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Podcast Transcript

The Do Over Button

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. Marsha, Happy New Year! We should have brought hats and noisemakers. Nobody could see the hats but then again the noisemakers might be annoying.

Marsha Clark  0:30  
Yeah, so Happy New Year to you too, Wendi, and to our listeners. We did have some noisemakers when we had our 10,000 downloads back in September, but I didn't even think about bringing them today.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  0:42  
I know. We need a prop box. I love that and I'm creating a list right now. So anyway, speaking of right now, we're going to jump into today's episode with our special guest and shift our focus for the new year to something we're calling "The Do-Over Button". Marsha, will you introduce our guest and then let us know what we're going to talk about today.

Marsha Clark  1:02  
I'd be happy to do that. Our guest today is Chris Orzechowski, and she comes to us through the power of networking. And you know, I love "The Do-Over Button" title. When I think about when we make decisions that we don't like, they're usually because we've somehow violated or compromised our values. And that's when we want the do over. So that's what comes to my mind. And this is a bit about rethinking some things about ourselves. So I love that, Chris, and I can't wait to hear and let our listeners hear what we're about to talk about.

Chris Orzechowski  1:35  
Well, thank you so much and thank you for having me today. And ours was definitely a classic example of the power of networking. You know, it started in Denver when I had a friend who introduced me to a new friend, she in turn introduced me to a friend of hers here in Dallas, that friend introduced me to Marsha. We realized we had lots of friends and philosophies in common. And here we are today.

Marsha Clark  1:57  
Yeah I know. I love that. I love that. And again, I keep going back to the women supporting women. I mean, this is all a part of that big giant network of women who can help change the world.

Chris Orzechowski  2:07  
You are so right, you are so right. And never, ever let it be said that the impact of connection, well, we just we need to make sure that we don't minimize that and what it has on our life and our possibilities. We can never underestimate the effect of relationships in our lives, and the support they provide in getting us to where we are and where we're next supposed to be. They say there's six degrees of separation. I really believe it's more like two or three. We try to stand up in your authenticity and operate with the most integrity and respect for others possible and people don't forget how you make them feel. Maya Angelou said it best.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  2:42  
Yeah, we find ourselves quoting Maya Angelou on a regular basis on this show. So, Marsha, when you were introduced to Chris, what was it that intrigued you about her background and how she connects to our content and audience here on the podcast?

Marsha Clark  2:59  
Yes, well, actually, I think it's most impactful if I share a little bit of her bio, which we often do for our listeners when we have guests. And I think they'll see for themselves, those who have been listening to our podcast for a while, about how aligned Chris and I are professionally. And they'll also discover some of the additional areas of expertise that Chris brings. And those are the ones that I found especially intriguing and I thought our audience would, too. So if I may read some of the official bio: Chris is an ICF, which is the International Coaching Federation, accredited and certified executive and integral coach. And that may be a new term and we'll talk a little bit more about that. And as a former executive and seasoned leader with more than 30 years of experience, Chris has aligned herself with some of our nation's largest organizations, greatest causes, and newest startups ranging on efforts from international rebrands or rebranding to work in the marketing, healthcare, creative and animal welfare spaces. And Chris has a deep passion for helping others realize insights, achieve their goals, and lead with their light. (I love that phrase.) She works with successful people who want to play bigger roles play bigger in their lives and she has the honor of midwifing those possibilities, another feminine term, right. And as a founder of and company coaching, Chris practices executive and integral coaching and that's a comprehensive methodology addressing the whole person, and it draws upon the wisdom of the head, the heart and the body. And she works with those wanting to explore new opportunities to make strategic shifts in their world and in their development. And she helps them navigate transition and to realize and achieve new personal and career heights, working through the overwhelm that life brings to each of us, and to experience a better quality of life, and sometimes just to simply rediscover our joy. And so Chris assists her clients in preparing for the future they want, dismissing the future they don't (I'm thinking that might have something to do with the do-over button) and discerning between the two. And she has been a speaker and panelist on women's issues. She's trained in the Enneagram, was a provisional member of The Diamond Approach, (and I'll let her tell us about that) and is currently a faculty member of the Stagen Leadership Academy.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  2:59  
Goodness gracious, I mean, no wonder you both connected so well. So welcome, Chris.

Chris Orzechowski  5:34  
Thank you, Wendi and Marsha for the opportunity to join you in some really fun conversation today. What a great way to kick off the new year.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  5:48  
Absolutely. So Chris, what exactly do you mean by the do-over button?

Chris Orzechowski  5:54  
Well, if these past few years haven't taught us something big, we probably weren't really paying attention. Yeah, I've been hearing for so long that people don't want it. They don't feel like they have enough time, time for relationships, time to slow down, time to focus on what matters. These past years through the pandemic, it's as if someone, someone heard us, someone, someone bigger than us, and a big hand came down from above and hit this do over button. Time stood still, we had to make peace with being without others, and being with those that we may not have wanted to be with. And most importantly, with being by ourselves and being with ourselves for a long time. It was a time to reminisce, a time to reflect hopefully realize what's important, time to become present with our lives, and what they were and what they were not. If we chose to see it as such, these past years may have been the greatest gift that we could have ever have given ourselves, the gift of perspective.

Marsha Clark  6:56  
You know, Chris, I've heard so many of those same stories. And when I think about what those two years did for me, it opened up the time and space to write the book. I had gotten about, you know, 10-15% of it done but now I had the time to sit down and really put pen to paper so to speak. And that was a purposeful thing, for me a very purposeful thing and something I'd talked about and thought about for a very long time. And that was a part of my perspective that says, quite honestly, it's impacted me now that I want to spend more time writing because it was so cathartic and important to me. And I also want to say being being the flaming extrovert that I am, that I worried a lot about the lack of interaction. And you know, that big hand came down on that too. And I had more coaching clients than I'd ever had because people were alone and didn't know how to proceed or who they could talk to about things that had no clear answers. Or I even think about the no best practices, no best in class, no benchmarking, because we were going through things that had never been gone through, you know, similar things, but not this thing right now in my life. And I, you know, my clients have big responsibilities and people were counting on them and all of the things that go along with that. So it was an interesting dichotomy at the time for myself to write the book and yet also the time to connect with people who were in need.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  8:38  
Mm hmm. Yeah, for me, it was a lot of reading. So you were writing, I was reading a lot and a lot of different things like getting myself in a different place with regard to some feminist works, or some political things, but then also a lot of fiction. So, you know, everyone here on the podcast knows that I am an Agatha Christie nut so I was reading a lot of Agatha as well. So, but Chris, how is this Do-Over Button showing up in our lives now?

Chris Orzechowski  9:10  
Well, and thank you for those wonderful examples. You know, I think, to Marsha's point earlier, we didn't really have a map for what we experienced in these last years. And it's really been evidenced, I mean, you think about it the way that things have shown up in business and in our world. You know, we've talked about churn and change and the we've had the great resignation, the great return, the great breakup. Recently, there was an article, a wonderful article, from McKinsey and Company, 'Women in the Workplace Report 2022" talking about women leaders leaving in droves because they wanted something different, something better for their lives. You know, there was the quiet quitting where people weren't really talking but they were kind of just laying out and and we people became contractors. They went out on their own and they created hybrid jobs where they took their interests and did a mash up of sorts and created new titles. You know, people also now the shift has been, you know, for many years but I feel like it's doubled down in these last years, where people aren't staying as long in jobs, people are now wanting to know what the job is paying in other places and gaining a sense of there's more transparency in salary. I think that's a, I think it's actually a wonderful thing. It just tells us where we are so that we can spend our efforts elsewhere. This idea of, you know, many realizing that life is too short. It's just been very evident in business. And there was an interesting movement that started actually in China call it the Tang Ping. And that literally translates to lying down, started in 2020. And it was in direct opposition to this idea of overwork on it, people were just, they stopped having it. And if you think about it, if that effect has made it all the way to China with what's going on, to me that said something big about what we had going on and what we were doing here.

Marsha Clark  11:12  
I agree with that. And I want to let our listeners know, too. If you haven't subscribed to our newsletter, we actually have a link in there to 'The Great Breakup', the McKinsey report that you referenced, so that they can read that article. Back towards the end of 2022 is when that was in our newsletter when the report first came out. Because it is an interesting read that talks about the changes specific for women.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  11:39  
I think one of the reasons, Chris, that Marsha was so excited to bring you on the show is because of the deep reflection work that you do with clients. And Marsha, I'll let you chime in about the new year.

Marsha Clark  11:54  
Well, I just think about when it comes to depth, you know, even when people say how do you, you know, what clients do you say yes to or what prospects do you say yes to and I have two questions. Do you want to do deep work? And do you want to take some risks? Are you willing to do that? And if they say no to either of those, then I'm not your girl. I mean, it's really that simple. So the belief that we're not, you know, checkbox kinds of coaches or supporters or consultants or thought partners or whatever role we might be playing, I think there's got to be depth, and I think that people can see through when it's not there.

Chris Orzechowski  12:28  
Absolutely, absolutely. And I love this idea of aligning these questions with the new year as well, you know, especially for people who tend to use that new year as their own personal do over button catalyst. This is a huge opportunity. And I do want to add that I love using the questions any day of the year, but you know, just give yourself a little grace when doing so. I think some people may not want to give themselves this kind of extended grace. But you know, if you take in the first week or two, a little space, that it really helps to do some of this deeper drilling more meaningful work that can set the tone for the rest of the year or whatever period of time that you decide to do this in, and that these questions that Wendi just talked about, that they're really intended to provoke, to give you pause for reflection.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  13:17  
Yeah, I feel like people come off the holidays, and they have the Happy New Year party, and then they go into the new year with a hangover, whether that's a literal hangover or it's the sugar, you know, crash or it's the like, it's just, it's like, they just fly into the new year. And it's like, wait a minute, did I even reflect on anything? Did I prepare myself mentally?

Marsha Clark  13:41  
Well, and we talk a lot about intentionality, and this is about intentionality. And if we can use January 1st to change the batteries in our, you know, smoke alarm, why not January 1st to change the batteries in ourselves, and you know, think about, and that way, when I need that focus, when I need that clarity, when I need that energy it's available.

Chris Orzechowski  14:03  
You're so right. And, and it's funny, I'd like to add to that Wendi, that maybe there's an emotional hangover that we have after the first of the year.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  14:11  
Spot on. Spot on. Yeah, and it creates an opening, I feel like. So, Chris, I know you have a couple of reflection questions that you like to ask.

Chris Orzechowski  14:21  
I do, I do. And I want to preface these questions with the invitation to consider how this past year or maybe even two years has unfolded, when you have created an opening for us a chance for inquiry into what we hold most dear, should we choose to look at it. And so here's the first of one of those reflection questions that I have. Are you living the life you've come here to live? You know "What is mine to do?" really should be "Who am I to be?" What I do is a reflection of who I am and shows up in each and every little action.

Marsha Clark  14:59  
So what I love about this, you know, you said earlier, these questions are intended to provoke. And, again, many of our listeners know I love provocative questions. And these are big, these are not to be skimmed over, you know, write down the first thing that comes to your mind and move on to the next question, because the point is not to answer the question, the point is to answer the question, right? So this, are you living the life you've come here to live, we've also talked about the continuum of having a job, having a career, knowing your calling, and then living your purpose. And to me the living your purpose has a whole lot to do with the being first and then the doing. What am I truly passionate about and what am I truly gifted in being able to bring to the world? So this question brings up all of that for me.

Chris Orzechowski  15:51  
Absolutely, absolutely. And, you know, everyone else in our lives, it's interesting, they often have such a say so, a voice in what it is that they think, what it is, and who we should be, what it is that we should be doing, and who it is that we should be. We really become very addicted to that, unfortunately, and it can be uncomfortable once we get so addicted to that standing in our own truth, you know, we've been so conditioned otherwise. And rather than listening to all those other voices, you know, what we're hearing inside, we really need to I think, you know, kind of almost do a gut check. And I say that literally, figuratively. But rather than listening, you know, think about it from your head, from your heart and from your gut. What are those areas saying? So if you were to close your eyes for a moment, and just ask, what's coming up from each of those areas? What is my head saying? What is my heart saying? And what is my gut say? This, to me, again, a wonderful, reflective exercise that if you get quiet and allow yourself that space, it's amazing what you can learn. So the question then becomes, whose voices have you been listening to and for what reason?

Marsha Clark  17:03  
You know, and I want to say this because your very first statement around this question was, everyone else in our lives tries to have a say so, a voice in what and who we should be. Should again, we talk about 'should' is 'could' with shame on it. So if we're living a life conforming to what or who someone else thinks we should be, we're living a shameful life, right? Because it is never enough to conform, or please, everyone else. And so that's the importance of living and standing in our own truth.

Chris Orzechowski  17:45  
I love that. I love that. Thank you for sharing that with me. I hadn't heard that before. Yeah, Brene Brown says, "Let go of who you think you're supposed to be. Embrace who you are." Authenticity, authenticity. Sounds simple. But it's really proven not to be. It's very hard.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  18:01  
Yeah. So those first reflection questions are already pretty powerful, obviously. What's another question you like to use, Chris?

Chris Orzechowski  18:11  
At what point does something that appears to be a blessing become a limitation? (Oh, wow.) Sondheim said it best when he said when you cling to something, you suffer. This clinging is very similar to the Buddhist concept of impermanence and how important that is that we get used to that. And by being able to train ourselves, and it's not an easy thing, we get used to having this non attachment of things, of people, and we suffer less.

Marsha Clark  18:43  
You know, my son and I've had many conversations about this and he says, because I teach about setting and aligning expectations. And he goes, Mom expectations are a setup. And I thought about that. We would go back and forth about what why do you say that? Or why do you say that? Or why do you say that? And finally I came to this bit and this to me is also about who others think we quote unquote, "should be", idealized expectations are a setup. Because I can never meet that ideal self that either you expect of me or even that I expect of myself. I mean, I haven't had many of those Norman Rockwell thanksgiving dinners, right, where everybody's sitting around smiling and telling wonderful stories, you know about each other. And we're all dressed perfectly and know what worked for us. Yeah. I mean, it's just not that way. And  when I think about what we cling to, it's that, oftentimes, that idealized whatever of what we're supposed to be.

Chris Orzechowski  19:42  
And to your point, I'd even add unexpressed expectations. Yes, because we are so you know, if you love me, you really, you know what's in my heart, you know what I want, right. You know what I need. Right. And how many times have we gotten upset with people because we thought, gosh, they know me, and yet they don't know me. And you haven't, you haven't chosen to share.

Marsha Clark  20:06  
Well, and I'm going to quote a dear friend and colleague, Mia Mbroh. She's a trauma therapist, and she says what every human being wants is to be seen, heard and valued. And if I don't feel seen and if I don't feel heard and if I don't feel valued, somehow I'm going to be disappointed.

Chris Orzechowski  20:25  
Absolutely, yes, exactly. Exactly. And, you know, this whole idea of what it is that we're wanting and what it is that we're attached to, you know, another clarifying question that we could have around this topic is, what am I clinging to or attached to and what can I let go of? And have you come to a fork in the road? Are there aspects in your life or relationship that you need to let go of? Maybe toxic beliefs?

Marsha Clark  20:52  
I know in our Power of Self Program we talk about creating a network of people to support us through various you know, when we need to be challenged, when we need to be comforted when we are going through a crisis, whatever all those things are. And I it's amazing to me that women recognize that in some cases they don't have enough women in their support systems (Wendi, you remember those conversations when you were going through the Power of Self Program). And then others come back from the exercise and say, what I recognize is there are some toxic people in my life and I have more of them than I do the supportive people. Those are my critics, not my crisis people, my critics people, right, who are creating the challenge not supporting me through my challenges, and the idea of letting go and recognizing how, dare I say, how much easier life got or how much more pleasurable life got.

Chris Orzechowski  21:56  
Absolutely. Well, and think about it. This, all of this letting go is it circles back to this idea of control, right? And so it's often about our attempt to control things we cannot control. (Right) We can't, you know, we get into ruts and we feel stuck because actually, they're a great way for us not to be vulnerable, and grow. And it limits us, you know, and stuff really is about security, I believe.

Marsha Clark  22:22  
Well, I love the thought of that and I'd love to hear more how ruts are being stuck as a way to avoid being vulnerable and to restrict our growth. So say more about that.

Chris Orzechowski  22:33  
Well, we can be afraid to move forward because on some level, we're benefiting further from the way things are right now. Why would we let it go on this long if we weren't, right? A perception of safety, maybe. Maybe people did this after COVID, actually, and some are still there. Some are still pulling back. But there's a time to get back at it. And, you know, I think one of the other questions I might ask is, you know, is this the point at which would you like to pull the release lever on the superficial aspects of your life? And all I could offer at this point or suggest is to trust, really trust that you'll be guided, you'll be changed, you'll become blessed. And as a result, you become a blessing to others with this process.

Marsha Clark  23:23  
You know, I have two coaching questions when people are describing almost a "the world is doing me wrong" place. And then we talk about how their action or inaction may be contributing. You know, I have a phrase, we teach people how to treat us. For example, if you don't set boundaries and people keep asking, you know, again, one of my favorite quotes is "givers need to set boundaries because takers rarely do" and that kind of thing. And so two of my favorite questions to just add another dimension to the ones you're offering up to us is, based on this behavior, this process that you're going through, what are you getting? And what are you giving up by replaying the same scenario again, and again, and again, which I think is the rut part, right?

Chris Orzechowski  24:19  

Marsha Clark  24:20  
It's automatic, or it's predictable, or I don't have to think a whole lot about it, I just kind of default into it. And so I'm either getting something from that and maybe it's ease or predictability or the devil you know, you know, that whole thing better than the one you don't and, and so you want something different, but you're going to often have to do something different or be something different in order to get that what you want in the world that's aligning.

Chris Orzechowski  24:49  
Absolutely. And people can see, they can see the potential, I think, often the vision of what's possible. They're not quite always conditioned to understanding the change that has to occur. Because, as you said, something does have to shift, something has to be different for you to get different. (Yes) And I think that that's a sometimes a hard realization, especially in the beginning of some assignments when you're when you're coaching. You know, I think it's like, oh, I get all, I love the possibility, but as you said before, are you willing to go hard? Are you willing to go deep? Are you willing to be uncomfortable?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  25:26  
No, I was just going to say, so Marsha, remember how we talked about different power tools? Like about a year ago we talked about the power of quotes. I mean, we're really getting some great power quotes here today. So I just want to acknowledge that.

Marsha Clark  25:41  
Quotes and questions.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  25:42  
That's right. Yes. And powerful questions. Yes, absolutely.

Chris Orzechowski  25:46  
Well, and I actually have a few more (Good) including one of my favorites from Lao Tzu and that sets up another powerful reflection I'd like to offer up as part of this do-over contemplative practice. He said, "When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be."

Marsha Clark  26:04  
Um hmm. So Chris, we have a practice on the podcast and in the programs I do of repeating powerful quotes, poems, whatever it may be. We say the first time we hear it is for the head, and then the second time is for the heart. So I would love our listeners to hear that from you again.

Chris Orzechowski  26:21  
Sure. What a cool practice. "When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be."

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  26:29  
Yeah, that requires some bravery sometimes, too. (It does.)

Chris Orzechowski  26:33  
Yeah. Well, often, you know, we have to let go to come home. Galway Kinnell wrote, "Sometimes it's necessary to reteach a thing it's loveliness." And I'll say that once again, too, based on what you guys, your practice, which I love. "Sometimes it's necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness."

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  26:56  
Well, I'm guessing that most of our listeners are probably familiar with Lao Tzu, but who is Galway Kinnell?

Chris Orzechowski  27:02  
He is an American poet known for connecting the experiences of everyday life with much larger forces. This concept of reteaching ourselves about our own loveliness is always a chance to be honest with ourselves really, to ask if you are happy with your present. What about your past? How attached are you to those? We don't have to hold on to this narrative. This may be an opportunity to attach and detach to bigger opportunities or bigger stories in our lives. These past years are all for our benefit to teach us about what is enough, what's important, what we fear, and what we value. And I'm so excited to really explore this sense of enough on an upcoming podcast.

Marsha Clark  27:44  
We're glad you're going to come back and join us on that one, too. And I believe that we have scheduled, Wendi, in mid March, and we will be exploring this idea of enough. And I just want to say there are so many media messages that we're not enough. And we do lose sight of our loveliness. And this idea of, another concept we teach is about giving our power away. And to me when we let our narratives represent us in ways that aren't healthy, or aren't abundant, to me, that's a way of giving our power away to those narratives or those stories that maybe were a part of our past life, or maybe just that other's perception. And we take our power back when we stand in our own truth.

Chris Orzechowski  28:38  
So true. So true. And very well said. I could not underscore that better. And it's a great, again, reminder why we're so aligned in our philosophy. Yeah, this idea of enough, it's at the base of so much of our motivation and inspiration for choice in our lives and it has to be addressed. But for now, you know, we'll touch on it. But we will go deeper in that future podcast. And I'm, again, I'm really anxious to do that. I just think it's, especially for women, such an incredibly important topic. But in addition as we grow and evolve, so may our sense of values as it relates to this topic of you know, enoughness. You know, both personally and professionally, one of the best ways for us to take a deep look at what we value is to really consider who's on your personal board of directors, and you just kind of alluded to that in the example that you gave. I think it was, you know, spot on, you know, who was on your board of directors and why. This is a wonderful internal visioning exercise to do at any point in the year but especially at the beginning of the year, really to take advantage of and assess, you know, who's in the group? Do you need to maybe let some of them move on or term limit? Right, exactly. Term limits. And who might you be able to add to your list, into your panel. I'd like in terms of, I don't think we do any of this by ourselves, it's creating a bench, a bench of support, and I don't know. Who's on yours?

Marsha Clark  30:18  
When I think of mine, we often use the phrase, the people I know, love and trust. And I also think about, I read an article recently that having younger people in your circle of friends will help you live longer. So I'm all about that. I want to live a long time. And you know, when I think about the people I've grown up with, they play a certain role in my board of directors. I've still got my junior high/high school friends, and we get together once a year, and we have deep meaningful conversations. I've got people that I worked with at EDS who were enormous business people, and, you know, dear friends as well. And I just think about at different places in my life how different people have played different roles. And so it's like you want on your board of directors, right? I mean, you've got to have different expertise and different experiences and different talents and skills. And so, you know, my Power of Self women, the number of women that I've come in contact with over the last 23 years doing this work specific to women, I have a congress, not a board of directors, and you call on them, and they're there.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  31:29  
Yeah, yeah. So if I might deviate just a tiny bit, because I'm feeling this in my gut and it's telling me that there are listeners out there who are thinking this, how do you gracefully fire some of your board of directors?

Chris Orzechowski  31:48  
That's a great question. That's a great question.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  31:51  
Because I think a lot of women have the tendency to avoid those because they don't want to have a difficult conversation. So I don't want to take too much time. But if we could address that just for a little bit, because people move and they grow on and change, they get bigger, they change. And they feel the need at some point to hit the do-over button and reset who's on their board.

Marsha Clark  32:17  
Yeah, and I, I don't know that there's some big elaborate conversation or transaction in all of this. To me, it's a matter of sometimes I'm just going to say no when invited to that happy hour, that dinner, or that, you know. I also know, and there are some people that are in our lives that they're going to show up because their family, right, or, you know, or there's that aspect of it. But I also know that not every family member can be a positive, you know, supportive person. And, you know, having had so many coaching clients and hearing about so many different kinds of family, I think that's one that gets a little more difficult. It, but I limit the, you know, you can limit the amount of time that you spend with those family members. And I've even, you know, had clients who talked about and we can, and when I'm with family, we only talk about these things, and not those things, because it's a downer, and in many ways it is toxic. And so I think that there's boundaries that you set, and it can be time, it can be topic, it can be and there may come times when you have to say that's not a topic I'm willing to discuss with you, or it's not a conversation that I want to have. And, you know, I think, I think boundaries are the best thing you can do in that regard.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  33:44  
Right. Chris, any thoughts?

Chris Orzechowski  33:46  
I would completely agree with the time, all of what you said, but very much underscore the time that you're able to spend and the boundaries. I also, you know, part of when you're looking at what's not working, but part of where you want to move to in that shift. I also like to think in terms of if I'm hiring new, what am I looking for there. And I, from my standpoint, realize that I want to grow in more of a diverse mindset and understanding and so rather than to continue to have people always that are, and I love that it's the people, you want the people that you know you can trust with this but trying to and I sit in my own practice and try to understand what would it look like to bring in something that felt a little more uncomfortable, something that stretched me a little bit and pushed me to my edges from a diverse standpoint. And not only diverse in makeup but diverse in mindset, really, because I don't always learn the best when I'm, you know. If my people around me are constantly saying yeah, that's a great idea, yeah, that's a great idea and they don't challenge me that I don't have the opportunity to then push myself to grow. So I think I fully believe with all my heart what Marsha was just talking about. And I, in addition, might think in terms of, you know, maybe I start to limit some of my time with those that I feel like I want to kind of slowly start to sunset. It doesn't have to be a big deal. I mean, we've never given them a job description, right?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  35:24  
Exactly. They probably don't even know they're on our board.

Chris Orzechowski  35:27  
Exactly. It is a mental, but there's a mental bit of sometimes guilt and yes, you know, like, oh, I feel like I'm letting them down, or I'm not going to them. Maybe you can change how you do go to them. So you know, maybe it's like, well, maybe that's not the person for my board but maybe, boy, I need if I need to just go cut loose, have a glass of wine and just relax, that person always brightens my day.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  35:52  
Yeah. That's, that's an incredible way to think about it.

Marsha Clark  35:56  
It's a good deviation. That was a great question.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  35:58  
Yeah, that's so Chris, our listeners are absorbing some of these reflection questions and wondering how big their own personal do-over buttons might need to be as they look forward now into 2023. So are there any additional insights or considerations that you want to share?

Chris Orzechowski  36:15  
Yes, actually, I'd really love to leave them with three signs that you might need to make a change, very much dovetails off of what we just talked about. First, what is your intuition saying? In other words, what's your gut saying about what's going on right now in your world and in your life? And then two, have you investigated what's possible or out there? You have a desire for more knowledge or are you thirsty for growth, or even a second act? Or maybe even a third act? And number three, what more do you want to give? What impact are you wanting to make in this world?

Marsha Clark  36:55  
And I want to offer up on the what is your intuition saying. We actually had a podcast on that with LaRue Eppler. And if you're trying to recognize that it's your intuition and interpret what it might be saying, I encourage our listeners to go back and listen to that podcast. And you know, I think about the second act, third act, whatever, even the next chapter or season of life may offer you up something different. And because I've worked in one, because I've been a woman for so dang long, I, you know, I know the seasons of life, the, you know, young girl, young woman, young professional, young mother, young wife, you know, to mother in law, and you know, grandmother, all of that. I mean, those are different aspirational me's that I want to be and, again, I go back to the intentionality of it. And that's why I think this do-over button, or this do-next button even you know, is something that we can think about as it relates to those seasons and phases and chapters of life.

Chris Orzechowski  38:05  
Yeah, I love that. I love that.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  38:07  
Marsha, I'm so grateful for your network of powerful women who bring so much of their talents to the table and in these episodes. I mean, this is an incredible way to help our listeners set themselves up for a successful new year.

Marsha Clark  38:22  
Well, I too appreciate not only this topic, but Chris, you being here. And I do think about this, you know, it's not just the network of powerful women, it's their networks. I mean, it's an expansive kind of thing. And, you know, I often laugh because I say, I don't ever have to do research or have a research department because people send me articles and reports and studies and white papers, and all those kinds of things about women in the world. And so because they know that's where my passion lies. And so I also am trusting that with people bringing me people that are like minded and that are doing similar work and goodness knows there's enough work for all of us out there to do and that too, is an abundance mentality of who I want to be in both meeting other women and supporting other women.

Chris Orzechowski  39:12  
Yeah, thank you. And thank you. Thank you, Marsha, thank you for your incredible team and allowing me this time today to provide and you guys providing a supportive environment from which we all get to grow.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  39:24  
Absolutely, absolutely. Well Chris, we like to wrap up our episodes with a couple of key takeaways. So I'm going to share mine and then I'm going to turn it over to Marsha and I definitely want you to share yours. So mine is I think, especially for this new year, is to let go of some things that are no longer serving me so that I can make space for things, for possibility.

Marsha Clark  39:49  
Yeah, I love that. I just love the reflection questions themselves. And I know as we went through this, we were in conversational mode. So I want to call out the four reflecting questions. The first one is, are you living the life you've come here to live? The second, whose voices have you been listening to and for what reason? The third, at what point does something that appears to be a blessing become a limitation? And the last one, number four, what am I clinging to or attached to and what can I let go of? And so, I love those. I'm gonna, I'm gonna use those. I'm going to share those. And I'd love to hear your final thoughts, Chris.

Chris Orzechowski  40:37  
Well, I think you know, with all of this, sometimes it can, it can seem daunting, right? You're like, there's so much to consider. But what I would suggest is, you know, don't be afraid to ask directions or ask for help. We don't do this alone. Don't be afraid to get lost. Rather than seeing it as being stuck, maybe you can see it as the wisdom of being sidetracked.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  41:00  
Oh, I love that - the wisdom of being sidetracked. (I like that, too.)

Chris Orzechowski  41:04  
Sometimes you really do have to get lost to be found.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  41:08  
Oh, love that.

Marsha Clark  41:10  
And you know, the way I tie this in with so much of the work I do with women is that women learn in relationship and through each other's stories. And so asking directions, we're not in this alone, asking for help. Even if you do feel stuck saying I'm feeling stuck, help me get unstuck, or just listen to me and ask me probing and clarifying questions. You know, whatever that support can look like not trying to fix it for us, but trying to help me think through it on my own. And I think we as women can do that tremendously for one another.

Chris Orzechowski  41:41  

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  41:42  
Yep. Well, Chris, thank you again, so much. And as a reminder to our listeners, you can find out more about Chris and her executive and integral coaching services at her website, which is and now I'm going to spell it So Chris, thank you again, so much for being here today.

Chris Orzechowski  42:14  
Thank you both.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  42:14  
And thank you, listeners, for joining us on our journey of authentic, powerful leadership. Please continue to download, subscribe and share this podcast from wherever you're preferring to listen. Visit Marsha's website at for links to some of the tools that we kind of touched on today, resources, subscribe to Marsha's email list. And definitely check out her book, "Embracing Your Power", and get ready for book number two that's going to be hitting the shelves soon.

Marsha Clark  42:46  
All right. So again, let me offer my thanks, Chris, for being here and Wendi, you always are a great guide as we navigate our way through these topics. You know, I think about in 2023, we're going to have a lot of guests that are bringing us their own powerful work. And I hope our listeners will avail themselves of these resources in ways that can serve them and help them to be their best, most powerful, most authentic selves. And so we've got speakers from a wide variety of places in the nonprofit world, the local government world coming up, the education world as well as the business world. And I love that we can can bring this to our listeners to expand and broaden their perspectives, which I think is so important to leadership in both a depth and a breadth kind of way. So I see you as helping us to get started on that journey in 2023 and listeners, as always, let us know if you've got thoughts, questions, comments. We'd love to hear from you. And as we get started on this new year, Happy New Year, Happy Great Year, Happy Purposeful Year. And as always, "Here's to women supporting women!"

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