The Unlimited Newsletter

Potential Unlimited

Burlington, Ontario, Canada

Banner graphic of Carey-Ann Oestriecher
February 2015 | Volume 3 | Issue 12 Facebook Twitter YouTube LinkedIn

Welcome to the Unlimited Newsletter...

When I started blogging about four years ago, my intentions were to write about topics academically related to leadership development. I soon realized, I was going through some valuable life experiences that were relevant and I wanted to invite others on my own journey.

Our story lines in life may not be the same, but there can be something empowering and inspiring when we are open with others about our own lessons and struggles. It is good to know we are not alone in the challenges we face in life and at work.

Recently, I experienced something so personal to me that I feel it would be remiss if I didn't share it with you. Three weeks ago, I was called by one of my brothers, Craig, telling me it was time for us to come home. My Dad, who was diagnosed with lung cancer last year, has not been well. My brother was delivering the news that the final days were upon us.

But something amazing happened, my Dad did not die that day. Nor the day after or the day after that. Finally, we made the decision to return back to our 'normal' lives and come back again in a few days. Right now, I am flipping between working and being a Mom with going to Walkerton to sit with my Dad and help make him comfortable as I watch his amazing will to live keep him going against all odds. We are far from out of the woods yet, and this is an incurable cancer. But, we have been given the gift of more time. At least for now.

This month, I would like to share more about my story with you and how I have been using this experience of high stress as a chance to practice mindfulness and authentic leadership. Definitely not easy to do! No one is immune from stress, yet we have teams counting on us to continue to be strong leaders. How do we balance this and how do we authentically share our stories to help others. I invite you to read my story (below), 'Leading At Work When You Are Dealing With Personal Hardships."

Enjoy the ride!

Carey-Ann Oestreicher
Chief Engagement Officer
Potential Unlimited



Leading At Work When You Are Dealing With Personal Hardships

Light switch off

When I was in my mid-twenties, I worked for a manager who put a fine line between his work and his personal troubles. His staff knew what kind of mood he was in for the day as we watched him cross the parking lot in the morning. He was dressed in black and seemed to carry dark energy with him as he moved.

I swore after that experience I would keep my personal and work lives separate. For many years, I stayed true to this notion. In fact, my colleagues didn't even know I was in a relationship until I brought my now-husband, Jeff, to a senior executive Christmas party just days before we got engaged!

About seven years ago, things in my life started to happen that felt like an elephant in the room if they weren't mentioned.

Find out how Carey-Ann's experiences of being a Mom, a brain injury survivor and daughter of a man with incurable lung cancer has changed how she shares her authentic life journey with others in her professional life. Read more


How To Make The Leap From Director to Vice-President With Success!Image2

When I think back to my days working in the corporate world, I remember very clearly the moment I was promoted to Vice President. I was meeting with the President of the organization I worked for at the time, and he spoke to me about my successes throughout the year. Then he congratulated me and said I was being promoted to a newly created position of Vice President. He shook my hand and it was a done deal. The role transition seemed like a no-brainer for me if I wanted to progress in my career, but I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a part of me thinking, "Oh My God, what does this mean? Can I handle it? Will I be able to manage a fulfilling life outside of work?" I decided to step into my fear and go for it, and I am really glad I did.

Now as an Executive Coach and owner of Potential Unlimited, the majority of the clients I work with range from titles of Director to CEO. I see a lot of trends with these leaders. One of the biggest leaps I notice in an executive's career is from Director to VP.

People develop ways of working and beliefs about what has brought them success in the workplace as they progress along their careers. And then they get to a point, usually somewhere around the transition to VP, when some of these ways of working just don't work as well anymore.

Read on to learn about 3 Big Shifts that need to occur now that you are a Vice President (or if you are aspiring to be a VP).


Quote: "
You don't develop courage by being happy every day. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity." Epicurus


Carey-Ann Oestreicher

Carey-Ann Oestreicher

Carey-Ann Oestreicher (pronounced O-striker), Chief Engagement Officer for Potential Unlimited, works with individuals and companies to help them reach their full potential.

Recipient of Top 40 Under Forty Award and Nominated as one of Canada's Most Powerful 100 Women, Carey-Ann has held a variety of senior positions including vice-president level and she has worked in industries such as: financial services, automotive and transportation, publishing, cosmetics and fashion.

Carey-Ann's media appearances include CTV's Canada AM, Global TV's Survivor series, CBC NewsWorld, TSN. She has also been quoted in numerous publications such as The Globe and Mail, Chatelaine and Canadian Business magazines.

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