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Charging ahead in life & business: Must be present to win

Pilar Avila, founder and host of interDUCTUS & Renovad (Photo courtesy Pilar Avila)

Guest Contributor: Pilar Avila is the founder and host of interDUCTUS & Renovad. She is a passionate human striving for higher self-awareness, health, happiness, living free, eradicating judgment and lifting every living being with compassion.

Our already fast-changing world is now in ever more extreme and accelerated transformation, as we continue to face a global pandemic, economic turmoil and social unrest. Before Covid, we were dealing with centralized and localized challenges within our own lives and businesses, industries, markets and countries. Today, we are impacted by what happens around the globe. Reality is things will likely get worse before they get better, and we cannot hide and ignore what is happening around us. We must keep up and, better yet, get ahead of change by anticipating what is to come and taking charge of our destiny. The key to this is to be present and make changes now for the future. 

Present changes for the future

There are two aspects to my business: interDUCTUS management consulting practice and Renovad global retreats. Some of the immediate changes we implemented are rescheduling of our 2020 retreats to 2021, and refocusing our time on our change management consulting practice. We are taking an array of trainings and certifications online to further sharpen our readiness to support our clients. We are also identifying ways to collaborate with other management consultants, and the resorts where we host retreats, to support one another and weather the health, economic and social imperfect storm. 

One of countless fun moments from a Renovad retreat (Photo courtesy Pilar Avila)

You might be interested: Beyond COVID-19: Prepare your entrepreneur skills for the survival of the fittest

Take action today

Here are a few actions we have taken and we encourage you to consider as we all charge ahead:

New dates for Renovad trips! (Photo courtesy Pilar Avila)

  1. Face change head on: Be present with eyes open wide and consider changes you can initiate vs. changes you cannot control.
  1. Focus on people and health first: Start with you and the inner circle of family, friends, colleagues, employees, collaborators, clients, neighbors and community.
  1. Establish a new rhythm for life and business: Step one is placing you on the schedule! Tap virtual business networks events, education, and fitness, and learn something new. 
  1. Mind your business: Again, consider people first by assessing any needed adjustments based on you and your team’s ability to deliver on contracts and commitments; assess clients’ needs to adjust your work flow and financial plan accordingly; know that cutting costs and staff is not always the answer, and that investing in who and what will keep you producing is an imperative investment. 
  1. Adapt. Evolve. Transform: Adapt to the virtual economy; consider offering new services and products to generate new sources of cash flow; envision how you wish to evolve and elevate as a human, and make it happen. 
  1. Face and conquer your fears: There is no fearless without fear as fear is part of our human condition and, when ignored, it can be paralyzing; place fear on notice by declaring “Fear, I see you, I know you and I am bigger and stronger than you”.

In life, change is a certain constant. Face it head on placing you, people and health first. Create a new rhythm as you evolve and transform. Remove all fears and obstacles. And be present to WIN.

executive coach Ginny Baro

Changing leadership after #METOO a conversation with executive coach Dr. Ginny Baro

Dr. Ginny A. Baro is an international executive coach, motivational speaker, leadership expert, and CEO and founder of her executive coaching and career strategy companies ExecutiveBound and Fearless Women @ Work. Over her twenty-five years experience in corporate technology and financial services, Ginny has served in multiple leadership roles.

Using her extensive knowledge of the corporate world and her skills as an executive coach and mentor, Ginny is helping executives lead powerfully, intelligently, and with integrity in the “new workplace,” post the #METOO movement.

Dr Ginny Baro executive coach

The new workplace

The workplace is currently at a transitional point, forced to evolve after the events of the #METOO movement which began in 2017. Since then there has been a tremendous push on those in positions of power to lead better and ensure a safe, productive work environment. Ginny has risen to this call to action and based her two companies around the goal of improving leadership and working environments.

“Leaders set the tone for an organization,” says Ginny. “They make or break a work culture, and they either engage employees or turn them off. However, many leaders often do not have the tools or necessary skills to successfully lead and manage in a new, complex era that demands talent diversity, inclusion, high engagement, collaboration, and faster, better solutions.”

After over two decades working in the corporate world, Ginny was very aware of the issues facing executives and leaders. She knew many of her colleagues faced workplace dissatisfaction. Many were miserable and dreaded going to work. Ginny became a confidant and mentor to these friends, colleagues, and fellow leaders.

“I noticed shenanigans that went on in the workplace, and how many great employees left a company because they had a manager who behaved horribly,” Ginny explained. “I gravitated towards wanting to find the solution and for years became a student of how to lead and build higher performing, engaging teams.”

As Ginny began her business, she drew upon extensive real-life corporate experiences to build solutions that address the issues her peers and teams faced daily. The main three primary challenges she found where:

  • Many leaders struggle to create a work culture that engages employees and brings out the best in people, which leads to mediocre performance.
  • Executives don’t always have a clear roadmap to transform a hostile work environment for one that’s inclusive, regardless of gender and background, and where employees and leaders aren’t subjected to bullying behavior and sometimes even sexual misconduct.
  • Leaders typically don’t receive the support and training required to develop self-leadership skills and lead themselves and others powerfully.

Having identified these key issues, Ginny began building approaches to tackle these challenges head-on, first by working with individual leaders as a professional mentor and executive coach, and second by partnering with organizations that would prioritize addressing these challenges.

The road to entrepreneurship  

Ginny became a Certified Professional Coach in 2015, and in 2017 she launched her business Fearless Women @ Work and also published the Amazon #1 Bestseller Fearless Women at Work: Five Powerful Strategies to Thrive in Your Career and Life! .

The following year she launched her second company, ExecutiveBound, an executive coaching firm which focuses on helping executives to develop their leadership teams.

“Everything seemed to happen so fast, one success after another, but the road to entrepreneurship was far from straightforward,” she said to LatinasinBusiness.us

Ginny formally began her journey to entrepreneurship in late 2016 when unforeseeable circumstances led her to reconsider her career. After over two decades working in the corporate world, Ginny decided it was time for something new. Re-evaluating what was most important in her life she quickly realized the three things she valued most were the well-being of her son, peace of mind, and her health.

“At the time my commute to the metro NYC job market required over three hours a day from Sussex County, NJ,” Ginny explains. “The combination of a long commute and a desire for flexibility to meet the needs of my growing son pushed me to get creative.”

And get creative she did. She reflected on all that she had experienced and learned in her own leadership roles and realized she wanted to help other women navigate the leadership world as an executive coach and mentor.

A big believer in coaches, mentors, and the power of networking, Ginny sought out those very people in her own life to help and support her.  

“Like many new business owners, I had to figure out everything from scratch—from identifying my ideal client, ideal lead generation, closing the sale, marketing, PR, business digitization, operational implementation, every aspect of it, and so on.”

executive coach

Fearless Women at Work is a must read for all working women. Click on cover to purchase.

Instead of trying to do it all herself, Ginny reached out to those who had the expertise and could teach her something new. She hired a business coach to help her learn how to run a business. She hired book coaches who taught her how to write her book in only six months, get it published, and turn it into a bestseller. Leaning on others to guide and teach her was an invaluable asset and true to her own goals of wanting to help others as an executive coach herself. No one person can know it all, but together they can learn from and inspire each other toward greater potential.

“We are creating a community of leaders united by our commitment to uncover choices and possibilities. I encourage authenticity and integrity—I do what I say and live what I advocate,” says Ginny. “My cultural background encompasses a strong work ethic and a sense of elevating others along the way. ‘Una mano lava la otra.—One hand washes the other.’”

The help of others made the journey less stressful, but there were still some challenges: finances and securing clients. At first Ginny struggled with learning how to identify and consistently reach her target market.

“As an entrepreneur, knowing where your next client is coming from and creating a healthy sales funnel to generate potential client leads is imperative. That has been the toughest aspect of running the business thus far.”

Ginny has found that networking with fellow LinkedIn and other professional groups, live and virtual, has been incredibly helpful. And the more she has contemplated the question of her ideal client she has discovered the answer is herself.

“I realized I was my ideal client,” says Ginny, “a leader who wanted to do right by my employees, while also dealing with the shortcomings and challenges women, especially women of color face advancing in their careers.”

On the issue of finances, Ginny was lucky that she had considerable savings to work from, which not every small business has when starting out. These savings were able to sustain her and her son while she got her business off the ground. She was also able to finance all the training she received from professional coaches. However she still ended her first year in the red after all these expenses. This was a setback but not unexpected. Still, the experiences and insight she gained in that first year were invaluable.  

“I learned in only one year more than I could have imagined while establishing a healthy business model from which to continue to grow.”

Inspiring future leaders  

executive coach

Dr Ginny A. Baro with Fearless Girl, a bronze sculpture by Kristen Visbal.

Growing up in a small village in the Dominican Republic, Ginny saw a lot of sadness and despair –from physical abuse to emotional abuse and dis-empowerment. She saw that the people around her lived in survival mode–women did not have access to education and suffered along with their children. Growing up in this environment  inspired her to become educated and to rise beyond these early experiences while still recognizing the value and lessons they taught her.

At the age of fourteen she came to the U.S. and since then has actualized her life dream of becoming a successful professional woman and leader. Now she is inspiring future women to do the same.

Sharing some words of advice to future entrepreneurs, Ginny believes in first and foremost to be prepared.

“Learn all you can about your field. Connect with others in that area and get informed. Network, read books, watch videos, biographies. Speak with real people who have done it and get their perspective—notice the pros and the cons and go into it with eyes wide-open,” she shared. 

“Second, trust your gut. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Trust you have the emotional, mental, and spiritual resources to deliver. Finally, find the joy.  Focus on your definition of success, the impact you want to have, and how you want to feel in this world. Consider what brings you joy, what matters to you, and how to leverage your marketable skills,” she advises. 

For Ginny, her joy comes from helping others. In her work as an executive coach and mentor, Ginny has had the opportunity to transform the lives of many individuals, especially women. This she feels is the “ultimate success.” 

“The ultimate success in anything we do goes hand in hand with building great relationships and contributing to others who need our support and expertise,” says Ginny. “To me, nothing feels better than helping others. As you help them, you learn about yourself, and you play your part in making this blip of a lifetime count. As I remind myself, remember that you’re supported by the universe and the universal energy that is love.

hiphop dancers

The role of cross-cultural communications in a culture of change

hiphop dancers

What does Change mean to you? Is Change a positive experience in your life? Have you lived it with optimism? Have Change brought achievement and unexpected results to your career or business? Welcome our new Cross-cultural Communications Coach and Change Facilitator Rosa M. Mollo.

 

Having a nomadic life as a frontline journalist made me an enthusiast of the geography of communications. My passion – or perhaps I should call it obsession- is to help people to be mindful and to understand how groups from different cultures think and work. I know firsthand how crucial it is that a project or a message transcend cross-cultural obstacles to create genuine and lasting interactions. When we connect better, when we understand how people and things fit together, then we have the power to change the course of events, and walk towards our full potential.

However, first, we need to take swift and decisive action to deal with challenges. This is why I want to launch this monthly column reflecting together on Change, because Change -at work and in life – is an intimate process of understanding what is going on around us (behaviors, culture, values, needs, priorities…).

In a way, Change is like dancing. We need to first feel the music intimately, but when we dance –collaborate- with others is when we really embrace it. Too many businesses, regardless of whether it is a small entrepreneur adventure or a larger company, fail or stumble because they lack clarity about what Change really means to them. They simply don’t know how to make Change an asset as opposed to a liability.Rosa Mollo book announce

Many people associate Change with something negative: chaos, revolution, uncertainty, insecurity, indecision, hesitation, doubts, etc. For me, Change always means excitement and opportunity. Perhaps it is because my life has always been about constant change. For whatever reason, through the years I learned that Change, per se, means nothing. It’s the way we use it and how we actively become part of it that allows us to convert a complex situation into a smooth and transformative transition. And more importantly, the way we embed Change is the way we behave and how we respond to create a lasting positive impact on the people around us.

Contrary to what others think, Change is not only an external event that impacts upon us. It is also about the way we respond to those events that truly define the actions we need to make to gain control of the situation from a new perspective. The ability to take control of that turmoil – dance with it- and design a new direction significantly different than the previous one, then engage the rest of the members of your team –the other dancers that were used to another music – and persuade them to head into a new direction – new movement, sometimes unknown and uncertain-, THAT is Change.

Picture again a group of people who are working on a new choreography that involves how they negotiate and design the sequence of steps and movements. They need to create a specific composition, the training, the rhythm, the message, even the position of the dancers (who leads, and why), or the order of appearance on the stage. Absolutely everything has a purpose and a meaning to reach a positive impact and a successful outcome. They may even need to redefine some movements, tempos, relocate some actors, and do adjustments, otherwise the result will be confusing, right?

Therefore, my first contribution to LatinasinBusiness.us is to tell you “never be afraid of Change”, because it can be a fun and very transformative experience if you create the right musical score for the choreography that you envision.

To me, Change is a concept for optimists and visionaries, thinkers and builders, dreamers and explorers. Also, those that are not afraid to be called the crazy ones because they are willing to walk the extra mile to push the boundaries of the possible. Change is for people who care about others, because Change is inclusive and conciliatory. When I lived in Asia, I learned the importance of bringing harmony to our daily life. I had to adapt my mindset, and my Western way of doing things, to a new environment to conclude that Change, ultimately, becomes an opportunity maker. When we are able to adapt our thinking, and usually, our doing as well, to the challenges we face, we give confidence to those that wrongly associate Change to something negative. If we are capable of simultaneously become enablers and listeners, then we will be part of a fascinating experience, because Change is always about fixing, improving, and expanding.

Sun rising

So, stop for a second and visualize this word in your mind … C H A N G E. Now write down your thoughts about what this concept means to you, without thinking twice, censoring or filtering the first images and ideas that come to you. I suggest you write your thoughts, because it will help you to keep track of your own evolution and perception on this matter. Are you going through a transition right now that I can help you with? I would love to hear about your life and work experiences around Change.