Want Your Strategic Plans to Work?
They will once people trust you & their surroundings.
That’s where I can help.
Welcome! I’m Karyn Chylewski.
I coach business leaders on how to navigate the people side of leadership.
Last year I read a story about a journalist on NPR, I still grin when I think about it. During an interview, one of his guest’s commented, “It's not like it's rocket science."
This piqued the interest of the reporter. He wanted to know what rocket scientists say when they are working on something challenging for them (since it actually is rocket science). The rocket scientists came back with, “At least it’s not brain surgery.” Still curious, he went over to Johns Hopkins, told the story to brain surgeons and asked them the same thing. Their response? "At least it's not nuclear physics." So, you guessed it. He went to wherever nuclear physicists hang out and posed the same question. After pondering a moment, the nuclear physicists replied with relief, “At least it’s not social science.”
That’s what leadership is to me. The ability to understand our social norms, behaviors, and psychological needs resulting in a well orchestrated team that can execute. It has its own challenges that rocket scientists, brain surgeons, and nuclear physicists choose to pass on. You are on your own to navigate different personalities, build trust, and inspire and influence. I help you connect with your team, understand what they need to perform and how you as a leader can cultivate that environment.
After that, everything falls into place.
“Through our work together, I became more confident, more relaxed, and less worried when it came to leading my team.” Ariana Mangum
I have always loved seeing people become their best selves, especially when they start out tentative or unsure. That’s why I’ve gravitated towards leadership roles in my career. Knowing I played a part in someone finding their swagger is my biggest thrill.
That was the role I was in when everything changed.
I was the General Manager for a company that did everything right. We trusted one another, we could rely on one another, and believe it or not, we enjoyed working together. This led to year after year growth, even after 10 years of being in business.
I remember the day when people with big pockets and big promises came through our lobby door. Without hesitation, and within seconds of our handshake, “Do they want to sell it?” was hissed in my ear. Nothing like the sweet courtship of a corporate buyer.
The owners did sell, it was part of the their plan eventually and timing is everything as they say. I had my reservations but it was hard not to get caught up in the promises of what was to come: doing our work on a bigger scale, career opportunities at our fingertips, a new facility with the most advanced equipment; it was quite seductive.
But (ah, but) there was that small, distinct knowing in my gut: doubt.
Soon, the price became clear. Even with pay raises and promotions, my team and I felt on the outs, deserted. My values and the new company’s no longer aligned. I was frustrated more often than I was happy, that’s when I knew there was a better way.
Strategically, I began to plan my exit. I remember smiling with anticipation as I thought about my new plan. First, I reflected on what I loved most about my job, the answer came quickly: leadership and the personal development of my team. I started vaguely searching the web for professions centered on that, and next thing you know, I stumbled on this thing called coaching. I settled in to immerse myself in Google’s vast pages of results. Hours later, completely captivated with what I discovered, I knew my interest had been piqued. I reached out to a coach who I resonated with and hired him. I had to experience this firsthand.
Fueled with the allure of possibility, I enrolled in NeuroLeadership Institute’s 6 month Brain-Based Coaching program that teaches how to leverage our brain to elicit behavior change, achieve results, and the importance of a positive psychological environment. Soon, I was practicing coaching with friends, kids of friends, classmates, and colleagues of classmates. The first time I charged someone I almost couldn’t do it. I wasn’t sure I was good enough to go pro. But he believed in me more than I did and that’s what I needed. The validation was welcomed and that first PayPal, well, I was hooked.
"Karyn’s authenticity and down to earth sensibility was a
match for me and how I like to be coached." Greg McLeod
Now, I smile because I do what I love all the time. It’s who I am and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity. I help leaders become grounded in emotional intelligence, improve self-awareness, and cultivate psychological safety amongst their teams. This increases everyone's confidence, allows for ideas and thoughts to be shared amongst the team, reduces anxieties which fuels collaboration, and soon, even challenges are seen as conquerable not threatening. Now, the business can truly move forward. While it's important to have strategic plans and tactical skills, without this team dynamic behind you, no plan will be as successful as it should be.
The hidden secret and absolute best part? When you take care of your people and work to build trust, when you uphold your core values as a company and provide your team with purpose and fulfillment, everything else falls into place.
The best type of leadership is the kind that comes from your heart, trusts your gut, and leverages your brain. You are reaching your potential by helping others reach theirs. All while doing work that you love.
Not only is it a lifelong career skill that moves all of you forward, it also gets the job done.
It’s good business.