So Who Am I? So glad you asked ☺
I am a leadership mentor and coach, empowering women leaders to cut through the noise of other people’s voices and expectations so they can lead in a way that embodies all of who they truly are. No more hiding any part of yourself or pretending that you are someone that you are not.
I am also a musical loving, cold weather hating, city girl born and bred on the streets of Brooklyn, NY. I know! Growing up in NYC you would not think I would have such an aversion to the cold but I am Jamaican by heritage and Caribbean blood flows through these veins. I spent every summer of my childhood in Jamaica so I am also a self-proclaimed beach snob.☺
Boston to Richmond
My leadership journey started at Boston University where I received my Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy. I stayed in Boston for 2 years after grad school and then decided to travel for a year. Through a series of events I eventually landed in Richmond, VA working in a rehab hospital. While there, I served as team leader, chairman of a hospital wide committee, and lead a department wide initiative to rewrite policies and procedures. I was also responsible for the revamping of the PT Department’s student education program as the Coordinator of Clinical Education.
It was while in Richmond that I first began to understand how lonely leadership could be sometimes and how easy it is for your actions as a leader to be misunderstood and sometimes even used against you.
Richmond to Charlotte
In my spare time, I volunteered in the youth ministry at my church and continued my growth as a leader. In 2002, I packed up my life and moved to a new city, this time with the youth pastors from the church in Richmond who were called to plant a church in Charlotte, NC.
I served as the Church Administrator for the first several years and honed my leadership skills even further as I provided direct leadership for almost every volunteer team at the church, as well as for the growing staff. In those early days I was very aggressive and offended more than a few people because of it. I used to say it was just who I was but I’ve since learned better.
Leadership Is Lonely
As the church grew and my responsibilities expanded, I began to experience more and more the loneliness of being a woman in leadership. But it was not until I stepped into the role of the Executive Pastor that this became even more real for me.
There were (and still are) very few women Executive Pastors and there are even fewer African-American women in that role. I was the only black female executive pastor I knew of or could find anywhere. Talk about lonely!
I eventually connected with a small group of other women Executive Pastors/Directors around the country. While this helped some, I still felt as if I was bearing the burden of my leadership alone. I turned to just about every leadership development book out there to figure out how to be “this” kind of leader. I read Maxwell, Welch, and Lencioni and I tried to be what they said a good leader looked like. In the process, though, I stopped feeling like myself and instead felt like I was playing a role. I was playing the part of a leader without feeling like I was being truly authentic and that bothered me on some level.
A Better Way
I was about three years into my role when I began experimenting with leading differently. I started being more compassionate and more empathetic in my leadership. I started really listening to my team members, hearing the challenges they were facing and doing my best to cultivate an environment where they could thrive.
I also started setting some new boundaries around my time, going from being constantly available to everyone else and never making any time for myself to seeing that good self-care was a critical part of being a good leader.
As I started doing this more consistently I began to lead better. I felt like I was really being myself, and my team felt safe and cared for under my leadership, which was important to me.
I am now committed to supporting women leaders who feel trapped leading and living a life that doesn’t feel true to who you are but feels, nevertheless, like what you “should” to do. You are stuck living someone else’s version of your life and you’re ready to take back your life.
If you are truly ready to redefine leadership and success on your own terms, or you are curious to explore what that might look like for you, let’s talk. Schedule your complimentary session today!