Last year I was offered the opportunity to be the keynote presenter at New York City’s Association of Legal Administrators’ (ALA) annual symposium, whose theme was Embracing Change: Building Stronger Leaders for Tomorrow.
Preparing for the presentation, I reflected on some major milestones in my life and what I had to do to embrace each one successfully as I traveled along my leadership journey. I then had the privilege of sharing the following six actions with a large group of ALA members and sponsors. We started with a few laughs, shared a few tears and, most importantly, took the time to commit to one action we could each actively do on that day to “embrace change and become a stronger leader.”
As I transitioned from college to work, I had to LEARN as much as I could.
As I honed my skills in my career, I had to LEAN IN and DEEPEN my expertise.
Later in my career, I had to lift my head and LOOK AROUND to see what I was missing and what trends were on the horizon.
When my first child was born, I had to LOOK INSIDE and clarify my personal values so I could integrate my professional and personal lives in ways that would satisfy me.
As I transitioned into a business owner, I had to learn how to coach and LIFT UP others so both they and we could be as successful and satisfied as possible.
My last transition is still happening as I think about the LEGACY I want to leave. This frames my thinking and my approach to how we lead our business. The loss of my beloved mother and the legacy she left reminds me every day of the power of relationships and the lasting impact we have on others—both professionally and personally—when we think not only of the work we do together but how we care about each other and make each other feel along the way.
I am grateful every day for how the content from The Leadership Challenge® helps me to be the leader of my own life. Two years before my mother died, for example, I gave serious thought to our relationship. I re-visited my values and decided to prioritize time with my mother. I live a busy life, travel frequently but am home on weekends. So, I asked my mother if we could have breakfast together every Sunday. She happily agreed and we set a goal to try every diner and breakfast place in mid- and southern-New Jersey. We loved our Sunday breakfasts together, learning more and more about each other. Often our morning breakfasts would turn into afternoon shopping and movies. On March 8th, 2017 while grabbing my luggage from a carousel at Newark airport, I got a call from my brother. My mother had suffered a brain aneurism. She never woke up and was removed from life support a week later. What I know for sure, is that I will never regret and instead am extremely grateful for our Sunday morning breakfasts together.
As I strive to live my values, I am confident I am Modeling the Way as I want the world to see me. Each day as I think about my legacy, both professionally and personally, I become a bit clearer on the actions I can take every day to get there.
Natalie Loeb is founder and CEO of Loeb Leadership, a certified women-owned business and a Global Training Partner of The Leadership Challenge®. With over 25 years of experience in executive coaching and known as an innovative business leader and strategic partner to her clients, Natalie leads her firm in the creation and realization of its vision: to help build high-trust cultures that inspire employees to change, collaborate, grow, and perform at their best—creating a positive impact on themselves, those around them, and their organizations and communities. She can be reached at email@example.com.