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.