Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Women in Leadership-

Ellie Nieves asked some great questions about being a leadership, women in leadership roles, and how to make a business successful.  Her questions invited me to reflect upon the past 16 years of being in business.

I recall the day, in fact the moment, that my husband and I made the decision to turn my part time business into a full time endeavor. At the time I was working for the provincial government, developing programs for mental health and Alberta Health. We had just celebrated the launch of the Crisis Response Service I created for the community I was living in... a partnership with the hospital, mental health, crisis responders and police services to provide mental health services after hours. The program was staffed, up and running and there was a great sense of accomplishment. But, the biggest success was knowing that the needs of mental health consumers would be addressed after hours in our community. My mediation and consulting practice was so successful, that I was quickly discovering that this part time business could not continue to run efficiently. We made the decision to say goodbye to the comfort, and safety of a part time contract with the government. I handed in my letter of resignation, signed the lease for our permanent office and never looked back. That was more than 16 years ago.

The business grew quickly, within several years I had hired staff, moved to a larger office location, secured contracts with big companies, and opened my second business, an employment services business. 

Looking back there is so much I learned, some of the lessons learned "the hard way."  Were there mistakes?  You Bet!  These were some of the most powerful growth experiences....although not always fun to deal with. 

On the interview with Ellie we talk about some of the best lessons I learned......

1) Have a plan.  A growth plan. A succession plan. A marketing plan. A financial plan.  A business plan.  Having a plan, reviewing the plan and modifying the plan is critical for leaders, and the business success.

2) Have goals. Make sure that your goals are big enough to help you succeed. Sometimes business owners and leaders keep their goals safe... comfortable....and too small.  Have big and long term goals, and the short term goals are those that help you achieve the bigger vision.

3) ASK for help.  In my Bounce Forward book I talk about the importance of building comfort asking for help.  Successful leaders have mastered this skill, and teach others to do the same.

4) LEAN into the challenges. Life and business will bring you many challenges, problems to solve and experiences to learn from. Lean into them. Lock in the learning.  Bounce Forward.

You can listen here to Ellie and I discussing leadership and business:

  • As you reflect on the year in a glance, what are your best lessons?  
  • What type of plans have you created to support your business?
  • What are your goals... the ones that stretch you, and those that help the big vision become a reality?
  • Where have you asked for help?  What were the results?  Who can you support and be a champion for?
  • What do you now need to Lean Into, to take your business and leadership to new levels of success?
To learn more about the book Bounce Forward or order your copy, email

GPS Your Best Life- charting your destination and getting there in style, offers practical tips,and direction to help you map your plan, get CLEAR on goals, and navigate the obstacles that pop up in life and in business, you can order your copy here:

GPS Your Best Life- co-authored by Charmaine Hammond and Debra Kasowksi

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