Why Lindsay Recknell is a SHERO.
Lindsay is an outgoing career oriented finance professional that maintains a day job while spreading hope and good cheer through her entrepreneurial activities. Lindsay hosts two podcasts where she helps promote the humanity in people and how to promote a mentally safe work environment. She is very open about her personal experiences and is a proud aunt who hosted her niece and dad on one of the podcasts to talk about their involvement with the Rotary Club. Talk about all the feels! She is sure to lift your spirits with her calm demeanour and pleasant tone and her email tag line is “As Always, call me if you need me”.
How would you describe your leadership style? My style is optimistic and positive with a focus on action and a healthy dose of straight-talk. I prefer to lead from the side…where I’m close to take a step to the front if needed or a step to the back to support from there. I can be hands on and get into the details if something needs to be done but also stay at a strategic level, letting the team succeed on their own with confidence.
Describe a time when you went outside your comfort zone and what you achieved and/or learned? In 2010, I quit my fulltime job and started an online leadership development company with an almost-perfect stranger. I was single and had just purchased my first home. Entrepreneurship doesn’t pay very well at the beginning (or the middle HAHA!) so I really had to bust my butt to make sure I was growing that company while at the same time, growing my relationship with my business partner and still finding ways to pay my bills. The two biggest things I learned during that time are, 1) be assertive – ask for what you need and don’t be afraid of “no”…seriously, the worst that will happen is someone declines an offer and the best thing that could happen is they say yes and you move on from there. Look for many alternatives to the problem and just ask for what you need. And 2) that productivity working from home, when no one but yourself is holding you accountable, can be really tough. Setting boundaries for my work day and work location helped a lot, as did establishing routines for still getting up early, getting my fitness in, and not taking afternoon naps. Now I sometimes take afternoon naps but I’m much more structured in my day.
What productivity hack would you recommend to others? Routine and habit. Our brains are designed to be as efficient as possible and to use as little energy as it can. By establishing routines and habits for all the inconsequential decisions you must make every day, that leaves energy for the bigger decisions. Decisions to make into habits could include: standard sleep and wake time, choosing your clothes the night before, eating the same breakfast every day, exercising at the same time each day. You’ll start to do these things unconsciously, leaving energy for more important decisions.
What skill sets do you possess that have made you a better leader throughout your career? I believe curiosity is one of my greatest leadership traits. I like to ask questions and get to know the people around me on a deeper, more personal level. Helps in building relationships and really helps people to feel seen and heard, appreciated for their wholeness, not just as what they can bring to a situation from a professional or technical skills point of view. I tend to remember the details about people as well which, brought up in later conversations, helps to strengthen the bond when people know I remember them and what matters in their life.
What does great leadership look to you? A leader who recognizes the challenges of others and intentionally looks for ways to support and positively influence a solution to their struggle. Someone who empowers their people to make decisions that are right for them and their situation while also guiding with knowledge or education the person may not have. A leader walks the talk, influences both up and down the leadership ladder – encouraging their own leader to also behave in ways consistent with a positive culture and demonstrating those same traits themselves. Someone who becomes a model to mirror positive behavior against, who is authentic and transparent while also being supportive and encouraging.
What advice would you give your younger self? You are going to meet excellent leaders and terrible leaders throughout your career. Learn to recognize the difference and model your own behaviour against the great ones. Be intentional about who you follow and find mentors who can teach you how to be better. And then once you know how to be better, actually be better.