How do you make sense of the success youre achieving 

Was it good timing? Luck? And that unclarity probably leaves uncertainty about next steps. 

By clarifying your leadership framework, you can unlock a leadership style that underpins how you want to be seen and heard as a leader. 

As an executive coach, Christina Holloway has over 20 years of experience coaching senior leaders on finding meaningful careers, as well as mentoring business owners and start-ups as their companies grow and thrive.  

Her unique approach to leadership development has landed her speaking opportunities at The University of Chicago and Yale University’s Women in Management Forum. Through her giving program, a percentage of profit each year goes towards helping women escape domestic violence. 

In this episode, Christina highlights successful leaders’ inadequacy assumptions about themselves despite their evident success. She shares how she helps these emerging leaders find value in how they were able to do it by spending quite a bit of time dealing with the mindset and making sure that they know there’s value in their presence.

What you will learn from this episode: 

  • Find out the three actionable tips to help you assert your leadership 
  • Learn how to find the leadership style that allows you to show your authenticity and uncover your true voice to step up to your leadership role 
  • Learn about the mistakes that young and successful leaders commit to keep moving forward and keep finding opportunities for you to show up to be an empowered leader 

“Ask yourself, who am I as a leader? Who am I as a young or new person showing up to a new role? And how do I want to be seen?”  

– Christina Holloway

Topics Covered:

01:30 – Christina’s unique approach to leadership 

02:20 – Doing a lot of work with the mindset of emerging young and successful leaders 

04:18 – Making sure young leaders know there is value in their presence 

05:55 – The imposter syndrome among young leaders of today 

06:36 – Clients making the mistakes of too many assumptions 

08:16 – Three actionable tips to help young, successful leaders assert their leadership 

11:15 – Download your free resource, ‘Building a Profitable Brand’. Click here: https://christinaholloway.com/profitable-brand-ebook/ 

11:57 – How can I see measurable results? 

Key Takeaways:

“What I found is that it’s been quite important to help people who are emerging leaders, and these are younger people really just trying to learn to navigate the leadership framework.” 

“The imposter syndrome is quite what I’m finding to be the biggest challenge for young, successful leaders these days. And I deal also with introverts.” 

“The biggest mistakes clients are making before they work with me has a lot to do with assumptions.” 

“There isn’t just one way to be a leader, there isn’t just one way to show up in your authority. There are a number of different ways you can show up.” 

“Ask yourself exactly what am I doing and take a really deep mindful exploration into why am I in this job? Why did I agree to do this?” 

“Who can I work with who supports me? Because what we want is to be reflective of people around us who say, ‘I hired you for this reason, I brought you on board.’ We need a little bit of confirmation-validation for why we’re there.” 

“Take action. So, if you’re playing small, or you’re a little bit shy, or even starstruck by a roomful of executives, part of this is to take a breath, and say, I belong here. And then move forward slowly, with that new understanding of who you are and why you’re there.” 

Resources:

Connect with Christina Holloway:

 

Full Episode Transcript:

Christina Holloway  

Ask yourself, who am I as a leader? Who am I as a young or new person showing up to a new role? And how do I want to be seen?

Bruce Ross   

Hello, and a very warm welcome to another edition of Unshakeable Leadership. My name is Bruce Ross. And it’s my privilege to have the hugely experienced Christina Holloway with us here today. Christina, a very warm welcome to you. Whereabouts in the world are you? 

Christina Holloway  

Thank you so much. I’m from Chicago, Illinois. 

Bruce Ross   

Right. Excellent. So, a bit of background for our listeners, Christina is on a mission. And that is to help 1 million people transform their careers. So, Christina is an executive coach. And she has over 20 years coaching senior leaders and finding meaningful careers as well as mentoring business owners and startups, as their companies grow and thrive. Her unique approach to leadership development has landed her speaking opportunities with the University of Chicago, and Yale University’s Women in Management Forum. Through her giving program, a percent of profit each year goes towards helping women escape domestic violence. So obviously, a strong ethical orientation side on what you do. One of the things that’s caught my attention, your unique approach to leadership. Tell us more about that. 

Christina Holloway   

Yeah, I’m happy to discuss it. What I found is that it’s been quite important to help people who are emerging leaders, and these are younger people really just trying to learn to navigate the leadership framework, that there are a number of different styles of leadership, and that we really want to dig in as a coach to find what really, truly is important to you as a person who’s stepping into this role. So, we spend more of our time figuring out authenticity, what your true voice is, where you’re coming from, what you’re trying to teach people in a leadership role. And then we’re trying to help you uncover those golden moments, what’s important for you, as you step into a leadership position. 

Bruce Ross   

Ah, okay, so it’s helping them find their way, the leadership way going forward. 

Christina Holloway   

Yeah, that’s true. I tend to find when I work with clients, that many of them, I’m not sure, maybe others who are listening to the podcast can relate. But I’m finding that many of my recent clients have been young people, the startup community is just so vibrant in the past few years, that they have been able to flip their company for venture capital investment, they’re able to cash out on that company. And many times, they’re invited to sit on the board of directors, or they’re just sitting on money and asking themselves, what am I going to do now? I’m 30, I’m 32. And I’m finding that there’s a population of people who want to learn and get up to speed quickly and learn what does it mean to stand in that position, as a C-suite executive, someone who just had it, pretty much in their opinion, just landed in their lap. And I spend much of my time helping them understand that there is value in the way they were able to do this, and that many people on these boards, or these quite experienced people who’ve spent 10, 15 years, a lot of education, developing their leadership skills to look at someone so young and say, ‘I think I want some of that to rub off on me.’ So, when we’re looking at younger people, they feel a little bit of that imposter syndrome. Why am I here? And there’s a lot of reconciling with luck, right? I got lucky, this isn’t something that I can replicate again, in their own mind. So, we spend a lot of time working with these younger, successful people to help them understand, ‘No, this wasn’t all luck. There is some skill here. And there is something that you can teach these other people who are asking you to show up and be in that space.’ So, we do a lot of work with mindset. 

Bruce Ross   

Yeah. Wow! That’s a good problem to have. 

Christina Holloway  

It is. It truly is. Yeah.  

Bruce Ross   

Well, I guess for anyone, how to distill the wisdom that you didn’t realize you had that got you to where you are. 

Christina Holloway   

Yeah. So many instances for me, is them, they have imposter syndrome. So, this time, it feels like, ‘Am I sure I really belong in the room?’, ‘I’m a one-hit wonder.’, ‘Is this sustainable for me?’ And many times, we’re also inside our head quite a bit. So, we think ‘They must be judging me for my success.’ Instead of, ‘They want to learn from me from my success.’ So much of this comes from shifting mindset and being able to explain to them, well, let’s take a step back and ask, exactly what were your wins over the past we’ll say 18 months. So, a lot of times it happens that fast. So, what were your wins over the past 18 months. What collaborations what partnerships, who did you reach out to? How did you network? Those are all things that in my observation, those are all things that younger people these days are, they have a real handle on it, they really know, they know how to get out and talk, they know how to get out in front of people who are maybe have opportunities for them. And they know how to make these connections, where I’d venture to say people who are a little bit older, more experienced, me as well, that we only know one way. And so, we’re trying to navigate a changing world. And the younger generation has a little bit of a handle on it that we want to capture. So, in terms of the question you asked, we spend quite a bit of time dealing with mindset and making sure that they know there’s value in their presence. 

Bruce Ross   

Wow. Okay. Well, my standard first question is, what’s the biggest challenge you help leaders with today? Has it been covered? Or do you want to expand on that? 

Christina Holloway  

The imposter syndrome is quite what I’m finding these days. And I deal also with introverts, they also ask themselves, ‘Why am I here?’, ‘What do people want to know from me?’, How do I show up in a more meaningful way?, ‘How do I get people to understand that I have authority, I have presence, and I have ability to be here? Yeah! There’s a lot of that. 

Bruce Ross   

Right. Okay. So, the biggest challenge that you help your people with is around their mindset, and helping them to develop their authentic leadership?  

Christina Holloway   

Yes, that’s true.  

Bruce Ross   

Okay, very good. And what are some of the biggest mistakes that they are making before they work with you? 

Christina Holloway   

It’s a lot about assumptions. So many times, they’ll get in these meetings, and they may flounder, and then they’ll call me and they’ll say, ‘I made irreparable mistakes’, ‘I don’t think that I’ll be able to recover from this’, ‘I think that I already ruined my opportunity and now I think I need to find another something else.’ And so, the mistake is really believing that just one time or when we step into these new situations, that we can’t recover from it, or we can’t save face. Coaching for me, especially new executives, or young executives, or people who have a hard time communicating, we spend quite a bit of time helping them take apart what they’re used to, or what they believe is supposed to be happening, and then rebuild, how a proper response looks. And so, they have plenty of opportunity going forward to correct future conversations. They can’t go back in the past, but what they can do is show up a little bit differently with their head held a little bit higher, their shoulders squared off a little bit, even in physical presence, and understand that just that little bit of change helps them internally in their mind, understand that they belong there. 

Bruce Ross   

Got it. So, you’ve talked about the shift or the change to help them become more comfortable with themselves? Can you give us some actionable tips? So, three actionable tips that apply to you talking about the younger, successful people, but in your experience, you could apply to any age for a leader? 

Christina Holloway   

Yes, so one thing that they can do is learn and understand what their leadership style is. So, for us, they’re floundering, they’re not sure they understand exactly what it means to be a leader. Should I be aggressive? No. Am I being assertive enough? Yeah. Maybe not? Is my behavior helping me or hindering me? So, in this example, I think one of the things my favorite article is from Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries from Harvard Business Review, published his article, and it’s called The Eight Archetypes of Leadership. And I am just referring back to it, because the concept is wonderful. There isn’t just one way to be a leader, there isn’t just one way to show up in your authority. There are a number of different ways he outlined eight archetypes. And I’ll be honest, there are a number of other articles that will explain the different leadership styles, different ways that you can show up. And that I think is the best way for us to start understanding. Who are you? Ask yourself. Who am I as a leader? Who am I as a young or new person showing up to a new role? And how do I want to be seen? This all goes back to developing your leadership brand. How do I want other people to see me? How do I want them to respond to me? Am I young and new in a C-suite role with a bunch of older venture capitalists who are looking to me and say, we just gave you money, what are you going to do with this business now? Well, how am I going to answer that question? What is my next role? My leadership framework really is about preparing yourself for the next level. So, I hope I know I’m kind of going off. So, what we’re talking about is, once you reach this one level, your goal is always to ask yourself, what can I do next? Where am I going to go next? And many times, we say maybe this is okay. And then I’m going to go into new direction or say this is great. And I’m going to do more, I want more. So one is, ask yourself exactly what am I doing and take a really deep mindful exploration into why am I in this job? Why did I agree to do this? And then two, ask yourself, ‘Who can I work with who supports me? Because what we want is to be reflective of people around us who say, ‘I hired you for this reason, I brought you on board.’ We need a little bit of confirmation-validation for why we’re there. And then three, take action. So, if you’re playing small, or you’re a little bit shy, or even starstruck by a roomful of executives, part of this is to take a breath, and say, I belong here. And then move forward slowly, with that new understanding of who you are and why you’re there. 

Bruce Ross   

Right. Okay, absolutely. So, this does come down to the mindset, and how much for self- reflection you’ve done and how you want to show up. So, it’s the inner work for leadership. Is there a free resource that you can direct our listeners to? 

Christina Holloway   

I do have a free resource, I do have an eBook, we’ll provide the link to that downloadable resource. And it’s about developing your personal leadership brand. So that’s available. And then also, I’m on available on Instagram, and I’m starting my YouTube channel, which isn’t very big. But I am also including a number of these videos, which is, how to get out of that mindset, how to actually step forward in an assertive way, not an aggressive way, let’s deal with imposter syndrome, figure out how we can get through some of these roadblocks that may be holding you back from bigger things.  

Bruce Ross   

Fantastic! Okay. And my last question is, what is the question I should have asked you? And what is your answer to that question? 

Christina Holloway   

How can I see measurable results? Right? So, I speak a lot about concepts, and I’m speaking a lot about mindset issues. But what will happen when you actually walk into the boardroom? And how am I going to see a change? How will people respond to me? So, in one sense, you might see that they’re very quiet. And you might think I’m not so sure I should have been speaking up. But really, they’re just processing information. And then it is a very long game, and you’re taking very small steps. But the other part that you realize inside of you is today, I wasn’t so nervous. Today, I actually spoke up more than just two times, just introduce myself. Today, I was able to speak back to somebody who questioned my numbers or my point of view or my authority here. Today, I was able to, so we’re taking track of what we had for measurable results, right. But we’re seeing how people respond to us. How do I walk in the room today? It’s how do I walk into a Zoom call? Right? So, it’s really today. How did I answer the questions in a positive way? How did I finish them without asking a question? How did I make statements? So, if we take these small changes, and we see how people respond to us, we know that we’re making change, we also want to be conscious of how are they responding to me? Are they reactive? Are they pushing back? Well, maybe I push a couple of buttons. But we always come back and ask ourselves, ‘What really was going on behind there?’ If somebody really reacted to me, what on earth was I, what did I poke at? You know, I was getting that and how do I deal with it? 

Bruce Ross   

Okay. Very good. So, I see that you have a huge familiarity with exactly that sort of target market of successful people who have had, quote, unquote, luck happened to them. Clearly it hasn’t, because they’ve had a pattern for it, and then they move from that place on a firm footing to really establish who they are in the world as a strong leader. 

Christina Holloway  

Yeah, that’s true. 

Bruce Ross   

Yeah. Very good. Well, this has been fascinating. And so, on behalf of our listeners, I’d like to thank you very much. Thank you very much, Christina. 

Christina Holloway   

Thank you. Thank you so much for allowing me to be on your program. I really appreciate it and I just did truly enjoyed the opportunity and it was a pleasure to meet you. Thank you so much.  

Bruce Ross   

You’re most welcome.  

Christina Holloway  

Have a good day.  

Bruce Ross   

Thank you.

Bruce Ross

Thanks very much for checking out Flowpreneur Unshakeable Leadership Podcast. If you like what we’re doing here, please head on over to iTunes, subscribe, rate us, and leave a review. We’d very much appreciate that. Now, if you’re actually wanting to expand your leadership capability and deepen your impact in the world, that is, be a better you both at work and home, then I invite you to attend a live online Flowpreneur demo, where I’ll be sharing pure content and with nothing to buy. You can find all the details for this at peakperformancedemo.com. Repeating, peakperformancedemo, all one word dot com. Until next time, be bold! 

1 comment on “Ep23: Developing Your Leadership Brand with Christina Holloway

  1. access says:

    You produce quality content, congratulations on this Birdie Tedmund Eberly

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