Answering Three Simple Questions

As a coach, I give advice. I ask questions. I try and push people outside their comfort zones to make progress. Most of the time, I am doing the same type of work myself. On my own or with my coach/mentors.

One of the things I have been working on this last year is taking more risks and getting outside what I find comforting. I know this allows me to grow and develop as a coach, leader and woman.

This past fall a friend reached out to me and asked if I would like to join her and two other friends on a zip-lining course. My first reaction was ‘Oh No Way!

Being extremely afraid of heights there was no way I would step foot on a zip-line course.  I actually have a panic attack going on bridges I have never been on-it makes my passengers either afraid or they laugh at me!

Remembering my goal is to step outside my comfort zone, I told her I would think about it. Which I did. For a week. I went back and forth on doing it or not doing it. Then I got real with the questions I typically ask my clients when they are faced with a tough situation.


“What’s the worst that could happen?”–  I could fall to my death.

“What’s the best thing that could happen?”– I become obsessed with zip-lining and spend all my free time on a course.

“What’s likely to happen?” – I will have a great time with my friends, make some wonderful memories and maybe want to do it again.

Ultimately, I made the choice to go with my friends. I wanted to make memories with them and wanted to prove to myself I could do this.

I almost backed out when I saw it was 14 courses, not just one. I went anyway. I had to keep reminding myself that I could do it. Face my fears and that the worst would not come true.

And what a day it was! A fun adventure, albeit a bit scary at first (I may have shed a tear just watching the video in the lobby of what we would be doing), but we had a blast. I even volunteered to go first towards the end of the day.

Here is proof I did it! Zip-lining through the forest on a cold October day in MN. What a day to remember. I pushed through my fears and accomplished something I never thought I would.


When you’re faced with a challenge or situation where you’re not sure what to do, try asking those three simple questions and see if they help.

To your growth, development and amazing potential, 

Lisa Hayes
Leadership Coach and Facilitator


The Little Voice on Your Shoulder

Happy New Year! I can’t believe we are into another year. Seems like yesterday I was looking at excitement into 2017 and now its come and gone. What a year it has been. There are have been excitements. Challenges. New adventures. Stresses. Travel. New opportunities. New connections. Its been a whirlwind and I am excited to see what this year will hold!

I ended 2017 meeting with a client, who has made a great impact on me over the last year. He and I have been on a journey together and its been a fun ride. During the end of our engagement, I gave him an assignment. It was to put the initials W.W.L.D somewhere in his office. He looked at me funny and I said it stands for What Would Lisa Do! I said he could also chose W.W.L.S (what would Lisa say) if he wanted. My hope was to help him remember the things we worked on during our engagement. I wanted to leave a piece of my coaching with him when I was gone, as reminder.    kelly-sikkema-382044

He is not the first, nor will he be the last, client I share this technique with. I am often telling clients to think about what I may say in a situation or where I would guide them when problem solving. These techniques are meant to have them working on their goals even when I am not there. This way, they can implement the strategies and techniques we practice.

There are times where we need the advice of people in our lives, even when they aren’t there.

I am no exception. There are always little voices on my shoulder guiding me and helping me reach my goals. Whose voice that is depends on what I am trying to conquer.

Recently, I have been trying to work on my own development and I have a group of women in my life that have been critical in my journey.  Some day’s when I find myself spinning, I pause and think about them. I visualize what they would say to me in that moment. I even picture their faces talking to me. I can almost hear their exact voices giving me advice! It has really helped point me in a direction towards my goals. I may make a choice that I remember one of them telling me about or I may phrase something differently when viewed through their lens. Either way, I am moving forward. Toward my goals. Using my tribe along the way, even when they are not with me.

If you have ever been in a workshop with me or been a coaching client, you will hear me say that awareness is critical to our development. I believe this to my core. To me, it is the foundation of all development.  Being aware and mindful to situations, work, relationships, etc. can help us grow and develop. Awareness of those in your life that help support you is just as important. Who do you lean on? Whose advice do you seek out?

How can you leverage their advice when they aren’t there. Maybe visualizing what they would say is a strategy to try. Even writing a note, like my client did, will be the visual reminder you need to pause and think about how that person would guide you.  I am always looking for new techniques or tips to use and share. If you have any, please share below-I would love to know!

Working on your development can be stressful and challenging. There are ups and downs. And there are many people in our life we lean on for support. When you find your self stuck or struggling with somethings, whose voice can you call upon to help you move forward?

To Your Growth, Development and Amazing Potential, 



Lisa Hayes
Leadership Development Coach and Facilitator

The Excitement of Learning

janko-ferlic-174927 (1)As a lifelong learner, I can look back over the years and remember specific times I spent learning something to help me in my life, both personally and professionally. Sometimes it was reading books, watching video training’s, participating in workshops, even trial and error.

No matter the form, I always seek to learn. It’s just something about me. In fact, if you are familiar with talent themes (Strengths Finder) or any assessment tool, learning is a top strength of mine. It comes naturally.

Looking back over my career, particularly when venturing into a new role or event the entrepreneurial space, learning something consistent for me. One thing I noticed right away was there is a lot of noise in the system about how I should run my business, how to connect with people, how to find new clients, etc. Honestly, it got VERY overwhelming!

Maybe you can relate? Technology (blogs, podcasts, videos, etc) are all over the internet. I found I was spending so much time learning how to do things that others said would help me that I was paralyzed from moving forward. I tried a lot of things and stopped after a few months, because it just wasn’t me.

One of my core values is authenticity. I want what I do to be authentic. I want to feel great doing it and confident in how I go about it.  If something isn’t me, eventually I push it away. I need to be authentic with my relationships with people, how I run my business, how I engage and coach the individuals/groups I am blessed to be working alongside.

Knowing this about myself (I am a self-proclaimed personal development junkie), I changed how I did things. How and what I learned. I made them fit into the mold of who I am and how I want to conduct my life and business. I made what I learned authentic and that changed so much!

I stopped trying to be like every other coach/facilitator and started learning things that helped me grow in my own capabilities. Attending workshops where I would learn something but turn it into something relevant to me and my clients. I read books that I felt would grow my skills (check out my website and you will see a resource page with some of my favorites) and I started exploring certifications where I would learn things to benefit both myself and my clients.

Not just any certification. It had to be the perfect fit. In fact, I spent two years researching, talking with others in my industry, etc. to find the perfect fit. I finally found it. And today I signed up for my Human Capital Coaching Certification that begins next month! I am a bit in shock that I will be going back to school after so many years, but knowing that this will greatly enhance my practice, I am pretty excited! I am looking forward to taking what I learn, morphing it into something that works well for me and sharing with all my clients!

Learning, in whatever shape or form, can help you enhance your own skills, knowledge and leadership.

My biggest takeaway over the last few years is that I don’t want to be like everyone else. I strive to always be a better version of who I am!

Are there things you are doing currently to challenge, learn or grow in your personal or professional life? If so, I would love to hear. Share in the comments! 

To Your Growth, Development and Amazing Potential,  

Lisa Hayes
Leadership Development Coach


Remember The Excitement?

It’s the season for graduations. Are there are smiling faces of recent graduates filling up your news feeds on social media? Or maybe, like me, you have someone in your family graduating. My nephew just graduated a few weeks ago and I it seems like just yesterday he and my daughter were crawling around outside in the grass.  I am not sure how he has graduated when I have not aged in 18 years.

As I look at the smiling faces on Facebook or the graduation party invites that fill my kitchen, I can’t help but be filled with many emotions as I think about the next steps each of them will take going forward-excitement, joy, fear, happiness and curiosity. I am curious if the path they start on will be the one they look at when they are 40? What does their journey look like? Often, it’s not a linear journey but one of twists and turns and I can’t wait to see where theirs leads.baim-hanif-89800 (1)



This last week I have found myself deep in thought of my own journey.  Reflecting on my own high school graduation. What were my hopes and dreams? Where did I expect my life to go? I clearly remember the feeling of anticipation and excitement. I didn’t know what the future would hold, but I was ready and thrilled to be setting out on my own journey.




I entered college and focused on a degree in marketing. Looking back can’t believe how much I learned over those years. Fast forward 20 years (yikes!) and I sit here blessed. Reflecting on my journey brings a smile to my face. The anticipation. The trials. The failures. The successes. All of it. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I wonder if the excited 18 year old would have guessed where life took me.

If you know about my journey, I was gifted with the opportunity of a lifetime 5 years ago. A lay off pushed me to do something I have wanted to do for a long time but never really talked about. I could pursue my dream of coaching and developing others. This was a time when I was stressed-a family, mortgage, no job and two young children.  Unsure of where my future would take me, I took time to pause and think through what would give me the excitement and curiosity. Just like years ago.



Do you remember the excitement and thrill you felt as a young graduate? Is it missing or still there? Maybe like me, its lurking under the surface and you need to let it rise. Wouldn’t it be great if you could look at the world like you did back then?  What would that feel like? Or look like?

I hope you can look back fondly on your journey. And maybe even approach your future with the wonder, excitement and curiosity of a high school graduate.

To Your Growth, Development and Amazing Potential,


Lisa Hayes

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The Power Of Your ‘Squad’

There comes a time where you find yourself needing advice or guidance. Maybe even someone you can vent to or you need someone to celebrate your success.

Have you heard these words before-” tribe”, “squad” or “crew”? I hadn’t until recently. These are the go-to person(s) in your life. This could be an informal group of individuals professional contacts or close friends.

Recently, I was asked who was in my squad. I had never been asked this before. Instantly, I blurted out a few names, with my husband being the first one. But it got me thinking-did I have a bigger squad that I wasn’t aware of. So I started paying attention and noticing who I relied upon for certain things.

There was the group of coaches I talk with to share leanings, best practices and get advice from when I am stuck. Then there is my best friend who knows me best and I need to talk with when I am lonely and need a pick me up. There is the business contact I rely on to get insight into how business development continues to evolve.  The group isn’t limited to just a few people but also isn’t so large that I get overwhelmed. Without knowing, I have built a solid squad over the years. Some of these relationships evolved because of a business reason or we have a personal connection. No matter how our relationship started, these are people who I trust. I share with. Who I need to know will give me advice, guidance and sometimes laughter!

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to sit at my house for almost 3 hours with someone from my squad (if you are reading this…you know who you are!). It was unexpected. In fact, she stopped by for a totally separate reason, but we started talking about life and our businesses. She and I both are entrepreneurs and have leveraged each other for certain things over the years but this time it was to brainstorm the future of our businesses. It was a conversation and discussion my soul needed. To have someone in my life who gets it. Gets what its like to want more yet struggles to do it alone. I felt rejuvenated after our time together.

Later that same day, I was outside doing yard work when a friend stopped over to tell me to grab my purse and get in her car, we were going to get a drink with some other friends. Normally, I would have said ‘no way’ as I was sweaty, dirty and still had lots of work to do. But I didn’t. Its like my soul knew I needed something more. So off we went and for a few hours, the four of us chatted, laughed and caught up. These are friends I have known for years and no matter how long its been since we hung out, its like no time had passed.0h_posg0dlo-eddy-lackmann

Who’s in your squad? Your squad does not need to be the same people day in and day out. There will be people you leverage for many different things. Some personal. Some professional. Some frequently. Some only periodically. No matter what you rely upon them for, its probably a relationship you hold dearly. A person you know is always there for you, whatever it is you need, even if its just to lend an ear so you can vent or share your fears or frustrations with and nothing more. The power of a squad is they are there for you when you need them most.

To your growth, development and amazing potential,

Lisa Hayes
Leadership Coach and Facilitator

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What Would Your Rock Say?

Last week I had the honor to spend the day with an amazing group of women with a local corporation. We participated in a larger event for the company’s Women’s Networking Program. After the main presentation, our small group gets together to debrief the topic, support and mentor each other.

It’s been an honor to be with these women for the last four months. We have built relationships, dove into development and helped each other solve problems. This last friday was our last day together for the year. While bittersweet, I know I will get to watch these women grow in their development over the years.

During our small group, I provided an activity. The goal- to create statements or words on rocks that meant something to them-whether to remind them to be courageous, keep family a priority, etc. I told them they could share these with others. Keep them in a place only they knew about or display them proudly on their desks-whatever they desired.
I shared a story with them for the intention of this activity. When I first became an entrepreneur, I knew I needed courage. This was not something I planned, but after being let go from my corporate job, it was a path I felt I was meant to take. At that same time, I received a stone with the word Courage written on it. From that day forward, that stone has been in my purse. Always there as a reminder to have courage in all I do. Even after numerous purse changes, that stone is still with me.

I also purchased another stone in the last few years with the word Inspiration inscripted.  Again, another reminder that my goal as a coach is to inspire others. These two stones are ones I reach for and touch before I walk into an event I am leading. I touch them before any big meeting or any time I walk into a coaching session. To remind me to be courageous and inspiring. It’s been powerful for me. Spending just a moment touching or seeing these rocks brings forth my intention for the moment, something that can easily be forgotten or pushed aside when the stress or excitement for the moment can take over. I wanted this group of women to have their own rock(s) for whatever they needed them for. Great reminders for each of them.

This turned out to be such a fun and freeing activity. We talked and laughed while creating our rocks. Some got very creative (wish I could say that was me)! No matter what we wrote, the message meant something to each of us. I even received one – DREAM BIG. And you better believe I am keeping that with me in my purse! See our final results below!


If you had to define the words that would inspire or remind you of your priorities, dreams or goals, what would your rock say?

I would love you to share your words with me by commenting on this post.

To your growth, development and amazing potential, 

Lisa Hayes
Leadership Coach

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Who Has Your Back?

I spent time last Friday at an event where I listened to a panel discuss the concept of Mentors, Coaches, Sponsors and Allies in our professional lives. The discussion was impactful as it had me thinking of some key questions that I needed to think deeper about. Maybe you do as well?

Who sits on your board of directors?

Having a personal board of directors is important for many reasons. The biggest reason, they can help you reach goals, give honest advice and feedback. (learn more about board of directors in this blog from ‘Be Leaderly’).

There are a few roles to consider when thinking of your board of directors, including the connector, the influencer, the mentor, the sponsor, the coach and the information powerhouse.

I realized over the weekend, that my personal board of directors has changed significantly over the years. This seems accurate as my career has done a complete shift and I no longer work in a corporate environment, but even if my role has change, my support system is just as important today as it was then.

I started thinking about this during the event on Friday and spent more time over the weekend thinking about who I had in each of my areas and where I may have gaps. I began writing down the names of people in my network. What I found surprised me.

As someone who believes in the power of these roles, I noticed that I was missing people in my network that were influencers (some who can act on or advocate on my behalf), connectors (those that could open doors for me in the coaching and facilitation world) and mentors (specifically those who can help me tackle business development).

When I dug a bit deeper into the Why behind this, I found the true reason to be my own fear and lack of commitment to networking. I know people who can play these roles for me, but I have this underlying belief that I should know these things and shouldn’t be asking for help. Has that ever happened to you? Overcoming my own fears and beliefs is something I will always need to work on. Self-identification is the key to start that process.

Here are some questions you can use when mapping our your own network:

  • Where do I need to build up my network (mentor/sponsor/coach,etc)?
  • Whom can I leverage to help me find someone?
  • What roadblocks or concerns are in my way of finding a mentor/sponsor/coach,etc?
  • What, if anything, am I afraid of in having a mentor/sponsor/coach,etc?
  • What am I excited about in relation to having a mentor/sponsor/coach,etc?

I am now starting to plan how to build up my network to support my growth and development in key areas. That leads me to the next question that came up….

Who are you advocating for?

Just as important to having people in your network to support and coach you, it’s important to give back to others as well. Who I am advocating or supporting is key. Again, I found my answer surprised me.

Sure there are many that I coach and mentor for my business (I am a coach after all!) but who am I supporting. Where can I lend my expertise, advice and guidance?. Who could I go to bat for and whose back do I have?

I did the same process as above and noticed I am lacking in my efforts to give back as well.  Ironically, as I was identifying this, I received a LinkedIn message asking me if I would consider being a mentor for a fellow women entrepreneur. Turns out the person scheduled to do it was unexpectedly able to commit. Was this the universe telling me something? I immediately said yes and am excited to begin this journey of not only giving, sharing and helping this women but in turn learning from her as well. Just like any relationship, you take from it what you give and what you want, and I love to learn in any situation and from others experiences. This should be no different.

Having a support system and giving support are two great ways to grow professionally and reach your goals. Who is in you network? Who has your back? Where are you lacking support and what your plans to get there?

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To your growth, development and amazing potential,