People You Should Meet: Martha Beck

megan leatherman career coach and human resources consultantIt's been a while since I've done a People You Should Meet post, but I'm reading so much of Martha Beck's stuff that it doesn't seem fair to keep her to myself. In case you haven't already met her, Martha Beck is an author and life coach who focuses on how to help people live their "right lives" by returning to their inner guidance systems and their wild nature.

I've been learning a lot lately about how to tap into our internal GPS systems amidst the deluge of information that tells us to "do this," "do that," "stop trying," and "try harder." Getting all of those messages, whether they're from our families, friends, or bosses, is maddening, and I've experienced the total confusion that comes as a result of losing touch with the part of me that knows what I need.

Martha helps us remember that we are each more than our rational minds - that we're spiritual beings who experience deep pain when we aren't connected to our true selves or our purpose in life. I love this quote from her book, Steering by Starlight:

You are a natural mystic. All humans are. But given our culture, it's likely that every time your being starts to assume the gentle curve of the mystic's soul, something else - your peers, your parents, your own rational mind - slices into you...forcing you back to the rational shape you're "supposed" to have.

If you need some extra tools for reconnecting with the natural, mystical part of you, I'd encourage you to check out her blog or one of her many books.

A career-related article of hers that I love is called How to Track Your Perfect Career, and it's a great introduction to Martha's philosophy of career development, which I love and use often in my work with coaching clients.

I hope you check her out and are blessed by her work!

People You Should Meet: Tony Schwartz

I have someone I'd like you to meet. I came across Tony Schwartz and his company, The Energy Project, a while ago, but have recently renewed my interest in his work. I think he's doing important things and speaking some serious truth into the upper echelons of U.S. industry. The Energy Project offers compelling business cases that demonstrate just how harmful our "hamster wheel" workplace tendencies are, and Schwartz writes about them in a way that's widely accessible. A former journalist, he writes about the way we work on his blog. To get you started, here are 3 of my favorite posts:

Humanity as a Competitive Advantage

Struggling to Disconnect from our Digital Lives

Escalating Demands at Work Hurt Employees and Companies

I've also ordered his book, The Way We're Working Isn't Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance and am really looking forward to reading it.


People You Should Meet: David Whyte

People You Should Meet You know those artists who put into words, songs, or images what you have in your heart but can't get out very elegantly? David Whyte did that for me in his book, The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self and Relationship. This book has given me a new language for what I knew to be true but couldn't articulate: the fact that we cannot (and should not) separate our work from our lives. According to Whyte, trying to simply "balance" work and life will leave you feeling exhausted and defeated; if we're going to thrive, we have to integrate our three marriages: to work, to others, and to our selves.

Here's one of my favorite quotes:

"Thinking of work, self and other as three marriages offers the possibility of living them out in a way in which they are not put into competition with one another, where each of the marriages can protect, embolden and enliven the others and help keep us mutually honest, relevant, authentic and alive."

Whyte has gone on to develop "The Institute for Conversational Leadership," which helps to implement his philosophy in corporate environments. If you are looking for a poetic, fresh way of looking at your work and its relationship to your life, I hope you'll consider reading this book.

People You Should Meet: Liz Ryan

People You Should Meet Liz Ryan founded and leads a small but powerfully innovative outfit called Human Workplace. Liz's articles and materials were my first entrée into this belief that our workplaces, while made up of people, are not actually very people-friendly.

Her articles are accessible, provocative, and complemented by her colorful drawings. If you're an HR professional, hiring manager, or job seeker, I think she's a must-read. She helps me think outside the box and trust that people are inherently good and should be treated as such in their places of work.

You can check out her LinkedIn articles here or view her website by clicking here.

People You Should Meet: Brené Brown

human-567566_1280 You've probably already heard of the prolific researcher and storyteller, Brené Brown, but in case you haven't, let me introduce you! Brené Brown speaks and writes about shame, vulnerability, and how to be brave enough to face them both so that you can live a fuller life. I'm in the midst of reading her book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, and it's a game-changer. Brown defines shame and vulnerability in ways that help me understand how much the feeling of "I'm not enough" really impacts all of us -- men and women, at home and in the workplace.

Facing your feelings of shame and having the courage to be vulnerable will, based on Brown's research, make you a better leader, friend, parent, spouse, and human. Check her out if you dare! I think her work has something important to say to each of us. Some resources you can start with:

People You Should Meet: Seth Godin

People You Should Meet Periodically on this blog, we'll tell you about people we think are awesome and that you should e-meet. These people are ones who either emulate integration in their work lives, speak creatively about business or organizations, or are just doing really cool things.

First up: Seth Godin. Have you heard of him? I get his blog posts in my inbox every morning, and it's fabulous. He offers quick snippets of insight that push me to think more creatively about how organizations should be managed. His background is in marketing, but I think his thoughts are helpful to anyone who is part of an organization (so, everyone).

I found out about him initially because he recorded a podcast on the uh.mazing. On Being with Krista Tippett. He's written many, many books and seems to be one of those people whose success is simply an output of his intense love for what he does. One quote of his that has stuck with me:

One of the critical decisions of every career:

"Well, there's plenty more to do, I'll do the least I can here and then move on to the next one."


"I only get to do this one, once. So I'll do it as though it's the last chance I'll ever have to do this work, to please this customer, to ring this bell."

People who bring their whole selves to work like Seth does are such an inspiration to me - they've found work that's a natural outlet for their passions and don't let the gremlins of "not good enough" or "this has to appeal to everyone" get in their way. You can check him out here: Enjoy!