Author, John Maxwell Certified Speaker and Coach
As founder of Lead and Succeed Resources, Stacey’s company assists owners to cultivate leadership and “deepen their benches.” She saw the need business had for increased productivity, growth and key person retention. So she added private leadership consulting as an offer on top of her designed customized strategies to owners of affluent privately held and family businesses and C-Suite Executives aimed at assisting in their business succession, executive leadership development, retirement planning, employee benefits and tax reduction while coordinating efforts with client’s other business and legal advisers to ensure all objectives are achieved.
When she started her career at age 19, attending college at Ursinus College, she was hired by Jack Bogle of the Vanguard Group in 1985 as one of the first females in this space. Her trials and tribulations were many on her success journey. From her near death experience, losing her business and preparing for her comeback, she has the ability to help others dig deep and find their inner strength. Through it all she has had a successful career of 30+ years in the financial planning industry.
Her seminars and keynote speeches revolve around what she coined the Y.E.S system- becoming “Your Ultimate Self.” You may encounter many defeats, but you must not succumb and develop the skills to rise above.
Last year, Stacey became a John Maxwell Executive Director in Mentorship teaching leadership training for individuals, executives and various teams across the country and internationally. “If you want to be a leader you must first know who you are, your strengths and weaknesses and begin to evaluate where you are today so that you can bring your evaluated experience to every area of your life to succeed.”
Stacey’s latest book Train Your Brain: 5 Ways to Master your Mindset and Achieve Your Life Goals will be available in March 2018.
In her spare time, you will find her volunteering in advancing her middle school leadership development. She is also involved with assisting transition for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. A portion of her book sales will be going to this cause.
Stacey survived the struggles of abuse and divorce and thrived. She lives outside Philadelphia with her 3 beautiful daughters.
For more information on Stacey, check out the links below!
Tell us what your greatest personal challenge is, and how you’ve achieved success in spite of it.
I have been reinventing myself after a near death experience and divorcing my spouse over the last few years. At age 51, as I regained my health and re-entered my career, I felt unfulfilled by just being a financial advisor and decided being just that was not enough for me.
I feel I can offer more to my business owner clients . As I work with them in business succession and financial freedom planning, I realized I was as much of a psychologist in the planner role as a financial product specialist. It became clear to me that I love to help people and what was becoming abundantly obvious to me in many instances, was communication was not only non-effective, it was actually harboring a company’s growth and competitiveness. So I took a leap of faith and authored my first book and decided to become certified as a business and personal development coach and as a keynote speaker with the John Maxwell Team. I have learned that as I coach and grow others, I always learn too which I love. Living to lead and serve adds value to my clients. My biggest compliment came from my client Joseph Unanue, then chairman and owner of GOYA Foods. He said “you are first female advisor I ever worked with and I just felt like you asked deeper questions and cared about my family more than your male counterparts. . You brought subjects to my attention that most men never address. “
Now, I am crystal clear that I am called to assist my clients,personally, and/or their executive teams to learn leadership skills that will “deepen their bench” in their company divisions as well as speak around the world on leadership and personal development. They really go hand in hand.
Name something that guides both your personal and professional development and helps you to regain focus during challenging times.
I’ve learned to live in a conscious state of awareness. I know many will ask ,what is that? And please notice I said “ learned.” This a level of awareness where you focus on living in the moment, with laser focus and then evaluate your experiences daily. Each time you evaluate what happened during daily situations you are intentionally examining pros and cons of the way you reacted in given situations. Everyone can learn the tools to achieve their goals . It isn’t until we make the irrevocable decision to apply these skills repetitively and consistently that we grow and develop. Sadly over 97% of us will not attempt our dreams out of fear and unworthiness.
I am a Christian and my faith is so important to me. My spirit needs to be in unity with mind and body. I have found living in a scattered existence defeats all positive strides forward. As woman, many of us are super multi-taskers. It is an art. But often we lose ourselves and our focus in the process. We allow ourselves to become trapped by everyone else’s schedules. It is so important to schedule 5 minute slots in your day for mental and spiritual breaks. I have them in my calendar . It helps you to center and gain strength from in a few minutes of meditative prayer and refocus.
In the evening I find a quiet place in my home to center and review the day’s events. As women, we need to schedule “ME” time into our daily calendar. When you master your emotions and time consistently, your focus stays on your purpose. But again this is a determined choice and except for emergency , real emergency, you should make it known to others that you are unavailable at these times.
Studies have shown many companies increase their productivity of employees by allowing them 15-20 minutes of nap or meditation time and companies like Google, Uber, Proctor and Gamble and Cisco use these methods to name a few .
So if recharging allows us to function and focus more , than we should all be scheduling time-out from Baby Boomers to Gen Y.
What do you believe is at the core of why women hesitate to “lean in” and pursue leadership roles where they are?
Truly, I think there are quite a few factors. This isn’t a one size fits all answer.
First for me when I was a young lady , it was male dominance in my field coupled with comments like” A woman can never make it in this business .” Their comments weren’t encouraging or inviting. I felt like the outsider. I had to work harder, smarter and dig deeper to keep my self-confidence high. Much prayer and persistence was the magic solution for me. I defied the odds and have been a financial advisor for 30+ years. As women, I feel we are more inclusive by nature and that can often be in stark contrast to our work environment.
Second, many of us fear leading because if we step out there our anxiety about balance of our families and careers makes us freeze. Just being the CEO of households and families exudes talent. Many shy away from a new challenge outside the home because they fear that they won’t do the job effectively or they don’t know everything so why bother even applying. Not true . You may be exactly what that new position calls for and you are letting negative self-talk control your emotions and thus create more fear.
Thirdly, will I be taken seriously in management? The answer is to step into that leadership role you desire with confidence. If you made it to this level, why aren’t you capable of the next level? The answer is YOU ARE. I promise.
And lastly, many women worry too much about what others will think of them if they became successful so they find an excuse and self-sabotage themselves and their dreams.
Tell us one of your greatest professional accomplishments, and why it meant so much to you? I am torn on this question.
I am proud of two with of course the exception of being a mother.) Number one was becoming #35 in the world for New York Life Insurance Company in sales. It was validation that I could be a successful financial advisor and be as or more than successful than men. Secondly, writing and have published my first book coming in early 2018- Train Your Brain -5 Ways to Master Your Mindset and Achieve Your Life Goals. It was divinely inspired last June. I believe with this book, I will touch my objective of a million lives all around the world. My thought reflection, may go against many other professionals’ in my arena . I just believe I cannot meet you where you are. We all need to turn inward and forgive others and ourselves to become successful in any aspect of life. If we do not reflect on our past hurts, how can we build bridges into our aspiring future. No one is perfect and some things are easier to forgive than others. There is a helpful exercise to show anyone how to get over past hurts and to have astounding everlasting change that increases your path to success. I hope you will enjoy some of the stories of the victims of circumstances in my book.
How do you manage fear in both your work and personal life?
F ree yourself. Failure and fear do not exist on their own. We need to breathe life into them .
E valuate the situation and breath and take those 5 minute mental breaks for yourself. I create scenarios in my mind where I see myself accomplishing. This takes practice. I certainly wasn’t always able to visualize my desired outcomes. Again I have another exercise in my book as to how to focus on visualization.
A ccept that change is part of our lives. Life is change yet many of us try to avoid it . If viewed realistically nothing stays stagnant no matter how hard one fights to stay in their comfort zone. An event will occur that will bring upon change. There is not one moment like the next.
R epeatiton of positive self-talk and constantly retraining your mind to visualize your future accomplishments desired. We must eliminate the mental tug of war in our minds . You can view as the devil on one shoulder saying “ Are you kidding me? You could never do that” and the angel on the other side saying “ but this is what I really want and I believe I can do it.” This constant tug of war needs the rope severed once and for all.
There will always be people that offend us in life and if we let them inhibit our growth and reduce our self-esteem that triggers most of our fears. The sooner you address a situation, resolve and forgive , you are building your own strength. I love to say “ It Takes Strength to Forgive and Forgiveness Becomes Strength. “ I believe it is my choice how I react hurt. I ask myself many questions. I ask myself is there anything I can learn from the pain? This in essence is evaluating. And as my mentor often says you can’t progress unless you live intentionally which takes evaluated experience.
Next continue on YOUR journey of accomplishment and remove any naysayers in your life. You need to surround yourself with like-minded people. That may be out of your comfort zone. You may not be a networker. You may not know everything. Guess what none of us do. We need to ask for help . You are not the only one who becomes overwhelmed with fear. I’ve been there and still get butterflies before I go on stage for a few minutes but I breathe to calm myself and say a prayer to the effect “God please let what I do and say” touch lives for the better. May I help and serve someone today.”
What do you believe will be the greatest global benefit to having more women in leadership roles?
Women are natural managers and leaders. Yet many of us don’t view ourselves that way? No matter the culture, woman manage our families’ schedules, activities, house chores, meals, offices and people. We have any uncanny knack for problem solving diplomatically because it is not just a transaction for women but an issue that needs attentive caring and thoughtfulness to be resolved. We put ourselves in the other party’s shoes and weigh how to approach a problem from allangles. As women , we love having a team united versus divided. Because we care so deeply, we are more effective negotiators and sales people. For example if your are in sales, you have most likely heard people buy on trust and emotion. We are unique in that woman have a deeper connection to all aspects of life. We connect more to universal needs and have the patience and gentleness often needed to lead. When women work together you can guarantee that the outcome has taken all factors and feelings into consideration, and then action plan is established by both parties. This approach is a win-win for us to connect globally.
What have you found to be the most effective way to motivate and energize your team?
I make sure they know how valued they are as a person and how without them our team would be missing a leg. You do not have to get fancy with sales promotions and contests. As fun as they are and they do get the competitive juices flowing, people knowing that you appreciate them is the ultimate key to developing leaders within your team and meeting every human’s need for validation .
After you express and they now feel valued, you will see productivity soar!
What is at the “core” of your drive and motivation to succeed?
The Core of my strength and determination is my faith and belief that I am to use my gifts to the fullest. If I am not using my talents to improve others lives, than I have missed life’s major point. MY “WHY” or purpose, always has to be bigger than the how. It will work out with proper effort, focus and belief.
My first “WHY” is to have my three daughters see that service, work ethic and living with loving values creates opportunity. Also, they can reach any level or become a business leader of their choosing. If corporate life is too structured for them ,then I’ll encourage entrepreneurship. I need to exemplify that you can create balance between career, family and community service through proper time management and self-focus.
When I accomplish all of this and as of now I am well on my way, with 2 of them in college, I will have met my WHY. My second WHY is to positively touch a million lives before I am here no longer through helping them develop a plan to attain their dreams.
And my last “WHY” is to create the Odgers Just One Foundation. The objective is to assist inner city children, and abused women and children to learn from a mentor that has been in their position. The mentor would assist and educate “Just One” other soul to become the best version of themselves by exposing them to opportunities they previously did not have .
Overall, I feel that mentoring others who truly are trapped in unhealthy environments, is the cure for many of our world problems. It would help educate more people to be able to feel more self-esteem and self-worth. When that is accomplished, poverty will be reduced . Our entire global community would thrive if those fortunate enough to be educated and live comfortably would mentor someone less fortunate. It is possible for each of us to help just one other person fulfill their potential.
A portion of my book sales will be contributed to women and children who are victims of abuse through Safe Harbor of Chester Co., Women Against Abuse, Inc. and The Laurel House.