CBNationI AM CEO PODCAST

IAM744- Executive Coach Helps Leaders Transform From the Inside Out

Podcast Interview with Kristen Harcourt

Kristen Harcourt is an Executive Coach and Professional Speaker. For more than a decade, she has helped executives and emerging leaders in hundreds of organizations worldwide achieve extraordinary and sustainable results through increased self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and mindfulness. A big believer in compassion, authenticity, and conscious leadership, Kristen’s mission is to help leaders transform from the inside out, creating a meaningful career and purpose-driven life where they reach their full potential.

  • CEO Hack: (1) Morning and evening rituals (2) Taking a step back to ask what's true for us
  • CEO Nugget: Continuously thinking outside the box and discerning what matters to you
  • CEO Defined: Responsibility, aligning to our definition and reminding ourselves that we have a choice of who we want to be

Website: https://kristenharcourt.com/

Link to my podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/inspirational-leadership-with-kristen-harcourt/id1498233288
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristenharcourt/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kristenharcourt/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kristenharcourt/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kristenharcourt/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmeNVxP4IwkjSdLFpp696zQ

FULL INTERVIEW


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Transcription

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[00:00:02.20] – Intro

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

[00:00:29.80] – Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Kristin Harcourt of kristenharcourt.com. Kristen, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:39.60] – Kristen Harcourt

Great to be here, Gresh.

[00:00:41.60] – Gresham Harkless

No problem. Super excited to have you on. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Kristen so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Kristen Harcourt is an executive coach and professional speaker. For more than a decade, she has helped executives and emerging leaders in hundreds of organizations worldwide achieve extraordinary and sustainable results through increased self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and mindfulness. She's a big believer in compassion authenticity and conscious leadership. Kristen's mission is to help leaders transform from the inside out creating a meaningful career and purpose-driven life where they can reach their full potential. Kristen, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

[00:01:17.79] – Kristen Harcourt

I am ready and excited.

[00:01:19.59] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Let's do it. So I wanted to kick everything off by rewinding the clock a little bit and hearing a little bit more about how you got started. Could you take us through your CEO story so that you get started with your business?

[00:01:28.09] – Kristen Harcourt

Yeah. Absolutely. So, for me, it began, three and a half years ago. I had been working in corporate for fifteen over fifteen years, and I'd had the entrepreneurial itch for probably fifteen years, all of those fifteen years in corporate. But surrounded by a lot of risk-averse engineers in the family, accountants in the family, and married to an engineer, who all felt that we needed to be pretty stable with our jobs. And, eventually, the itch just got to be a little bit too much, and I had to take that leap of faith. I think for me, leaving corporate and starting my own, company, what the driving force for that is I wanted to be able to create, every day decide what my business is gonna look like, let it evolve, and see where I'm being pulled.

As the speaker and coach, I wanna decide the type of people that I want to work with from a coaching perspective. And then from a speaking perspective, I knew that I wanted to go out there and make an impact and use my voice for positive change. And I felt in corporate, I was a little bit limited about what I was able to speak on and kinda being told I felt like I was a bit inside the box and I was ready to jump outside of that box. And honestly, three and a half years later, it was the best decision I ever made. I'm I'm so happy I did it. But I do also wanna acknowledge, that it can be a little bit scary sometimes to take a big leap and go into the unknown and not know what it exactly looks like.

[00:02:51.19] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely I love that to figure out who you wanna work with, and how you want your business to be. And that's not something that, I found that it happens on day one. A lot of times, it's through trying things out, having, you know, doors that open, sometimes doors that don't open that allows you to kinda get that, insight into how exactly you wanna grow that business.

[00:03:08.80] – Kristen Harcourt

Absolutely. And sometimes it actually gives you an opportunity to pivot. So I say to my daughter every day, I ask as a ten-year-old, how did you fail today? So that she starts to recognize that failure is not a bad thing. It's not about you being a failure. It's that when one thing doesn't work if you hadn't taken the step for that, whatever you try there, you wouldn't have gotten to the next step. Right? So it's allowing yourself the permission to experiment and explore and try different things as you start to find what really is calling you and what allows you to be in that zone of genius and use your natural gifts and talents.

[00:03:40.19] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely love that. That's so powerful, a lesson for your daughter, and I think, obviously, a lesson for all of us as well too because I think so many times when failures or, things don't go as we want them to go, sometimes you can stop in your tracks. You cannot continue to move on and take that action and take those steps. But if you kinda have that ingrained and you understand that, kind of failure, even success isn't final until you stop, and you understand that the finish line doesn't come until you make that decision to do that, it's one of the most extremely powerful things you can know and and and have in your arsenal.

[00:04:09.59] – Kristen Harcourt

Absolutely. I honestly think a huge part of being an entrepreneur is a mindset and how we look at things. And when we see setbacks, do we see it as something as, oh my gosh, I make it about us and we did something wrong, or do we see it as, okay, this is an opportunity. What are the possibilities with what just happened here?

[00:04:27.39] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. And that's extremely powerful. And so I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper. I know you mentioned mindset. I'm sure that's something that you kinda work on with your clients. Can you take us through exactly how exactly you work in your products and services and how you serve the clients you work with?

[00:04:41.89] – Kristen Harcourt

Yeah. Absolutely. So I have a sweet spot for working with leaders because when I transform leaders, there's a ripple effect. Right? So leaders, whether that be leaders in organizations, whether that's business owners, whether that's founders, quite often they're working with a lot of other clients or working with other individuals that when they start to transform, it impacts how they show up in their day to day. So what I love doing with leaders is helping them to, you know, I like to say it as connecting both with head and heart. So a lot of times with leaders, they can be doers, they're high performers, they're making things happen, and a lot of times there's a reason why they've gravitated towards leadership. But sometimes what can get lost is how are they being as the leader. Right? Every day you have a choice around how you show up, and how are you impacting the people around you. And so for me, it's helping leaders to take a step back and go on a little bit more of an inward journey.

Right? Figure out who am I, who I wanna be, and how I wanna show up. What's important to me? A lot of times, through a lot of conditioning, we do things based on what we think others will expect. We're living out some of the driving factors or living out what our parents wanted for us, what our teachers wanted for our friends, our family, and everybody else's expectations. So I help leaders to take a step back to recognize who they are showing up as their authentic selves. And it's, I like to say, you know, we live in this whole instant gratification world where we want everything to happen overnight. It's a journey. And from my perspective, it's a journey that never ends. So it's from my perspective, it's helping leaders to understand why that's extremely, extremely important, but also a gift to spend that journey on really figuring out who they are and how they wanna show up in the world.

[00:06:22.50] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That's extremely powerful, and I think, so many times that, while we were explaining that, I was thinking of, like, the kinda like the foundation of the house. And I think so many times as you said we're worried about, you know, the drapes or making sure that the windows look right. But if we don't have that foundation in order, if we haven't done that inward work, not only might we say something, but if we aren't saying what's in alignment with who we are and what we're showing in so many other ways, they can create a type of confusion, makes us sometimes, not the leader we even hope to be as well.

[00:06:52.80] – Kristen Harcourt

Yes. Yeah. And I like what you just said there too because that's part of the work that I do is getting people clear on their core values. Mhmm. So that when they're making decisions, they're clear. Is this alignment with who I am and what I wanna do in the world? Or am I doing this because it's a should? Right? A lot of times people do things because of the shoulds, and that's not them. That's doing what they that what other people expect. So also recognize that we have an operating system. Everybody else has another operating system, and they're seeing everything through their lens and their perspective. So what does it look like to recognize, the people around us and realize sometimes the values are not the same, but that's okay? Right? Not taking it personally. So so much of the work is what it looks like to not react, but take that step back and pause, and then really intentionally respond to the people around us. Because a lot of times, we're taking things very personally that aren't meant to be personal.

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[00:07:44.69] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. A lot of times and then sometimes and I've had experiences, I'm sure we all have, where sometimes you kinda have to take a step back and say, maybe it's not even about our interaction. Maybe it's about something else. Maybe there's, you know, something that I don't have any idea about. But I think when you have that powerful kind of, ability to obviously see from your v vantage point, but also take into account others' vantage points and their perspectives and their experiences and things like that, and at least hold that as an as kind of a filter for our decisions and our actions. It's an extremely powerful thing.

[00:08:14.50] – Kristen Harcourt

Yeah. Absolutely. That's why I'm so passionate about emotional intelligence and mindfulness. Right? It's training our brain and then also from an emotional consciousness of our mind. Right? We create these stories, these elaborate stories, and they're all made up. Right? So it's like, is that story serving me or serving the people around me? Maybe I'm gonna question some of those stories. And then from an emotional intelligence perspective, the more we can understand ourselves and why we're doing what we're doing, and then self-expressing powerfully, that really lands with the people around us. And then also recognizing the emotions of people around us. Right? It all has such a wonderful impact on the way we're able to, deeply connect humans to humans when we work and grow in that way.

[00:08:52.89] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. It's an extremely powerful thing. And as you said, you know, being able to kinda work with leaders you have, obviously, that impact on that person. But if that person is a leader, it has that ripple effect as well. And so do you consider kind of, like, that ability to kinda look at the mindset and also that emotional intelligence piece? Your secret sauce, the thing you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique?

[00:09:10.50] – Kristen Harcourt

Yeah. I love that question because I think that, you know when I really think about, what makes me unique and kinda what attracts my clients and when I'm speaking and different things like that. I think part of it is me showing up authentically and coming from a place of compassion and fierce courage. Right? Because part of it is also holding up a mirror. And sometimes when you're holding up mirrors to leaders, other people are a little afraid to hold up a mirror. And I'm saying, guess what? This is what I'm seeing.

These are the behaviors that are showing up. So, I think it's that authenticity and I think it's helping, if I'm teaching others how to lead with both head and heart, well, it's really important that I'm modeling and also showing up with head and heart. So every day, I'm very intentional about how I'm showing up in the world. Right? How am I connecting with the people around me? And I think what happens is people will see that and then they think, I want a little bit more of that. I wanna be able to feel, excited and fulfilled. And while I wanna be successful as a leader or an entrepreneur or founder, I also wanna have fulfillment. Right? You get to have both. It's not one or the other.

[00:10:11.39] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. You don't have to choose one or the other. You can choose both, and that's kind of like that, affluent kind of mindset, and understanding that. So truly appreciate that perspective. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:10:28.79] – Kristen Harcourt

I would say that morning and evening rituals are game-changers. I think that when you are very, very intentional about how you start your morning and how you do your evening, and so I'm always my morning it's just an hour. Right? So that hour is I commit to that every day. I don't look at my phone or social media or anything till I have that hour, which is doing a little bit of yoga, some meditation, gratitude practice, and setting up my day. Right? What are my intentions? What's important for the day ahead? And then I'll do a little bit of the last twenty minutes of either reading or listening to a podcast. All of that, just an hour, I could do all of that before I start my day. And then in the evening, I'm always making sure that I say I ask some questions.

They might change, but right now, the questions that I ask in the evening are, what were my wins? What did I do well today? Where did I struggle, and how can I learn from those struggles? Now what am I gonna do differently tomorrow based on what I learned here? So that's an important one. The other thing that, I'm very cognizant of as an entrepreneur, as a leader, there's a lot of noise out there. And so I think it's really important that we're constantly taking a step back and asking ourselves, what's true for us? Right? So, you know, there's a lot of people that are listening to this podcast that are business owners and entrepreneurs. It is very easy to be pulled into a lot of busy work.

[00:11:45.50] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And so now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. So that could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client, or if you hopped into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

[00:11:56.70] – Kristen Harcourt

So I think if I were to go back and speak to myself when I was first starting, one of the reasons why I wanted to start a business was to be able to create what I wanted to create and think outside of the box. So it's important to continuously hold on to that as you're starting the business. I remember when I, and you would know about this as being somebody who works in marketing. When I first started, there was so much noise out there telling me what I needed to do. Right? If you're starting a business, you need to do this, this, this, this, this. And then as you're growing the business, you need to do this, What works well for one person is not gonna necessarily work as well for another person because it's what energizes you, what resonates with you. And so I'm constantly doing this with myself. So I would say, always take a step back and ask yourself what feels right for you and trust the answers that come to you. Because there's always gonna be people telling you all the things you need to have. But it's really discerning what matters to you.

[00:12:53.89] – Gresham Harkless

Truly appreciate that. And so now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're open to having different clinical CEOs on the show. So, Kristen, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:13:05.39] – Kristen Harcourt

Wow. That's a powerful question. Me, when I think of what it means to be a CEO, I guess what I want to is what it means to be a leader. And because I think as a CEO, you're getting to be a leader to go out there to make an impact. And to me, when I think of being a leader or CEO, it's, it's a wonderful opportunity and a gift, but it's also a responsibility. Because you're going out there and you're modeling to everybody else what it looks like to be a CEO. And so I think it's about reminding ourselves every day that we have a choice, about how we show up, who we wanna be, and those moments when we are feeling stressed, maybe we need to take a step back and maybe not go have a dialogue with someone, not to make that phone call, not go send that email.

It also, kind of piggybacks to that too, to me, it's also reminding us when we think about being a CEO, what's your definition of success and always check in with ourselves about continuously staying in alignment with our definition. Because for me, success is not just about, financial and, right, how you're doing financially or the accolades or the recognition you're getting. For me, it's around every single interaction, right? Every single time I talk to somebody, I have an opportunity to create some sort of shift to be kind, to be loving. And so I think that's the part that we have to be responsible for as well as recognizing, what's our definition of success, what's our why, and making sure that we're always in alignment with that why every day and not looking at other people's outside their definition of success, but our definition of success as a CEO. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:14:46.89] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That that's extremely powerful, and I love, obviously, that leadership, piece that you that you mentioned as well too. But also, again, kind of what we've been talking about during this, this interview is just how we can be a leader and how we want to be a leader. We don't have to be a leader as far as how somebody else is leading or whatever that might look like. So we can chart our path ourselves. So truly appreciate that definition. I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know and, of course, how best they can get out of you and find out about all awesome things you're working on.

[00:15:19.10] – Kristen Harcourt

Yeah. Thank you, Gresh. I feel like sometimes I don't get to say what I wanna say, but you have such amazing questions that we had such powerful dialogue that it don't I don't feel like, oh, I here's the words of wisdom because I think you allowed me to share that. So I would just say, you know, I'm a I'm a love connecting with people human to human. So anyone who wants to reach, out and just have a conversation, please do that. You can find me on my website, kristenharcourt.com and all of the social media is Kristen Harcourt as well. I'm really about building community. So to me, anytime we have a connection, have a conversation, that's what it's all about. So I love and welcome anyone who'd like to reach out and have a conversation.

[00:15:58.10] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Thank you so much again, Kristen. We will have those links and information in the show notes as well. And I think, as you said, you know, one of the beautiful things about being, you know, human and being able to connect in so many different ways is to be able to develop those relationships and learn so much. And I appreciate you for giving us so many words of wisdom advice and information on what it is that you're doing. I continue, to to hope that you have a phenomenal day, and I appreciate your time.

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[00:16:22.29] – Outro

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Title: Transcript - Tue, 30 Apr 2024 10:34:32 GMT

Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2024 10:34:32 GMT, Duration: [00:16:58.08]

[00:00:02.20] - Intro

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast. 

[00:00:29.80] - Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Kristin Harcourt of kristenharcourt.com. Kristen, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:39.60] - Kristen Harcourt

So great to be here, Gresh.

[00:00:41.60] - Gresham Harkless

No problem. Super excited to have you on. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Kristen so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Kristen Harcourt is an executive coach and professional speaker. For more than a decade, she has helped executives and emerging leaders in hundreds of organizations worldwide achieve extraordinary and sustainable results through increased self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and mindfulness. She's a big believer in compassion authenticity and conscious leadership. Kristen's mission is to help leaders transform from the inside out creating a meaningful career and purpose-driven life where they can reach their full potential. Kristen, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[00:01:17.79] - Kristen Harcourt

I am ready and excited.

[00:01:19.59] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Let's do it. So I wanted to kick everything off by rewinding the clock a little bit and hearing a little bit more about how you got started. Could you take us through your CEO story so that you get started with your business? 

[00:01:28.09] - Kristen Harcourt

Yeah. Absolutely. So, for me, it began, three and a half years ago. I had been working in corporate for fifteen over fifteen years, and I'd had the entrepreneurial itch for probably fifteen years, all of those fifteen years in corporate. But surrounded by a lot of risk-averse engineers in the family, accountants in the family, and married to an engineer, who all felt that we needed to be pretty stable with our jobs. And, eventually, the itch just got to be a little bit too much, and I had to take that leap of faith. I think for me, leaving corporate and starting my own, company, what the driving force for that is I wanted to be able to create, every day decide what my business is gonna look like, let it evolve, and see where I'm being pulled.

As the speaker and coach, I wanna decide the type of people that I want to work with from a coaching perspective. And then from a speaking perspective, I knew that I wanted to go out there and make an impact and use my voice for positive change. And I felt in corporate, I was a little bit limited about what I was able to speak on and kinda being told I felt like I was a bit inside the box and I was ready to jump outside of that box. And honestly, three and a half years later, it was the best decision I ever made. I'm I'm so happy I did it. But I do also wanna acknowledge, that it can be a little bit scary sometimes to take a big leap and go into the unknown and not know what it exactly looks like.

[00:02:51.19] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah, Absolutely I love that to figure out who you wanna work with, and how you want your business to be. And that's not something that, I found that it happens on day one. A lot of times, it's through trying things out, having, you know, doors that open, sometimes doors that don't open that allows you to kinda get that, insight into how exactly you wanna grow that business. 

[00:03:08.80] - Kristen Harcourt

Absolutely. And sometimes it actually gives you an opportunity to pivot. So I say to my daughter every day, I ask as a ten-year-old, how did you fail today? So that she starts to recognize that failure is not a bad thing. It's not about you being a failure. It's that when one thing doesn't work if you hadn't taken the step for that, whatever you try there, you wouldn't have gotten to the next step. Right? So it's allowing yourself the permission to experiment and explore and try different things as you start to find what really is calling you and what allows you to be in that zone of genius and use your natural gifts and talents.

[00:03:40.19] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely love that. That's so powerful, a lesson for your daughter, and I think, obviously, a lesson for all of us as well too because I think so many times when failures or, things don't go as we want them to go, sometimes you can stop in your tracks. You cannot continue to move on and take that action and take those steps. But if you kinda have that ingrained and you understand that, kind of failure, even success isn't final until you stop, and you understand that the finish line doesn't come until you make that decision to do that, it's one of the most extremely powerful things you can know and and and have in your arsenal.

[00:04:09.59] - Kristen Harcourt

Absolutely. I honestly think a huge part of being an entrepreneur is a mindset and how we look at things. And when we see setbacks, do we see it as something as, oh my gosh, I make it about us and we did something wrong, or do we see it as, okay, this is an opportunity. What are the possibilities with what just happened here?

[00:04:27.39] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. And that's extremely powerful. And so I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper. I know you mentioned mindset. I'm sure that's something that you kinda work on with your clients. Can you take us through exactly how exactly you work in your products and services and how you serve the clients you work with?

[00:04:41.89] - Kristen Harcourt

Yeah. Absolutely. So I have a sweet spot for working with leaders because when I transform leaders, there's a ripple effect. Right? So leaders, whether that be leaders in organizations, whether that's business owners, whether that's founders, quite often they're working with a lot of other clients or working with other individuals that when they start to transform, it impacts how they show up in their day to day. So what I love doing with leaders is helping them to, you know, I like to say it as connecting both with head and heart. So a lot of times with leaders, they can be doers, they're high performers, they're making things happen, and a lot of times there's a reason why they've gravitated towards leadership. But sometimes what can get lost is how are they being as the leader. Right? Every day you have a choice around how you show up, and how are you impacting the people around you. And so for me, it's helping leaders to take a step back and go on a little bit more of an inward journey.

Right? Figure out who am I, who I wanna be, and how I wanna show up. What's important to me? A lot of times, through a lot of conditioning, we do things based on what we think others will expect. We're living out some of the driving factors or living out what our parents wanted for us, what our teachers wanted for our friends, our family, and everybody else's expectations. So I help leaders to take a step back to recognize who they are showing up as their authentic selves. And it's, I like to say, you know, we live in this whole instant gratification world where we want everything to happen overnight. It's a journey. And from my perspective, it's a journey that never ends. So it's from my perspective, it's helping leaders to understand why that's extremely, extremely important, but also a gift to spend that journey on really figuring out who they are and how they wanna show up in the world.

[00:06:22.50] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That's extremely powerful, and I think, so many times that, while we were explaining that, I was thinking of, like, the kinda like the foundation of the house. And I think so many times as you said we're worried about, you know, the drapes or making sure that the windows look right. But if we don't have that foundation in order, if we haven't done that inward work, not only might we say something, but if we aren't saying what's in alignment with who we are and what we're showing in so many other ways, they can create a type of confusion, makes us sometimes, not the leader we even hope to be as well.

[00:06:52.80] - Kristen Harcourt

Yes. Yeah. And I like what you just said there too because that's part of the work that I do is getting people clear on their core values. Mhmm. So that when they're making decisions, they're clear. Is this alignment with who I am and what I wanna do in the world? Or am I doing this because it's a should? Right? A lot of times people do things because of the shoulds, and that's not them. That's doing what they that what other people expect. So also recognize that we have an operating system. Everybody else has another operating system, and they're seeing everything through their lens and their perspective. So what does it look like to recognize, the people around us and realize sometimes the values are not the same, but that's okay? Right? Not taking it personally. So so much of the work is what it looks like to not react, but take that step back and pause, and then really intentionally respond to the people around us. Because a lot of times, we're taking things very personally that aren't meant to be personal.

[00:07:44.69] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. A lot of times and then sometimes and I've had experiences, I'm sure we all have, where sometimes you kinda have to take a step back and and say, maybe it's not even about our interaction. Maybe it's about something else. Maybe there's, you know, something that I don't have any idea about. But I think when you have that powerful kind of, ability to obviously see from your v vantage point, but also take into account others' vantage points and their perspectives and their experiences and things like that, and at least hold that as an as kind of a filter for our decisions and our actions. It's an extremely powerful thing.

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[00:08:14.50] - Kristen Harcourt

Yeah. Absolutely. That's why I'm so passionate about emotional intelligence and mindfulness. Right? It's training our brain and then also from an emotional because our mind. Right? We create these stories, these elaborate stories, and they're all made up. Right? So it's like, is that story serving me or serving the people around me? Maybe I'm gonna question some of those stories. And then from an emotional intelligence perspective, the more we can understand ourselves and why we're doing what we're doing, and then self-expressing powerfully, that really lands with the people around us. And then also recognizing the emotions of people around us. Right? It all has such a a wonderful impact on the way we're able to, deeply connect humans to humans when we work and grow in that way.

[00:08:52.89] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. It's an extremely powerful thing. And as you said, you know, being able to kinda work with leaders you have, obviously, that impact on that person. But if that person is a leader, it has that ripple effect as well. And so do you consider kind of, like, that ability to kinda look at the mindset and also that emotional intelligence piece? Your secret sauce, the thing you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique?

[00:09:10.50] - Kristen Harcourt

Yeah. I love that question because I think that, you know when I really think about, what makes me unique and kinda what attracts my clients and when I'm speaking and different things like that. I think part of it is me showing up authentically and coming from a place of compassion and fierce courage. Right? Because part of it is also holding up a mirror. And sometimes when you're holding up mirrors to leaders, other people are a little afraid to hold up a mirror. And I'm saying, guess what? This is what I'm seeing.

These are the behaviors that are showing up. So, I think it's that authenticity and I think it's helping, if I'm teaching others how to lead with both head and heart, well, it's really important that I'm modeling and also showing up with head and heart. So every day, I'm very intentional about how I'm showing up in the world. Right? How am I connecting with the people around me? And I think what happens is people will see that and then they think, I want a little bit more of that. I wanna be able to feel, excited and fulfilled. And while I wanna be successful as a leader or an entrepreneur or founder, I also wanna have fulfillment. Right? You get to have both. It's not one or the other.

[00:10:11.39] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. You don't have to choose one or the other. You can choose both, and that's kind of like that, affluent kind of mindset, and understanding that. So truly appreciate that perspective. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:10:28.79] - Kristen Harcourt

I would say that morning and evening rituals are game-changers. I think that when you are very, very intentional about how you start your morning and how you do your evening, and so I'm always my morning it's just an hour. Right? So that hour is I commit to that every day. I don't look at my phone or social media or anything till I have that hour, which is doing a little bit of yoga, some meditation, gratitude practice, and setting up my day. Right? What are my intentions? What's important for the day ahead? And then I'll do a little bit of the last twenty minutes of either reading or listening to a podcast. All of that, just an hour, I could do all of that before I start my day. And then in the evening, I'm always making sure that I say I ask some questions.

They might change, but right now, the questions that I ask in the evening are, what were my wins? What did I do well today? Where did I struggle, and how can I learn from those struggles? Now what am I gonna do differently tomorrow based on what I learned here? So that's an important one. The other thing that, I'm very cognizant of as an entrepreneur, as a leader, there's a lot of noise out there. And so I think it's really important that we're constantly taking a step back and asking ourselves, what's true for us? Right? So, you know, there's a lot of people that are listening to this podcast that are business owners and entrepreneurs. It is very easy to be pulled into a lot of busy work.

[00:11:45.50] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And so now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. So that could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client, or if you hopped into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

[00:11:56.70] - Kristen Harcourt

So I think if I were to go back and speak to myself when I was first starting, one of the reasons why I wanted to start a business was to be able to create what I wanted to create and think outside of the box. So it's important to continuously hold on to that as you're starting the business. I remember when I, and you would know about this as being somebody who works in marketing. When I first started, there was so much noise out there telling me what I needed to do. Right? If you're starting a business, you need to do this, this, this, this, this. And then as you're growing the business, you need to do this, What works well for one person is not gonna necessarily work as well for another person because it's what energizes you, what resonates with you. And so I'm constantly doing this with myself. So I would say, always take a step back and ask yourself what feels right for you and trust the answers that come to you. Because there's always gonna be people telling you all the things you need to have. But it's really discerning what matters to you.

[00:12:53.89] - Gresham Harkless

Truly appreciate that. And so now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're open to having different clinical CEOs on the show. So, Kristen, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:13:05.39] - Kristen Harcourt

Wow. That's a powerful question. Me, when I think of what it means to be a CEO, I guess what I want to is what it means to be a leader. And because I think as a CEO, you're getting to be a leader to go out there to make an impact. And to me, when I think of being a leader or CEO, it's, it's a wonderful opportunity and a gift, but it's also a responsibility. Because you're going out there and you're modeling to everybody else what it looks like to be a CEO. And so I think it's about reminding ourselves every day that we have a choice, about how we show up, who we wanna be, and those moments when we are feeling stressed, maybe we need to take a step back and maybe not go have a dialogue with someone, not to make that phone call, not go send that email.

It also, kind of piggybacks to that too, to me, it's also reminding us when we think about being a CEO, what's your definition of success and always check in with ourselves about continuously staying in alignment with our definition. Because for me, success is not just about, financial and, right, how you're doing financially or the accolades or the recognition you're getting. For me, it's around every single interaction, right? Every single time I talk to somebody, I have an opportunity to create some sort of shift to be kind, to be loving. And so I think that's the part that we have to be responsible for as well as recognizing, what's our definition of success, what's our why, and making sure that we're always in alignment with that why every day and not looking at other people's outside their definition of success, but our definition of success as a CEO. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:14:46.89] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That that's extremely powerful, and I love, obviously, that leadership, piece that you that you mentioned as well too. But also, again, kind of what we've been talking about during this, this interview is just how we can be a leader and how we want to be a leader. We don't have to be a leader as far as how somebody else is leading or whatever that might look like. So we can chart our path ourselves. So truly appreciate that definition. I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know and, of course, how best they can get out of you and find out about all awesome things you're working on. 

[00:15:19.10] - Kristen Harcourt

Yeah. Thank you, Gresh. I feel like sometimes I don't get to say what I wanna say, but you have such amazing questions that we had such powerful dialogue that it don't I don't feel like, oh, I here's the words of wisdom because I think you allowed me to share that. So I would just say, you know, I'm a I'm a love connecting with people human to human. So anyone who wants to reach, out and just have a conversation, please do that. You can find me on my website, kristenharcourt.com and all of the social media is Kristen Harcourt as well. I'm really about building community. So to me, anytime we have a connection, have a conversation, that's what it's all about. So I love and welcome anyone who'd like to reach out and have a conversation.

[00:15:58.10] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Thank you so much again, Kristen. We will have those links and information in the show notes as well. And I think, as you said, you know, one of the beautiful things about being, you know, human and being able to connect in so many different ways is to be able to develop those relationships and learn so much. And I appreciate you for giving us so many words of wisdom advice and information on what it is that you're doing. I continue, to to hope that you have a phenomenal day, and I appreciate your time.

[00:16:22.29] - Outro

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

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Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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