July 31st, 2023

The Things That Rattle You: Leadership Lessons from My Empty Nest Journey

Life is an extraordinary voyage of twists, turns and unexpected detours that shape who we are and who we become. As a leadership and executive coach, I’m no stranger to helping others navigate change and uncertainty. But nothing could have prepared me for the personal transformation I’m going through as I transition to an empty nest.

As I navigate this emotional, unpredictable and exciting new chapter of my life, using the practices I teach has not only been a necessity, but an extraordinary reminder of why I do what I do. This journey is also providing me with profound insights into leadership, business, and the challenges we face. 

In this article, I invite you to join me in exploring the remarkable parallels between personal life transitions and professional experiences.

Excited and Scared 

I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I’m excited to have more freedom and time for myself, my business and to delve into the infinite possibilities that may come. I’d also be lying if I didn’t tell you, I’m scared of the “empty” part of the nest, it’s different, it’s a CHANGE. Like with any challenge that brings a bit of uncertainty, feeling a bit scared is expected. 

The best part of this journey, it’s not unlike any of the other challenges we face in our life and business as leaders of the new era. It’s all about putting up the sails of your life ship to maneuver the winds of change, lay the new course and steer the wheel towards a new level of resilience. And that is my zone of genius 🙌

Let The Emotional Voyage Begin

If I can be fully transparent with you, this empty nest transition is anything but ordinary. Bidding farewell to the household I nurtured, is like maneuvering through a storm of emotions ~ fear, excitement, sadness, joy, uncertainty, pride and of course, a bit of nostalgia.

This whirlwind of emotions is not unlike what you go through as a leader in your organization or business and life.

How does this all relate to business and leadership in the workplace? 

Today’s business landscape is changing at exponential rates and at speeds that we’ve never experienced before. It’s all new!!!

Whether you’re pivoting in response to market shifts, navigating growing pains, managing organizational changes or handling unforeseen challenges, you must remain agile, resilient, and able to adapt to the ever-changing landscape.

Resilience and Mental Fitness

It’s normal and a natural human response to feel overwhelmed and insecure at times. It’s how we handle going and moving through these tumultuous emotions that dictates our ability to shift and win at this ever moving uncertain game of life. 

Building resilience is at the core of what I teach through my Mental Fitness and Self-Mastery coaching programs. Just as building muscle mass, it takes determination and practice. The good news is with the right commitment, you can achieve that level of strong resilience and mental fitness. 

Being a leader in your business, corporate organization, non-profit, government position calls for you to embark in new initiatives, opportunities, ventures. You will experience moments of fear, excitement, overwhelm and the list continues. Leading isn’t just a skill that requires fast strategic decision-making, but also an art where embracing strategic vulnerability is imperative. Growth demands courage as well as compassion. 

The Value of Compassion 

Since I embarked on this “empty nesting” journey, I’ve realized how much we still don’t give compassion the attention and value it deserves. If you follow my work, you know I talk about the importance of compassion in leadership. And yet here I am coming to a humbling realization ~ I’m guilty of not allowing self-compassion fully into my world. 

As a black woman business owner and a single Mom traversing the empty nester waters, compassion for myself and my young adult children going through just as many changes, needs to be a high priority. And still the fast-paced, hyper productive, patriarchy influenced societal norm continues to trickle in and make me question any decision to slow down and/or prioritize self-compassion. 

This deepend awareness of compassion for myself and others is serving as a great reminder that real success (especially as a leader) lies in uplifting others and fostering a sense of belonging while pursuing business and professional accomplishments. Achieving higher levels of performance in this new era of leadership goes hand in hand with knowing how to value compassion. 

Bold Yet Humble

This experience is teaching me how to exemplify a perfect blend of boldness and humility. I believe this unique combination empowers us to acknowledge our vulnerabilities while maintaining the confidence needed to lead effectively.

As it relates to your leadership role, embracing humility allows you to foster open relationships with your teams, and create an environment for growth.

My ongoing transition to an empty nest experience is illuminating the powerful connections between personal life transitions and leadership in the business world more than ever before.

I’m striving to embody a leadership style that is as bold as it is humble, as confident as it is compassionate, as impactful as it is uplifting. My mission is to support the leaders of this new era as a coaching partner to not only be effective, inspirational leaders, but also have fun in the process. 

Changes will come! Uncertainty will be there! 

When you find yourself engulfed in the things that rattle you, know that you’re not alone! 

Rest assured many others are in your shoes. Don’t be afraid to open up, use your vulnerability to connect with other leaders and to deepen your connection with your team. And remember that self-compassion is on your side.

I hope sharing my story serves as a guiding light, showing that personal growth and professional success are intricately intertwined. 

If you’re curious how my leadership programs can help you (and your leadership team) embrace change with resilience, maintain mental fitness and lead with compassion, I invite you to connect with me.

About the author

I’m an executive and leadership Certified Coach, CEO Development Strategist and above all I’m your biggest champion. If you are committed to becoming the confident, innovative, compassionate leader of the future, my mission is to help you every step of the way there.