Growing as a Leader – My Five Takeaways from the Atelier Collective

This week, I took the day for me and headed into Toronto for The Atelier Collective (@The_Atelier_Collective) conference and I have ZERO regrets. The day was full of amazing speakers who spoke their truth, talked about their struggles, and freely shared their wisdom. It was refreshing, energizing, and a great reminder that we all go through ups and downs.

Here are the five takeaways that really resonated with me:

Sit at the Damn Table

Sarah Nicole (@TheBirdsPapaya) gave us all a healthy dose of truth. During her panel interview, Sarah spoke about how impostor syndrome often stops us from taking exciting leaps forward. That we’re always WAITING. Waiting for more experience, education, connections, the right moment etc. Sarah reminded us that we’re consistently asking ourselves for permission. Instead, I want you to pull out the chair, sit down, and engrave your name on the tent card. Remember your worth, and remind others at the table of theirs.

Growth Conversations

Raia Carey (@Coach.Carey) spoke about having growth conversations. As a people leader, this resonated with me. The strategies and resources we teach at Mindful Employer are meant to create conversations that are supportive, positive, solution-focused, and never shame or blame others. I loved that Coach Carey used the word “growth” because it mirrors each of these strategies and reminds us that we can continue to evolve as individual’s while also supporting the development of those around us.

The “8/10” People

Often when we’re looking for individuals to join our team, we seek out the “10/10” candidates. We look for perfection. Devon Brooks (@DevsDevelopment) told us that the golden egg lies in bringing on the “8/10” candidates. When we look for candidates that are an “8/10”, we give space for such potential for greatness. And think about it, they could be one of those people that are “always waiting” (see Sit at the Damn Table), who are downplaying all of their amazing skills and experience. Now get out there, search for individuals that embody your organization’s values and have the potential to grow with you!

The “Feel Good Folder”

You know those days that are rough from the start? You slept poorly. The shower was cold. The lid popped off your latte as you were getting into your car and dumped all over you, your FRESHLY WASHED PANTS, driver’s seat, and you stood there thinking “Do I just suck it up, sit in the coffee, and drive to work?”. And, the pièce de résistance – you sent a pretty important email to all the wrong people. You expel a frustrating sigh and start to spiral, thinking, “Perfect, now everyone can see your incompetence.” Fotini Iconomopolous (@Fotiniicon) says that’s when you need your “Feel Good Folder”. A treasure trove of all the messages/notes/emails from friends/family/clients/strangers who sing your praises. When the impostor syndrome begins to rear its ugly head, pullout your “Feel Good Folder”, and remind yourself why you do what you do, and just how worthy you are.

Recognize. Recognize. Recognize. Sprinkle it everywhere.

This one was influenced by a few smart cookies. Melissa Leong (@LisLeong) brought up the importance of spreading the wealth. Meet with other leaders, collaborate, and then sing their damn praises to everyone. Being an entrepreneur, leader, or professional can be lonely. Create a positive vibe tribe and spread the word on what amazing things your colleagues are up to. Jillian Harris (@Jillian.Harris) — yes that little ray of sunshine — talks about writing personalized introductions for all her favourite people. You can speak to all their superb skills and traits, but also gush about what an epic human being they are. Because let’s be honest, writing your own introduction can be a painful experience that feels arrogant. Save your nearest and dearest the trouble and write them their own introduction so they can feel like a superhero every time it’s read to others and it’s one more item they can file in their “Feel Good Folder”.

Each of the speakers at the event inspired us with their experiences and reminded us that we have always been worthy of achieving whatever is meaningful to us. That we should create, not replicate. And most importantly, to remember that success isn’t reaching and end goal, it’s the journey.

I hope that one of these takeaways also resonated with you!

Sending positive vibes and aspirations your way,

Sarah Jenner, Executive Director (@mindfulemployercanada)