I recall a time very early in my career when I was on a quest for advancement. The organization I worked in was an adult training company that delivered high-caliber leadership development programs. My aspiration at the time was to advance from managing a regional office to becoming a facilitator of their highly interactive courses. To even be considered for this role, I had to not only complete, but excel in an intense 6 month training program. This “facilitator-training” was one of the scariest and most rewarding learning experiences I have ever had.
For this training, I flew down to Seattle once a month for weekend training sessions. During each visit I had to present and lead the group of facilitators and trainees in mock exercises as if they were program participants. I was ambitious, and knew the program content inside and out, but when it first came to presenting, I found myself standing in front of my future “bosses” like a deer in the headlights. I was so scared I couldn’t speak. I desperately wanted my brain to connect to my mouth so I could get the words out. It was one of the most difficult and vulnerable experiences of my life. I wanted to quit so badly and end the humiliation. Yet I knew in my heart if I could overcome my fear and speak clearly, I could succeed in this role.
Deeper study of the content and consistent practice in front of my “audience of friends” really helped, as did ongoing support from my mentor. By the end of the training, I had fully stepped into my leadership, and achieved my goal of becoming a facilitator. Although it was scary and humbling at times, it was a rich journey that built a solid foundation of confidence and skills that I have continued to build-on ever since.
During that training process, my mentor shared a piece of sage advice that is still true today: you alone must do it, but you don't have to do it alone. I have come to embody this belief and it is the basis for how I work with people who aspire to develop as leaders.
I’ve always been curious about what helps people thrive. This curiosity has led me to pursue diverse and awe-inspiring learning opportunities in relationship dynamics, effective communication, and in my quest to uncover purpose and meaning in life. I integrate and share this learning and experience as I coach and guide leaders in their own journey.