Daring Self-Leadership & The Nature Connection

Gerdi Verwoert, Dare Greatly Coach & Guide

Conversations about self-leadership and how connecting with Nature can help busy (female) managers, executives and coaches become the leaders they want to be. Guests offer tips, tools, strategies and resources to help you step into your own self-leadership; connected with yourself and with Nature. ----- I am on a sabbatical from Dare Greatly Coaching and this podcast. All episodes are being transferred to my YouTube channel and I'll close this platform down as soon as they are available there.

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#51 Heather Thorkelson on her entrepreneurial polar journey
22-03-2022
#51 Heather Thorkelson on her entrepreneurial polar journey
What do the pharmaceutical industry and an icebreaker turned polar cruise vessel have in common? You’re forgiven when your answer to this question is, “Absolutely nothing!”You would – however – be wrong. Because my guest today is the link between these two very different worlds.Entrepreneur in the polar expedition world Heather Thorkelson is an entrepreneur who runs a coaching company, a polar expedition company, and is part owner of a polar ship management company.While she was successful in the structured 9-5 world, she always hated the lack of agency and the arbitrary rules which led her to abandon that world for good in 2010.Since then she has built companies based around her values and made a concerted effort to live closer to nature.No plan BIn 2020 she put her experience of leaving the corporate world without a fixed plan for her future on paper in her book ‘No Plan B: A Handbook for Incurable Entrepreneurs and Other Rebellious Souls’.You know it’s a good one when marketing guru Seth Godin gives it a blurb that says:“If you've realized that there is no cure for your desire to be an entrepreneur, Heather has a direct, honest and personal take on how to get from here to there... We each have a chance to make things better by making better things.”Heather BelievesHeather believes in dogs, cheese and foraging in the forest.She has lots of healthy, strong boundaries.She believes in kindness because kindness is everything.And — I’m glad I’m not the only one — she believes in swearing since it is, as she puts it, a creative outlet.Heather has worked in the polar expedition world for over a decade and has returned to Antartica more than 30 times.As the daughter of an airline pilot, Heather is a lifelong traveller and has lived long-term in 7 countries outside her passport country of Canada.She currently lives in rural Sweden with her husband and dog.
#51 Heather Thorkelson on her entrepreneurial polar journey
22-03-2022
#51 Heather Thorkelson on her entrepreneurial polar journey
What do the pharmaceutical industry and an icebreaker turned polar cruise vessel have in common? You’re forgiven when your answer to this question is, “Absolutely nothing!”You would – however – be wrong. Because my guest today is the link between these two very different worlds.Entrepreneur in the polar expedition world Heather Thorkelson is an entrepreneur who runs a coaching company, a polar expedition company, and is part owner of a polar ship management company.While she was successful in the structured 9-5 world, she always hated the lack of agency and the arbitrary rules which led her to abandon that world for good in 2010.Since then she has built companies based around her values and made a concerted effort to live closer to nature.No plan BIn 2020 she put her experience of leaving the corporate world without a fixed plan for her future on paper in her book ‘No Plan B: A Handbook for Incurable Entrepreneurs and Other Rebellious Souls’.You know it’s a good one when marketing guru Seth Godin gives it a blurb that says:“If you've realized that there is no cure for your desire to be an entrepreneur, Heather has a direct, honest and personal take on how to get from here to there... We each have a chance to make things better by making better things.”Heather BelievesHeather believes in dogs, cheese and foraging in the forest.She has lots of healthy, strong boundaries.She believes in kindness because kindness is everything.And — I’m glad I’m not the only one — she believes in swearing since it is, as she puts it, a creative outlet.Heather has worked in the polar expedition world for over a decade and has returned to Antartica more than 30 times.As the daughter of an airline pilot, Heather is a lifelong traveller and has lived long-term in 7 countries outside her passport country of Canada.She currently lives in rural Sweden with her husband and dog.
#50 Heather with Gerdi Verwoert on living in alignment with your values
15-02-2022
#50 Heather with Gerdi Verwoert on living in alignment with your values
Hi! My Name is Heather Monro.To those of you who are regular listeners will no doubt be wondering at this point, “What’s become of the usual host, Gerdi Verwoert?”So let me put your mind at rest. She’s still here because today’s guest is the very same Gerdi Verwoert.For this 50th episode, it seems fitting to do something a little different and if like me, you really value Gerdi’s perspective and the line-up of wonderful conversation partners she’s gathered, maybe you’ve also wanted to hear a bit more from her.So today the tables are turned and Gerdi is going to be my guest.I got to know Gerdi as part of a thinking circle for soul-centred coaches. And through that connection, I’ve come to value her courage to live aligned with what’s important to her and her commitment to enabling that for others and of course, her deep connection to Nature.But there’s lots about Gerdi that I’m intrigued to hear more about and hence the impetus for this conversation.Gerdi grew up in Holland and has over 20 years of experience in the corporate world as a projects and facilities manager.But in 2010 she gave all of this up and moved to the Austrian Alps where she’s worked as a mountain hiking guide, a ski instructor and sometimes a taxi driver.For the past six years or so she’s blended a professional coaching certification with her mountain guiding. Working with busy managers, leaders and coaches to help them connect with themselves, refocus on what their lives are about and reclaim their self-leadership.So let’s dive into the conversation today.
# 49 Torill Wilhelmsen on creative walking
08-02-2022
# 49 Torill Wilhelmsen on creative walking
Today’s guest is Torill Bye Wilhelmsen, an entrepreneurial coach from Norway. She started her slow business coaching and consultancy firm Fjellflyt to help people develop profitable and sustainable companies, so they can live off what they are passionate about.Over the course of her career she has started two companies, won awards for innovation and website texts as a salesperson, worked as a project manager and business manager, and completed a master's degree in international economics and development.Fjellflyt was mentioned in the world’s largest business magazine Forbes because Torill helps entrepreneurs set their ideas in motion. She helps them achieve what they can by creating a map with them showing how they can get to where they want to go.Her clients are award-winning enthusiasts looking for an active everyday life with more meaning. They have gone from idea to a million turnover in one year, quit office jobs to see the sparkle in the snow, make beautiful and lasting products, produce proper food, work with people and create art.Convinced entrepreneurs crave real connection with people and Nature, Torill is on a mission to help entrepreneurs get the real business and health benefits that the Walking Movement has to offer.Changing working habits is hard when done alone, but when you get support from people like Torill who already do what you aim for, it becomes easier to chase your dreams rather than letting your dreams chase you.Follow Torill via her website, on Linkedin or Instagram. Be sure to also check out my conversation with Garry Pratt who introduced me to Torill Wilhelmsen.
#48 Yuriko Baba on becoming a Climate Reality Leader
30-01-2022
#48 Yuriko Baba on becoming a Climate Reality Leader
This episode is part of a series of interviews with members of The Climate Reality Project community who have trained with former US Vice President Al Gore to become Climate Reality Leaders.*-*-*Yuriko Baba is a Sustainability and Brand Experience professional and intrapreneur with experience in leading cross-functional, multi-disciplinary teams. She has proven herself as a change agent leading with empathy. She’s also passionate about the creative arts.Working for a global organisation with more than 100,000 employees and passionate about sustainability she wanted to have more tools to engage with the subject of climate change with her colleagues and beyond.So in October 2021, she joined a worldwide cohort of people who wanted to become a volunteer Climate Reality Leader. That training is provided by The Climate Reality Project which was started by former US vice-president Al Gore.The Project’s mission — as described on its website — is:“TO CATALYZE A GLOBAL SOLUTION TO THE CLIMATE CRISIS BY MAKING URGENT ACTION A NECESSITY ACROSS EVERY SECTOR OF SOCIETY.We believe real change comes from the ground up. We know that a small-but-committed critical mass of activists can not only transform society but change the world.That’s why we recruit, train, and mobilize people to become powerful activists, providing the skills, campaigns, and resources to push for aggressive climate action and high-level policies that accelerate a just transition to clean energy.”Like Yuriko, I was part of the October 2021 cohort trained by Al Gore and others to become Climate Reality Leaders.Our conversation is part of a series of conversations I have with other members of The Climate Reality Project about their motivations to become Climate Reality Leaders and how they apply what they learned in the training.
#47 Clare Snowdon on becoming a Climate Reality Leader
24-01-2022
#47 Clare Snowdon on becoming a Climate Reality Leader
This episode is part of a series of interviews with members of The Climate Reality Project community who have trained with former US Vice President Al Gore to become Climate Reality Leaders.*-*-*Today’s guest is Clare Snowdon, a mum of 2 daughters – a 22- and a 7-year-old and living on the outskirts of London, UK. By day she works as a physicist in a lab. In her spare time, she is passionate about guiding Nature connection, sharing mindfulness, championing biodiversity and getting involved in climate action. She has co-authored two books on mindfulness (‘Mindfulness for Challenging Times’ and ‘Mindfulness for Transformation’) and she’s the author of a series of Mindful Nature Connection journals. All the proceeds of these Clare donates to the Wildlife Trusts.She has been training with the Pachamama Alliance to better understand Climate Justice and to build the skills to take community action.Nature Connected NeighbourhoodsAt present, Clare is working on setting up Nature-Connected Neighbourhoods – a project to reconnect people with Nature through their gardens/balconies/allotments etc. and encouraging wildlife gardening/wild spaces. It will hopefully connect people without access to such spaces with people who are struggling to maintain their garden or allotment.This is driven by a need to create corridors for Nature and very much recognises the amazing impact urban green spaces can have on biodiversity.In addition, Clare works on building a team of people doing climate walk-and-talks to raise funds for climate justice – the aim is to fund support and reparations for the people most affected by the climate crisis. Dragon Mindfulness and Nature Connection CentreShe set up Dragon Mindfulness and Nature Connection as a virtual centre to contain all these activities – a place to share information about mindfulness, Nature connection, mental health, the “environment,” and wildlife gardening.This year Clare participated in the Climate Reality Leadership training developed and given by former US vice-president Al Gore.She says she has really benefited from the connection with the community and with people around the world as a result of that. To quote Clare: “It has been amazing listening to people’s stories and experiences and joining together with a common passion.”
#46 Diane F. Wyzga on self-leadership and storytelling
18-01-2022
#46 Diane F. Wyzga on self-leadership and storytelling
Remember the first time you rode a bike and took your hands off the handlebars?And then because it felt fun and daring you did it again - and again - riding down a hill with the wind in your face, arms up over your head screaming, “Look, ma! No hands!”You showed up. You did it.Letting go of the handlebarsThe arc of Diane Wyzga’s professional career stretches from working as a US Navy officer, nurse, corporate businesswoman, platform storyteller, lawyer, educator, and litigation consultant to becoming a communication collaborator, story artist and podcaster. She was lucky enough to backpack across much of Europe, scuba dive the Continental Shelf, fly a plane, parachute out of a perfectly good plane, walk the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, and so much more.Over her lifetime she’s been letting go of the handlebars but - just as often - having her fingers pried off when she was most afraid.At some of the darkest moments in her life where the true way was wholly lost to her, a person or opportunity beckoned and she said "Yes!" That’s the place where her story changed.Authentic voiceToday Diane coaches professional women to confidently convey what they mean to say.How?With her proprietary Engaged Storyism® Method she collaborates with her clients.Together you strategize the best story to serve your aims.Whether you're feeling uncertain about how to identify, shape and effectively convey your personal or professional story, your vision, your message, or something else, Diane can guide you to being seen, heard, understood, and listened to.If you want to advance your business, create clarity in life choices, produce effective results from your ideas and more she can help you arrive at your goal.You will communicate with clarity in your one, true, powerfully authentic voice.So let’s dive in to my conversation with Diane Wyzga and learn how she discovered her own one, true, powerfully authentic voice.
#45 Diana Tedoldi on The Nature Coaching Academy
09-01-2022
#45 Diana Tedoldi on The Nature Coaching Academy
Diana Tedoldi is a leadership and teamwork development specialist. Since 2000 she’s been working in the corporate environment; first as a manager in the Organisation and HR field, and then as a freelance professional.Throughout her professional life, she has been developing projects for organisational evolution, managerial growth, leadership and team development.Integrating her passionsAs a Professional Certified Coach and expert facilitator of personal and professional growth, she integrates her experience in HR with her passion for music, nature, creativity.Among her accolades are a Master degree in Philosophy as well as a Post-Graduate Degree in Dance Movement Therapy and Ecotherapy. She also studied at the University of Florence to learn how to design social and organisational innovation inspired by the world of plants.The Nature Coaching AcademyPassionate about reconnecting people and organisations with the intelligence of Nature and Her infinite resources for organic growth, Diana founded The Nature Coaching Academy. There she teaches coaches how to do sessions in connection with nature.When you know of my mission of reconnecting people with themselves and Nature, it will come as no surprise that I was immediately fascinated by Diana and her Academy when I first learned of her.Within The Nature Coaching Academy Diana has created the Nature Coaching and Forest Coaching® program. It is an original integration of ecopsychology, biomimicry, biophilic design, circular thinking, wild thinking, nature-connection, maieutic dialogue and somatic coaching.Diana’s ultimate purpose is restoring our connections: within ourselves, the others, and our beloved planet, to co-create a future of life for all living beings (human and non-human). You can follow Diana on her website and Linkedin
#44 Garry Pratt on walking with leaders in the outdoors
04-01-2022
#44 Garry Pratt on walking with leaders in the outdoors
A passion for archaelogyGarry Pratt has always had a passion for archaeology. A passion that had him spend a lot of time in the outdoors.Early on though, he realised that despite having a BA in Archaeology, having a successful career in that field would be challenging even in the very best of times.So he stepped onto a very different trail and embarked on a career in publishing and advertising. It didn’t take him long to heed the call of entrepreneurship and start his first business, Steamer Trading. The company with its unique blend of stylish cookware and housewares displayed in fantastic retail spaces was a winning combination. Garry ran it through its initial phase from independent to multiple retailer. It is now a national chain in the UK and still growing.Entrepreneurship in his veinsEntrepreneurship must be running in his veins because over the course of time he started multiple other businesses or played an important role in ones he didn’t start.Most notably among all of these businesses was Teachit which he founded together with his wife. Started as a way to share teaching resources with others, and encourage colleagues to do the same, Teachit grew and is now one of the leaders and key innovators in online UK education and an early innovator of monetized User-Generated Content.Once again he moved on, ultimately landing as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Bath and on his current endeavour, ‘Walking Leaders’.Walking LeadersGarry describes himself as follows:I’m an entrepreneur, business mentor and qualified group walking leader. Walking has always been a key part of my life – whether a simple dog walk, the work commute, or preparing for important meetings – outside is where I clear my head, gain perspective, and do my best thinking.I truly believe the best decisions are made with the clarity of mind that comes from a mix of exercise, wildness and engaging with others, and, during my time as a business mentor and advisor, I’ve found that clients value the opportunity to refocus in the outdoor world.[…]Gaining perspective is a key part of developing creativity and is more likely to develop when you take a break from the ordinary. You won’t find your competitive edge at the bottom of an excel spreadsheet, however large you project it.Follow Garry via his websites Walking Leaders and Outside Business or on social media
#43 Claire Victoria Bishop on natural photography and connection
27-12-2021
#43 Claire Victoria Bishop on natural photography and connection
I am an avid follower of photographers. I simply love how they can show us the world, in particular Nature in all its beauty, in ways we’ve never seen it before.I especially like photographers who don’t photoshop their images so much, you can’t help but think the end result looks nothing like what they actually photographed.Today’s guest is such a photographer.Claire Victoria Bishop, founder of ‘Rewild the Frame’, is a natural light photographer who is passionate about all things nature - you, me, others, our planet and the simple beauty of the natural world all around us. Claire works with purpose-driven, nature-centric business owners and sustainability professionals to help them create imagery that connects with their audience and showcase their stories with ease and beauty. Her aim is to empower others to create a positive impact for our world and inspire a healthier, happier and more sustainable way of being, living and working for us all to flourish in harmony with nature. The focus is on real-life imagery, natural connections and creative seasonal photography. Away from running a business, Claire lives in South Gloucestershire with her husband, four gorgeous boys and dog, Bruce. As a family, they absolutely love to be outdoors and one of their favourite things to do outdoors is to be is by the sea. Most weekends Claire can be found walking through the fields, on the side of the rugby pitch watching her boys or walking with her camera.She particularly enjoys lying under a tree taking in the leaves swishing above her head contemplating life.Follow Claire on her website, Linkedin profile and Instagram.
#42 Toby Cowern on passion for the outdoors and survival in it
21-12-2021
#42 Toby Cowern on passion for the outdoors and survival in it
You know you’ll be talking to an interesting person when his Linkedin headline reads like this:“Fusing Nature Engagement, True Resilience and Individual/Business Development. Certified Facilitator in Lego® Serious Play®. Wilderness and Urban Survival Skills Instructor, FireFighter, Soldier, Business Director (x3)”Tread LightlyToday’s guest is Toby Cowern. He uniquely fuses his teaching background, risk management qualifications, military training and outdoors experience to deliver Wilderness and Urban Survival Skills training of the highest calibre.Born and raised in the UK he joined the military in 1999 where he trained and worked in various roles. Some of those roles took him to training weeks and multidisciplinary exercises in Scandinavia and the Arctic Circle.After ending his time in the military he moved to Sweden where he started his own survival company 'Tread Lightly'.Wilderness Survival Expert in SwedenBringing together his extensive and broad-ranging experience in the Reserve Armed Forces, leisure industry, outdoor activities and Health and Safety industry he is its chief instructor.His expertise lies in Extreme Cold Weather Wilderness Survival Skills (remember that Arctic Circle?) but before COVID he also travelled extensively to deliver applied Survival Training internationally.When not teaching or studying aspects of survival, Toby also deals with Management and Coaching Consultancy as well as running various highly applied nature immersion camps and seminars, aimed at managing and reducing stress both at the individual and organisational levels.Rewilding YourselfToby is passionate about using immersive nature engagement to help promote positive reconnection with the natural environment ('Rewilding Yourself') and tapping into the powerful personal development and growth that can be attained from this.
#41 Amy J.V. Atwell on the Personal Nature Project
12-12-2021
#41 Amy J.V. Atwell on the Personal Nature Project
Curiosity, Connection and StoriesCuriosity, connection and stories have served as driving forces in Amy Atwell’s personal and professional journeys.With a degree in journalism, she began her career in public relations and corporate communication in the days before texting and video calls.In her PR work, she served clients focused on everything from satellite imaging to healthy ageing before joining a large regional chamber of commerce as editor and content developer.During her eight years at that organization, she witnessed the power of relationships and innovative thinking in action. She helped tell the stories of visionary business leaders who shaped the priorities for Colorado and the surrounding region.Inspired and energized, Atwell left the corporate world in 2013 to launch Heirloom Communications.Personal Nature ProjectAs an entrepreneur and storyteller, she has gravitated toward clients that bring new approaches to their industries – especially those with a focus on personal development, quality of life and mental wellness. In July 2021, she launched her second business – Personal Nature Project – as a true labour of love.Recognizing the incredible power of time in nature in her own life, it became her mission to bring that form of true self-care to other adults.She offers kitchen garden coaching and guided nature experiences to individuals and groups in Colorado and beyond, and her “Discover Yourself in Nature” online course is available on the personalnatureproject.com website.As a certified interpretive guide (CIG), Atwell brings her natural curiosity and storytelling skills to clients. She comes alongside them in a spirit of exploration and discovery.As she shares and teaches, she also listens to clients’ unique questions and wishes to help inform each personalized experience.
#40 Anne Bland on social entrepreneurship and saving the planet
05-12-2021
#40 Anne Bland on social entrepreneurship and saving the planet
This episode is part of a series of interviews with members of The Climate Reality Project community who have trained with former US Vice President Al Gore to become Climate Reality Leaders.*-*-*How often have I interviewed someone with their very own Wikipedia page? Never! That’s how often. But that’s changing today as I’m interviewing Anne Bland, born and raised in Finland and now a social entrepreneur in the UK.That Wikipedia page? It’s because she used to be the Deputy Leader of Finland’s Green Party.She left politics behind in 2015, but not her passion for social enterprise and impact.With a background in business studies, financial and charity management and a master’s in grantmaking, philanthropy and social investment she puts her 20+ years of experience to good use.That experience is combined in a rather surprising twist with ancient Tantric wisdom – something she spent some 750 hours studying.She is a life-long learner with a can-do attitude who injects a spirit of joy into business and partnership development.In the last few years, she has put all of this to good use in ‘Future Proof Your Business’ an enterprise she started with her business partner and mutual friend, Sue Jackson. Recently they added another one, ‘Repurpose 360’.Both of these enterprises are very much in alignment with the U.N.’s Sustainable Global Goals that Anne most resonates with: Gender Equality and Global Action.These goals also align with another role in Anne’s life; that of Climate Reality Leader and Mentor.She was trained by former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, who founded the Climate Reality Project in 2006 after the success of his Academy Award-winning film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’.To date the Climate Reality Project has trained more than 36,000 people the world over. Each one of them believing that — as it says on their website — “a small-but-committed critical mass of activists can not only transform society, but change the world”.Anne and I talk about social entrepreneurship and how business and individuals can contribute to changing the world — not only for humanity but for Nature and the planet.
#39 Craig Constantine on semi-retirement, climbing and parkour
29-11-2021
#39 Craig Constantine on semi-retirement, climbing and parkour
Craig and I have a wide-ranging conversation touching upon working in IT, the Appalachian Trail, hiking, climbing and parkour as well as all lessons we can learn from them.I was introduced to today’s guest when I listened to an interview on his podcast with future ‘Daring Self-Leadership’ guest Diane F. Wyzga.They had a conversation about podcasting in general but specifically about how Diane got into podcasting. I regularly listen to her 1-minute podcast ‘Stories From Women Who Walk’ and found the entire conversation fascinating — In no small part due to Craig’s interview style.My curiosity peaked, I looked at Craig’s social media and website where I discovered he’s not only a very good conversationalist.He’s also someone with a passion for the outdoors who has spent a lifetime working in an entirely different field before embarking on a podcast career with a mission to create better conversations to spread understanding and compassion — contributing to a world where everyone can flourish.So let me officially introduce you to Craig ConstantineCraig has been an Internet entrepreneur for twenty-five years and is currently the voice behind the “Movers Mindset” podcast.With a formal education in physics and astronomy, he has extensive experience as an aikido instructor and as a leader of astronomy retreats.Long-term mastery level experience in diverse fields such as programming, system administration, martial arts, parkour, sailing, and astronomy has provided Craig with a breadth and depth of knowledge that he applies to new problems and challenges.Extensive experience with process development and project management allows Craig to efficiently plan, facilitate, and coordinate efforts to take projects from the idea stage to implementation quickly. Hobbies include world travelling, parkour, blogging, mountain climbing, interesting conversations, and philosophy.Follow Craig on his website and listen to his podcastLinks to people and websites mentioned:The Appalachian Mountain Club — Babauta, Zen Habits — Sowell — History of Parkour —
#38 Nicole Snell on self-defense in  the outdoors and life
23-11-2021
#38 Nicole Snell on self-defense in the outdoors and life
Nicole Snell had a successful career in the entertainment industry but then switched to leading workshops on self-defense in life and the outdoors. How and why?Hiking safelyI first became aware of Nicole Snell when she popped up in my Instagram timeline. At the time I was converting a video series on safely solo hiking among mountains into a podcast.Where I focussed on the technical aspects of safely hiking mountains and frankly any other Natural environment, Nicole brought to my attention an aspect which I never truly considered. And though I am loath to say it, an aspect that is especially important to solo female hikers — even more so when those female hikers are part of the BIPOC community — the community of people that are Black, Indigenous and people of colour.The fact that I never even thought about that element of hiking safely likely has to do with the fact that I’m over six feet tall, have a rather low voice for a woman, have very short hair and because of it have often been mistaken for a man. However, it also says volumes about the white privilege with which I move through the world.When I started following BIPOC people in the outdoor space on social media, it became clear to me how safety is something they have to take into consideration in a way that until then had never even occurred to me.I invited Nicole to be a guest on the podcast because she clearly is someone who practices self-leadership and has a strong connection with Nature. I did not invite her to specifically talk about the outdoor experience of BIPOC people though I’m sure it will be part of our conversation as that experience is also Nicole’s.So let me tell introduce you to Nicole.Nicole Snell - a total badassShe is a dynamic and award-winning international speaker and self-defense expert specializing in sexual assault & violence prevention education, boundaries and personal empowerment.She is the CEO of Girls Fight Back, the world-renowned personal safety and self-defense seminar for women and girls, and is the creator of Outdoor Defense, an online series that aims to help women stay safe while enjoying the outdoors or travelling solo.Nicole is an avid solo traveller, outdoor enthusiast and adventurer having visited 26 countries on 6 continents to date and is an adventure leader for Black Girls Trekkin.Nicole is a NACP Credentialed Advocate and sits on the board for IMPACT Personal Safety in addition to being a Lead Instructor.She has travelled the world speaking to groups at colleges, K-12, corporations, the US military and private events.  She believes that everyone has the right to walk through the world feeling safe, powerful and confident! Follow Nicole via her website, Instagram and YouTube channel
#37 Grattan Donnelly on mindfulness in Self-Leadership
15-11-2021
#37 Grattan Donnelly on mindfulness in Self-Leadership
After finishing college, Grattan went to Australia for a year and returned home 12 years later. He lived and worked in Taiwan for 8 years, where he studied Chinese, taught English and eventually set up his own business. He also travelled extensively in South East Asia; often for months at a time.Returning to Ireland in 1998 he bought a training franchise, specialising in leadership and management development. Qualifying as an Executive & Business Coach in 2006 was a natural progression. Coaching also  re-ignited his passion for learning, which was all but extinguished by his 17 years in the formal education system.In 2007 he attended his first coaching event, a talk by Sir John Whitmore, one of the founding fathers of coaching. Sir John articulated three ‘provocations’:•      Consumerism (more and more) is not compatible with sustainability (less)•      Quantitative technical advance is way ahead of Qualitative wisdom (our technical capability is way beyond our wisdom in how to use that technology•      Hierarchy is in decay and must be replaced by self-responsibilityHearing these provocations articulated with such clarity, lit a spark in Grattan which still burns to this day.In 2010 after suffering burnout, mindfulness found him. Recognising how beneficial mindfulness was for him personally, he joined Potential Project. With these global leaders in corporate mindfulness, over the next 6 years he trained mindfulness to thousands of people in organisations.Grattan believes we all know there are better ways we could be living and working. Better for our wellbeing. For our loved ones. Our organisations. Our communities. Our planet. If only we weren’t too busy to explore them.He invites his clients to step back from the ‘busyness’ of their lives and identify what is truly important.He is most interested to work with people who want to be the best FOR the world. People who want to step into their power, and work with the biggest challenges facing humanity - the climate, biodiversity and environmental crises. People who want to contribute to a better world; not just for humanity but also for the more-than-human world.As a Regenerative Leadership Coach, he supports clients to do their own inner transformational work first. When they do, they are best equipped for the challenges of working with these existential threats.He facilitates mission-driven teams and purpose-led organisations. He helps them develop and grow their collective wisdom, and work in ways that contribute to the healing of the planet.  He has pioneered Walk-and-Talk coaching sessions in nature for more than 10 years and virtual Walk-and-Talk sessions since the pandemic began.Integrating neuroscience, mindfulness and nature practices with indigenous wisdom, opens people up to different ways of sensing, feeling, thinking, doing, AND Being. People are then supported to reimagine a better future and a more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.He is an Honorary Life Fellow and a Founding Council Member of the Association for Coaching, Ireland (2007-2015) and was Chair from 2013-2015. He is a Associate Faculty Member with the Irish Management Institute, teaching on their Diploma in Executive Coaching.He has been training the Diploma in Coaching for Performance in Dublin Business School since 2013.He was a Board Member of Mindful Nation Ireland from 2018 to 2021.He is a member of the Climate Coaching Alliance and has protested with his daughter in many of the Fridays for Future Schools Climate Strikes.Find out more about Grattan on Linkedin and his website.
#36 Ellen Snee on how to claim your authority
08-11-2021
#36 Ellen Snee on how to claim your authority
Ellen Snee has worked at the forefront of women’s leadership development for more than 25 years. But for the first 18 of those years, the front line of leadership wasn’t an Ivy League MBA program or a high-end consulting firm: It was an international order of Catholic nuns.During her time in the order, Ellen was surrounded by smart, educated, committed, and fun women who held roles of authority that were uncommon for women in the 1970s. She gained a number of essential — and, happily, transferable — skills: How to discern a call or deep desire, how to work collaboratively with other women, and how to be a savvy operator within male hierarchies. This experience laid the foundation for Ellen’s guiding passion: to become an expert in women’s leadership development and to change the world one woman at a time.  Ellen left the convent while still in graduate school, receiving her EdD in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University in 1994. She turned the conceptual frameworks from her dissertation on women in roles of authority into the launch of a successful consulting firm, Fine Line Consulting. Before long, she arrived in the corporate sector running leadership and coaching programs for executive women in Fortune 500 companies such as Pfizer, Schwab, Marriott, Goodyear and many others. For 15 years she provided one-to-one coaching to high potential and executive level women across the country.A move to California in 2001 led to work in Silicon Valley at the major tech companies such as Apple, Cisco, KPG, and Citrix. In 2009 Ellen was hired by global technology company VMware as VP Leadership Development and Organizational Consulting. She went on to lead Global Talent Development and in 2013 launched VMwomen, a business initiative designed to attract, retain, develop, and advance talented women.She has spoken extensively at corporate conferences including the Conference Board, Catalyst, California Governors Association, Marriott, Pfizer, Panasonic, Amgen, as well as Boston College, University of Michigan and Presidio Business Schools. Ellen is a member of the International Women’s Forum, an invitation-only organization of global women leaders. She is an advisor to She Can and Rise Up, organizations that empower young women in Africa and Asia to become leaders. She is a global advisor for How Women Lead and a Limited Partner with How Women Invest venture fund. Ellen is the author of Lead: How Women in Charge Claim Their Authority (She Writes Press), in which she shares her wisdom and experience with all talented women seeking to accelerate their careers. Lead differs from other management and leadership books in several important ways. The locus of authority throughout is women’s experience within 3 vital perspectives: personal, relational, and systemic. Ellen’s Self-Others-Systems model recognizes that women are always in simultaneous relationships with themselves, others, and the systems in which they live and work. All of these relationships overlap and interact dynamically when someone exercises their leadership in a role of authority. Full of insights, examples, and stories, Lead is firmly grounded in psychological research. She has her experiences and illustrated them in such a way as to be both inspiring and instructive to women on their way up. Along the way, Ellen urges women to find and speak with their unique voice and claim their personal power. In 2015 Ellen returned to the work she loves, accelerating the career advancement of talented women through executive coaching. Based in the San Francisco Bay area, she continues to coach and advise women leaders and executives around the world, and to speak at companies, academic institutions and leadership conferences.
#34 Caroline Ferguson on 4 pillars of Self-Leadership
24-10-2021
#34 Caroline Ferguson on 4 pillars of Self-Leadership
I met Caroline Ferguson a couple of years ago when we both attended a workshop on presentation techniques. Not that she particularly needed to improve her technique; from what I could see, she was already doing just fine. After all, having appeared on television, radio and numerous podcasts she has ample public speaking experience.She’s won awards as a pathological writing person a.k.a. a comedy writer. Caroline’s a not-so-pathological mind unscrambler when she puts her talents to very good use as a business consultant, cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist and mindset trainer to purposeful entrepreneurs and business leaders.She works with her clients to magnify their impact by developing the #1 life skill of self-awareness, overcoming their inner resistance, learning how to manage their mindset and becoming truly effective self-leaders.Caroline wasn’t always helping clients exponentially grow their impact though. For many years she worked in business communications but felt increasingly pulled to do something that made a positive difference to people's lives.She started training as a Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist and instantly knew she'd found a skill-set that would serve both her and others.Being a therapist was rewarding but Caroline soon realised that the clients she enjoyed working with most were those whose amazing potential was being stifled by limiting beliefs and other mindset blocks. That’s when she started providing Mindset Training to purposeful game-changers and she hasn’t looked back. Now she’s very clear on the impact she wants to make:Helping intelligent, passionate, high-potential women and men to develop self-awareness and gain the mindset tools to stop sabotaging themselves so that they can deliver their own positive impact. Caroline particularly loves working with those rare individuals she calls "Sensitive Upstarts" – the 6% of the population who combine high sensitivity with a strong need for high sensation seeking, which is a thirst for new experiences and adventure.Using CBT, hypnosis and her own mindset training methods, she trains her clients to think in a rational and solution-focused way. This empowers them to overcome the limiting beliefs, low self-worth and unhelpful habits (like procrastination and feeling not good enough) that are keeping them stuck.She helped found the charity, The Book Bus, whose purpose is to encourage children to read and provide them with access to books. Starting out in Zambia the project also set up reading schemes in Malawi and Ecuador. So far The Book Bus has travelled more than 250,000 miles and gave more than 100,000 children access to books.Stepping into her own self-leadership even more than she was doing already, in 2020 Caroline packed up everything to start a year of travelling around the UK and elsewhere in the world.The plan was to housesit in different locations while getting to know her country better and still work with clients while doing so.Then COVID hit and — as it did for so many others — her plans didn’t quite work out. Though she has been house sitting as lockdown measures lifted, her travels have not yet been as extensive as originally planned. As society slowly opens up more and more, Caroline’s travelling plans are finally starting to come to fruition.In the meantime, what did work out is what she set out to do when the pandemic hit: go for a walk every day. So far she’s not missed a single one!When it comes to Nature as she puts it: “She is beguiled by the natural world and walks in Nature every day, regardless of the weather – preferably with a dog for company.”
#33 Jennifer Walsh on Nature Connection In The City
19-10-2021
#33 Jennifer Walsh on Nature Connection In The City
25 Years ago Jennifer Walsh of ‘Walk With Walsh’ started her career in the beauty and wellness industry. She has since branched out significantly and is now on a mission that is two-fold:to help the beauty industry understand how deeply connected to Nature it is and always has been. How it is so much more than just being sustainable – which is all the buzz in beauty these days. Jennifer is working towards putting Nature at the centre of those conversations vs. sustainability.to get more people outdoors, understand the power of walking in nature, and the impact and importance of green spaces in our offices, homes, hospitals, schools, and cities.Though this is a very concise and accurate description of Jennifer’s career it doesn’t begin to cover what I found out about her when I started reading up on her. Google Jennifer and you can go down a rabbit hole of websites and articles that are either about her or written by her.So let’s go beyond the concise description and give you a little more background on today’s guest.She was working as a celebrity make-up artist when a friend who worked in television had a guest suddenly cancel on them. They talked Jennifer into taking their place to talk about beauty products in what would ultimately become a weekly segment called ‘Beauty Buzz’.It was during this time that she created Beauty Bar, the very first omnichannel beauty brand in the United States. Beauty and wellness shoppers could see and experience niche and independent beauty products in her brick and mortar stores, on her e-commerce website, and on that weekly TV show.In 2010 she sold Beauty Bar and moved on to new things. She created multiple beauty and wellness brands and has worked with corporations to roll out products, help open stores and create a footprint for global brands in the US market.Jennifer intuitively knew that her relationship with the beauty industry was deeply rooted in the natural world and how we connect to nature.Always curious about how Nature affected our wellbeing, began spending time with neuroscientists around the country to learn more about this link to Nature and its effects on the brain.Being someone who like to do things thoroughly she wrote and then presented a paper ‘Prescribing Nature’ with the findings of her extensive Nature research at the Global Wellness Institute in 2019.As she was doing all this research Jennifer also began working with companies that wanted to infuse Nature into their corporate wellness programs, into their business practices, and as part of employee education.This not only meant creating the now sought after Wellness Walks with Walsh program but also the Nature GreenPrint Plan (NGP) educating on the impact and importance of integrating biophilic, Nature-based solutions into cities, corporate campuses, retailers and homes.The Walk with Walsh video series was created after her 20 years in front of the camera, where Jennifer tells stories not only in a new way (by hosting walking interviews) but to drive home the importance of what makes healthy leaders.She knew that by interviewing national leaders who are making an impact, while walking in nature, those leaders would open up more, feel better and take back the importance of being in Nature to their teams and their communities.You can find Jennifer walking or running, she’s a longtime triathlete, in Central Park every day. Unless — that is — she’s spending the summer in her family’s glamping beach tent.You will also find her snapping pics of Nature everywhere she travels, don’t miss her Instagram to see what landscapes are inspiring her today.Since Jennifer is a consummate serial entrepreneur and lover of nature, we can be sure there is a lot more to come.
#32 Heather Monro on the place of our birth
12-10-2021
#32 Heather Monro on the place of our birth
My guest today is Heather Monro of Brightspace ThinkingI’ve got to know her as part of an intimate and powerful thinking circle she initiated for a small group of soul-centric coaches. In it, she has shown herself to be a great space holder and a deep thinker who can often come at subjects from intriguing angles.Heather grew up in Central London but from a very early age experienced her greatest sense of belonging in nature. As a teenager, she cultivated this through the discovery of a passion and talent for wilderness running and orienteering. So much so that after leaving Cambridge (where she studied Natural Sciences) she spent 10 years as a full-time athlete winning multiple world medals and titles.Heather was the second British female orienteer to win a world championship medal. She came 5th at the World Orienteering Championships in 2001. At the 2003 World Orienteering Championships, she was the highest placed British Female coming in Fourteenth place over the 11.8 km race. At the 2005 World Orienteering Championships, she took the bronze medal in the sprint distance. She also came third at the World Games in the same year.One of Heather's most notable victories came in the 2003 O-Ringen, an orienteering competition that takes place annually in different areas of Sweden and is the Mecca of Orienteering for athletes from around the world. She has also won the British Orienteering Championships in all four individual disciplines, the only woman to do so, and has won the JK Orienteering Festival 5 times, as well as winning the inaugural JK Sprint.After retirement from international competition, she brought her experience of the psychology of optimal performance into coaching, but it wasn’t until about 5 years ago she had her ‘awakening’ ….the realisation that most coaches are just helping people to survive in broken systems….so now she is on a mission to transform those systems!Heather describes herself as a “ruthlessly compassionate thinking partner for humans who want to reimagine the future”….Certainly the label ‘coach’ is not bold or aspirational enough for the passion she brings to her work. Increasingly she also thinks of herself as a disruptor - challenging coaching norms through her focus on vertical development and launching a coaching platform in an alternative economic paradigm to our ‘business as usual’ growth-based model.-----You can find more extensive notes (including links to books, music and movies mentioned) on the episode page on the Dare Greatly Coaching website