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BizCast 62: Bringing Your Best Self with Sarah Fecht

BizCast 62: Bringing Your Best Self with Sarah Fecht

Episode 62

Brining Your Best Self with Sarah Fecht

About BizCast Greater La Crosse

We bring you news from the business community. From startups to experienced problem solvers, you’ll get in-depth insight on the challenges and opportunities of doing business in Greater La Crosse. Our show is a collaboration between and BizNews Greater La Crosse ( ).


Sarah Fecht, owner of Best Self Leadership, joins to discuss her approach to leadership coaching, the importance of recognizing individual strengths, and the value of emotional intelligence in leadership. Sarah shares insights from her experience in Human Resources and her transition to launching her own business. We also cover strategies for creating high-performing teams and fostering trust within organizations.

Full Transcript [generated by AI]

[00:00:00] Sarah Fecht: I partner with the individual to get the best for them.

[00:00:07] Sarah Fecht: And that might not look like staying at your organization. Even though that organization is bringing me in.

[00:00:13] Vicki Markussen: Welcome to BizCast, Greater La Crosse, a weekly podcast from BizNews. We bring you news from the business community. I am your host and founder, Vicki Markussen, and joining me today is Sarah Fecht. She is the owner of Best Self Leadership. And Sarah, I have Sat back watching you launch your business, cheering you on because it’s very exciting because you uplift people.

[00:00:38] Vicki Markussen: Let’s start out with talking about

[00:00:39] Sarah Fecht: what you do. I would love to. And thank you for having me, Vicki. So in the fall of 2019, I launched full time into Best Self Leadership. And what Best Self Leadership does is we pour into leaders so they can bring their best their best self. And the ways that I do that is I work with leaders one on one, providing leadership coaching.

[00:01:02] Sarah Fecht: So partnering alongside them for all of the challenges as well as all of the victories that we get to see as leaders in organizations. Now, I also provide leadership training for organizations as well as keynote speaking and sometimes even some consulting work based on my 20 plus years of experience in Human Resources.

[00:01:25] Speaker: Yeah, so there must have been something in those 20 years that made you say, this is my gift, right? Like you excel at doing this. What are those things? that kind of gave you a clue, this is the path you should be on.

[00:01:39] Sarah Fecht: Some of the clues along the way are that ability to be able to connect with people and meet them wherever they’re at.

[00:01:48] Sarah Fecht: I see value in people, not because of their title, which is sometimes how people see value, right? Ooh, wow, they’re the CEO, they’re the president. But I see the value in the person who cleans the bathroom so that when I go to the bathroom at work, it’s a clean environment, and I don’t have to think, ooh, this is gross, right?

[00:02:10] Sarah Fecht: Now, the value is the same for everybody that I’ve ever gotten to work with. We just have different roles and responsibilities in the workplace, and get paid accordingly for those. So that ability to know and believe and connect and work with people, knowing that their value is the same, I believe allows me to create those deep relationships necessary.

[00:02:34] Sarah Fecht: If my goal is to be your leadership coach and create some self awareness, and help you become the intentional leader that you want to be. How do you want to show up for other people in your organization? Or how does that organization need you to show up for others?

[00:02:53] Speaker: Yeah, and it’s that appreciation, right?

[00:02:56] Speaker: So, someone else, everyone has their gifts, and someone doing what they do really well means you don’t have to do that, right? You use that example of, I appreciate a great bathroom, well, who doesn’t? And thank goodness I am not the person having to clean it, because that would be misery for me and for everyone else, to be perfectly honest, right?

[00:03:14] Speaker: And so, um, So, is there a way that you equip people to always keep that appreciation or identify that appreciation or do you think that just comes naturally with leadership? How do you help people become a leader with, um, with All of the gifts that they have around them.

[00:03:33] Sarah Fecht: It first takes a look at figuring out what your own natural gifts are, right? What are your strengths and how do you see them shine? And then also recognizing what are the strengths of the other people on your team, in your organization, in the meetings that you’re in. involved in an understanding that as much as we think we might want people identical to us, that is not going to help us be successful, right?

[00:03:58] Sarah Fecht: Some of us are the big picture people who see this amazing concept and have all these incredible ideas. And oftentimes, we are not the detailed people who should be executing on those ideas. Because we don’t see the 10 steps, and we don’t think about, Oh if I do X, it’s going to break T, S, and V, right?

[00:04:19] Sarah Fecht: We don’t see that. And we need those other people in the room at the table telling us, Hey, Sarah, that was a great idea. However, these are some things we’re going to have to mitigate, right? and things that we need to consider. So recognizing the strengths of others, right? Because if we understand their strengths, then we can also think about, okay, so how do I use those strengths?

[00:04:41] Sarah Fecht: And how do I respect their strengths as well as appreciate them? So one example would be so often we have meetings and we aren’t intentional about what that time looks like. Think for just a moment about the cost of one hour long meeting. The people in the room, their salaries, the fact that they’re not doing other things, they’re not accomplishing other things.

[00:05:04] Sarah Fecht: So they’re all in that room. And sometimes we don’t even give people an agenda of what we’re going to talk about. Yeah. And what they should come prepared to talk about. Mm hmm. Now for somebody who doesn’t mind speaking off the cuff, No big deal per se. But there’s a lot of people who want to make sure that they know the facts.

[00:05:26] Sarah Fecht: They want to make sure that they know the numbers behind any possible decision making. And so they need that agenda to be able to come most prepared to that meeting. And that’s what we need, right? We want to figure out collectively what is the best path forward based on the information we have today.

[00:05:45] Speaker: Yes, and respect the people that need to process, that takes longer for them to process as opposed to doing things on the fly. And on the fly isn’t always the right answer either, but yeah, that’s a great suggestion. You’ve touched on this you have your visionaries, not everyone is visionary and then you have people that are amazing at implementation, and sometimes your visionaries are terrible at implementation, right, and so how do you touch on, and maybe you don’t touch on, the structure around The organization and what’s needed to bring out the best in everyone.

[00:06:18] Sarah Fecht: There’s a couple of questions wrapped up in there that I see. And one of them is really thinking about what does it take to have a high performing team?

[00:06:25] Sarah Fecht: Foundationally. Foundationally. Right. It’s trust. Trust is the bottom layer of having a high performing team. Well, how do we create trust? Which is a tricky thing, right? Because I can go, Vicki, I trust you. However, I can’t say, Vicki, on March 13th at 2. 43 p. m., I started trusting you.

[00:06:46] Speaker: Right? Yeah.

[00:06:48] Speaker: Or I will trust you on this date, right? Yeah. I am prepared to trust you

[00:06:52] Sarah Fecht: in a week. We don’t know it’s through experiences, shared experiences together. And through our email communication and our verbal communication and how often I reach out to you and what I do reach out to you, Vicki, what am I saying?

[00:07:08] Sarah Fecht: Am I building you up? and noticing all the things that we should be celebrating of the work that you’re doing? Or am I constantly coming to you going, Vicki, this isn’t what I wanted. I wasn’t clear about what I wanted, but you should have just known Vicki, right? You should just know what I want, right?

[00:07:23] Sarah Fecht: How are we being really intentional about those opportunities to build trust? There’s the piece of that, that trust as a team, but it also comes down certainly to the individual relationships of the members of our teams. And how do you build that? Because if you don’t have the trust, you’re also not going to be able to influence people around you.

[00:07:43] Sarah Fecht: Yep. Which, as a job, our job as a leader is to get work done through others.

[00:07:50] Speaker: That’s being a leader. Otherwise, you’re a follower, that’s what it means to lead.

[00:07:53] Sarah Fecht: And so many of us are, come from a place of, we became accidental leaders. We were so good at doing our job. Yes. That we got a promotion to lead the department.

[00:08:03] Sarah Fecht: Yes. To lead the work group. Yes. And now we don’t have the skill set because we knew what winning our day looked like as an individual contributor. And we rocked it. Yeah, it’s the promotion. And then as organizations, we give people these promotions and we see them not doing as well and we don’t know why.

[00:08:23] Sarah Fecht: Yes, but we haven’t given them the skill set. We haven’t helped them understand, okay, what is your, what is winning your day look like today now in this new role? And that’s oftentimes when I’m coming in and helping support organizations. It’s either we have new leaders that we’re elevating or we’ve had leaders who maybe have been there for 30 years.

[00:08:42] Sarah Fecht: But no one has ever given them the tools and they don’t like their job as the leader. And guess what? Their team doesn’t like them as a leader either. And it’s not their fault though. Yeah. We failed them as an organization to go, Hey, here are the tools and resources that you need to now win your day as a leader.

[00:09:02] Vicki Markussen: And so you get to walk in and I’m guessing it’s different doing a one on one with a leader versus a group where you get to see dynamics. Yes. And so when an organization brings you in, Let’s say it’s come in, provide some leadership training. What does that process look like for you?

[00:09:25] Sarah Fecht: Excellent question.

[00:09:26] Sarah Fecht: So meeting first with that leadership team who’s ever putting it together and organizing it and really getting a feel for what their goals are of that time together. Right now, one of the many common themes I hear is simply creating opportunities for connection. And as somebody who, I said, you know what, if you’re wanting somebody who’s just a sit and get, in other words, you’re just going to sit at the table and you’re going to hear somebody talk, I’m not the person for you.

[00:09:55] Sarah Fecht: Because I value that engagement, and even when it takes people out of their comfort zone a little bit, I’m not the person for you. Even those small group connections that you can make. If we’re all in a room together, again, it’s that opportunity cost. Why wouldn’t we be taking time to connect and getting to know each other a little bit deeper than we do walking into that space?

[00:10:15] Vicki Markussen: Yeah. And so you really want to have a relationship as opposed to just coming in, giving a little speech and then not knowing if it gets implemented very well. Exactly.

[00:10:26] Sarah Fecht: My goal is to understand the audience so that I can have the most impactful, session together. So it’s sometimes the silly things, but things like, okay, do we call everybody team members here?

[00:10:40] Sarah Fecht: Or are they associates? Are they employees? Because for me, when I see a speaker, as soon as you say a misterm,

[00:10:47] Speaker: I’m

[00:10:47] Sarah Fecht: like, oh, they don’t know our organization at all. And I just discount everything that speaker says, and that’s not fair. That’s not fair. However, it’s in those ways. How can I get pictures from your organization and include them in my slides?

[00:11:01] Sarah Fecht: How do I make sure that I also include if you have a vision mission values and those resonate within every site? The subject matter that we’re going to talk about, they’re absolutely going to show up as part of my slide deck that we’re going to be talking through, right? Because it’s how do I take the information and then incorporate it into what I’m doing?

[00:11:21] Sarah Fecht: Because if everything that we talk about in our one hour training session, two hour, four hour training session only stays within those four walls. I’ve failed. Yeah. I’ve failed. What was the point of that? Right. We feel good about ourselves for one hour, a couple hours, but we don’t do anything different, then it hasn’t resonated.

[00:11:41] Sarah Fecht: It hasn’t had the ripple impact that I want to see and that I know we can have. in our organizations to make that organization better, that family better, that community better, because it absolutely ripples out.

[00:11:56] Speaker: Yeah. Are you able to share, and it doesn’t have to have names, but what’s a session that just made you feel like, this is what I want.

[00:12:05] Speaker: This is the desired result. What did that entail?

[00:12:08] Sarah Fecht: I’ll tell you about a time that I was really scared. So I was going to be leading a session and it was actually the topic was building high performing teams. And the piece that scared me was what I knew I was going to be walking them through at one point was talking about what I knew I was going to be talking about.

[00:12:25] Sarah Fecht: Leaders and what you value in leaders. And so I was going to have this room do it. And the part that made me fearful was the majority of the room, 98 percent of that hundred person group were males. And what I wanted them to explore was the characteristics and skills of a leader that they looked up to.

[00:12:48] Sarah Fecht: And they had to articulate that, not by name, just by what is that trait? What is that behavior? What is that? And then the next piece of that exercise, which I’ve done numerous times, is to talk about whether that relates to somebody’s IQ or their EQ. And so we walk through this, and my fear was that if we weren’t being authentic and honest, that the exercise may not turn out the way that I had anticipated and always had it.

[00:13:17] Sarah Fecht: Which is that the emotional intelligence piece is always surpassed. I mean, tenfold by the IQ piece. And so why is that important? Well, the EQ piece is talking about things like they respected me. They listened to me. They made time for me. They truly cared about me. And all of those things are choices every single person can make every single day.

[00:13:41] Sarah Fecht: None of them relate to how smart I am because guess what? I’m never going to I can’t score a perfect ACT, SAT, IQ score. It’s not in me. That is not my gift. Now, I do well, but I’m never going to get a perfect score. But that EQ side, we all determine how we show up for each other as well as ourselves on a day to day basis, and we can improve in that area, and those are the things that people look up to.

[00:14:10] Sarah Fecht: And I was very pleasantly surprised and glad to see that the room was honest. And that is exactly how that exercise turned out in that leadership session. And I was so thankful that everybody did. It’s a piece of vulnerability, right? Those are the things that matter to me. That somebody cares about me as a person, not just the role that I’m in at the organization.

[00:14:34] Speaker: Yeah. Fantastic.

[00:14:36] Sarah Fecht: What a great joy you get to bring. I love what I get to do. That’s awesome. And there’s that piece of that, right? Recognizing none of us are stuck in whatever we’re doing, right? We all choose to work at the organizations that we work at. So to be a curmudgeon about it and just be wah wah about the jobs that we get to do or act like we don’t have a say in it, I think is unacceptable, right?

[00:15:01] Sarah Fecht: If we don’t love what we get to do, if we don’t enjoy it, if we’re not getting value or we’re not being valued. Then maybe we need to look elsewhere for that.

[00:15:11] Speaker: Yeah.

[00:15:12] Sarah Fecht: A place that is going to recognize and value the time, treasure, and talent that we bring.

[00:15:17] Speaker: Yeah. How do you bring the material that you bring, right?

[00:15:22] Speaker: That body of knowledge. Is that through reading? Is that through your history? What does that look like for you to say, I’m the expert in this and I’m going to present it?

[00:15:32] Sarah Fecht: Yeah. It’s a large combination of things, right? I’ve worked in human resources for over 20 years, which gives me this huge knowledge base, I say, of incredible science.

[00:15:43] Sarah Fecht: Stories, the stories of both great leaders in action as well as not so great leaders in action and the ability to have learned from both, which I think in some ways people don’t appreciate great leadership if they’ve never experienced what really poor leadership looks like. So I’m thankful that I’ve had both.

[00:16:05] Sarah Fecht: And having had that as well as continuing to stay a part of what is going on in the leadership world and that leadership space. So, for example, a couple years back, I did do John Maxwell certification and training. The Maxwell Leadership Certification is one that helps me get into doors as well as expose me to his way of thinking.

[00:16:31] Sarah Fecht: John has written more leadership books than anybody else in the world. Yeah. And he’s always been somebody that I’ve looked up to in my career and been able to learn from. So being able to bring that in. There’s so many different people. Everybody from Brene Brown to Simon Sinek, so many different leaders whose material I’m continuing to crave, right?

[00:16:53] Sarah Fecht: I desire to learn more. I love Patrick Lencioni and his storytelling in his books. So that is really where I get my inspiration. And continue to derive my knowledge and what keeps me current is all my leadership coaching allows me to get very deep into organizations and with individuals to have that knowledge of what’s happening right now in the world.

[00:17:19] Sarah Fecht: The business community.

[00:17:21] Speaker: Yeah. What do you think it is? Because you went from, I’ll just call it corporate, right? You worked for many industries in this area and you then launched on your own. I’m guessing what you launched on your own, you’ve incorporated or able to do some things that you weren’t able to do in HR.

[00:17:39] Speaker: So my question for you is what is that piece in corporate HR that is just really challenging to do that a person like you are able to bring in?

[00:17:49] Sarah Fecht: Yeah, I think that that piece is so my background allows me to understand the risk, right? Because HR is a lot of understanding risk, right? Risk to organizations you want, you’re there to support the employer, and you’re also there to support the employee and trying to figure out that balance in human resources can be a challenge.

[00:18:09] Sarah Fecht: You know, not every decision that’s made, even when it’s carried out by human resources, means that HR supports it. Yes. But somebody has to be the face of those decisions, and that’s often falls under human resources. So you have that lens, which I am able to have. And I would say that my work allows me to dig deeper and support people in ways that human resource can’t.

[00:18:36] Sarah Fecht: Because when you’re in HR for an organization you can’t be somebody’s leadership coach. And here’s why. You cannot be their coach because there’s politics that you’re aware of. Your position in the organization does not allow you to be 100 percent that person. And that’s what I am. I partner with the individual to get the best for them.

[00:19:01] Sarah Fecht: And that might not look like staying at your organization. Even though that organization is bringing me in. I’ve heard that about coaches. Yeah. Like, yeah, I’m there for that person and that individual to help them be whatever their best is. And so it looks very different than having that HR lens. It’s so valuable to have that background, but it shows up very differently in the work that I get to do.

[00:19:26] Sarah Fecht: for those individuals. You can’t be an internal coach. Yeah.

[00:19:31] Speaker: And I’ve heard too. HR has shifted so much too, with the pain point being that there’s just not enough workers. So now you’re spreading your HR people thin. And I’m guessing it’s, Oh, I didn’t get to this really important thing with this person because I’ve got benefits that are renewing.

[00:19:47] Speaker: Like there’s just a lot of routine pieces to HR that need to happen as well that it’s, you know, probably is harder to do that deeper, individualized piece to it. . So let’s talk about your path. So we talked about you were in several industries in this area and then you decided, I’m going to branch out on my own.

[00:20:09] Sarah Fecht: It was sitting back and recognizing some feedback that I’d heard that I hadn’t given enough weight to.

[00:20:14] Sarah Fecht: Because one of the lies I told myself, And we make up a lot of lies to ourself. One of the lies I told myself is that I will never start my own business. Like, absolutely not. Why would I want to do that? I don’t see that in my path. And then, there were little things that happened that ended up being big things.

[00:20:31] Sarah Fecht: I just didn’t realize them. And one of them was, is that one of my kids actually said to me, Mom, how come when your friends come over or call you, they’re always asking you for advice? Oh, interesting. Interesting. And I didn’t talk much up to it at that moment, but I said, well, honestly, I think it’s because I’m a really good listener.

[00:20:51] Sarah Fecht: And I come from a place of not judging somebody, right? I want to support my friends and want to be helpful to them. So I listened to what they have to say, and then hopefully can reflect things back that are helpful to them. And You recognize, oh, I guess I was already doing that coaching work long before I ever named it.

[00:21:12] Sarah Fecht: So there was that piece of it. And I would also say that I went through a very challenging season personally in 2017. I know, Vicki, that you we’re one of the amazing people in the room at Women With Purpose who got to hear my story of losing my son, my fifth child, and he had a rare condition.

[00:21:32] Sarah Fecht: And when you walk through something as challenging as that, you realize there’s nothing you can’t do.

[00:21:38] Speaker: Mm hmm.

[00:21:39] Sarah Fecht: Because you would never wish that. But when you talk about where do you get your confidence to be able to do that, it’s having walked through that challenging season of life and coming out the other side going, okay, how do I see the blessings from this?

[00:21:56] Sarah Fecht: How do I go? Okay, what can I learn from my amazing son, Austin? And how do I use that moving forward? That was one of the pieces that went into this, that the things that you think you can’t figure out, but you. You figure out, you figure it out. That was one of the main pieces. And for me, having the support from my husband and family to be able to do this.

[00:22:20] Sarah Fecht: Absolutely. Right. When you start your own business, you have to have a support system that’s willing. Because you don’t start and go, Oh, look, I’m making this I’m bringing the same income to our family as I was. It doesn’t look like that at all. And I started in the fall of 2019, which who knew within just a few months.

[00:22:40] Sarah Fecht: That ability to be in a room with other people would get completely cut off. And that could have been, in all honesty, that could have been the end of my entrepreneurship experience, right? It could have been like, okay, I guess I have to go back to corporate America and serve them in a different way, right?

[00:22:59] Sarah Fecht: Because I still work in corporate America. That’s who I serve, right? Those are my clients, those organizations who come to me and say, Hey, Sarah, we’ve got a leader that we want you to work with. They either know their challenges, or know their opportunities, or they don’t. And we want to help you we want you to work with them.

[00:23:20] Sarah Fecht: And I’m thankful that I had somebody in my life who made a referral on my behalf, part of my network. They made a referral to a large organization in the area, and that developed into a really strong relationship. That allowed my organization the success it needed at that time, right? And the opportunity that it needed at that time.

[00:23:42] Speaker: Yeah. And then, so you got that little bit of traction. Yeah. When did you start to see it really taking off and growing? And was there something that just gave it a rocket boost or was it gradual?

[00:23:56] Sarah Fecht: The opportunities presented themselves because of the network and connections that I had Which again, didn’t necessarily know how that was going to transpire, but I had been a part of the local human resource group called LaSherm, and that allowed me to be connected to so many HR folks in this Greater La Crosse area, and those are oftentimes the people who see that opportunity to bring in a leadership coach, to bring in a speaker, to bring in a trainer, and so those are oftentimes the people that now hire me.

[00:24:29] Sarah Fecht: So I have a lot of bosses. Instead of having one boss, I have a whole bunch of bosses. And so continuing that traction, making sure that people knew what I was doing, because I think there’s also this unknown when it comes to leadership coaching. People don’t know what that is. Yes. They either have a misguided view that perhaps The worst case scenario is they think that’s like a mole for the organization, right?

[00:24:54] Sarah Fecht: Like, oh, they hire this person and then they go tell the leaders of the organization all about my private life and things happening, which is absolutely not the case. Much like in human resources, the things that we talk about are confidential. And I would never, because you’re my partner, I would never say anything to make you look bad.

[00:25:15] Sarah Fecht: ever, ever. That’s not what a leadership coach does. So having the, I would say it was a little bit of this snowball effect of having success with one organization and keeping those connections, certainly through marketing. has been helpful in continuing to get the word out. Yep. And opportunities like this, right?

[00:25:38] Sarah Fecht: Continuing to say yes to opportunities as they present themselves. Yeah. And figuring it out as we go. So a lot of organizations have referred me to other organizations and individuals have referred me to other organizations. So taking the speaking opportunities as they present themselves at conventions and other larger groups.

[00:25:59] Sarah Fecht: Opportunities allows me to create additional connections and continue to have that snowball get larger and larger and larger.

[00:26:06] Speaker: Yeah, and the beauty of that too, you had touched on this earlier of, you know the more you get your name out there and it’s similar to leaders you’re in a position now where you can go, Hmm, I don’t necessarily want to work with a company like that, or a leader like that, or the more people come to you, the more you can pick and choose, and then you can work with them.

[00:26:27] Speaker: Really say, this is where I can make progress. That person might be better off with a different coach. And you touched on this and we’d be remiss to not talk about it. So explain coaching. You say that people don’t understand what coaching is. Explain what it

[00:26:42] Sarah Fecht: is. Yeah. So coaching really is. is walking alongside somebody on their leadership journey.

[00:26:49] Sarah Fecht: And let me be very clear, so leadership isn’t, is not, about a title or having people report to you, which that can be misconstrued, right? We think a leadership means that I have people who report directly to me, and it’s not. Leadership is all about your influence. Nothing more, nothing less. And this is John Maxwell’s definition.

[00:27:13] Sarah Fecht: So that is what leadership is, right? And we all have influence, whether or not we recognize it or not. So being able to meet somebody where they’re at on their journey. and helping them be more intentional about that journey. So how do we work together and go, okay, what are the things that are working right now for you and what isn’t working right now?

[00:27:37] Sarah Fecht: What are the perceptions that exist about you as a leader and what perhaps is the greatest misperception others have of you? Because if we can understand that perception is not truth or false. It’s not. It’s understanding what people think about you so that you can use your ability to influence if that is not what you want people to think about you.

[00:28:01] Sarah Fecht: Mm hmm. So often we just let life happen to us, right? And we just go, okay, I lead based on what I’ve seen. And we maybe have never been exposed to leadership that wasn’t. It’s my way or the highway. A lot of us grew up in that environment, right? Where that’s all that was expected in the workplace.

[00:28:22] Sarah Fecht: You were told to leave your personal life at the door. And when you walk in, you’re to work. We expect so much more of out of our leaders. than we ever did. Because now the workplace is, hey, Sarah, Vicki, we want you as the whole person that you are. And we recognize that means that you’re going to have this beautiful blend that happens.

[00:28:48] Sarah Fecht: And there is going to be part of your personal life that, of course, it’s going to impact your work life. And there’s also probably going to be work life that impacts your personal life, too. Yeah. And how do we make that blend together in a way that we can see success in both areas?

[00:29:01] Speaker: Yeah. One of the things I remember Distinctly from Tom Thibodeau who talks about servant leadership is most days, people spend the majority of their time with their coworkers, not with their family.

[00:29:14] Speaker: And so realizing that makes you go, wow, you, like all of us have the greatest impact on our coworkers because we spend more time with them than our families. Obviously we have more influence probably in our families than in our workplaces, but it certainly makes you look at your coworkers a lot differently when you say.

[00:29:34] Speaker: and the other part that he adds. And work may be the best part of their day, because you don’t know what’s happening back at home, right? And that whole person is absolutely a piece that everyone needs to keep in mind. You are, let me go back to your timeline. You have Business, it’s gaining traction.

[00:29:54] Speaker: Where do you spend most of your time? Is it public speaking? You’re like really good on LinkedIn. I see you doing videos all the time. Is it one on ones? Is it group? Do you have any sort of mixture ratio or anything like

[00:30:06] Sarah Fecht: that? So the number analytical piece of me would tell you that when I look at my book of business, right, and I’m analyzing it, I know that the majority of time is.

[00:30:17] Sarah Fecht: Spent with leadership coaching. Okay. And then it would be training. Mm-Hmm. . And then it would be keynote speaking. Right. If I break it down, write that. Yeah. And then there’s, there is this piece of consulting as well, right? Yeah. Over my many years I’ve got consulting experience for businesses too. So I do break it down, right?

[00:30:33] Sarah Fecht: That’s my pie chart that I’m looking at to know where that is. Now, a question I often get asked is, so what would you just do if you could just do one thing? Yeah. And I can never answer the question because. I I think about how I win my day and how I win my day is being able to help people feel seen and supported.

[00:30:55] Sarah Fecht: I think that is lacking and that is what every single person needs. As individuals with a world full of people, loneliness is incredibly prevalent. It’s not about being around people. It’s helping people feel seen and supported. And I get to do that work very differently when it’s a one on one conversation with somebody who I get to know very deep.

[00:31:22] Sarah Fecht: There’s a gentleman I’ve, I’ve worked with for multiple years. And he said to me, Sarah, you know, more about me than anybody else in my life. Wow. That’s a statement. Yeah. And I, I feel that, right? And I do everything I can to make sure that I am the strength that that individual needs to continue to feel seen and supported and that there’s that trust there, right?

[00:31:48] Sarah Fecht: That he allows me to see and support him in that way. And then there’s leadership training events, where you don’t get to go deep with any one individual, right? But you get to hopefully impact many organizations, right? Organizations. If it’s at a conference or a convention and there’s so many different organizations in the room that you’re hoping that that work resonates back.

[00:32:12] Sarah Fecht: And they can take those pieces back to their organization. So hopefully it impacts so many different people, but I don’t get to know individuals deeply through that work. So I could never pick because I find them both so incredibly rewarding to be able to connect individually deep or be able to connect very broadly, but narrow.

[00:32:35] Speaker: And the broad is what sometimes leads to the deep too, right? I’m sure that’s a great source for people that approach you afterwards and say, hey, how do I bring you on as a coach? So the challenge you have and you already know this is there’s only one you. There is. So how do you decide or how do you set up?

[00:32:53] Speaker: This is how I’m going to grow my business because you don’t have infinite time.

[00:32:57] Sarah Fecht: Yeah. I do. As you said, I try to be very intentional about the organizations as well as the people that I partner with. I see so many great organizations in this Greater Lacrosse area that are doing the work and they are striving to be organizations that people should want to work for, right?

[00:33:18] Sarah Fecht: They want to be employer of choice, and they have so many things working in their favor to be that. Of course, I want to be there. Yet, I also recognize and see the challenge of organizations who, they don’t even know how to get there.

[00:33:33] Speaker: Yeah,

[00:33:34] Sarah Fecht: because they’ve never even been exposed to leadership principles and understanding how to get work done through others in that way.

[00:33:43] Sarah Fecht: That’s not I’m just here to tell you what to do.

[00:33:46] Speaker: Yeah.

[00:33:47] Sarah Fecht: Or I’m going to intimidate or I’m going to lead by fear. I’ve worked in those organizations. I’ve seen them and you can get a lot of work done in them, but you’re not going to have the highly engaged people. You’re not going to be nearly as productive.

[00:34:00] Sarah Fecht: Your pool of workers will not be for you. You, yep, you’ve got them from eight to five, but anything outside of that, not a chance. Yeah. Not a chance. Yeah. Because you’re not helping people feel seen and supported at work.

[00:34:15] Speaker: Yeah. So you get a front seat to all these great stories and great opportunities.

[00:34:20] Speaker: Yeah.

[00:34:20] Sarah Fecht: Yeah. It’s hard for me to say no, because I love and care so much about what I get to do and to being able to work with people and help advance them. in their leadership skills and their leadership abilities.

[00:34:38] Speaker: So what’s next? As you look at your business, what’s next?

[00:34:42] Sarah Fecht: Yeah, continuing to grow, continue to develop.

[00:34:45] Sarah Fecht: As you said, I am a person of one. So I had started my company in 2019 and I should probably be embarrassed to admit that, but You know what? We’re not perfect at everything, right? And that marketing piece is one piece that that’s not my natural natural skills and abilities. So I just now through work with another small business, Collective Marketing and Michelle Malone, have my own website.

[00:35:11] Sarah Fecht: Yay! It took me this long to get my own website. Yeah, I had Michelle on here, so yeah. Oh, she’s fantastic. Yep. And she helped to bring it to life, and it was, I don’t know why. I can’t tell you why I didn’t have one, right? But it’s those steps of continuing to put pieces in place that will advance the organization.

[00:35:31] Sarah Fecht: And also always looking at, okay, when am I going to have to bring in my number two? Who is going to be that first employee and what does that role potentially look like? If and when I need to bring that in. Now, I have four kids at home and I continually tell them like, Hey, you guys can be my IT support, right?

[00:35:50] Sarah Fecht: You guys know more about all of the tools of business and marketing out there than I could ever imagine. So being able to even use them. Yeah, help with the work that I get to do.

[00:36:03] Speaker: Yeah, we think outside the box. That’s what you got to do. Yeah. My common closer question. What makes you passionate about what you do?

[00:36:13] Sarah Fecht: Oh,

[00:36:16] Sarah Fecht: helping others feel seen and supported. and recognizing that everybody has the ability to do that for somebody else. How do we make sure that we are the best part of somebody’s day and not the worst part of somebody’s day? And the way that we know as a leader, if we’ve had success is if we ever know what are individuals talking about at dinner collectively as a family, right?

[00:36:43] Sarah Fecht: Are we griping about the jobs and our leader? Or are we celebrating and going, wow, I have a really cool leader. Now they don’t always tell me yes, but I know that they care about me enough to give me honest feedback when I’m not hitting the expectations where there’s a gap. They tell me that because it comes from a place of caring about me.

[00:37:04] Sarah Fecht: And they’re also there to celebrate and recognize when I’ve had wins along the way. So that I’m providing both of those things to the people that I work with and work for.

[00:37:17] Speaker: You have the soul of a servant, but you love to serve others and make them feel good.

[00:37:24] Speaker: It’s very clear. So thank you for joining me. You’ve been listening to Seraphect with Best Self Leadership. I am Vicki Markussen with BizNews Greater La Crosse. We’ll catch you next week.



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