From Talent Lab to Forbes! How this entrepreneur continues to inspire
5 MINUTE READ
Imagine our excitement when we found one of our favourite inspirational leaders featured on Forbes (and the article was an Editors pick of course!) If you've read our blog before you probably know we are huge fans of entrepreneur, leader, executive coach, business consultant, CEO (and the list goes on!) Sarah Kaler. Not only do we admire her superior skill of running an uber successful consulting business but it's the heart behind the business that keeps us coming back for more. Her commitment to female leaders, living a truly balanced life and building authentic cultures sets her apart and has landed this go-getter on the pages of Forbes!
Sarah was kind enough to contribute to our Moment series last year so we have gone back and picked out the most inspiring words that got us motivated to share with you. Check out below and be sure to read her Forbes article
Forward by Alisha Adams, Talent Lab
Sarah, tell us about the moment...
You chose something different then what was expected of you...
I stepped out of a senior leadership role at the pinnacle of my career to become a specialist, to live and lead 100% in my strengths and to put my family and health first despite people in my life saying this was a huge mistake and losing some relationships along the way. At the time I had spent about 15 years driving myself relentlessly by personal achievement, ambition, my deep love to develop leaders and teams and to get extraordinary results. This passionate drive cost me my health, to be misunderstood, and at the end of the day opportunities and relationships that I cared about deeply. I was left to navigate a major health crisis. Stepping out of this role was part of my massive wake up call that success, fulfillment and leadership in life and work wasn’t about upward mobility, titles, recognition or even ability to create results. For me, I had to start turning left even if the tide wanted me to turn right in service of my life, my family’s well-being and bringing my talent and strengths to the world at it’s highest level without sacrifice.
One of my biggest lessons through my career has been failure. During my health crisis for example I over-road my personal values so consistently that it became a norm and I was able to numb myself through my awareness of it. I wouldn’t speak up, despite having a strong value around speaking up and expression of voice and perspective, instead I would remain silent. I wouldn’t share with my direct reports the honest truth of what was happening or what I needed despite having a value of total transparency, integrity and trust.
I can share this very honestly now and I feel it’s essential that all leaders crack this door wide open so collectively leaders, communities and companies, regardless of role and contribution can really embrace the process of acceptance, the vulnerability that comes along for that ride and the development of a growth mindset that so often requires deep work. There is such an enormous cost to have anyone sit in isolation with failure, everyone has the opportunity to unpack and uncover it and see it as a enormous learning and gift over and over again.
You received feedback that was hard to hear but worth listening to...
Once I received the feedback from my Manager that I should be more of a “bitch”. It was written in a performance review. It the moment that I received this feedback I initially was a bit shocked as I had great working relationships and even more great results on paper and in my pipeline. It took me awhile to get past this word as I couldn’t imagine at the time ever giving someone feedback this way or wanting to be what I associated with that word. At the same time the feedback stuck with me then and it’s stuck with me for years. Here’s the gift of this feedback…..it wasn’t actually about changing who I was, or becoming something I wasn’t as I did have strengths that had got me to where I was, but the gift that this feedback gave me was to be unapologetic in my voice. It gave me the courage to be direct when it felt hard or I to speak my truth when I was in the minority. It also gave me permission to access the full range of who I am. The truth is I am direct. I am bold and I am courageous and in that moment I wasn’t exercising or accessing that part of me. The thing I appreciate the most about this feedback is that it came from a loving place, not a place of judgement. It wasn’t actually about labeling or adopting a type of behavior as “bitchy” to become successful. In another context perhaps we might be talking about something else here ;) I wasn’t given “the how”, I was given an open door and it was up to me to walk through it and find my voice there.
Click below to read the full interview!