration that way. I think that’s one way of explaining how the best leaders inspire and bring out the best in others. You can also read the book Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine if you want to dig deeper or take this free Saboteur Assessment to see which negative voices are strongest within you.
Women of Color in Fundraising Roundtable
During a recent roundtable conversation on leadership hosted by Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy (WOC), I talked about this idea of inner Judge vs Sage. Well, I’ve been talking to almost everyone about it recently. (My family has NO interest in hearing about it by the way.)
My fellow panelist Rosann Santos from FranklinCovey spoke about how essential self-care is for leaders (100% agree!) and Winsome Foderingham of WOC spoke about the care we must bring to the language we use as leaders. I learned so much.
During that conversation, Rosann shared a quote she recently heard on the radio, which I’m paraphrasing here.
“Loneliness is not the same as being alone. Loneliness is finding yourself surrounded by the wrong people.”
This quote really resonated with me. Personally, I also feel lonelier when I am in a crowd of people who judge me and don't seem to care about me than when I am alone, especially since I don't have that much alone time in this season of my life.
Photo of me trying to hold onto my teenager
Photo credit: Chong Oh
I’m actually finishing up this note on our flight home from CDMX (Ciudad de Mexico). Despite all the walks I took with my family, I am leaving Mexico a little wider and heavier than when I arrived. Oh well! It was so worth it.
I did ZERO work in Mexico City. My family and I ate everything we wanted without moderation, including blue corn tortilla tacos and Mexican corn from the street corner and one very special meal at a big-deal restaurant for which we even dressed up. We also saw the inspiring murals by David Alfaro Siqueiros and Diego Rivera, and visited La Casa Azul where Frida Kahlo lived, worked, and loved.
I am grateful that I didn’t feel lonely, even once with my family, even if I sometimes wished for some alone time. With each family trip, I feel the inevitability of having to loosen the grip over my now teenage kids. I can only hope I have already done enough and loved them enough for them to choose to stay connected to me in the long run.
Thanks for reading to the end. As always, I hope you will write back to share what’s happening in your world. Please take care!