Episode 080 : Tenets of Quality Service Leadership with Sky Jarrett

Sky Jarrett is an executive coach and pioneer of 21st century leadership. She has a passion for unlocking human excellence and specializes in using researched-based and neuroscience techniques to support leaders in improving their effectives and thriving in the digital age.

As a leadership and organization development consultant at one of the world’s largest consulting firms, Sky has 12+ years of specialized expertise in large-scale transformations helping organizations transform their culture, leaders, and performance from within.

Sky is also a certified instructor, advocate, and change agent for mindfulness and has been instrumental in bring mindfulness to Fortune 500 companies. She is committed to growing the reach of mindfulness across industries and geographies as a way of expanding the human capacity to deal with the relentless and fast-paced challenges of life in the 21st century.

Transcend, LLC is an organization aimed at supporting individuals, groups, and organizations in helping them transcend barriers to maximize their greatness and achieve extraordinary results. Combining unparalleled expertise in Leadership Excellence, Human & Organizational Development, Brain Science, Mindfulness, Positive Psychology, Performance Excellence, and Inclusive & Diversity principles, Transcend specializes in curating experiences, program, and talks designed to inspire and transform.

Questions

  • Tell us a little bit about your background?
  • What are three to four characteristics or traits that you think a leader needs to have in order to really lead an organization that will be customer centric?
  • In terms of as a leader, there is the old adage are saying that says, “Leaders are not born versus leaders can be created.” what are your thoughts on that?
  • How do you stay motivated everyday?
  • Could you share with us what’s, what’s the one online resource tool, website or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your business?
  • Can you share with us maybe one or two books that have had the biggest impact on you?
  • Could you share with us maybe one thing that’s going on in your life right now that you are really excited about – either something that you are working on to develop yourself or your people?
  • Where can our listeners find you online?
  • During times of adversity or times when you feel like you’re faced with obstacles that you may have dotes that you are unable to overcome these obstacles. Do you have any quote or saying that during these times you will draw on it to kind of regain your strength and focus and momentum?

Highlights

  • Sky shared that she will start with her background and work her way into mindfulness and how she got into that space. She shared that she and her siblings were very blessed to have a dad who really cared about their future and at the tender age of 9, he had them thinking about who they wanted to be when they grow up. So, he took each of them sat a stone, asked them what they were interested in doing, who they saw themselves becoming. At the time she thought she wanted to go into medicine and when he took her to the hospital to meet with a doctor just to talk about what that career path is like and what it’s like to be a doctor, she learned that she’s afraid of blood. So, medicine would not be the path for her, but that led her down a journey to really discovering what and who she wanted to be, and psychology was really intriguing to her. What she found interesting was that we spend majority of our lives at work, for the average person 40 to 60 hours a week or more for some of us and how much quality of that experience really impacts the rest of our lives. And so, for her, really intrigued by that notion, she was compelled to want to make a difference, to somehow improve that life experience, that work life experience. And she felt that approaching it from the perspective of leadership and helping leader to be more effective and more conscious in how they impact their employees and the people that follow them, that she could scale her impact on people and their lives that way. So, she sort of went from wanting to help people from a medical perspective to really, at the end of the day seeking to improve people’s life experiences at work and tackling that from a leadership perspective.

Yanique shared that the program is called Navigating the Customer Experience – And I remember in some of our pre conversations you are just trying to align to make sure that you know, what you had to offer would align very well with our audience. Now, leadership is a very big part of customer experience as you would know based on the work that you’ve done with all of these large organizations. And if the leadership is not mindful and basically not leading their teams in a way that is going to yield the greatest level of productivity in all the dimensions that your life needs leading in, not just in terms of work, but health and wealth and spirituality and emotionally then you’re really not going to have a truly successful organization.

  • Sky stated that she thinks of leadership not only as the person with the title, if you will, who is hereby appointed and hailed as the leader. But she thinks of leadership or someone as a leader, as someone who has made a conscious effort to take a leadership role in their own life. So, living their life by design, being intentional about how they live their life and for many of us, we see leadership as sort of a service, having a service orientation. Who are we leading? Who are we serving? Who are we influencing? And that can be in a work capacity or a personal capacity. And so, how she connects that dot from a customer centric perspective, if she thinks of herself as someone who is leading the trade and pioneering 21st century leadership and she thinks about the leaders who she wants to be serving. She has to take a customer centric perspective to really understanding who are those individuals, what are they struggling with, what are their challenges and what it is that she has to offer them that’s unique to support their journey. So, number one is having that sort of awareness and having the where it all to think about the customer in that way, to have that customer centric view to begin with she believes is important. And to support that, Sky thinks having the capacity to sort of cultivating a capacity for empathy is very important so that we can put ourselves in the shoes of the people that we’re serving, whether that is the end user of our product or service or the employees that we’re serving and supporting as well. But cultivating a practice of empathy where we can put ourselves in their shoes, understand their perspective and serve them in that way to her she thinks is tremendously important.

Sky also mentioned, specific to having that customer centricity, she thinks more than just the awareness, but the capacity to sort of think from a systemic perspective, especially in now a 21st century. When you think about the impact of globalization, we’re so much more connected now than we were before. And so, you hear the buzzword of thinking about the ecosystem and thinking about all the players, the market landscape is just so much different now than it was before. So, she thinks also having that capacity, obviously awareness more than the awareness, having the capacity to think on that many dimensions. In her world you talk about increased complexity, the more high you get as a leader, the more complexity you have to deal with, thinking about stakeholders and your customers on that many levels. And when you think about how you engage with those customers and the ecosystem that’s involved in that engagement, it’s not so much indirect, one-to-one, um, business to customer or customer to customer relationship anymore. It’s so much more dynamic. So just having more of a capacity to navigate that complexity I think is really important. And a lot of the work that I do with leaders is to help them scale that capacity to build more capacity to deal with more of the complexity that I believe is inherent in the 21st century. So, she would say those are the three things for her. The awareness, cultivating a capacity for empathy and having the capacity to deal with more complexity, to be able to navigate that she thinks is really important.

  • Sky shared that she boils leadership down to influence and how you’re able to influence people, again, both in your personal life but also in business and while she thinks characteristics, there are certain personality traits that someone can have that makes it a lot easier for them or somewhat makes them more magnetizing. So, the typical characteristic people think about is, “Oh, they’re so charismatic and they’re such great people pleaser.”Sky thinks there are assumptions about what makes a leader effective, but she also does a lot of strengths-based work. So, looking at what makes an individual special from the perspective of what their strengths are and how they can maximize and leverage the power of that strength to make them a powerful leader. And there was a lot of research that was done to uncover, “Whoa, is there like a particular ingredient that leaders need to have to be successful?” And they looked at the CEOs across the globe and they found that not necessarily that leaders can approach leadership from the perspective of what makes them special and what makes them shine. You think about Bill Gates, he’s not the most charismatic of them, but is he an effective leader? Yes. Is he an effective business businessman? Absolutely, no questions asked. He for her is an example of someone who really understands himself, is very in touch with the things that makes him special and has figured out how to apply his specific ingredients to do what he needs to do to be effective in a way that’s authentic to him and to her, that’s the most important thing, that element of authenticity.

Yanique agreed and stated – I liked the fact that you touched on authenticity. I think it’s so important. I read a lot of Brené Brown’s books and ‘ve been following her for maybe about seven, eight years now. I did a workshop with her a couple of years ago that she did read Oprah on scrapbooking, kind of helping you to fine yourself and just talk about shame on the things that we take for granted in our lives that we think other people don’t suffer from. We’re all actually suffering from some of the very same things, just maybe different experiences. And one of the very strong characteristics or traits that I will speak about in our workshops that we do here in Jamaica is I personally believe that the most important role of a leader is to grow and develop people. Would you agree? And if so, why is it so important? And I guess you’d have touched on it when you mentioned capacity for the leader to ensure that he grows and develops the people around him or her.

Sky shared that this point is really near and dear to her heart. It’s sort of the bread and butter of why she do the work that she does, is to help people to grow, to develop, to be their best self, to be their authentic self. And she thinks as leaders we have a responsibility to do that for the people that support us and the people that we support. And one of the things that she thinks is most important part of that journey is to give ourselves and each other the permission to be human because so many of us going to a work environment and we have this expectation of who we want to be at work, the image that we want to project at work as if we’re living two different lives, we have a work life and we have a personal life, two different people going to show up for each of the life and we are one person. And the more whole we can be, the more authentic we can be is the more fulfilled we will be. There is a thing of living in congruence, that’s a psychological term where you’re living this ideal version of yourself, but it’s not who you feel you are meant to be or you’re living out of obligation but you’re not really connecting with who you are at your core and who you are in your true authenticity. And so, the more misaligned we are, the more misalignment we have between who we want to be and who we’re actually showing up as is the more unhappy we are. And that can lead to burnout, it can lead to anxiety, depression, and for sure if not all of those things, you just won’t be as happy living that life. So, for her, helping people to create that space, she thinks as leaders we have a responsibility to create that space of safety where people can show up as they are and close that gap of in congruence.

Yanique agreed. It’s awesome that your company is dedicated to transforming that particular area because a lot of organizations need that message, that reinforcement to recognize that their role is to help people really grow and align themselves to who they’re truly, truly meant to be and sometimes that requires some soul searching because some of us are working in jobs 30, 40 years and we really don’t know what we want. We kind of just on that treadmill going everyday, not really sitting down and questioning ourselves and giving ourselves truthful answers, what really, really makes us happy.

Sky shared that she calls it living by default versus living, but we’re just living life by default, just whatever comes our way, we’ll go at it versus being intentional about one, getting clear about what we want for our lives, what we want for ourselves, how we want to spend our time, the difference we want to make in this world. She had a moment she was robbed at gunpoint in Jamaica, December 2015. And the thing that she walked away with was thinking, “Okay, so this happened at three o’clock in the afternoon, broad daylight. The gunman knows that I saw his face.” So, really and truly, he had no reason to let her walk. And she walked away thinking, “What if he made a different choice? And he ended my life in that moment. So, what that I’d have lived. So what? What difference have I made in the world that would really warrant the life that I lived up until that point?” And many of us don’t have those experiences to help us think about those types of questions. But if you think to live your life with the end in mind, rest assured you’re going to be more inspired to be more intentional about how you live your life, the difference that your life makes, the impact that your life has made on this world. And really getting behind that and being more intentional about designing your life in such a way that you can live out the best version of your life, she strongly believes in it. Get off the damn treadmill and live by design, don’t live by default.

  • When asked about how she stays motivated everyday, Sky stated that she is committed to living her life by design and with the whole concept of not living. She thinks one of the most important things for her is being in alignment with her truth and having a solid understanding of who she wants to be and really having an intention around that. So, that allows her to wake up every day with clarity of who she is and who she wants to show up as every single day. Because when we don’t have that clarity, it’s so much easier for us to stray and get discouraged, we feel lost and confused and stuck and who is motivated when they’re in that space. When you have clarity of who you want to be and you have this insatiable passion that you wake up everyday feeling like you can’t wait to get out the bed, that’s when you know that you’ve tapped into something really special. So, for her, it really helps for her to be motivated, to be in alignment, number one, number two, being committed to living life by design and she can literally wake up every day saying life is so good because she has made it that way, because she has chosen to make life good, that’s why she can say life is good. Another more important part for her, or equally important part for her is the success of her clients. So, going back to that customer centricity, having conversations, take her individual coaching clients as an example, she met with one just this morning and she shared a victory with Sky, something that she wouldn’t have achieved outside of the journey that she has been on, that Sky has been supporting her with and for her to unsolicited just shared with her, “Oh my gosh, you wouldn’t believe what happened last week.”And for her to feel so good about that, they were on video and she could see the happiness and celebration in her face, in her eyes, and she was so excited, so proud of herself, so happy for this success that they were able to celebrate together, that keeps Sky going for sure, it keeps her motivated.

Yanique mentioned that Sky shared one of the oldest types of advertising for any business and it’s really what all businesses should aspire for, true word of mouth advertising in terms of really being able to speak about the value and the greatness or impact that on an organization or an individual is able to help them overcome. Because the reality is all businesses go into business to make money, but usually they going to business to solve a problem. So, what problem are you solving for that individual or that company or that set of people and are you consistently doing it? Are you looking for opportunities to make it better each and every time? Are you flexible? Are you accessible? those are all the things that customers are looking for, ease of doing business, convenience. So, I think once you can ensure that you’re doing that consistently and your customers can say it for you, not you saying it for yourself, then it speaks volumes to the impact that you have on people’s lives.

Sky agreed and stated that here is the dilemma that we’re all faced with, every single one of us living in this day and age is that life has changed, the pace of life is so much fast now then it has ever been and sadly is the slowest it will ever be. Listeners thinking about that, that manifests in each of our lives in a very different way. Like for her, it just feels like life is on a rapid seriously and she thinks it creates a very difficult space for many of us to kind of feel like we’re keeping our head above water, constantly feeling like we’re sinking, constantly feeling like we’re falling behind, we may suffer from information overload because news is coming from every which direction, we have news coming out of our ears, we don’t know which news platforms to keep up with and, “Did you hear about that? No, you’re too lie. What’s going on over there feeling?” feeling like we’re always out of the loop. FOMO is so real because there’s so many different information platforms and we want to keep track of everything so we don’t have FOMO and we keeping up with the Netflix and just keeping up with life in general and the responsibilities and how difficult it is to navigate life. And you think about things land like Airbnb and Uber and social media and how it’s changing how we live life. So, to her a lot of people are bringing in 20th century lifestyle skills to the 21st century and it’s not going to work. So, that for her is the problem that she’s helping people figure out how do I navigate this new way of living? How do I navigate this new way of living in business and in their personal lives so that people can, to your point, go through life with more of a feeling of ease, much less anxiety, much more fulfillment, being more effective in our personal lives and in our work life and have this general feeling of, “Man, I’m thriving, I am flourishing.”which is very difficult to achieve, more difficult now than ever before. And so, that’s what she seeks to offer my clients and she does that in different capacities, both on an individual basis, but also in the corporate context. She works with teams to do that kind of work, so you talk about flexibility, accessibility, those are all things that she brings to the table, she doesn’t do cookie cutter solutions, she does very tailored solutions for her clients and really meet them where they need to be met.

  • In regard to online resources, Sky shared that the two that comes to mind for her but the first one that came to mind was Acuity, which is the online scheduling platform because she has clients who she meets with on a weekly, monthly, biweekly basis. The scheduling, we live in a day and age where taking things off the to do list is one of those lifestyle strategies, the more you can take off your to do list or your thinking list, the better, the easier. So for her, giving them access and this is also one of those customer centricity tools or conveniences that she likes to offer her clients as well, where the scheduling is up to them and they’re able to grab time on her calendar that is convenient for them, the day that works for them, the time that works for them based on the options that are available. So, it works for her because she gets to dictate what hours she wants to work, on what days and they get to pick and refuse availability based on what works best for them. So, that’s one tool she doesn’t think she could live without. The second would be QuickBooks, it’s how she manage her finances, her invoicing, all that good stuff.
  • When asked about books that have had the biggest impact, Sky shared that she would for sure say one is The Motivation Manifesto: 9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power by Brendon Burchard, this was like a wake-up call, this book was like, “Whose agenda are you living? Girl, reclaim your agenda. This is your life. Let’s get it together.” that book was like really help things to snap into gear for her. But then you have all this motivation, you’re like, yes, I want a better life for myself. But what exactly does that look like? And so, the second book that she felt really powerful was a book called The Calling and it was a book that really helped her to tap into that inner voice, tap into her authenticity and tap into what is she being called to do in this world really helped her to crystalized that. And funny enough, that journey took her back to what she had aspired to do when she was nine but you know how life has a way of just being distracting and society starts to dictate who you want to be and what you want to be when you grow up, and the more noise you hear is the more confused you become and the more you stray away from that which you’re really meant to do. So, that book for her was a way to reconnect to who she really is and what that she really wants to do in this world.
  • Sky stated that she has the honor, the pleasure, the benefit, the glory, any insert adjective to really support people primarily in the corporate setting and these people are paying “one begga money” to get these support services and she wanted to figure out a way that she could scale and provide the services and offerings to more people than just those within a corporate context. So, what she’s working on now is an online program which will provide the work that she does for these high paying clients to the average person who might not have the benefits or the luxury of a company paying for this service for them, but they can access it. And essentially what it is, and she’s really timing it around the new year, this is a time when so many of us come up with new year’s resolutions, we’re really excited, we’re really pumped, we can see this version of ourselves, we do vision board workshops and we’re fully charged and ready to go and then by February, March all resolutions have a back burner and we are not living our best life. So, this program is really designed to address that problem, why is it that we start off with so much steam and we run out of steam second or third month of the year? And so, she’s certified in a program that was designed by a Harvard professor that looks at what is it that gets in the way, it’s like you’re on the starting block and they say, “On your mark, get set, let’s go and you take off and you just lick up into an invisible wall.” What are those invisible walls that keep getting in our way and how do we transcend those barriers to living our best lives. That’s the program she’s launching, it will be an online program and she’s just really excited to make her work and make this work accessible to more people at this scale.

Sky shared that the program is expected to release at the end of November, so in advance of the new year so people can get their engines revving and they’re ready to go by the beginning of the new year.

  • Sky shared listeners can find her at –

www.transcendglobal.org

Instagram – @transcendllc

LinkedIn – Transcend, LLC

  • Sky shared that her mantra is just a reminder that she has everything that she needs to live the life that she wants and if it’s not coherent in her, it’s something just really reminded herself that everything is figure-out-able, she’s resourceful and she can figure it out. So, the quote for her is, “I have everything I need to live the life that I want.” and it’s just a really uplifting thing and powering resourceful quote for her to help navigate any uncertainty.

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