top of page
Podcast Transcript

Beginning Again with LeeAnn Mallory

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  0:10  
Welcome to "Your Authentic Path to Powerful Leadership" with Marsha Clark. Join us on this journey where we're uncovering what it takes to be a powerful woman leader. Well, Marsha, I am so excited about our episode today. We have a very special guest who's going to share her expertise and process for practicing deep, intentional reflection. And that's centered all around this concept of beginning again, which is why our show is titled that today and she's gonna go into more details about this. So this couldn't just come at a more perfect time for me, personally, and I'm guessing for our listeners also because you know, this feels like we're getting ready for the new year and I just feel like this episode is going to be really, it's going to resonate with our listeners.

Marsha Clark  1:01  
Well, I'm right there with you, Wendi. And many of our leaders have heard me talk about surround yourself with people you know, love and trust. And that's who we have in our studio today is someone that I have known for over 30 years. When I saw that I went, Oh my. And I think of that you look like your mother. You look like your mother right now, when I first met you a long time ago, at you know, your youngest daughter's baby shower. So I love that. And so LeeAnn and I met back in 1988 when she left the education world to become a part of the corporate world. And she worked with me on a financial services account, and I took a lot of different jobs after that and everywhere I went, I brought you with me.

LeeAnn Mallory  1:47  
Thank goodness.

Marsha Clark  1:48  
Yes. So you know, the idea of know, love and trust is that I know LeeAnn as a person. I love her as a person. I trust her. I trust her integrity. I trust her values. I trust her commitment, along with her intellect, her competence, her compassion. So I know, love and trust you, LeeAnn! (Thank you.) Thank you for being here.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  2:13  
Yes. Okay, so we mentioned EDS. So, Marsha, LeeAnn, let's set the context for how you both knew each other when you were there. And what kind of projects did you work on?

Marsha Clark  2:25  
Oh, goodness, everything under the sun. So we did a lot of leadership development work together. So we did organizational work together and because of your background, LeeAnn, as a teacher, she brought a lot of educational rigor, discipline, structure, versus just be like Ross. So I think the first real education project you and I worked on was the quality work, the college quality work in the 1980's.

LeeAnn Mallory  2:51  
Yes, it was. And even before that, though, it was, you know, I came into the corporate world with absolutely no background with the corporate world. And it was, it was a perfect place for me to start. I started in customer support and just moved from there. But you were so well known on that account. And I just have to, I was thinking about this earlier today, setting the stage. So late 80's, so when I came to work at EDS, the dress code was very formal. Women were not allowed to wear pants yet. (Yes.) So we had to have a suit, and flesh colored hose and all of these other things. We were working on mainframe terminals, people did not have desktop computers yet. (That's right.) And so that is the kind of the scenario that we were walking into. And so that was a long time ago and I think, wow, we've really, really come a long way. And it was a great place for me to start, I just learned the ropes on a customer account. And what some of the things that I remember most first of all, it was such a fun account to be on. We had a great community there. And the two things that I remember most about you, Marsha, and not just about you but my experience there, was that the environment was very dynamic. There was a lot going on in the banking world at that time and with our particular customer account that we were on (Right) and we would be in these meetings for a long period of time. And I don't care what time of night it was, and I mean like 9 or 10 o'clock in the evening, you might be in a conference room with other senior leaders, and I could hear you laughing down the hall. So part of my lesson was we can have fun at work. You know, so that was fun. And the other thing that I remember about you that I really have, like it's still my Northstar, is how you were able to unify a group of people because there were a lot of times when things didn't happen as we expected, which happens all the time. And I would be in these meetings where there was finger pointing and people were angry, it's your fault, it's your fault. And you always have this way of just kind of calming things down and bringing everyone to the center, and you were very approachable. So it just, it made those hard times very easy, or easier and more fun, you know. And so, when I think of when I first started, and when I first met you, that's my memory that I have.

Marsha Clark  5:34  
I have to laugh because my laugh has gotten me in trouble since first grade. You stand in the hall now, Marsha, because you're disrupting other people from doing their work. You know me, I'm gonna laugh every single time and love the opportunities to do it. And I you know, I do think about it and you bringing it up, we had people that we had acquired from the MTech acquisition, we had EDS'ers who we brought in from other accounts, and then we were hiring people from a lot of different places, industries, yourself included. And we all had to come together and get it done. And it was a crazy time. We didn't, not only did we not have the internet, we didn't have desktop computers. We'd have production meetings because the ATM's, the balances weren't right when ATM's came up at 7am because they weren't 24 by seven by 365. So that's how old LeeAnn and I are.

LeeAnn Mallory  6:22  
But it's so fun to think to be able to remember that. It's very nostalgic, and I'm so happy to be here.

Marsha Clark  6:29  
Oh, we're so happy for you to be here, too!

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  6:30  
Okay, so LeeAnn, and you were also instrumental in the early years, the formation of the Power of Self Program. So what was your role or roles within that program?

LeeAnn Mallory  6:44  
Yeah. So there was a big exodus at the time that Marsha and I both left EDS. We both left within two weeks of each other. Oh, yeah. So several people were leaving, there were there was a lot of change. And luckily, we all had various amounts of time to kind of figure things out through compensate, through our packages that we received when we left. And I'm sure there's a whole story about how Marsha came to thinking about like, I want to do a program for women. So she started as she typically does, with her collaborative spirit, like bringing people together to create this program for women. So I was one of those people that got to hear her format.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  7:26  
In her house with the sticky notes, sticky notes.

LeeAnn Mallory  7:29  
And as we were looking at content and multiple modules over multiple months, we decided, too, that we needed coaching, that coaching would be what kind of held the program together in between the sessions. And I and my colleague, Renee, we were able to select the coaches kind of look at the selection criteria, and then brought them in to meet each other and train and you know, get around the models and tools. And that group of coaches stayed together the entire time. (Yes, yes, yes). It was amazing.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  8:08  
20 years. 20+ years. Are they still delivering for Texas Women's Foundation?

Marsha Clark  8:13  
Well, I'm bringing them in as coaches for other, you know, needs that I have in that regard. And the other thing I want to say to LeeAnn is that the value of having you and Renee do that, that was before coaching was coaching. You didn't have the International Coaching Federation and a program to go get certified. They were coming on at that time. But they were very infantile, if I can say, or very immature in what it represented. So to be able to have a pool of people to draw from or criteria by which to select them, and then to get them into that unified place in support of the content because there's coaching. We all know now there's business coaching, life coaching, leadership coaching, all that. Well, this was none of that (Those distinctions distinctions were not around yet) and then coaching into specific content, which the program would bring, was yet another nuance that we had to navigate.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  9:06  
So Marsha, tell us real quickly how and why did you know that you wanted to partner with LeeAnn on the Power of Self Program and talk about the impact that she had on that program.

Marsha Clark  9:19  
Well, yes, so coaching was a huge component of the program. I remember we talked about mass customization, right? So that was a technology term, when cell phones were getting to be customized. Even though the guts of the phone was the same, you can pick a yellow one or a big one or this cover, whatever. And so the program modules were the mass and then the coaching was the customization piece. So we knew we wanted to meet a collective goal with the curriculum, and an individual goal with the coaching. And so one of the reasons LeeAnn and I think are so strong together is we complement one another. We have many similarities and we're really different in approach. So I'm big picture, I'm wheeling and dealing, and I'm saying, well, we could do that, Miss Optimistic and all that kind of stuff. And LeeAnn would come back and say, well, have you thought about this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this. And we really need to do some research on that. So she had demonstrated, you know, with the work that you, LeeAnn, had done around coaching in general, but also the work you had done to go to the New Venture West coaching program  and all that. And so the strength, the breadth and depth of competence and knowledge about coaching in and of itself, with her education background and knowing that she had been a part of some really innovative leadership programs at EDS, I knew that's what I wanted her to focus on because it was a big unknown. And we had module owners for each of the modules we did and yet we considered coaching as almost like a standalone item that had to be integrated. And we'd done that on a lot of different things.

LeeAnn Mallory  10:58  
Yeah. And I think, you know, Marsha, you mentioned, you know, what we had done at EDS. We, for me, also, that was really key bringing some of that work forward and how the coaches would work with the participants in the program and how they would do the work. Because, again, the work that you pioneered at EDS with the leadership development, which was really different for that time, set a new ground, a new standard for leadership development work that most people had not been aware of and they are still, like, that work from EDS still is core to the work I do today.

Marsha Clark  11:42  
You and me both, honey. And I tell people that all the time, whether it be grassroots wisdoms, or, you know, organizational learning, or transformative work, learning and all. And I, I love that we can do that. And what I find fascinating is the work that we did some 30 plus years ago, today it's like brand new stuff. For whatever reason, it had its moment for several years and then it went away. And you know, and so when I say something that is absolute, of course for me, I'm sure for you, too, they're like, Oh, my god, yeah, gold, gold, baby gold. And that's how it's received and how wonderful that those principles are long standing. Because there are some basic things about leadership that are just leadership, leadership, leadership.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  12:28  
Yep. So LeeAnn, over the years you've continued to add to your own toolkit and expertise around setting a compelling personal vision and being very intentional. So what other experiences in addition to the work you've done with Marsha have influenced the work that you're doing today as a coach and facilitator?

LeeAnn Mallory  12:50  
Yeah, I think, first of all, I'm really digging these questions. They're like, they're so thoughtful. And, you know, I'm very appreciative of the opportunities that I've had. So I would say, what we did at EDS was my first, you know, dip into that whole world. So when I wanted to get certified as a coach, I chose an organization, New Ventures West, that was also grounded in some of those same theories and concepts as well as integral theory, which wasn't really deep in integral theory, but what that basically means is multiple perspectives. And so when you look at anything like it informs how I do this beginning again process, we want to look at it from the individual, the collective, the inside, the outside, and then also a developmental approach. So New Ventures West really shaped me, the work that I did through Strozzi Institute, which is the embodied leadership work where we were always being asked, What are your commitments, for the sake of what are you doing this, so that actions and behaviors and decisions weren't just random, but they had a purpose. They were going to carry you towards something. I would add the work that I was certified in the leadership circle profile. And even when I don't do a 360 with someone, the model, which looks looks at creative versus reactive leadership, the creative you know, being visionary and strategic and forward thinking is key to that as well. Plus the task and relationship, not one or the other, but both being balanced in task and relationship. So I would say that those are probably the core elements that I bring forward into everything that I do.

Marsha Clark  14:42  
And I just want to say, you know, on the Strozzi work, you talk about it in terms of embodied leadership. And I mean, I can remember so many of the conversations and so for those of you who have taken classes of mine, I remember the domain of dignity, the domain of relationship and I still teach those things because women are so out of touch with their bodies, right. And so the idea of embodied leadership or somatic which means of the body or whatever, I won't know all those details there (LeeAnn will) but you know, that I still think is an added plus. We had an exercise in the Power of Self Program where women had to, in trios, had to stand in front of a mirror and describe themselves and have two women witness that.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  15:29  
I distinctly remember that.

LeeAnn Mallory  15:30  
That is triggering in and of itself.

Marsha Clark  15:33  
With all the images of what it means to look at ourselves. And we had women in tears. We had women say, I have been so unhappy with my body for so long, to look at myself for three minutes and describe myself brought me to my knees. And then the support, though, from the women who were witnessing that, I mean, all of those kinds of things are the depth of the work that we do, and everything you brought us, LeeAnn was in the depth category, because it wasn't superficial. We always tried to be real. And you know, I said my questions when people ask me to come in and do work is are you willing to take some risk? And are you willing to do deep work? And if the answer is no to either one of those, I'm not your girl. (Right.) So LeeAnn, we were on that same wavelength and you brought us great work, great thinking, you know, in that idea of we have to take one step further than we're asking others to come. And so we had to put ourselves out there, and that stuff is still very real. And that body work is huge.

LeeAnn Mallory  16:36  
And I love the distinction that I learned through the Strozzi Institute of working through the body. So you can work on the body, you can work with the body, and you can work through the body. And this is working through the body, kind of an inside out. And now it's so much more common. We have things on presence based leadership. And like the whole polyvagal theory. It's not even a theory, it is we have a vagus nerve, being able to settle our nervous system. And because we resonate with each other, when our nervous system is hijacked, or we're triggered, then other people pick up on that. And then the opposite is true. If we can keep ourselves calm and grounded, then it's hard for other people to be amped up when we're calm. (That's right.) And so that whole and that body of work is only getting deeper and richer and more accessible. When we were doing it, not that many people were doing that, and it just seemed weird, you know, for a lot of people.

Marsha Clark  17:37  
It did. It's like woowoo, out there, right, you know, ooh, ooh and yet today, it is more accepted. And it's still unusual because it's not brought into leadership programs. That's more of the life coach or the spiritual coach. So this idea of it is a part of you, the whole person, I think is huge.

LeeAnn Mallory  17:59  
I just want to say one more thing about this because, again, I had a little bit of time driving out here. I remember having a conversation with Jennifer Domingues years ago and we were talking about leadership presence, embodied leadership before that's what we knew we were talking about. And we were again, talking about you and your presence, and saying, if we were sitting on an airplane, and this is a way to think about embodied leadership, or an embodied presence, if we were sitting on an airplane, and Marsha was one of the people walking down the aisle, we would know something was different about her that she was up to something or that she was a leader just in the way that you carry yourself and the way that you comport yourself. So it's something that can be hard to put your finger on, but we feel it and we respond to it even when we don't have words for it. And being able to teach this level of presence and confidence to people is, is such a gift. And when they start feeling it, it changes everything.

Marsha Clark  19:20  
Well, and here's the way that shows up. There's something different about LeeAnn. I can't quite put my finger on it, but something's different.

LeeAnn Mallory  19:26  
Did you cut your hair or you quit coloring your hair?

Marsha Clark  19:30  
But I mean, that's the way it shows up. I can't name it. I can't describe it, but I know it's there. And we hear that oftentimes from the people who work with, for and around the women who come through the program.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  19:44  
So I'm going to shift gears on us a little bit.

Marsha Clark  19:47  
That's why Wendi is so valuable.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  19:49  
Well, you know, I just want to wrangle us back to the title of this episode "Beginning Again". So Leanne, where does that reference come from?

LeeAnn Mallory  19:57  
Well, I learned it, and I don't know if these two people created it or just this is where I learned it, but there are two really famous and quite core meditation teachers. These are some of the first people doing meditation decades ago, Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein, they use that terminology. People will always say, when they're trying to meditate, oh, I just, you know, I get lost in my thought. And they just say, that's okay. Just when you notice, just gently bring yourself back and begin again. And it's a very gracious and generous way to say, just get yourself back, or you fall off just begin again, no big deal, no judgment. Don't be harsh, just begin again. And I find that we have multiple opportunities in life every day, every moment, every time we sit down, we get up, we can begin again. And it's a very gracious way to live life, I think. And I love the whole planning that as you said, you know, you're the kind of this spirit, the visionary, and I'm, you know, a core more than a realist, and, you know, so I love the organization and the planning, and I just think, oh, it's such a beautiful time to like, set aside time to begin again in a really gracious and gentle way, and kind way to ourselves.

Marsha Clark  21:27  
And I liken it to things we've talked about on here which is the there's no such thing as the last choice because there's always a next choice, right, one of the messages in Dottie's and my book. And then the other one was Edie Seashore who was professor in my master's program. And one of her favorite phrases was up until now. You know, I haven't done this up until now. I can't do this up until now. And then it was like begin again is the next obvious phrase that comes after that. And I think that's such a beautiful message for all of us. Strive for grace and not perfection.

LeeAnn Mallory  21:57  
Work hard. Go for it, you know, leave it all out on the court. And when you stub your toe, when you fall down, that's okay. Begin again.

Marsha Clark  22:07  
And LeeAnn, you actually developed this workbook, an annual workbook that you can use to support your coaching clients through this reflection process, the begin again process. Will you tell us a little bit about that?

LeeAnn Mallory  22:19  
Yeah, so I do share this with my clients. But I really didn't create it for them. Just something that I thought was important. And I wanted to create some, again, this is the difference in our personalities, I do like structure. And I liked having a process instead of just and I don't like the idea of a New Year's resolution, because I think that those just get lost. And so what is again, the kind of generous kind process that we can go through to help get us ready for next year. And really, as I think about it, a satisfying and fulfilling life, where we are having the impact that we want to have, and we're becoming the person that we want to become. So it's not just about accomplishments or goals based on something. (Right.) But it's really personal and you know, something that we care deeply about.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  23:16  
So is there a natural starting point with this reflection process that you were just talking about, LeeAnn?

LeeAnn Mallory  23:23  
There is, and I want to say that you could start anywhere and go everywhere. And I want to just you know, Marsha and I had been riffing back and forth about how we're different. And so she might start with, I want to do a vision. And I might start with I want to go with current reality. I really invite people to you know, this is your workbook. I know that that's however you want to do it. I do want to say though, there's a first couple of questions there that I think people, they're also inertive questions and they're the orienting questions. And what I mean by orienting is that they serve as a compass. So if we ask ourselves the question, Who is the person or the leader that I want to be? So really looking at those kinds of characteristics. I want to be the type of leader who listens well. I want to be a unifying leader. I want to be this kind of leader, and what is the impact that I want to make and we can go broad or narrow with that. And in this context, we're really looking at, say, for the next 12 months, you can ask those exact same questions when you're getting ready for a conversation, preparing for a meeting or a presentation. So those questions are very scalable. For this process that we're looking at, you know, the next 12 months, it really does serve as a Northstar.

Marsha Clark  24:42  
So I want to tell you, I often am coaching clients and when they're getting ready for one of those big meetings or presentations, I'll say something like think about when you're done, what do you want them to feel? How do you want them to feel about you and what do you want them to think about you? I like your questions better. Who do you want to be and what do you like? I like that. I will be using those.

LeeAnn Mallory  25:02  
Good. Who's the leader or who's the person I want to be comes from James Clear, who's the author of "Atomic Habits". (Yes.) And he's not a big goal setter, which was interesting to me. So I'm learning a lot about, you know, is it really that important to set goals or is it more about the character and the person that you want to be? And then oh, if I want to be this kind of person, then these are the kinds of things that I need to do. These are the kind of habits and the kinds of practices that I need to have in my life to support that person. So giving credit for that I just, that question, really when I read that, I thought, yes, that is, I really resonate with that question.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  25:46  
So for all of those of you who are listening who are like, dreading putting together your New Year's resolutions or your goals list for 2023, LeeAnn has now given us permission to create habits. And I love this idea.

LeeAnn Mallory  26:00  
Right. Create habits. And it's more about you know, that the goals and the strategies are more about doing and this first question is more about being. The things that you do you will do very differently if you're not conscious of it (Right.) because it matters how it gets done, and how you're being in the getting it done. Because we've heard the stories, you know, we all have been part of organizations where, and this is an old EDS term where, because of the way the person was leading, there were dead bodies left in the wake. That's not what we want to do. We want to be a certain type of person, certain type of parent, a certain type of leader. So what is it? What do we need to do? What are the practice that we need to have in place in order to be that kind of person or that kind of leader?

Marsha Clark  26:49  
Well, and I want to go back to something you said a moment ago, too, which is the do I need to set goals or can I, and the way I hold that, you know, there's the I'll start with the end in mind, you know, all of those phrases we've heard along the way, I like to set goals. (I do too.) I'm just not going to be a slave to the goals. My phrase for this is judgment trumps everything. What do I need to be doing in this moment, regardless of what my goal said, because I set that goal as a human being. I can change that goal. (That's right.) I can make a different decision because of the factors that are at play right now. And so this idea of the answer to every leadership question is 'it depends' is understand those variables, right? And know what I need to take into account that will work this time with this person in this scenario, while I'm talking about what person do I want to be and what's the impact I want to make in this moment, in this transaction, whatever it may be.

LeeAnn Mallory  27:48  
And I want to say, and if we find ourselves setting goals, especially the same goal over and over again and we're not achieving that, then we have to do some digging and say, Is that my goal? You know, is that important to me? And if it is, then why do I keep not putting my effort toward that? And so then you can go into things like immunity to change or whatever. But it's not that we just set goals and then we abandon them because we didn't feel like it. But so there is some reflection about this thing keeps showing up and I keep not doing it. Number one, does it not belong on the list? Is it not mine? And if it is, then what's in my way? What is my obstacle? What is the challenge that I'm not getting past in order to achieve that?

Marsha Clark  28:44  
And LeeAnn, Wendi and I were part of a speaking engagement yesterday to a group of women entrepreneurs. And one of the things I talked about is this should word. So when I think about it's on my list because I should do this, or somebody told me I should do this, or I shouldn't do this. And to me, that's another big, you know, telltale sign of, is it because you want it or because someone tells you you should want it or should do it. And I think there's something in that as well.

LeeAnn Mallory  29:14  
Yeah. Or social media says you should do or look this way or because I come from a family of attorneys than I should be an attorney. All of those shoulds that maybe no one is even telling us but that we're just like their unquestioned assumptions about the way life is that we live our life that way. And it causes a lot of suffering. And it's not helpful.

Marsha Clark  29:39  
And when you think about women in our overdeveloped guilt center. It's been on my list for three years and I haven't done it. Oh, I'm a horrible person. I failed, I'm a failure. I'm a loser. I mean, all those things. The stories just multiply.

LeeAnn Mallory  29:53  
Yep, they do. That's really good.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  29:55  
So LeeAnn, I had a chance to see your workbooks for the past couple of years before today's episode, and first of all, they're visually just beautiful. And the image on the cover from the 2021 guide book looks like a stone arched bridge over a river. And the reflection of the bridge on the water creates this, this image of a circle and almost looks like glass. And it's so peaceful and compelling at the same time. So is this your inspiration for these designs? Tell us about that.

LeeAnn Mallory  30:29  
It is. It is. And I love symbols. So I learned that the month named January comes from the Roman god, Janus, who is the two headed God looking forward and looking back. And so part of this process is looking back. And then we look forward. But the God, the two faced God is also the God of of bridges and gateways and thresholds. And so I bring that imagery into the workbooks to you know, just invoke this sense of, we're taking a step. So last year's image was of a gate, you know, so it's, and I just love thinking about, oh, here I am and I'm going to open the gate for the new year and I'm going to step through. Or I'm on this side of the river of the water and I'm going to move to that side. And I can't just stand there and hope that it happens. Actually, I have to take some action. But I can do that from a very thoughtful and grounded perspective. (And intentional.) And intentional.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  31:42  
Okay. Okay. So I'm gonna kind of talk real quick about what the process is. And I want you to jump in, LeeAnn. So I want you to go a little bit further for us on the looking back, and then the looking forward. And how do you apply that across goals and strategies, goals loosely held in a, in you know, let's loosely hold that word because we talked about earlier, and what that holistically looks like.

LeeAnn Mallory  32:12  
Yeah. So the looking back, is looking back. I literally take out my calendar. I do two things. I'll take out my calendar, or actually I do three. And if we talk longer, I may add more. I look at my goals that you know, I look at the packet from last year so I have that with me, I have my calendar with me and I have photos that are on my phone. And I just look back. And I think what do I want to celebrate? You know, what worked? What didn't work? And also, you know, what kinds of things can I expect to continue into this year, you know, like, health issues or economic or you know, that, you know, I'm working with a particular client or in a specific system that has these kinds of hard places. And I can expect that to continue. So I think it's really important when we get ready to look forward, that we're not being Pollyanna, that we're being really realistic and say what do I need to take into account that this these things are probably going to keep happening. But I love the photos. And yeah, I love looking through those and just think, oh, yeah, I forgot. I forgot we did that. Right? It's really beautiful.

Marsha Clark  33:28  
You know, when we're talking about this is setting priorities and how we talked about if you want to really know what's important to someone, look at their calendar, what you're doing, and their checkbook. Where do I spend my time and where do I spend my money? Now I'm going to add to that, and who are the people I'm spending time with, which is what your photos represent. I love that.

LeeAnn Mallory  33:46  
Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. So there's the looking back, there's the looking forward. And so I just imagine Marsha, just like you were saying before, imagine it's December 31, 2023, and you're sitting down with a good friend of yours with a glass of wine or a glass of tea or something. And you guys are just talking about, you know, the year before and like, what you're really proud of, you know, what happened, what did you love, and you just start there. So that's kind of the you know, that's the visioning aspect of that. And then you can go into breaking that down, and I ask people to, again, look at life holistically. So there's your career, there's your family, there's your health, there's your finances, all of those things include all of those things, your community, all of the things that care about you. What do you want to see moving forward during that time? I also love and I'm very lucky. I mean, I literally have a labyrinth that's outdoors within walking distance of my house. And so I do that every year. And then sometimes, you know, like sometimes I'm just on a walk and I'll think oh, I'm gonna stop at this labyrinth and I never, it never fails me that I get some message and I don't go in, I just walk it. And because of the labyrinth, how it goes, there will be things like, wow, I didn't know I was gonna be at the end so soon. Oh, I'm not at the end. I've got to go all the way around again. Okay, well, how are things in life that way, where you think you're done and then you realize you've got this whole other and so it's funny, you know. But there's and I'll leave the information on how to get this workbook for the show notes. But also in the show notes and in this workbook I have a labyrinth locator. I mean, there's actually a labyrinth locater (Wow) where you can find where the labyrinths near you are located.

Marsha Clark  35:44  
Great. I love that. One of the many unique gifts that I admire most about you is the inclusion of the whole self. And you know, whether it be your coaching, your programs, they aren't just head work, but this idea of whole self, the whole body. And I know that's very intentional for you. And so could you share with our listeners a few examples of how you create that fully immersive experience for people when they work with you and your content. And I love that you're gonna give us you know how to access your workbook and so on. I want them to also be able to access you because she's a great resource. And I know some of our listeners will want to perhaps do the work that you are so unique and special in doing.

LeeAnn Mallory  36:29  
Yeah, thank you. Well, you know, I just think of it all is kind of an ecology of practices. So if you look at anything in nature, there's a whole ecology. And so always there's a mindfulness practice. And sometimes people really don't want to do the mindfulness. But that is so valuable in learning how to it's again, if you look at habits and practices. We want many practices of being able to be calm. If we wait until the stakes are really high or when this high stress meeting, and think, oh, I'm going to be I need to be calm now. Well, you haven't been practicing it enough to be calm. And so doing a mindfulness practice is always part of that. The self observation like learning our clues and our cues. So for me, I know that I'm stressed or I'm in and resourceful state when my breath is held. You know, when I'm holding my breath, or if my jaw is tight. Now sometimes, most of the time actually, I won't notice it in the moment but I'll have an ache later. So if my low back is hurting. I know I've probably been holding my breath. And then I can back up from there. So what what was I up tight about, what was causing me that stress? And so just noticing people getting really familiar with all of their tells, whether you're noticing it or someone else is noticing it. So I say, people say well, I don't know what my tells are. Now we'll say, well, ask someone close to you, they'll tell you what your tells are. They'll say, oh, you get red, or your eyes get hard, or you hold your breath or your mouth a certain way. So if you want to know what your tells are, ask someone else. Yeah. So there will always be mindfulness, there will always be embodiment practices, there will always be things that people try on, you know, to push, you know, push them out of their comfort zone, but not so much that it's uncomfortable. Lots of reflection. The other thing that I think is really important in coaching, is that for the person being coached that they have a support system on their end, because I don't see them in meetings. (Right.) You know, and so who do you know, love and trust that has your best interests at heart that can give you feedback on how you're showing up. And if the person, even if it's a CEO, oftentimes there's a board member that I can and I like to have those, you know, at least one, maybe two or three meetings throughout the coaching engagement, where we're all together. So there's no triangulation, and there's no guessing about it, you know, what's changing or not changing, how's it going.

Marsha Clark  39:24  
I want to connect something that we talked about in the spirit of building trust, one of the behaviors for building trust is be consistent. And I'm thinking about your mindfulness. Because what I will often say to people is I don't want you to be able to predict that I'm going to be fast or slow or loud or quiet or, you know, whatever it might be. I want you to be able to predict with great consistency that I will be mindful and I will be thoughtful. And to me, that's what builds trust. I'm not going to show up the same way every day. You know, different things call for different you know, responses or, you know, how I want, who I want to be and how what impact I want to have. And so the predictability and the reliability is my mindfulness and my thoughtfulness. And that then leads to the greater intentionality around those questions of who I want to be and how I want to show up.

LeeAnn Mallory  40:14  
The other thing that I would add to the list are knowing what resources you. So for a lot of people, I have a client that's in California in the Silicon Valley area and she wants to get into the Redwoods. You know, like, if she's really stressed she knows she's got to go on a hike. I love going to museums, and I think art is such a great way to think of things from different perspectives, because that's what art is. It's someone's perspective of a certain image or situation or whatever. And if I think, oh, if I were an artist, how would I, how would I paint this situation? And so there's all sorts of ways to get ourselves out of our normal way of thinking. Poetry, music, art, nature, all of those are ways to build multiple perspectives.

Marsha Clark  41:02  
I love that. I also want to come back to something you said about I know when I'm holding my breath. The first time that Fred Kaufman said, don't forget to breathe. What are you talking about? I mean, it's like, of course I'm breathing. I'm, you know, I want to stay alive. And yet, you know, after I let my cynicism or my sarcasm go, I go, well, let me just notice that. And it is amazing. It is amazing that those breaths allow us to move the blood and the oxygen throughout our entire system. So that embodied leadership. I make better decisions. I'm more thoughtful. I give myself a moment to get clear. Yeah, I mean, all of those things. And yet this idea of a breath.

LeeAnn Mallory  41:43  
Yeah. And we come factory loaded with it. (Exactly.) We come equipped with a breath that will change our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.

Marsha Clark  41:53  
Yeah, and I tell people, I say put a sticky note somewhere says "Don't Forget to Breathe". Yeah.  Well, and yet, we talk about it and they tell us. They come back, and they say it made all the difference in the world. And you know, for me, mine is not my breath so much holding it, I hold it in my legs, right? So you can tell me loosen those knees and bend those knees. And I'm, and I'm straight and stiff, and all those kinds of things. And then my legs hurt. I mean, it goes back to that.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  42:22  
Yes. Well, Marsha, I mean, this is why this episode is awesome. So excited to spend time with LeeAnn today and to hear and learn more about her approach to looking forward and beginning again.

Marsha Clark  42:36  
Yes. And I too, have loved this, LeeAnn, and you and I could go on for the rest of the day, many rabbit tracks and paths and so on. But, you know, what I want our listeners to really understand is that LeeAnn's process and your workbook and the guide really, and the questions and the being and you being with them, and that is really, it does create an entirely unique and powerful experience which is what we're all about, powerful, around the reflection, the planning, the practicing, and the becoming, which is who am I and you know, that. And it, I think she does a great job reframing some of the old notion of not just around New Year's resolutions but if it doesn't work out today, I can start over and do it again. I can begin again. So I love that, LeeAnn.

LeeAnn Mallory  43:23  
Thank you.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  43:25  
All right. So as we are wrapping up this episode with a couple of key takeaways, LeeAnn, what would you offer our listeners? What are the key takeaways from today's episode to you?

LeeAnn Mallory  43:37  
Well, that I think it's important to begin. You're gonna get it. Yeah. So I think looking into the future, but being gracious and gentle with yourself, having a plan but not holding too tightly. I mean, we don't have to, we don't have to have a tight fist around it. And let life show up. Be willing to change directions, because life will show up. You know, and we want to take advantage of things. And we want to, we want to take advantage of things. And also sometimes things show up in life that we (serendipitous) yeah, sometimes it's serendipitous and sometimes we have a family member that gets you know, it changes the trajectory of our year or our own health. It changes the trajectory of our year. But what I, what I know too, is that the same client that likes to hike in the Redwoods, she went through this whole workbook and you know, really, you know, put a lot of thought into it. And at the end of the summer, she said, you know what, I looked at my notebook again. I have not looked at it, this workbook, since I created it, and I have achieved every one of those goals, everything that I set out. So by being thorough, by being intentional, being thoughtful with this, you don't have to use it as like your GPS every day, you know, (That's a great analogy) but that you know, you set your direction and you put enough thought into it. And, you know, she was very satisfied that she hadn't really looked at it. But it was so ingrained it was such she was it was so grounding for her that she was doing all the things that she said she would do without thinking about it all the time.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  45:23  
Okay, so before we even move away from this, where can our listeners get a copy of this?

LeeAnn Mallory  45:23  
Okay. So we'll put a link in the show notes. But my website is So it's

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  45:43  
Okay. All right, and then we'll see it on the homepage, we'll see a place to download. Okay, perfect, perfect, perfect, perfect. I've gotten, I'm writing that down right now.

Marsha Clark  45:53  
She is. I will verify that.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  45:55  
I am! Okay, Marsha, again, I just have to say I'm so grateful always to get to meet women from your know, love and trust circle and learn from them. It's no wonder that you love what you do and you've had the benefit of being surrounded by such wisdom and support.

Marsha Clark  46:12  
Well, it is amazing. And you know, someone asked me one time do you ever, you know, forego people in your life? Right? So every client becomes my best friend. And I do collect people. And you know, as I said, you and I have known each other a very long time. And, you know, we might not see each other or talk to each other on a weekly basis or any kind of frequency. And yet when we do, it's an immediate connection. And, you know, the account that we started working on that we were talking about was fun. And we did hard work. And we did good work. I write about that as a Camelot experience, right. And really, you know, it's in the introduction of the book, and it is a special tribute to the people there because it was hard work. We worked really hard. And we did amazing things, both business wise and relationship wise. And that's a group that still stays together after all these years, too. And so you have seminal experiences with people and you know, you want them to be one of your tribe, your posse, your sisterhood, you know, whatever you want to call it. And you've been there for me forever and ever LeeAnn. And I love the work that we've done together. And I love the work that you're doing, your independent doing with all of your clients, and I can't recommend you highly enough for people who are on their journey in this place of beginning and or beginning again. And again. Because that's what life does provide for us. And so thank you very, very much for being here.

LeeAnn Mallory  47:48  
Thank you for the opportunity to talk about this that's so near and dear to my heart. I love you.

Marsha Clark  48:00  
I love you, too.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  47:55  
Well, LeeAnn, please remind everyone where they can reach out to you again, the website, maybe an email address if you have it, and learn more about your beginning again process.

LeeAnn Mallory  48:05  
Yeah. So do you want me to say the website again? That's rise-leaders. And you can find me at

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  48:21  
Perfect. All right. Well, listeners, you got the goods today. Thank you for joining us on our journey of authentic powerful leadership. Please continue to download, subscribe and share this podcast from wherever you like to listen. Please visit Marsha's website, for links to all the tools that we've talked about in the past. We didn't really specifically talk about anyone's today besides LeeAnn's, so please go and visit her website and find the Beginning Again workbook. And check out Marsha's book, of course, "Embracing Your Power".

Marsha Clark  49:00  
Yeah. What I want to also say is that, you know, on this podcast, we have had guests come be a part of our conversations, and the beginning parts of 2023 we're going to have a lot more guests, as we even as we're building that bridge and transition from Book One to Book Two. And so LeeAnn, you're one of the first for 2023 of our special guests. And I also think it's a way that we can amplify another's voice, right, and another's message. And so this idea of reinforcing and supporting each other in that way to me is a way that we can let all women's boats rise, and so this idea of there's lots of great people out there, there's lots of great work, there's lots of great tools, and I want to showcase and highlight those as a part of our podcast as well. So thank you again for being here. (Thank you.) And thank you, Wendi, for always guiding us through the labyrinth so we can have all of our learning experiences because we do hit, you know, the dead end walls and going wait a minute, I thought I was done. Oh, we're not done yet. So here is to the best of, I try to support women, support and live that women supporting women and I know each one of you do as well. And so here's to all of our listeners. Here's to women supporting women!

LeeAnn Mallory  50:19  
Thank you. Yes, abundance.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  50:21  
Abundance. Yes.

Resource Link:  

bottom of page