My parents raised me to have compassion, a good work ethic, a sense of humor and fun, be adventurous, dependable, honest, and value good relationships and reconciliation. On the flip side, I also learned how to worry about life; I’m overly-cautious and tend to rethink things, sometimes over and over again.
Life was turned upside down in my early 30’s with a divorce, relocation, job change, and being a single parent. This upset was one that I would not change because I am, as a result of that marriage, the proud mother of two beautiful and successful adult daughters who continue to teach me more about myself every day!
“My parents raised me to have compassion, a good work ethic, a sense of humor and fun, be adventurous, dependable, honest, and value good relationships and reconciliation.”
The divorce and all that came with it was the greatest turning point in my life, challenging my ability to trust in people, yet presenting an opportunity for me to find my inner strength, and rediscover the “true me.” Through my coaching study I have improved greatly in my ability to trust others, though the mistrust gremlin still rears its ugly head from time-to-time.This requires me to use my coaching skills on a regular basis to work through and cope with this effectively.
After starting to embrace and get excited about the “silver lining” that followed divorce – an opportunity to spend some time on my own and find myself again, I unexpectedly met the partner of my dreams. We have been life partners in the true sense of the word for over twenty years.
“Through my coaching study I have improved greatly in my ability to trust others…”
After leaving a 16 year career with Motorola and moving to Flagstaff, I started my human resources career over by taking an entry level job just to get into Northern Arizona University – making this my first intentional plan of my career. There, I held a couple of individual contributor roles and progressed into senior leadership roles, the Director of HR role which later evolved into the Chief Human Resource Officer position, holding those senior leader positions for 15 years.
My leadership competencies were comprised of vision and inspiration, planning and execution, openness, fairness and respect for others, resulting in what others called a very trustworthy and productive organization. During my leadership, we sought opportunities to build more capacity and make continuous improvement with limited resources, hiring, retaining, and developing extremely talented people who shared the credit for our success and creating a work environment that was hard to get into and difficult to leave.
And as a leader, I learned many things about myself, realizing that I didn’t have to know all the answers or be the smartest person in the room – that hiring the best and brightest and then getting out of their way was one of the true keys to success! To be honest, this was a challenge for me, as I was a person accustomed to getting things done myself, and often imposed too much of “my way” on the process.
It was this challenge that led me to explore the field of coaching, hoping to do better by the employees that I had the privilege of serving. Having always been passionate about lifelong learning and continuous improvement, I went back to school to learn what coaching really meant and was pleasantly surprised how it changed my leadership approach and the quality of my life.
“as a leader, I learned many things about myself, realizing that I didn’t have to know all the answers or be the smartest person in the room – that hiring the best and brightest and then getting out of their way was one of the true keys to success!”
Coaching also helped me achieve another personal goal, retiring in my mid-50’s. Though it was one of my greatest desires, the prospect of an early retirement was frightening on many levels. What I learned through coaching training helped me overcome those fears and create a realistic plan for transition that I could get excited about, confident that I had served the university well and was leaving others in a good place for carrying on. While I thoroughly enjoyed a long, successful career working for both organizations, leading people and working alongside them to achieve our collective success, after 30 plus years, it was time to focus on what was next in my personal list of dreams and desires.
Being a “youngster” at heart still, I feel I have so much left to share with others. The passion to continue helping others achieve their very best still burned strong. So, I put my sights on building my coaching business, and I am loving it!
All of this taught me so much about the wonderful Freedom Centric journey to be relished, despite life’s inherent detours and unexpected curves.