The World Beyond These "Walls"


“I have come to the realization that my job is all-consuming. Between my job and my family, I have no other life!”

I was meeting with a woman who was a member of a leadership team I was coaching and she had just completed her own individual Best Year Yet® plan as part of the program. Although I had not had this discussion with her before, her words sounded familiar.In fact, I remembered vividly my own similar discovery some 25 years ago when I was invited to attend a women’s networking luncheon outside the bank where I worked. It was the first time I had interacted with women other than my friends at work in such a long time that I was dumbstruck and energized at the same time!  How had my world become so narrow?!?

Unfortunately, I had heard similar refrains from many other clients so I encouraged my new client to explore this realization further.  Her eye opener had begun when she answered Question 6 in the Best Year Yet® Process – “What roles do I play?” Recently divorced and with nearly grown children, she realized her current roles were shrinking.  I suggested she expand the question to include “What roles do I WANT to play?” Her enthusiasm grew as she identified new roles for her list that included Friend, Spiritual Being, Learner, and Traveler. To finish her plan, she set tangible goals for herself not only in her roles as manager, mother, and daughter, but in the new roles she wanted to explore.

Over the coming months each time I met with my client’s team for a monthly review, she took me aside for a moment to give me an update:

“I’ve had lunch with two old friends this month.” 
“I’m visiting different churches to find one that feels like a good fit.” 
“I’ve signed up for a 9-month leadership development course that includes 20 women from other companies!”
“I’ve booked a trip to the mountains with my sister and my mom!”

Since my ultimate client was her boss and I was coaching his team to achieve some aggressive goals, I was keenly aware that I was encouraging her to do many things that had nothing to do with contributing to that team. But here’s what happened:

As she developed her active involvement in a “bigger world,” her participation on the leadership team transformed.  She became more energized, spoke up more often, offered more creative solutions, and challenged the rest of the team to go further and faster. Instead of detracting from her focus on her job, her new life beyond the walls of the company was in fact igniting her enthusiasm for her work!

She has continued to create a new Best Year Yet® plan each year since that breakthrough, and her adventures continue! She has enjoyed international trips with friends and family, volunteered for community programs, become active in a church, participated in a mission trip to Puerto Rico, learned a new hobby, and signed up for a spiritual development course.

Transforming her life has resulted not only in richer personal experiences, but also in her becoming an effective leader in her company and in making a bigger contribution to the world beyond. She’s strengthening her relationships with family and friends, serving those in need in the community and elsewhere, and becoming an active citizen in the world.

Does my client’s lament ring true for you as well? Do you have a desire to be more engaged in the world outside the “walls” of your work?

Consider taking some time to walk yourself through the 10 questions in the Best Year Yet® process again – this time with a focus on the roles you WANT in your life, not just the ones you have now.  You do have something more to offer the world – and the world is waiting to hear from you!

About the Author

BYYWhosWhoKarenMorey.pngKaren Morey has been helping executive teams shift limiting behaviors and mindsets and achieve extraordinary results for the past decade. Combining the latest tools in planning, team development, coaching, and communications with her 25 years of experience in front-line management, she consistently helps clients develop strong, innovative, and focused teams that achieve breakthrough results.

Karen has a proven record of working with corporate leaders and teams to overcome their limitations and achieve their vision for the future. She leads them through the creation of a structured, results-based plan and coaches them to achieve and exceed the goals they have aligned on.

With 25 years of corporate leadership experience, Karen brings to her clients a credible, practical approach that builds high-performance teams, whether corporate or non-profit, large or small. She has worked with clients in manufacturing, financial services, medical systems software, and mail order distribution, as well as numerous local and regional social services and religious organizations. Karen specializes in an adaptive approach to coaching and uses a thought-provoking method of questioning that leads her clients to draw meaningful conclusions that can be readily applied to their personal lives and working environments.

In addition to her work with organizations and executive teams, Karen trains other facilitators worldwide to use the Best Year Yet® system of planning, tracking, and follow-through with their clients. She has also designed and delivered training in leadership, performance management, customer service, and sales management.

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