14 Years of Helping Leaders
How is it possible that 14 years have already gone by! Seems like just the other day when I started Moving Forward Solutions. I created the company because I was working as a full time recruiter and noticed that many leaders didn’t need to hire a new person… what they really needed was to be trained. Same goes for their teams. More often than not, proper training makes the difference in a successful team. Now for this 14 year anniversary, I’ve decided to reflect on the lessons learned from helping leaders.
Now, reflecting back on the last 14 years, I have some lessons learned:
1. Keep sending thank you notes. Years ago, a co-worker made fun of me for sending thank you notes after meeting with clients. Just like back then, I continue to send cards because it feels good to my soul… and because people genuinely appreciate the effort. Gratitude goes really far. Always.
2. Surround yourself with cheerleaders. What a difference it is to have people I can reach out to for help. When I started Moving Forward Solutions in 2009, I had NO idea what would come my way. What I did know is that God has a way of putting the right people on my path right when I need them. So, I trusted that He would continue to help me. And He has. Always.
3. Statistics don’t lie. I do a lot of research around what is and isn’t working in professional development and data tells a compelling story. For example, 74% of employees who kept their job amidst a corporate layoff say their own productivity has declined since the layoff. And 69% say the quality of their company’s product or service has declined since the layoffs. This kind of stuff is exactly why I love to provide solutions to help leaders and teams. Your team needs help. You need help. It’s ok… and we can help.
4. Building the Moving Forward Solutions team. When I started as a solopreneur, I wasn’t sure if I’d grow to have others on my team. But now, looking back over the years and reflecting on the various people who have worked with me, I am grateful how each one has brought something spectacular to the table. These great humans are always on my path when the time is right for them to be there. Excuse me while I wipe away a tear of gratitude.
5. Generosity feels good. Many times my team has to reign me in from giving and giving and giving away too much. I love over-giving because it truly feels good. I know that people are hurting at work and it doesn’t have to be that way, so I often do more than what was in the scope of the original contract. Also, I’ve learned that being generous with praise is always good. It feels good to receive it… and feels amaze-balls to give genuine praise. Always.
6. Be a good listener. I have a knack for picking up on trends and identifying underlying issues. But that has only gotten better as I’ve intently listened to my clients and my team members. I started podcasting in 2010, thanks to Robert Merrill. He invited me to start a podcast with him and then bowed out 5 weeks into it… leaving me to fend for myself. His early exit showed me that I can do “hard things” and it propelled me into over a decade of podcasting and live-casting. I am currently live-casting on LinkedIn about leadership on Today’s Top Leaders. Covering a wide range of topics to help you to become the leader that everyone wants to work for. Being a host has helped me to refine my questioning and listening skills tremendously. Grateful to the many guest experts who have joined me, as well as grateful for the viewers. Always.
7. Family time is really important. I’ve always known that family is important, but that knowing has deepened drastically in the last few years. I could blame that insight on my colon cancer journey – cancer has a way of opening up your heart and mind that nothing else can. Making time for my husband and daughter has now become even more important to me and I encourage my clients to make more time for their loved ones too. Always.
8. Say what needs to be said. Even if it’s unpopular, I say what needs to be said, not what people want to hear. I do it because I care enough to do it. One of my clients said to me “Jen, I love having you coach people on my team because I know that you actually care. You are direct and say what needs to be said, and that is really important.” When he told me that, my heart leapt out of my chest. It’s feels really good to be seen for what you do well. Always.
9. An unbalanced life is not a good thing. While coaching with 1000s of leaders, I’ve come realize that when people are out of balance in core areas of their life, they’re going to have trouble at work. I call this the 5 Pillars of a Well-Balanced Life. The 5 pillars are mental, physical, spiritual, work and personal relationships. For example, if you’re not exercising regularly, you will experience problems at work. If your primary personal relationship is jacked up, you will experience problems at work and vice versa. I’m not suggesting that you quit your job in order to have balance in your life, rather I’ve come to see that when people are out of alignment with how they are balancing their life, there is ALWAYS trouble in paradise. I know. I’ve seen it personally and for many others. Always.
10. Take care of your mental health. Studies show that a lot of people are struggling with mental health right now. I think that we’ve been struggling with it for a really long time, but we are talking about it publically more today than ever. Which, is a good thing! In one of my podcast episodes, I share Ideas on How to Boost your Mindset. Be your own best advocate for your mental health. Always.
11. Keep investing in yourself. As a coach, I’ve had the distinct honor of helping a lot of people to improve in their careers and as a leader. It’s wonderful to see people grow and to see executives invest money into helping their people to grow. But, I’ve also drunk the coaching Kool-Aid and invest in myself and my people too. It’s wonderful to see my team develop over the last 14 years… and in some cases they’ve left me because they wanted something else for their careers that I couldn’t offer them. And I’m cheering them on even after they’ve moved on! Always.
12. Listen to your gut. There have many times where my “gut” has made the best decisions for the business. As a founder, I cannot deny that I am emotionally tied to the business, but also I am the founder for a reason and seek to honor that stewardship. Always.
13. ALWAYS comes down to communication. Seriously though! Think about the last time you had a misunderstanding at work… likely it was immediately fixed as soon as the parties communicated with each other. So, if you have a workplace issue with your team today, get the offending/ed parties together and talk it out. Watch the magic that happens when you communicate. Always.
14. Consistency wins. I’ve been working on a book for a hot minute. I have to say that when I am consistently writing, magic happens. As soon as I allow other stuff to get in the way of regular writing, it’s like my brain forgets we’re even writing a book… so, then I have to start all over again. Like exercise… consistency wins. Always.
My Gift to You
Here we are today, celebrating the 14th Anniversary of Moving Forward Solutions. In the spirit of over-giving, my gift to you is the 5 Pillars of a Well-Balanced Life Tracker and bonus training. This will help you to see if you’re balanced in your life – or out of balance so that you can do something about. You can download the 5 Pillars Tracker and bonus training here.
Thank YOU for being a part of the Moving Forward Solutions journey. If you’ve been around since the the beginning, or just coming into our ecosystem, we are glad to have you here and are cheering YOU on in your journey. Always.
Ready to level up as a leader and make a difference for your career and your team? Contact us today to discuss options for coaching and training so you can become the leader everyone wants to work for.