We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Krista Powers. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Krista below.
Krista, appreciate you joining us today. Parents can play a significant role in affecting how our lives and careers turn out – and so we think it’s important to look back and have conversations about what our parents did that affected us positive (or negatively) so that we can learn from the billions of experiences in each generation. What’s something you feel your parents did right that impacted you positively.
My parents are two of my favorite people. I’ve heard many others say this too!
Growing up, my parents prioritized time together. Once a year they carved out a weekend to getaway and simply be together. Since they committed to this early in the years of children, they lined up a dear family friend to move into the house and spend the weekend with my older sister and me. This friend was a Franciscan nun who exuded joy. The 48-hours from Friday night to Sunday afternoon were abundant with laughter and playing. We did simple and silly things like sing from the phone book and learn to play violin. We also created moments of connection and contribution as we visited elders in long term care homes and joined in liturgical dance at church. The two most profound lessons from those weekends that I carry throughout life are the value of carefree, quantity time and that life is beautiful in all the simple moments.
My parents walked their talk. They modeled what it meant to be fiercely committed to one another as the leaders of our family. And, they created opportunities for my sister and I to grow and express ourselves outside of our nuclear family. Those weekends were full of love and connection, learning and growing, being in community and celebrating who we were. As I share this glimpse into my childhood memory, I am crystal clear that the gift my parents (and Sr. Paulette) bestowed was the gift of radical acceptance of who I am and how I get to explore and become more myself in every single moment. I have lived this lesson out through my career transitions and searching. I have welcomed the simply joys, ventured into new territory, stretched, grown, and called upon support. Because of these lessons from my parents, I have trusted myself every step of the way. When I have fallen, I’m clear it’s simply part of the process – it is a lesson. When I soar, I am clear it is because I am part of a community and a vision much bigger than myself – yet one that certainly requires all I bring to the table in order to come to fruition.
Although I could write a book with all examples of what my parents did right and how it has impacted me, I will limit my sharing to one additional story now. This is the story of a moment when I was eight years old. On an evening drive through downtown Toledo, my eye caught sight of Elaine Higgins. She was known as “The Bag Lady”. Driven by faith and having hearts for social justice, my parents had made sure my sister and I knew Elaine’s name versus calling her by the label and title given to her by the community. Elaine was homeless and was not well mentally. She was known to spit, swear, and take swings at anyone who approached her – likely in an act of self-protection while living on the streets. That evening, upon seeing Elaine, I asked if we could stop and say hello. It was decided that mom and I would hop out of the car and dad and my sister would continue circling the block since parking was scarce. The moment with Elaine has stayed with me decades later. It was a heart connection. Although my mom stood close, she gave me space to lead. Based on the way Elaine received me, she felt safe and knew there was no danger looming. We hugged one another. I shared my prized stuffed animal I had brought along. She said few words, but smiled broadly. In all, it was a few minutes, yet profoundly impactful. I walked away with a final turn back to wave to my new friend.
In this moment, and many others, my parents taught me to connect from my heart as much, if not more than my head. They allowed me to practice even when they could not be sure of the outcome. This has served me well as a social worker and now as a leadership and life coach. I have learned that we all have what it takes. Knowledge can be developed. The skills of truly seeing and hearing others is a gift that richly serves any personal or professional scenario. It cuts through projects and processes. It creates synergy, clarity, and creative paths forward.
I am so grateful my parents have always elevated the truth that I am a human being more than a human doing. This is the gift that continues to grow within me and pour out to others.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers?
I am a loving, powerful, authentic leader. I am a catalyst and contributor. I am also an author, CEO, and Coach.
Sharing a sliver of who I am (loving, powerful, authentic) before sharing a bit of what I do (write, lead, coach) is intentional. My vision is a world where people embrace and celebrate who we are as much or more than what we do. I realize this is especially counter cultural in the United States, yet I also know what happens as a result of shifting the focus is radical abundance, innovation, and authenticity. That is what I stand for – personally and professionally!
I knew from an early age that social work was my path. With a heart for serving, it was an easy process to pursue in college and early career endeavors. Yet, through my own experiences and growth, I have come to recognize how deeply aligned I am to looking at the present with a goal of growth. This is how coaching became an obvious path to pursue. Many social work skills are transferable and I was committed to the process of learning and leaning into a new endeavor. So, in the midst of Covid, I quit my job and launched my own business.
The person who feels stuck, stagnant, or hungry for more is who I serve. The person who is ready to take an honest look at themselves and powerfully choose to level up is who I am energized to work alongside. The company that values people power and invests in developing the teams that fulfill the organizational vision are the ones I delight in supporting. The group that is hungry for experiential learning and embodiment of a message that lasts much longer than a presentation are the ones I co-create speaking engagements with. All of this solves for discovery of what’s working, unearthing what’s not working, and identifying what’s in the gap – which is critical to creating a path forward for individuals and businesses. I have learned the deep work of practicing clarity, confidence, and courage is impactful within coaching. Shifting a portion of time, effort, and energy from what is urgent to what is important and transformational is important within coaching. Coaching invests in individual growth and team development in order to recognize the greater ripple effect a person or business has on the community and world. This is my calling, and I am so grateful to be in this work.
I am known for questions that uncover opportunity. I am also known for direct and loving feedback that interrupts old stories and ultimately creates breakthroughs in clarity, confidence, and courage. As a life long learner, I am invested in growing my knowledge base and receiving mentoring and coaching for myself too.
One of my greatest achievements in the past year has been publishing a book – Midlife Calm: An Alternative to Midlife Crisis. My intention for this book is to create curiosity in individuals, spark conversation, cultivate new paradigms, shift cultural norms, and heal the world…all of which happens one human at a time. I have a vision of a midlife calm movement where individuals are inspired to recalibrate – to align within. This book was a process of committed action, vulnerable sharing, and self-trust. I am grateful for everyone who chooses to share their own story of Midlife Calm at PotereCoaching.com/Midlife-
We often hear about learning lessons – but just as important is unlearning lessons. Have you ever had to unlearn a lesson?
I continue to unlearn the story that everyone else’s stability and happiness trumps my own. It’s a story I created early in life, yet have carried for many decades. This worn out story has impacted me personally and professionally. Now, I am at a pinnacle point of rewiring my brain to understand this story is a lie. The truth: there is enough room for all of us to lead and to shine.
As a child I was chubby and had bad acne. Despite an incredibly loving support system at home, I was woefully self-conscious within my peer group. I decided that I would never be desirable and therefore I would need to compensate in other ways to fulfill my desire to be connected and in contribution. I became incredibly generous, supportive, and compassionate with everyone I encountered. My super power was understanding, embracing, and loving people as they were and into their greatness. Despite my own growth and ability to hold my self-loathing at bay, this undercurrent belief that I was not worthy of being in the limelight or shining from the front was always in the recesses of my mind. It played out in a failed marriage in which I sought love by being the supportive spouse of an addict. It played out in my career in which I was always second in charge and held the belief that I was not ready or worthy of leading from the front.
This old story cracked, however, when my knowingness spoke more clearly than ever before…and I listened. During the isolation of Covid, my identify of constantly focusing outward to serve others was slowed. I was forced to really BE with myself – to focus inward. Over the course of months, I began to hear my inner voice. I began to believe it’s wisdom that I could create my own business and excel. And I grew enough momentum that I took the leap.
What has transpired in the past two years of being self-employed has been radical! People have shown up. They have hired me and endorsed me. Perhaps more importantly, I continue to collect evidence that I am worthy of shining. In fact, I am incapable of being dull or muted anymore! And, this gets to be the path for so many others. The lesson I embrace is I had to live this pain in order to fully live this beauty.
Do you have any insights you can share related to maintaining high team morale?
I have discovered four truths about managing a team and maintaining high morale.
First, coming from curiosity creates inclusion, growth, and possibilities. No one person has all the answers. It is perhaps the most well seasoned individuals who know this best, despite typically having the most experience. Asking open ended questions invites others to share their ideas, go deeper, consider new approaches, and step into a space of innovation. Questions can can cause a pause, which is often needed in our fast paced environments. They can also create greater efficiencies and clarity. Curiosity honors the value each individual brings to the team – whether that is in a work setting, community, or family.
Second, for a team to work, each individual must be known, seen, and appreciated. In order to show up and play team, each individual gets to know the value they bring and moreover, others get to know the gifts each person brings to the table. Trust and rapport are created by investing a bit of time to know one another. From this place, greater cohesion exists and ultimately greater results. Inserting humanity into any project is what keeps individuals engaged.
Honesty is the third truth that serves a team and morale. With an equation of curiosity, rapport, and honesty an ever evolving environment of growth is created. Stagnation points to decreasing morale and impact. Honesty, rooted in curiosity and rapport is kind and intentional. It is focused on holding each team member to their highest potential and creating the greatest impact. Honesty is vitally important to building trust and forward momentum.
Finally, interdependence and celebration. These go hand in hand within a team because together far more is accomplished and therefore gets to be celebrated. Every healthy team I have worked with has cultivated an interdependence where team members request and receive support from one another in pursuit of the common vision and mission. They see the value in celebrating big and little wins which propel them forward through obstacles.
- Website: https://poterecoaching.com/
- Instagram: @PotereCoaching
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PotereCoaching/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristapowers/
- Other: The Kentucky Side Podcast – https://linknky.com/podcasts/2022/06/07/the-kentucky-side-finding-midlife-calm-instead-of-crisis-why-nky-should-visit-the-state-fair/ Pound This Podcast – https://poundthis.com/episodes/781-turning-a-midlife-crisis-into-midlife-calm-s1!952c5