O Captain, My Captain!

When I first learned of an open position with my current employer 5 years ago, I wish I could say I saw it as a dream job. To be honest, it was just one of several openings I’d applied for in an effort to push myself beyond the comfort zone I’d developed. I knew nothing about the agency, to the extent that when someone called to schedule me for the interview, I pretended to know where their office was located so as not to send up red flags of inexperience. When my interview came, I gave myself an hour to find this organization and used my extra time to sit in the car and do research on their work. I made my way into the tiny office tucked into a strip mall that looked like it had seen better

What's Your #1PUSH?

I’ve always been a creature of habit. As someone who likes to be organized and prepared, habits give me comfort when fighting my natural tendency to control things that ultimately I know I have no power over. For example, I have some flexibility to my work schedule that would allow me to come in to the office at different times or work from home on occasion. Some days I go straight to morning meetings rather than stopping by the office. Despite this, I always get up at the same time each day and hardly vary my routine, even on mornings when I could sleep in a bit! I have an hour-long commute, but instead of working remotely more often, I prefer to have the time to brainstorm during my drive

Boss Lady Book Review: Resisting Happiness

Last year I had the opportunity to hear New York Times Bestselling Author and incredible public speaker, Matthew Kelly, give a seminar at my parents’ church outside Indianapolis. What I’ll admit I attended reluctantly because there seemed like many other ways I could spend a Saturday turned out to be a truly energizing experience with lasting inspiration. Matthew is the founder of Dynamic Catholic, a nonprofit organization that works to revitalize local parishes and bring people back to the Church. Matthew’s book Resisting Happiness had just come out at the time, but like the title implies, for some reason I resisted picking up a copy. I’m glad I finally did. This is a quick read that is alm

The Business Case for Coaching

One of the most surprising things I’ve learned while launching my coaching business is how much demand exists for this service, although there are virtually no professional coaches in my local community. Looking around and realizing I was either ahead of the competition or in a non-existent market caused me to pause and do some research to ensure the type of work I wanted to undertake was rooted in both growth for my clients and positive ROI for businesses. What I found continued to surprise me. The desire for feedback in today’s workplace is increasing, yet few businesses incorporate formal coaching programs into their professional development plans. And as the Millennial generation enters

What's in a Name?

One of the hardest things about launching my coaching business was deciding what to call it. While I accept that I have to be personal in this type of work, I didn’t want to follow the path so many coaches take by naming it after myself. I wanted something clear, empowering, and that also reflected a bit of my quirky personality. The irony of the name “Boss Lady” is that it reflects a title I myself had trouble embracing. My wonderful co-worker would affectionately refer to me in this way, but deep down I hated it. I didn’t like feeling singled out as an authority figure. I saw myself as the quarterback, a leader rather than an authoritarian. But when I thought about how many women probably

What do you have in common with Mark Cuban, Queen Elizabeth, and Beyonce?

With over 7 billion people alive on the planet as you read this, it’s hard to imagine many things that every single individual has in common. We are all diverse in our age, appearance, nationality, customs, and beliefs. We can break ourselves down into the most basic parts- the fact that we all breathe air and have blood flow through our veins- but even then biological differences like blood type or medical conditions mean we are not mirror images of each other. One of the few things that transcends our humanity is time. Whether you are a janitor or millionaire, president of a country or an inmate in prison, all of us are united by the fact that we have 24 hours in a day. Isn’t it nice to re

The Toolbox of Strategic Thinking

Over the years I've worked in a management capacity with dozens of different people at various stages in their careers. While they all had unique talents and strengths, there was one skill that I consistently saw present a challenge regardless of age, experience, or education level. Strategic thinking is the most important ability that I look for in the people I work with. It is something no leader can succeed without, and yet how many classes or training programs are actively teaching this mindset? In college, I took a class on the works of JRR Tolkein. You have to take calculus in many high school programs. In one day alone I use strategic thinking processes more than I've ever applied the

The Hardest Part About Becoming a Coach

When I committed to launching my coaching services more formally several months ago, the hardest part wasn’t staying up late after a long work day to make it through my certification class, fixing technical issues with my website, or sharing my passion for coaching with people who could benefit from working together. It was a challenge I never saw coming. I’m not a natural salesperson, but over the years have developed the confidence to sell products and pitch ideas without batting an eye. However, in order to share my perspective as a Coach, I have to promote myself. Honestly, this scared me to death. I’d rather ask someone to make a $10,000 donation than tell someone else I'm an expert in

#myfirstjobs

A few months ago, a trend went across social media asking people to share their first jobs. Finally a craze I could get behind more than the Ice Bucket, Mannequin, or other popular challenge because it showed that no matter where you go in life, we all have to start somewhere. The main thing most success stories have in common is simple, can be done by anyone, and is yet incredibly powerful- hard work. I’ve learned so much through the experience I’ve gained wearing lots of different hats over the years, and look forward to sharing these stories through my blog. So to help you get to know me, here are the jobs I've held since starting to work back in my teens! Church office receptionist Babys

The Perfect Piece

As a little girl, the things I dreamed of accomplishing as an adult were different than most other children. Instead of imagining my future career, spouse, and home or dreaming about my wedding day, there were little things I envisioned for myself. A tree house for my kids. My own space in the woods where I could run wild like I did as a child, spending hot summer days free to play in the river bottoms and fishing whenever I pleased. A horse in the backyard. A table with a puzzle on it at all times. Our boys are finally at an age where I could start leaving a puzzle unattended on the kitchen table without it being destroyed. On a recent trip, Phillip and I bought a 1,000 piece puzzle as a so

The Power of Not Taking Things Personally

I once went out for coffee with an influential community leader who I had only met in passing at group meetings but not had the pleasure of talking to one-on-one. The last time I had seen her, I shared my card and expressed that I would be interested in getting together again. Within a day, she followed up to schedule a meeting. As a fundraiser who typically has to persist to get a response for time with busy people gave me a gut feeling something was up. At the coffee house, we had a very pleasant conversation about our backgrounds and what led us to our current positions. The discussion shifted toward the topic that had last connected us in a group meeting. I could tell she wanted to talk

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