Learning to Lead

I am a leader in life, no question, but leading in business and leading a team is a journey more complex than I had ever imagined. I truly find all the elements fascinating. Learning to lead individual team members who all learn and achieve their greatness in different ways is something I never really thought about before. I have only ever had to be accountable for myself, and having a strong work ethic, moral compass, and being a high achiever, it was easy for me to succeed on my own. Changing roles has made me look deeper into why I valued leaders I once had. What did they do that made me feel inspired? 

I am a Mother who is not only comfortable pushing the boundaries with my kids but one who is not afraid of the challenges that come along with them. You learn to do what you need to do to get your kids through the tough times and enjoy the calm before the next storm. I am an advocate to the core for the humans I am raising and that will always be front and centre in my life. I feel no different now with my team. I will be their advocate and go to bat for them when they need me to, and I will challenge them to push their boundaries to succeed. 

I jumped blindly into the Financial world and although I wasn’t sure where my creative brain would fit in, I accepted the challenge to see where I could take it. Four years in as a Financial Advisor, I worked hard to built my reputation in a business that knew nothing about me. I came from an industry where my reputation was known to be solid for the better part of my 20’s and 30’s and left to better balance my family. 

I was chosen to lead the team I had been part of and excelled within for a year. When you go from team-mate to team-lead sometimes the transition can be awkward depending on the player within your team. Fortunately mine recognized the passion I had for our department and my want for all of us to succeed together. 

My performance leader took on a role that was her passion shortly after I made the commitment, a commitment that was partially based on having her as my mentor, so needless to say I was forced to adapt and embrace the change quickly. 

My perception of what was going to transpire over the next year, was turned upside down. It had to either get on or jump off, the train was leaving and plan B had become a distant option. I felt the surge of energy inside me rise to the challenge. I hit the road running, learning and adapting to the change as we ran full speed ahead. I took more notes than I ever had and did my own due diligence at every opportunity so I was prepared at any given moment.  At times I felt like I was in survival mode. Most important, I learned to listen. I listened more than I have ever listened before. What was given information I would not have been privy to had my leader stayed, as a replacement was nowhere in sight. I learned the back end of how my department ran and being a seeker of knowledge that was the gift.   

I take my role very seriously, at times I think too seriously but I want to leave a legacy and change the lives of my team in a positive inspiring way. I want them to think of me as helping facilitate their next step. The importance of helping them achieve their own personal goals has turned into one of my personal goal. I want to see them spread their wings and fly, to the moon if that’s what they are aiming for. 

I think of my team as I would my kids. They are here now, but what a great accomplishment to see them succeed on their own one day. My kids have challenged me throughout the years, my son in-particular, but not once did I ever think of voting him out of the family (okay, maybe once) or putting him up for adoption. In all honestly what parent in their right mind would adopt a man-boy who didn’t see the importance of a clean bathroom and/or bedroom and continually drank out of the jug. (I would vote him most improved family member if we were to cast our ballots today) My point is, you give your kids chance after chance to learn and grow and hone their life skills and show compassion and patience with them along the way, your team should also be given the same respect. 

I didn’t think being a Mom would directly help me in my career, but it truly has. My leadership role has also helped me become a better Mom. 

“Great leaders are like parents, they create the environment, so that people that are in their charge become better.” 

“How do I help my people be their natural best!” ~ Simon Sinek That simply says it all! 

When I co-created Tara Cronic with two Women of Wisdom our goal was to inspire women to lead their most authentic lives. We soon realized that we had a great deal of male followers so adapted and practiced inclusion. All three of us are leaders in our own right. We are all successful women in our own lines of business. Each of us would consider ourselves great parents, and all have a strong voice which we intended to share in order to connect authenticlaly. Authenticity to me is the key to a great connection, whether it be in your personal life or in your business circle. What we shared on Tara Cronica was who we were while we were “Exploring the Never Ending Desires that Fuel All Life While Find Lyrical Beauty in Everyday Happenings” which became our mission statement.  

Tara Cronica helped me learn the importance of using my voice to instigate change, inspire others to live authentic lives, and lead with courage. Steve Jobs commencement speech to Stanford University had a part in it that I think of often. He said do what you love and one day you will look back and connect the dots. The dots may not make sense at the time, but they will eventually. I am connecting my dots. 

The training and support that has come with my leadership role is invaluable! I leave each course wanting more. The women and men who have supported me along the way are all mentors to me. I truly believe they honesty care. I can’t tell you how many times I have googled leadership to find more information about the path I am traveling. I had no idea leadership could be so enlightening! As I learn to lead I find out more about myself that challenges who I am. I am continuously being pushed out of my comfort zone and it’s exhilarating to say the least. 

Learning to lead has sparked an ember that I fan each day. The sky is the limit in my world.

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Authenticity

Women Inspiring Women is one of my favourite things and the foundation of my personal journey in writing and co-creating Tara Cronica. I took part in a Women’s Networking Group where the subject was The Inner Journey of an Authentic Leader hosted by the founder Tana Heminsley.

The moment I sat down I was curious and engaged as to what would transpire in a room filled with successful, strong, independent women. I had only interacted with a few of the women in the room but knew who they were from company events. Tana was inspirational, she was calm, very present and approachable, making everyone feel they were in a safe place. I would describe her as a woman who genuinely cared and truly found her purpose. She was aligned in my eyes with what she was meant to be doing, guiding women to find their authentic self and teaching them how to apply it to business as a leader. First step is locating where you are…

We shared openly how we felt when we were authentic or the best version of ourselves. We did a task where we finished a sentence: My Authentic Self (At my best, above the line, I am) : ________.  I chose supportive, compassionate and attentive. I am not yet in a leadership role, however I consider myself a leader in life. I related this task with how I felt when giving my teenagers advice and having them leave feeling empowered. We each spoke our truth with ease having our core values and moral compasses engaged. I remember taking a moment to put into words how this made me feel when they left the room.

“I slowly feel myself align with motherhood…letting my body float over the crest of the wake after a swim in an ocean of uncertainty…a sense of relief as I allow my arms to relax opening my heart to what is…what was and what will or could be…my body floats to the surface…effortlessly drifting down the later side of yet another swell in this ocean we call life as a Mother.” It was a moment of Motherhood bliss. I was my authentic self, not judging or needing to react, not forcing my opinion from life experience, just being at ease with my truth, and theirs.

We also finished a sentence: “Personality/Ego (When below the line, I am)_______. I chose self doubting, worried and not balanced. We uncovered our vulnerabilities which seemed to have a common thread among the variety of personalities in the room. We identified how it felt to dip below our authentic self into the Personality/Ego. Being aware was a step in the right direction. We could all agree it feels much better to function above the line in the authentic realm. Having said that laughter filled the room when someone admit-tingly dipped below the line repetitively during the day. As funny as it was to hear others joke about dipping below the line, it was authentic to admit with ease and laugh about it, which in turn connected each of us on another level. We supported each other by adding a relatable nod and challenged one another to think about how to prepare ourselves for triggers that take us into the shadow of our true self.

Triggers can come from within, our own inner dialogue, self sabotage or a personality we don’t see eye to eye with. One of my favourite quotes “Thoughts become things, choose the good ones” ~ Notes from the Universe. Learning to identify what your triggers are will help you navigate through them more quickly. Preparing yourself before you meet with a personality that triggers you will allow you to stay on track and keep the task at hand in focus. We all left with new tools in our kits that will help us lead authentically, recognize when we are a little off balance and how to regain our composure and move forward.

Tana also emphasized how important it was to be kind to ourselves when they ventured down a less favourable path losing sight of our true self. We have all been there from time to time and that’s okay, we are allowed to wallow as long as we don’t plant roots.

My take away goes something like this…“When we align ourselves with others who lead authentically, allow ourselves to be vulnerable, understand the importance of our own inner journey, implement and fuse our core values with the values and ethics of company, magic happens!” 

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Powerful Women vs Women in Power

stilettos“With great power there must also come –great responsibility.” ~ Stan Lee

Not all Women in Power are Powerful Women. There are women who exude personal power naturally, and those who have to work for it. Those who come by it naturally generally don’t take advantage of it because they are secure in who they are. (there is always an exception to the rule) Life experience or character building is usually along the path in finding it. These women can’t help but walk into a room and have other women feel their vibe. They don’t flaunt it, or try to draw attention to it, it just is. If women are secure within themselves they admire it, are even attracted to it like a pyro to a flame. They recognize and appreciate from where it came.

It makes me smile when I am in the presence of such women. It’s sexy, inspiring and female energy at its best! Its like admiring a woman who takes care of her body, you appreciate what they sacrifice to be their personal best. Just as I admire a woman who takes the responsibility of her own personal power to heart, not using it against the sisterhood, but to help her sisters with it.

The women who crave this type of power for the wrong reasons end up stepping backwards. They try to find ways to achieve it but aren’t willing to do the work to get there. You don’t gain personal power by stepping on or pushing other women down. You can’t take another woman’s personal power, unless they allow you to. Consider it a gift and pay it forward if you manage to steal a little!

Now lets not confuse powerful women with controlling women. There are control freaks all around us, but usually theses type of women only affect the work place, personally we can just let that friendship go. In business, these women don’t delegate, they command, they don’t lead, they boss and they certainly don’t inspire. When you delegate as a leader you show you have confidence in others and inspire them to do their best, which in turn benefits ‘the team‘.

Deep down if you peel the layers off these controlling individuals you find insecurity. They have yet to find their own mojo. These women need help, and by help I mean a helping hand. This is where the responsibility of those who have worked hard to attain personal power comes in to play. It’s their responsibility to help direct these women to the path that benefits everyone. If what you are doing personally or in business is not benefiting those in your circle, you need to question what your motivation is and what you are trying to achieve. The first step in finding your personal power is understanding we are all part of the same circle or tribe, we are ultimately all connected. We all benefit from working together. In the big picture it’s about finding happiness and joy, paying it forward, letting go while we do what we love, sharing!

So lets follow this through a little further to where I believe in my heart all women can thrive. Women helping women! We started Tara Cronica 5 years ago to inspire other women to live their most authentic lives. We are a support network if you will. Networking and sharing our personal stories for the sake of others to give encouragement, inspiration and allow personal growth.

There is no longer room for ball busting bitches in the board room, it’s not necessary or a positive way to motivate others. You don’t need to have that reputation to succeed in business or be admired in the corporate world or otherwise anymore.

What legacy do you want as a woman to leave behind? I ask myself that often, having a daughter who appears to have been here before. She already ‘gets-it’ at 12 years old!

I came across this show, and if you know me you know I don’t tune in to the boob-tube often so I think I was meant to see this particular series on women inspiring women!

The Stiletto Network…


Inspiring women, inspiring women, doesn’t get much better than that now does it! How could you NOT want to be one of these beautiful female energies!

PowerWheelBlueLast_12-300x300

…and for those interested in the Women’s Power Wheel which is the photo I used above, here is a link of a site I found very inspiring 😉

P.S…my fav is the second from the left, classic black! 🙂

Tracy signiture

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Top 5 Regrets…Listen Up & Take Notes!

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IMG_0096_3_2There is no time for regret in life and although we all have a few, here is some insight to help lighten the load! I found this on LinkedIn and I felt the need to share because thats what I like to do.

Nurse reveals the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed. 

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence. By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result. We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying. It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again. When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying. Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.

Svaha ~

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Embracing Who You Are ~

 

I have a lot going on in my life at the moment so the word change is ringing in my ears LOUD once again! Change is good…right? Closing one door to open another. I have been unfocused walking in a daze for a while. Can you say Monkey Brain! Nothing I can’t handle just lots of stuff happening at once.

Bonnie posted about The 3 A’s of Awesome last Sunday for our Svaha Spirit Series and although I didn’t watch the TEDtalk on Sunday it changed the way I viewed my life the moment I did. You NEED to watch it! I guarantee you will look at YOUR life with new awareness! Attitude, Awareness and Authenticity! Three very powerful words indeed!

I have been contemplating changing the way I write here on Tara Cronica for the last month or so. I have been wondering if I want to put myself out there anymore. I have shared myself extensively for the last 4 years. Although change seems to be coming at me in all directions, I think I just have to embrace the me I know and love. I am aware, I have a great attitude (99% of the time) and as far as I know I’m pretty darn authentic. I am occasionally unfocused, too passionate, lack patience, a little stubborn and think wayyyyyyyy too much about things I have no control over. I don’t always take my own advice but hey I’m human!

When I think of all the awesomeness my life has in it, none of the obstacles that were making me feel this way seem to matter as much! Awesome is right! It’s really all about perspective. I think we sometimes need to go deep in order to go home. I have gone to the depths I’m slightly uncomfortable with and have safely arrived back to the surface.

I have decided to embrace me for who I am which includes the questionable bits! I clearly have some work to do, but don’t we all? I like who I am for the most part and I love me. I question who I am and what I’m doing just like everyone else. When I do wander down this path there are a few things that help.

  • I take a deep breath.
  • Spray Rescue Remedy under my tongue.
  • Go for a run.
  • Listen to music.
  • Share with my incredible team of support.

My Mom has amazing advice 🙂 Bonnie calms my soul, The Chicksters are there every week no-matter what listening and giving their perspective, Carri makes EVERYTHING funny even when it shouldn’t be, Scott gives me the male perspective, You inspire me to write with your comments and continued support and all is well again. There is no judging, only understanding, listening and support! I love you all!

I am who I am and why I questioned it in the first place is a mystery! Embrace the quirky in you, it is what makes you unique.

Life is meant to be shared, not only with others but who you are. A friend of mine reminded me how important it is to just enjoy who I am right now. He said “You have less tomorrows than you do yesterdays” (thanks P.D)

So lets get this party started shall we!

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