Kevin Stafford 0:03
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the conversations with coaches podcast. I’m your host, Kevin and today I have the pleasure of hosting Lacey Alexander Lacey is an executive coach, facilitator and curriculum designer. She blends her leadership acumen with her background in adult education and development, to partner with our clients to boldly define what success looks like for them, make courageous choices and live in their purpose. I really like your choice of words there, there are a few there where I’m like, Oh, I like the way that that kind of leads nicely into a little bit to the side of what you usually hear, and more meaningful for it. So as you can probably tell, I’m excited to talk to you, thank you for talking with me today, Lacey.
Lacey Alexander 0:41
Thank you for the invite. Of course,
Kevin Stafford 0:44
let’s say, let’s go back to your superhero origin story, how you got your start how you got your powers? How did you first realize you were decided to become a coach? Maybe somebody told you or advised you or you just kind of realized you were doing things in other aspects of your life? You’re like, oh, this is called coaching? I have a word for it. I should do more of this. And how did you go from that kind of realization moment in your life to the practice you have today?
Lacey Alexander 1:08
That’s a great question. So I am a lifelong learner, and constantly trying to find new ways to learn. And I just finished up my graduate program in adult education. And a mentor of mine suggested coaching, and honestly, I had no idea what that really meant. So I started a coaching program and, and realize in my leadership practice, I used a lot of those principles without so much of the formula and fell in love with it. But what I really fell in love with in that coaching program, was to become a coach, you have to be coached, and it was life changing for me. And that’s when I instantly knew I wanted to provide that life changing support to other people.
Kevin Stafford 1:49
Yeah, that that that polarity realization, where it’s like, it’s such a receiving and giving coaching, it’s become I mean, it’s a it’s a lot like certain life lessons you learn about giving and receiving it’s, they’re one in the same. And when you realize that, and you realize the power of it, and the joy that you can derive from it, but the giving and the receiving it really just like pretty much every coach I talked to, in one way or another describes that moment. And it’s like you could see that I could see on your face, like that realization was like it was like a dawn of a new day.
Lacey Alexander 2:19
Exactly, it really was.
Kevin Stafford 2:22
That’s fantastic. So thinking about I like how you described your principles without the formula, that being kind of around the beginning, like you kind of realize that you had the principles in place, the values, the type of person, you were the way you chose to go about leading, and lead others lead yourself, and how that naturally, evolved very nicely into a coaching practice. So let’s talk about your principles and and how they connect to your formula as it works. Should you have a specific one at this point?
Lacey Alexander 2:49
I do until what I find is 99% of my coaching clients tend to identify as women or belong to the bipoc or LGBTQ IA communities. And what I find it in and that those demographics is that society has stifled a lot of people from being their true selves, or, you know, you should behave like this A here should so often in my coaching calls, I know I shouldn’t do this, and I all that out every single time. But I like to coach professionals who are on their own leadership journeys and trying to figure out how to be their best, most authentic selves and that in whatever industry that they operate in. And I do that by helping them root themselves in their values, really own their strengths, and then define what success looks like to them. Because I think once you know that, it’s it’s a lot easier to shed or discern some of that unnecessary or any effective feedback that you get that does cause a lot of that self consciousness or what I hear a lot of imposter syndrome. They know who they are, they just get told that they need to be less, or they’re too they’re doing too much, or they’re not doing these and this homogenous view of leadership. And instead of just stepping into what they are doing, then they can be their best. And so that’s what I tried to do is help them through that process. When I do that through one on one coaching, group coaching. I facilitate courses, I do workshops, leadership, I’m very passionate about leadership. So while I’m not developing leaders in coaching, I try to help them with that process of finding out who they want to be as a leader,
Kevin Stafford 4:33
a guy that a key moment on the journey, where someone but where people really need it. I I really, I love the defining success, how you define it, what it means for you. Because to be perfectly frank, this is not the only podcast but success for a very long time in many areas, has been defined by people who look a lot like me. I’m a white guy, just in case you don’t know that I can’t tell from the way that I’m talking. And the rules quote unquote The metrics for success are, quite frankly warped around that very specific kind of identity. And it’s just at best irrelevant to a lot of people and at worst damaging, very damaging to a lot of people. And I, I feel like the work that you do, and your focus is so important for helping people do define for themselves, what success looks like, and what their leadership looks like. And then translating that into the world and establishing that as a present rock for other people to find later on, like people who will grow from your leadership guidance. But like many steps down the chain, like someone you coach to help someone else who lead some other team who moved into other position, and then someone is influenced by them. And you never get to see that really, you’re never in are directly interacting with that one on one. But you can kind of have that, that trust that knowledge that’s happening out there as you do the work. And it really is, it’s very humbling to have to sit in to realize that you’re able to have that kind of affected influenced by just digging in and doing that kind of work with people and for people and being that kind of guy, I don’t really have a question there. I’m just I really, really love, what you do and what you stand for. And the way you go about doing it. That makes sense.
Lacey Alexander 6:08
It does Thank you know, what you’re describing is I like to say it’s like being a force multiplier. And while I never see the impact that they’re having, on the other side, I know, and then I’ve learned is you’re really good at your job, and then you become in charge. And there’s not a lot of guidance around that. And I’ve had a lot of, of experience in leadership, a lot of schooling, and I even taught leadership for three years. And, and so there’s so much good information in that. And to me, leadership is life skills. So you’re not just making them better at work. They’re better communicators, partners, parents, all of those things are wrapped in those same foundational principles. So in general, they’re just better human beings in the world making a difference.
Kevin Stafford 6:51
That’s something to that I feel like as more people are realizing about coaching, I feel like coaching has really gone through a lot in the way it’s perceived. And the way it’s understood over the last, I mean, last couple of years, for obvious reasons. But really, over the last few decades how for a lot of people realizing that a coach can be really helpful in their continuing education and growth, like as a professional, like I’ve ended up talking about this kind of a lot in this podcast lately about how there’s a continuing education aspect to coaching where it’s like we spend so much of our younger years in formal to varying degrees, education, like the lion’s share of our time is engaged in that. And then you reach a certain point and you for the most part, there stops being a structure of further education, place where people can help guide you and teach you in the ways that you need when you’re in your 20s and your 30s and your 40s. And when you’re in your first career, when you’re in your next career, when you’re in your midlife switch career, wherever your journey happens to take you, there’s a real gap there. And I see coaches of all various stripes moving into that gap with like power and authority and empathy and, and compassion in a way that sorry, clearly, it excites me, and I start to talk about it and I start getting carried away, my hands are starting to rise up into the Zoom window as I’m gesturing wildly. But it’s very speaking to what you were just speaking to about how it’s not just about the professional coaching, it’s not just about developing yourself as a leader for your workplace, because it’s just not the way it works. It radiates out into every aspect of your life, the way you lead and show up in your personal relationships and your family relationships. Just when you’re in public at the grocery store, or wherever you happen to be or whatever you happen to be doing it really, it has this kind of again, the second order third order is radiating effect that really is hopefully the right kind of contagious. I know that word has little charts these days. But it’s the right kind of contagion. I have a friend of mine that uses the word pro tagine kind of tongue in cheek because it’s actually a very positive spreading of something that we could all use a little more of. And again, I keep not asking questions, I’m just inspired by, by what you’re doing.
Lacey Alexander 8:51
Thank you, thank you. No, I love it because you’re right how that spreads into their life, what I find is because of the demographic of the coaches that I generally work with, Confidence comes up I would say it’s come up almost 100% of the time in their goal setting and when they leave I feel like they just they’ve found their voice and they’re able to be their best most authentic self in the world and in life and it does spread across all aspects of their life.
Kevin Stafford 9:23
I want to keep talking to you about this we get but when I realized I keep my eyes darted up to the clock and the zoom window I’m like on and I was already I was like over 10 minutes already and we’ve just barely scratched the surface I might have to like invite you back on for part two or something I’m not sure. But I do want to make sure that you get a chance to talk a little bit specifically about like what you do, who you do it for and where people can find out more about you connect with you reach out and engage with you to see if they’re if your coaching will be right for them.
Lacey Alexander 9:50
Okay, sounds good. Yeah, what I do is I presently partner I have my own coaching practice but I also partner with the come Honey in Manhattan called SAGE coaching. And they’ve done some amazing work and bringing coaching to mid level managers, the director level, so prior to the C suite when you really need it, because you’re learning how to impact other people’s, how you’re impacting other people’s lives. So I partnered with them and coach, and then also in my practice, I also partner with Rutgers University to teach leadership training to a lot of healthcare, pharmaceutical, just different places here in New Jersey. And then I teach as well, in my free time. Leadership, I’m just really passionate about about leadership and bringing that message to people.
Kevin Stafford 10:39
It really once once you once you catch it, once you really find it like that. It just It permeates everything you do. It’s sort of, I don’t know, I don’t always like this phrase. But I do like it quite a bit to say, if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. It’s like, I like this one aspect of that, because that love permeates everything that you do. But one thing I like to be able to I have to clarify, it’s like there’s still work to be done. It could be work and love at the same time. They’re not mutually exclusive states. But I do like flipping that on its head a little bit because that’s really what it’s like it just it becomes a part of everything you do, it becomes a part of the way you want to move through the world, whether you’re at your job, or you’re at your coaching practice, or Yeah, anywhere in your life.
Lacey Alexander 11:19
Yes, but you’re right, it’s still a lot of work. Being an entrepreneur and going alone is a lot of work.
Kevin Stafford 11:26
Yes, yes, I that’s, that’s why I always put that caveat in there. Cuz I’m like, it’s, I’ve bumped into a play that most of it is a ton of work. And it’s a lot of love, and a lot of passion and a lot of light and a lot of joy. So it’s both and yes, it is. Where these days, where do you most like for people to find out more about you and like get to know you a little bit? Do you have a particular like you have a website you’d like to direct people to do you have a preferred social media like account or preferred place that you’d like to really like, engage and maybe start a conversation? Where can people like yeah, find out more about you and connect with you?
Lacey Alexander 11:59
Yeah, more people can find me at www dot creative solutions, the letter A number two, the letter z.com. And I have a bigger presence on LinkedIn. But actually, by the end of the year, I’m launching a learning platform, incongruent. congruently. With a YouTube channel where I want to talk about some of these leadership principles. I’ll talk about what the stages of team dynamics are. And then if people want to learn more, they can go to my learning platform, and learn some of the nuances of how you guide your teams through those different stages to help them be the most successful that they can be. So that that is coming. Coming
Kevin Stafford 12:40
soon, you say the end of the year, and it’s like, it’s middle mid October already. So that’s right around the corner, I may have to mat ask you back on so you can promote that and talk more about that. That’s exciting. It’s really exciting.
Lacey Alexander 12:49
It is exciting.
Kevin Stafford 12:52
Well, shoot, I should get I should let you go. Is there any? I like to ask that sometimes is there any like message you want to like just deliver to the audience or any anything you’d like to say that kind of sums up what you say you’ve already basically set it all. But I always like to leave a little bit of a door open if you have anything that you’d like to like to leave the audience with before we close out.
Lacey Alexander 13:11
Yeah, one thing I’m really passionate about is doing that intentional self work to really figure out who you are, and, and being rooted in that. Because it does help you to walk in your purpose. It does help you to turn away some of that that unnecessary noise that makes us second guess what we’re doing when it’s right. And, and just enjoy life a whole lot more because you walk with a different confidence. So I’m very passionate about knowing who you are, knowing what you stand for, and being able to walk in your purpose.
Kevin Stafford 13:46
I love that phrase walk in your purpose. It’s a perfect place to leave it. I think that might be the title of the episode, quite frankly. Lacey, thank you so much for spending a little bit time with me for the podcast. I’ve really enjoyed talking with you. And audience those of you listening by all means find out more about Lacey reach out she’s she’s doing the good work. Capital G insofar as that’s something it is it is the good work. And there’s a reason that we’re in these conversations so passionate, because it really is a work of change. So thank you Lacey, very much for being with me today. I really appreciate it. And to the audience, we’ll talk to you again soon.