top of page
Podcast Transcript

The Bigger Yes

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  0:10  
Welcome to "Your Authentic Path to Powerful Leadership" with Marsha Clark. Join us on this journey where we uncover what it takes to be a powerful woman leader. Now, Marsha. "The Bigger Yes". First of all, I love the word 'yes' because it just, you know, implies all the things. This is one of those episodes that I think I'm gonna want to listen to a few times to really let it all sink in.

Marsha Clark  0:36  
Yeah, I'm right there with you Wendi. It's a powerful booster shot to help me get what I would describe as laser focused on my 'why', or as we're referring to it here, as my Bigger Yes.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  0:49  
Yeah, I love when we do these deep dives on juicy topics. And I love the idea of having a why. I'm a big proponent of personally having a why, a business having a why, all of it.

Marsha Clark  1:02  
Me too. And it makes me think it's probably a good thing for us to give our listeners a warning that they may want to be ready to either listen to this a couple of times, or wait and listen when they can take some notes and be as reflective as possible.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:15  
Okay, so if you're on a treadmill right now know that you're gonna have to listen to this again.

Marsha Clark  1:20  
Or even in the car. Can't take notes when you're driving.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:23  
Exactly. So the phrase, "The Bigger Yes", where did that originate, or at least where did you first learn about it?

Marsha Clark  1:31  
Yes, so my first real connection to the phrase came from a dear friend of mine, Dottie Gandy. And at least that's who I remember saying it to me first, that really had deeper meaning. I was caught by the power and yet the simplicity of the idea that it's easier to say 'no' (this is her way of saying it), it's easier to say no when there is a bigger yes burning inside. I mean, isn't that powerful? So in hindsight, it makes sense that I would hear that from Dottie because she had actually worked with the Stephen Covey Organization. And for our listeners, they may recognize the Stephen Covey name. He was the author of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People", which was a must have leadership development book that was first published back in 1989.

Oh I remember that book. In fact, I still have my copy from the 90's. I really do, with yellow highlights in all of it.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  2:19  
Dale Carnegie, Zig Ziglar and Stephen Covey.

There's the trio.

Marsha Clark  2:25  
Right, there you go. So, Dottie worked with the Covey Group for many years, and so she had provided this, even as we were co-writing our book "Choose". And it was providing strong reinforcement to many of the principles that Covey talked about, including this idea of a bigger yes. And just for our listeners who may not have this book in their library, here's a quote that gives it some context. "You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage, pleasantly, smilingly, unapologetically, to say no to other things. And the way that you do that is by having a bigger yes burning inside."

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  3:06  
I feel like we say this almost every week, but do we have an entire episode... we do have an entire episode planned on saying no, don't we?

Marsha Clark  3:14  
Yes, of course we do. And that one is called "No" is a Complete Sentence. So I think it's scheduled to drop in late August.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  3:22  
Ah, perfect. Okay, so back to the Covey quote, the way you say no to other things is by having a bigger yes burning inside. But it's not just a bigger yes. I mean, it's a bigger "burning" yes. I mean, I love that. That's a pretty compelling challenge for some people, I think. I mean, how do we go about figuring out our bigger burning yeses?

Marsha Clark  3:45  
Yeah, I think we're incredibly fortunate today, and quite honestly, much more fortunate than we were back in '89 when Covey first published The Seven Habits book. We're fortunate that we have access to hundreds of resources to help us get clear about our bigger burning yeses, you know from TED talks, to workshops, to organizational cultures that even facilitate and nurture people's development of their burning yes. The environment is much more conducive to that question and the exploration that comes with it. What I want to share with our listeners today are a few of my favorite resources to help get some clarity around The Bigger Yes, and it's something that we've covered in our programs and it's in the book "Embracing Your Power" and in our coaching. But I'd like to go back to the source material for this one for a couple of minutes and explore a couple of ideas from the father of 'begin with the end in mind" which is 'Habit Number Two' of those habits from Stephen R. Covey himself.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  4:44  
Yeah, begin with the end in mind. I mean, I so remember that lesson number two and that it was one of the seven habits. But how does that tie in with the bigger yes?

Marsha Clark  4:57  
So it's probably easiest if I share a little bit of his explanation from the chapter in his book and I'm paraphrasing a bit here. But Covey says that to begin with the end in mind is to begin today with the image picture or paradigm of the end goal. And he actually goes so far in the chapter that you have to imagine your own funeral, not something that we would... at the end of your life so that as you look back, was your life everything you wanted it to be? And he says to use that question, that frame as the criterion by which everyone else is examined, or everything else rather is examined. And each part of your life, today's behavior, tomorrow's behavior, next week's behavior, next month's behavior can be examined in the context of the whole, really focusing on what really matters most to you.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  5:53  
Yeah, that's a lot to unpack there already. So begin with the end in mind. Considering basically what I want my life to stand for as I look back over it becomes the compass or the framework for all my decisions, right?

Marsha Clark  6:08  
That's, that's pretty much it in the nutshell.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  6:10  
Yeah, that's rather intense. But you know, okay, let's keep going.

Marsha Clark  6:14  
Yeah. You know, it was intense 30 plus years ago. It was a powerful call to action that not many people were ready to accept or follow, at least not what might be referred to as the desperate masses.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  6:27  
Oh my, we're quoting Thoreau now. I remember Thoreau very well.

Marsha Clark  6:34  
Henry David. Yes. So you know, I guess it is, you know, a bit of Thoreau. So, at least a loose reference to the famous quote about men or people leading quiet lives of desperation, something to that effect.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  6:47  
Yes, I definitely need to look that back up and have a flashback to my college days.

Marsha Clark  6:52  
All right, we can we can use it later on. So while you're looking that up let me offer up a little more context from Covey. So one of the additional things he said that I think really helps with the idea of the bigger yes, is that to begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. And I will remind you that one of the foundational elements of my work is clarity, courage, and timing. And the tie of clarity in this context fits nicely. It means to know where you're going so that you better understand not only where you're going, but where you are now so that the steps you take are always moving you in the right direction towards that end state. And he added that you can make certain that whatever you do on any particular day does not violate the criteria that you've defined as supremely important. And that each day of your life contributes in a meaningful way to the vision you have of your life as a whole.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  7:56  
Okay, I'm going to be real honest. This feels quite overwhelming. I mean, I have goals and ideas of, you know, how I want my life to look and what I want my business to look like. And I've worked on creating a vision for myself and my company. But this idea of having such a powerful and compelling vision or image and this end in mind that it drives my behavior every day, that feels like a lot, like that feels like a big commitment.

Marsha Clark  8:27  
Well, and Wendi, I will tell you the older you get the more important this becomes. Let me just offer that.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  8:32  
That's true.

Marsha Clark  8:33  
I think when I was in my 20's, I didn't think much about this, my 30's and so on. And remember our episode on a job, a career, a calling, purpose. I mean, see how that can run a parallel here?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  8:46  

Marsha Clark  8:48  
So I want to acknowledge it is intense, it is intention. And don't forget your values, because those get thrown in there as well. (Right.) And yet so freeing in many ways. This is where the idea of the bigger yes makes it so much easier to say no to the things that aren't aligned with that yes, with that end goal, with that destination. And I want to offer one more section from Covey's chapter for a final bit of context that I think our listeners can can still relate to today. Covey says it's incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the busyness, B, U, S, Y, N, E, S, S of life, to work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of success, only to discover that it's leaning against the wrong wall. I mean, think about the great resignation, (right) all the things we're in the throes of now. People often find themselves achieving victories that are empty, successes that have come at the expense of things they suddenly realize we're far more valuable to them, and how different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most. And I'm guessing that this is one of those moments when people just heard their own story in the words of a book that's almost 30 years old.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  10:15  
Exactly. Yeah, exactly. I mean, it's it's so relevant today with people. The pandemic forced us to wake up and recognize what we were doing, what a normal day looks like, and then having all of that stripped away from us, and then having to sit with ourselves so much, I mean and with our families which was great if you've got a fantastic, great family dynamic going on. But that idea of sitting with ourselves, and that would lend itself to exactly what we're talking about here, helping to figure out what the bigger yes is so that you can then say no, which is what we're seeing right now in the great resignation.

Marsha Clark  11:01  
That's right. And, you know might I say, they're calling it the great resignation because it's 60 to 70% of the workforce. It's not a minimal number. (Yeah.) So I have to say that as I reread all of this in preparation for today's episode, I was floored a bit by how prescient it was in light of today's workplace situation. And I don't think Covey could predict pandemic or the lockdown or anything else that's going on in the world today. But the calibration that's happening all over the world is I think a reflection of the phenomena of people reevaluating their empty victories or their quiet lives of desperation and discovering their ladders of success may need to lean on a different wall, or we're coming at too great a cost.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  11:47  
Yeah. Just because we've mentioned this twice, I'm going to read the Thoreau quote, Henry David Thoreau from "Civil Disobedience and Other Essays". He says: "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things."

Marsha Clark  12:36  
I mean, get that. So the first sentence, "The mass of men lead quiet lives of desperation", first sentence. Last sentence, "But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things."

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  12:47  
not to do desperate things. Wow. Wow.

Marsha Clark  12:50  
I think it's safe to suggest that Covey's wisdom to begin with the end in mind and to use that vision as your daily guide would help, you know, to prevent us from doing desperate things or disparate things for that matter.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  13:02  
Exactly. Disperate is in a completely different, I mean, that's a great play on words.

Marsha Clark  13:10  

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  13:11  
When we're disperate and desperate.

Right. When we're clear about our end goal, we have that clear vision for what we want to do or be. And it's easier for us to weed out the disparate to do's from our daily activities. (Exactly.) You know, one of the things I often say to my coaching clients is it's easier to help you when you know where you're going. Because if you're just in Wonderland, just wandering around going, well that might work or that... and there's some value in doing that for a period of time. But then at some point, you've got to get clear and say I'm heading in this direction. And that's how you can look for resources and help.

And I'd love to also kind of layer in, I'm just going to kind of drop this in the corner and we can maybe look at it later. But it's wrapping up this idea of Fear Of Missing Out - FOMO. So yes, we can sit here and tell ourselves that it's easier to say no when there's a bigger yes burning inside. And I also want to challenge that quote up against this idea of FOMO. And to stay true to your bigger burning yes when those opportunities come at you because they really are just glittering, sparkling things that are distracting objects.

Marsha Clark  14:27  
Yes, yes, yes, yes. So, you know, I agree with that. And I also think that because we're being exposed to so many more things, this fear of missing out is like, oh my gosh, and yet, I also think that you've got to have a lot of experiences and a lot of exposure to different things in order to figure out what you really do want, right? And remember, our brains aren't fully formed. And you know, the last thing to develop is our frontal cortex. And that's where discretion and judgments and filters and decision making happens. And so we don't know what we want until we're older.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  15:00  
Yes, older than 25. So what tips do you have to help someone create their compelling burning yes? I mean, I'm assuming if it was easy, we'd all have it down by the time we got out of high school.

Marsha Clark  15:13  
So I'll suggest a couple of specific exercises to give everyone like a jumpstart, if you will, on the process of discovering that bigger yes. And I'm also going to recommend that our listeners use this really as a beginning point to start their own deeper explanation. So the first thing I want to suggest is, and it may feel a bit like a time work, but you know, go back and read Covey's Seven Habits. I mean, that's something that you can pick up easily and for some of the listeners, it may be the first time. And I'm going to say that even if you read the book before, it's worth re-reading because if you realize that your ladder has been up against the wrong wall, or you feel like you've been accumulating empty victories, it's a good way to get our heads kind of wrapped around that.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  15:53  
Yep. Great point.

Marsha Clark  15:55  
Yeah. And for a more contemporary author, I also like Simon Sinek's work around "Find Your Why" that is, you know, the whole word. Find your why, why are you here? Why are we doing it this way? Why are you doing that? In a workbook dedicated to his process for helping others find that why, here's what he writes: "Fulfillment is a right and not a privilege". I mean, just get that. Boldface, underline, italic, right? Every single one of us is entitled to feel fulfilled by the work we do, to wake up feeling inspired to go to work, to feel safe when we're there and to return home with the sense that we contributed to something larger than ourselves. So not only did discovering my why renew my passion, it gave me a filter to make better decisions. It offered me a new lens through which I would see the world differently. So this is Simon Sinek's book "Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team".

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  16:59  
Mm hmm. Yes, I love his TED talk. I mean, that whole book started with one TED talk on the concentric circles. It's like three levels of why, how, and what I believe are the circles. Um, I just love him as an author and his "Find Your Why" is in my top five favorite books. Yeah.

Marsha Clark  17:22  
Yeah and he is, I would say, one of the contemporary Stephen Covey's.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  17:25  
Yeah, Yes, completely. The content is completely aligned.

Marsha Clark  17:30  
And that's the deal. You know, it just keeps coming back to us, so when things keep coming back to us, we need to pay attention. And one other author that I think has done a really nice job guiding people through the process of getting clear on your why is author Dr. Maggie Warrell, and it's spelled w a r r e l l for our listeners out there. And she offered four key questions to help with exploration in an article that she wrote for Forbes magazine. And I think it's still very relevant. And here are the four questions. So here's the first one: "What makes you come alive?" I mean, that's a big question. Let's talk about that. So from the article 'what makes you come alive' isn't referring to taking your dream holiday or watching your favorite football team play football. And that's unless your culture career is a football coach or commentator. My, if I came back to life, that...

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  18:27  
that would be Marsha. Marsha would be the Dallas Cowboys' head coach and commentator.

Marsha Clark  18:32  
It's bigger than that. And I'm talking about a why that moves you up the food chain from being about you to being about something bigger than you, bigger than yourself. It's about connecting with what you're passionate about, knowing that when you focus your attention on endeavors that put a fire in your belly, and that you grow your impact and influence on ways that nothing else can. So as you think about that question, what makes you come alive. (Right, right.) And then the second question is: "What are your innate strengths?" So here, Dr. Warrell refers to Sir Ken Robinson in his book, "The Element". And he explains that our element is the point at which natural talent and skill meets personal passion. When people are in their element, they're not only more productive, but they add more value and enjoy more personal and professional fulfillment. And accordingly, it's also often where they also tend to make the most money.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  19:34  
I believe that. I believe that.

Marsha Clark  19:37  
And then her third question is: "Where do you add the greatest value?" And not to overstate the obvious, but she reminds us that doing work that you're good at but which you loathe is not a path to fulfillment.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  19:52  
No, but so many people are doing it every single day.

Marsha Clark  19:55  
That's right. So Dr. Warrell reinforces a message that we've shared for the 20 plus years that we've been running the Power of Self Program and that's woven throughout my book "Embracing Your Power". And I like that she reminds people that, and again, a quote, "Too often we undervalue our strengths, skills and the expertise we naturally acquire over time." This is such a thing for us in the work we do with women, this chronic undervaluing of our contributions and our value. You know. You've been a part of those conversations, Wendi. It's a lot harder to hold fast to your bigger burning yes when you don't see yourself and what you want as important enough to stand up for it.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  20:39  
When I saw this article you're referencing, one thing that really stood out for me was when she said, quote: "If you reframe the concept of adding value through the lens of solving problems, you can ask yourself what you're well placed and equipped to help solve in your workplace, your career, your organization or your industry. And then you can also ask yourself, what problems you really enjoy solving and what problems you feel passionate about trying to solve."

Well, so I mean, even again, I'm gonna go back to job, career, calling and purpose. I'm good at, my strengths are leadership development, being a good leader and developing other leaders. My passion is around helping women be that authentic, powerful leadership self.

Right, right. So the other thing she said, that you've been saying for years, and it's really made a huge difference in how I've reframed my own focus from from focusing on gaps, or trying to fix myself was, you'll then be more successful on focusing on your natural strengths and those things you're innately good at rather than trying to bolster or eliminate your weaknesses. And before you say the next thing, I just want to say something as a 50 something woman now I am done trying to fix my problems, or my challenges, or my gaps, or my whatever. Like I'm just over it. I'm done with it. Yeah. I'm giving everyone who's listening permission to do the same thing!

Marsha Clark  22:12  
Right. I mean, it is a recurring message, though, to compare ourselves or to only focus on what we can't do versus on what we can. It's just a recipe for always feeling bad about yourself. Right. So and I also want to add that her last question, you know, reminds me so much of Dr. Meg Wheatley's work on you know, the DVD that we share the Eight Fearless Questions, and, you know, we're going to cover that in a future podcast because I think it's so powerful. So Dr. Warrell's last question is: "How will you measure your life?" I mean, how big of a question is that? Yeah, you know, and her message here is another theme we've used throughout our programs, and it's about taking a stand for something. She presents it as deciding how you want to measure life means making a stand for something, and then living your life in alignment with it. (Right.) I want to live in a world that values women and girls. I mean, and ultimately, living with purpose means focusing on things that matter most. And ironically, the things that matter most are rarely things.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  23:21  
So true. So true. And it's it's wonderful how aligned her questions are with the work that you've been doing for all these years. I mean, it must feel validating to you after all this time knowing that when you started, you were kind of out there on a limb in some ways. I mean, not alone, but you had your little team, sticky notes in your living room.

Marsha Clark  23:45  
Well, you're right. I mean, there weren't a lot of women out there saying how do we help women become authentic leaders? We want women to just you know, wear shoulder pads, have helmet hair, yeah and all of the other things that go along with that. And  leadership was leadership was leadership, right? There were no differences between the genders and yet now we are very clear in that there are and I want to help women figure that out.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  24:12  
Yes. So all of this brings us back to your book, "Embracing Your Power". You provide some very specific steps for helping your readers get clarity on their bigger yes by creating a compelling vision. And I know that we've touched on that chapter before in one of our earlier episodes. But do you mind offering a little bit more detail from that activity and kind of guide our listeners through some of the most important elements of creating that compelling vision?

Marsha Clark  24:42  
Yes, I'll be happy to do that. So let me set the stage for all of the elements we include in that chapter of the book to help the readers pull together this personal vision. And just as an aside, I want to say most of us have done visions for our teams or companies or departments or business units, whatever. But it is without fail, when I asked the women coming through my programs, how many of you have developed a personal vision for yourself that encompasses both the personal and professional side, 80 to 90% of the women in the room have never even thought about it. And so the importance of us creating that personal vision allows me to know what destination I'm trying to reach. So some of the elements that we've already covered in other episodes include quite a bit about getting clear on your personal and professional values, number one, input. A recent episode that we did on taking risk, how big are you willing to think? How bold Are you willing to be? And I also explain in that chapter that it's important that you have clarity around your strengths. So whether it's strengths finders, whether it's just feedback that you've, you know, gotten along the way, and letting that in and really owning that, just as Dr. Warrell explained. And for you to have a compelling yes, it needs to be realistic enough for you to see movement and progress toward it on a regular basis. So am I getting closer ever closer to my destination, and setting yourself up for failure with an unrealistic vision based on someone else's definition of who you are, what you're good at or not, and a bunch of should do's or shouldn't do's is a certain recipe for a life of quiet desperation.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  26:27  
Yes, the shoulding on yourself.

Marsha Clark  26:28  
That's right. Don't should on yourself or others, right? Don't be, don't be one that's, you know, the perpetrator.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  26:38  

Marsha Clark  26:40  
So focusing on strengths and getting really clear on your non-strengths, as we often refer to them is an important aspect of the self awareness and self management that's going to support your success. And we do use StrengthsFinder as one of those assessments to help us and a lot of organizations are familiar with, and many of our listeners I'm sure have that. They may or may not be able to find it, but you know, you can always go out and take it again because they're not innate or static. And we supplement that with a cadre of other awareness tools on a whole variety of topics.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  27:13  
So what are some of your other favorite self assessments besides StrengthsFinder?

Marsha Clark  27:18  
Yeah, so So if I'm working within a client organization, they often have already some kind of personality or social styles assessment. And, you know, we'll usually usually use that as a baseline. But when I think about StrengthsFinder to identify our top five strengths, BrainStyles by Dr. Marlane Miller is another go to for us and and that's around decision making. And then the Thomas-Killmann Instrument, or TKI, we look at for our default behaviors around conflict. We also often use the FIRO-B, which stands for (this is going to be long) Fundamental Interpersonal Relationship Orientation, dash Behavior. And what that really measures are our needs around inclusion, control and affection as it's often called. But it also, when it moved into the business world, the word affection was changed to openness about how public or private we like to be. And if I'm working with a group that doesn't already have a preferred social styles assessment, I use and would recommend Lumina, the company Lumina Learning Spark Tool.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  28:28  
Okay. Okay, lots of great recommendations. And I'm so glad you went through how each of those assessments are different and what they're measuring for. So you're understanding your strengths, as well as what your needs are, like, I love the measuring your needs around inclusion, control, openness. So once you've understood your needs and your strengths as a part of getting to the bigger yes, what else should our listeners do?

Well, I want to go back to the assessments (okay, yes) because I want to tell you what we do for our program participants. We give them of a single document, we take the summary of all the assessments we do in a program, and we put them all in one place.

Yes, I have mine.

Because over the 9 or 10 months, right, you're going to do these at different times. And what I encourage our leaders to do, and our listeners can do this too, get them all together and find a time and space where you can read them from beginning to end with no interruption. And then sleep on it. Then go back and read them all again and highlight those things that no matter what you're measuring, there it is again. Ding, there it is again.

Okay, I have homework now, right?

Marsha Clark  29:45  
Yeah. So this is if you want to know who you are at your very core, no matter what you're measuring, this shows up. So now that is a deeper self awareness that I can have, versus just reviewing any one of those assessments. (Okay. Okay). Alright. So now let's talk then about, you know, other, the next piece as I began to write my vision, and again, this is from the book. So a personal vision is motivated by your own desire without obligation or perceived need to achieve it. Because if I just dream big, but I think, Oh, I could never, that can never happen, I start putting again, all the cant's on it. So don't don't even think you have to get there. Just know that's the vision, right? The mind, the destination, it stands on its own. And it's not a reaction to other circumstances. And to me this is that don't compare yourself with anybody else. This is not a competition, you know, you don't have to look at the marketplace and what's going on. This is just you want it because you want it. It answers the question, What results do I want to create, and it focuses on results, not how to achieve those results. So again, we don't get bogged down by that. Okay. It's affirmative, descriptive and specific. So I encourage our program participants, my coaching clients, use a lot of adjectives, right? So and be as descriptive, if you see it in your mind's eye write down what you're seeing in that way. It's situated in the future, yet you can see yourself in it right now. So when you bring up that image in your head, put yourself in that picture, put yourself in that story. It reflects your thinking when the sky is the limit, and it isn't constrained by what appears to be possible or doable, again, that self limiting beliefs or talk, and it arises from the moods of curiosity, passion, wonder and aspiration. We used a phrase back in my EDS days about trying to bring back to people the wide eyed wonder of the child. I mean, think about your five year old self. I mean, the world is everything right? I can be anything I want to be. And that's kind of the way I want the women in the programs and our listeners to think about.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  32:05  
Yeah, I love that. I love that. And, you know, another thing that I'd like to add just very quickly is as you're, as you're envisioning yourself in these scenarios, to not look at yourself as if you're a spectator in the audience, to put yourself on the stage, to be inside of yourself, not looking at yourself, and it forces you to then take ownership of that reality. So anyway. For those who have the book, the questions with some other prompts start on page 97. There's another shameless plug.

Marsha Clark  32:46  
Yes, thank you for that, Wendi, always. And I want to add a couple of other things that we have in the book. In your personal vision, strip away those limits and allow yourself to think wide and think big. And as you think about the questions, daring to be your most powerful self, I want to remind our listeners of the Marianne Williamson prayer, that includes the following lines: "Your playing small, does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  33:45  
Oh, wow. So powerful. So powerful. (It is.) I feel like we've done a little bit of time travel in this episode from 1989 with Stephen Covey, through the decades of your work, Marsha, now forward again into your work being published, Simon Sinek, Dr. Warrell and now obviously "Embracing Your Power". So we've covered a lot of ground here today in getting to our bigger burning yes. What do you want to make sure our listeners take away from today?

Marsha Clark  34:17  
Well, I actually want to begin with the beginning in mind, or the end in mind, and repeat Stephen Covey's quote that inspired this episode really to begin with. "You have to decide what your highest priorities are, and have the courage, pleasantly, smilingly, unapologetically to say no to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger yes burning inside". So from the very beginning of our Power of Self Program to today with a book series and the podcasts, we've been committed to helping women discover and rediscover themselves by developing their authentic leadership's strengths and styles and being very clear that it isn't about conforming to someone else's definition of leadership or success. It's all about you and what you want and not in a selfish or self serving way. Rather, the goal is to put yourself back on your own to do list while replenishing yourself so that you can be more resourceful. And women do so many things for everyone else that we often forget to take care of ourselves. And we can do things for others, many wonderful and giving things, while also putting our visions, our goals, our needs in the forefront of our imagination and focus. And isn't that a refreshing thought?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  35:38  
Oh, absolutely. It is. What a great reminder. Thank you, Marsha, for today, today's episode.

Marsha Clark  35:47  
Well, it's a reminder for me too. You know, I said when I first started the Power of Self Program, I developed it for me. Y'all just get to come along. This is the learning I need to do, right? And, you know, we teach what we need to learn. So it's been helpful for me as well. So thank you, Wendi.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  36:00  
Absolutely. Well, listeners, you got a great episode today, finding your bigger, burning yes. Thank you for joining us on this journey of authentic powerful leadership. Please download, subscribe and share this podcast with your friends wherever and listen wherever you'd like to listen. And please visit Marsha's website at for links to the tools, the resources we talked about today, to get her book, and subscribe to her email list so that you can stay up to date on everything in Marsha's world.

Marsha Clark  36:35  
Well, thank you very much, Wendi. And I hope that our listeners got some good nuggets from today's episode, and that they'll join us again and let us know what they're thinking and what questions they might have and how we can support them. So as always, here's to women supporting women!

bottom of page