Leaders are always under a constant pressure to outperform each other. While the industry is rapidly changing and becoming more advanced, today leadership is no longer a single dimensional role. He or she needs to be always on the toes to make fair decisions keeping all the positives and negatives aspects in the minds. Simultaneously, the increase in the competition has become one of the most stressed factors amongst the leaders. Leaders are striving to become the best in this competition. Juggling between the stress of professional life and personal life may get overwhelming. Emerging from all these challenges, Carey-Ann Oestreicher (CEO at Potential Unlimited) is a multifaceted leader who has the ability to help guide and motivate people to achieve new heights in their professional as well as personal life. She is often termed as a strategy superstar and is always bright, confident and full of positive energy.
Carey-Ann’s professional journey has always been within the automotive and financial services industries, led her to become an executive before taking the leap to create a business that she saw the opportunity and demand to create. A business around helping people to grow and push the limits in their careers while addressing work-life balance issues. “I am passionate about helping other professionals become stronger in their careers,” quotes Carey-Ann.
In a talk with Carey-Ann, she led us on a walk through the ups and downs of the journey. The answers were not just inspiring but also very enlightening. Here the excerpts,
Creating a Perfect work life balance
As a business professional, how will you describe your daily routine?
As I am a working mom the duties and responsibilities to are varied. I always believe that your children need your presence more than your presents. Thus, my day also starts with my household chores and my kids. Later in the schedule is a little ‘me time’. I meditate to keep start my day in the right headspace. Then I get engaged in the coaching calls which are about 50 minutes each. I purposely book 10 minutes in between my sessions for me to regroup so I can be fresh for the next call.
You can say that my daily routine is equally divided between my kids, self-care and my work.
Turning Passion Into A Feasible Career
What is the story behind the establishment of Potential Unlimited?
Ten years ago, I was working as a vice president for a great organization. I liked that role, but I started to get this overwhelming feeling I was meant to do something different that would allow me to make more impact in the world.
I reflected on what my passions and strengths were. It became very clear coaching and mentoring others to be successful in their work while still taking care of their health and wellness was where my heart was at. When I made this discovery, I left my job as the breadwinner of our family to create Potential Unlimited.
Building of a Strong And Resilient Leader
What is that one unique quality that differentiates Potential Unlimited from its competitors?
I am a big believer that we can’t truly compartmentalize our lives so, in order for someone to be their best at work. I also work on stress management, mindfulness, health and wellness as well as all of the other strategic business priorities when I coach individuals.
This job allows me to utilize my knowledge as someone who was a senior leader and an MBA from a business standpoint but enables me to draw on my love of fitness (as a former fitness leader) and all kinds of research on mindfulness to help build strong, resilient leaders.
Workaholism Can Be Dangerous
How did you embrace your failure? Did your failure change you in any way?
Failure is a part of life. The higher we reach in our lives and in our careers, the more likely we are to cross paths with failure. For me, failure was a tough pill to swallow, or maybe its more the fear of being good enough back in the early days. This turned me into a workaholic which was contrary to my philosophy of how we should be working.
The workaholic nature adversely affected me. I had some life-changing experiences. Few years back, I suffered a brain injury which gave me the time to view everything in a new light. I spent years in brain rehab and I really learned the true value of ‘who I am’, when I can just be versus placing all of my value on my ability to do. Despite the challenges, I am still moving forward with all that I have. I still suffer with some symptoms from the brain injury and I own an Executive Coaching firm, Potential Unlimited, and do keynote speaking. I am also working on my first book. Today, these failures have shaped me into a more courageous person. I take really good care of myself and I see my work and life as a marathon, not a sprint.
Make Every Moment Count
Would you share any personal experiences that turned out to be life-changing for you?
I have had my share of experiences in the journey both professionally and personally. The incident that changed everything was my husband’s battle with cancer. We hoped and prayed his treatment would save his life. My husband lost the battle to cancer. He taught me that tomorrow is not guaranteed.
The journey shines a light on the preciousness of life and making every moment count. We really don’t have time to be complacent in our work and in our lives.
Do What You Love
Any advice you would like to share with the aspiring leaders?
With my personal experience, I would just like to say that take the time to reflect on what you want to be doing versus what you feel you should be doing. It is often true that when you do what you love, the money will follow. Finances are a by-product of doing great work that you are passionate about. If someone were to ask you, ‘If you could do anything in the world and money wasn’t a factor, what would you be doing?’ This is what you should do. One of the areas I focus on at Potential Unlimited is helping people find their true passions and then helping turn them into successful careers.