During the pandemic lockdowns, what’s kept you sane?
What kept me sane was innovation! I have always enjoyed learning and trying new things and during my time at home, I realized it was too easy to overwork and not take time for my usual professional development activities. I decided that during the lockdowns, I would help out new coaches by offering them informational interviews. It gave me great satisfaction and it was fun as well. I met with one or two coaches a month and it was motivating to share strategies that could be helpful to their businesses. I also spent time reviewing their websites before we met so I could offer feedback.
During this process I met with a coach who told me about her ACE board certification, which qualified her as a candidate for a private or public corporate board. Over the years, I have heard from clients that they wanted to be on a corporate board but had no idea how to go about it. The board process was a mystery to me as well.
I was feeling the need to add some innovation to my toolbox, and this seemed like a great fit. I scheduled an informational call with Michele Ashby, principal of Ashby Consulting Enterprises LLC, who runs the board certification program. Her confidence and enthusiasm, and the structure of the program, inspired me to make the investment and I’m glad I did. Not only did I learn about roles and responsibilities, regulations, risks, and financial acumen, I was thrilled to pass the CDI board certification exam which qualifies me as a board candidate for a public or private company.
Sometimes we have no idea where a learning opportunity will take us, but I had three great wins from this program. I met some amazing women leaders that I will continue to collaborate and connect with. My confidence increased as I am now comfortable talking with my clients who are company founders, CMOs, and CEOs about their boards. Finally, the program enhanced my resilience—I can feel the energy that adds to my impact and effectiveness as a coach.
What happens next? I don’t know, but I’m excited that I took this time to develop competence in an entirely new arena.
What’s your innovation goal for this month?