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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Palmer


Inspiration. Who inspired you? Who are your leadership or parenting role models? Who do you credit with seeing in you what you might not have seen in yourself? I encourage you to reach out to them and let them know. A text or email, handwritten note or LinkedIn message. If it has been quite a while since you have been in touch, even better.

There are multiple points in my coaching where I share this advice. With new coaching clients, we spend the first session discussing how we got to the present moment: personal history, education, work experience. I am specifically listening for who influenced my clients along the way. Sometimes they share coaches or teachers, professors or managers. Whomever they decide at the end, I encourage them to send a simple note expressing their gratitude and stating the impact this person had on their trajectory. I believe those small notes make someone’s day and remind them that they have influence on others beyond their awareness.

Similarly, in my cohort training, the first exercise is to collaborate on leadership attributes.  The prompt is to think of the best leaders you have worked with, for or admired.  What made them "best" in your opinion. The inspiration for these attributes were role models - and may not have even known that their colleagues were watching.

A new mom in the Your 4th Trimester program shared how her manager is such an inspiration. Her manager seemingly effortlessly supports the team and also has solid boundaries for family time and being present for what matters to her teenaged children. The young mom admires her boss' work-life sway and I encouraged her to share that admiration. Parents of older kids – you know how hard that integration can be; earlier-stage moms, if you see something, say something. We can all use the acknowledgment and reminder that role models are all around us.

I feel like we could all benefit from an unexpected note or an expression of gratitude. Take a few minutes this week to send a message (with no expectation of hearing back) to let someone know they inspired you and how.

Inspiration.  Pass it on.

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