Welcome to the Unlimited Newsletter...
I love hearing people's stories. Perhaps, that is one of the reasons I enjoy my job as a Coach so much. But, I do believe there is something to be gained by all of us when we listen to others and then are vulnerable enough to share our own lessons.
This issue of the Unlimited Newsletter, I am sharing two personal stories about leadership. One article is related to the start of my career, and the other episode happened this summer.
I encourage you to be open and share your stories with others. Communication, for the purpose of purely helping others, is one of the most helpful as well as rewarding things leaders can do.
Enjoy the ride!
Chief Engagement Officer
Are You to Nice to Be Taken Seriously as a Leader?
Everyone likes people who are kind, but at what point does a person's niceness start to detract from her/his leadership style or is that even possible?
I think back to when I first started my career. I remember being a university student, sitting on my bed wearing PJs in rundown student housing, reading the business section of The Globe and Mail. I read about a company in the cosmetics industry that was struggling. I knew I wouldn't be graduating university for another two months, but something inside told me to pick up the phone and call their HR director to tell her/him how I wanted to help and then ask for a job.
I remember listening to the phone ring as I was being connected to this individual, butterflies going wild in my stomach. When she answered, we had a nice conversation and then I asked for a job. She told me there were no jobs available at the time, but agreed to meet with me anyway the following week. By the time I walked out of this meeting, I had a job.
Fast forward three months later to a discussion I had with a respected colleague of that company. She was discussing a tough topic being faced by the organization, and then giggled and said to me," you are so sweet, I can't imagine you getting involved in that issue."
I was stung by the fact she thought I couldn't make the tough calls. I had started at that organization fairly boldy. But after some reflection, I can understand why she thought I was so innocent and sweet. I was nice, eager to please and enthusiastic as well as a good listener. All positive traits, right? But I do believe there is a fine balance between being nice and being taken seriously. Read on to find out how to to still be authentically nice, yet be taken seriously as a leader. Read more.
There's More Than One Way to Get to the Top!
Recently, my husband and I visited Sir Sam's Resort in Haliburtion, Ontario, for our seventh anniversary. We enjoy incorporating exercise and time spent outdoors into our vacations and this trip was no exception. So after breakfast one morning, we were excited to learn that across the road was a mountain and cross-country biking spot.
We eagerly made our way to the rental chalet and inquired at the front desk about the cross-country trails. After my brain injury three years ago, it has taken me a long time to even do things like get back to riding a bicycle, so I made the store clerk aware of my situation and told him that I was looking for a straight forward rail trail. He said, no problem. Then we got suited up with bikes and helmets and to my surprise, the man from the rental desk came with us on the trail as our guide. Well, this makes it easy with no guess-work in where to find the right trail!
Within the first few minutes, it was obvious I was struggling. The trail was narrow, not much wider than the treads of my tires with sharp turns and lots of big rocks snugly placed alongside my wheels. I was having a hard time gaining momentum to move upwards on the hill when I had to keep getting off my bike to navigate the rocks. Read more about what my adventure taught me about Career Development and Choices.
Quote: "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." Ralph Waldo Emerson
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.