Real women leading with Guts & Grace

Women just like you have invested in themselves to lead better lives and create a bigger impact. Read some of their stories below.

A series of a-ha moments

Clare gained clarity and the confidence to make bolder moves with her career and leadership.

"My year of working with LeeAnn created baby steps and a-ha moments that built until I had a clear understanding of what I wanted to do with my next stage of life and career. I was able to identify when I was pulling back or playing small and course correct."

Clare Bresnahan English, CEO & President, New Leaders Council
Click to read her full story

Clare was facing a very difficult situation for a high-performing, driven woman—feeling burned out and realizing she was feeling disconnected to her mission.

"It was an extremely difficult realization to come to, especially since this has been the mission of my life. But my work had become draining, when it had once been fulfilling. I wanted to feel alive again in my leadership."

Clare signed up for a year-long mastermind program and personal sessions with LeeAnn in order to find clarity and to explore the ways that, despite her executive title, she was still playing small. She found the body wisdom practices helped her better understand and connect with her internal wisdom and intuition.

"I changed how I listened to my body, I invested more in my physical and mental health. And now prioritize regular meditations and workouts focused on feeling great instead of looking great. I realized how much of a deeper relationship I can have with my mind, body, and spirit."

Ultimately, Clare gained the clarity necessary to make a series of game-changing decisions that changed the trajectory of her career.

What decision do you need clarity on? Sign up for a coaching session with LeeAnn to get started now!

Uncovering her true goal

Working with LeeAnn through a number of different programs, Ashley was able to tap into guidance for a range of situations from both her professional and personal life.

“Working with LeeAnn is life-changing, without realizing what’s happening. She picks up on things that are right there in front of me that I don’t even see. She has a really incredible, intuitive sense to understand what's happening below the surface and on a deeper level."

Ashley, Project Manager, US Naval Air Systems Command
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When Ashley Lemons joined the Guts & Grace mastermind, she was working as a project manager at a large government organization. At work, she was juggling multiple critical roles. At home, she was also the mom of two young kids.

Ashley appeared to manage her tasks with ease. On the surface, she fit the mold of the perfect employee, mom, and wife. She was succeeding to keep all the balls in the air. The pressure was wearing her down.

But at the time, she didn’t even realize she had gotten off track.

How she got off track

  • Her achievement mindset lead to a task orientation and tunnel vision
  • She was driven to be perfect, which could become exhausting
  • She had lost track of some of her deeper, more important goals

Identifying the Thread

Through the coaching process, Ashley began to focus more on her personal life. She discovered that her counterproductive habits at home were also taking a toll on her leadership, back at work.  

Ashley’s Experience Came Full Circle

Ashley identified her personal mission and set some inspiring new goals. When she did, she was invited to help train the next generation of leaders for her organization. The promotion opened doors professionally. But it also paved the way for a new wave of personal desires to be revealed. 

Today, Ashley and her husband are creating a future plan: identifying where they want to retire and setting intentions about how they want to spend their time. Ashley has left exhaustion behind, and replaced it with grace, nourishment and adventure. 

“LeeAnn insists on making sure you don’t lose focus on yourself, even as you’re charging full steam ahead.”
Find a coaching program that fits where you're at in your life and career. Review the range of options available through Guts & Grace.

From burned out to bold new leadership

Offered a unique leadership role after just one session with LeeAnn, Veena signed up for the 6-month mastermind and was able to level up without burning out.

"I was exactly where I planned to be in my career, but felt I wasn’t fulfilling my potential and didn’t know where to go from here. From my first phone call with LeeAnn, things began to shift. She understood my desire to break the glass ceiling without hurting myself in the process."

Veena Raja, Audit Director, BDO
Click to read her full story

After going through an episode of burnout, Veena had taken a boring job that didn’t light her up. She was longing to re-enter the exciting, fast-paced world of consulting, but she was afraid of crashing again. 

At the start of her Guts & Grace journey, Veena was offered a dream job – and she took it. Through the coaching process, she was able to succeed in a new role, while keeping her worry and anxiety in check. 

How she got off track

  • She was working extra hard in order to prove herself at work 
  • She’d made an unavoidable mistake, but she was unable to forgive herself
  • She went through a burnout episode, and was afraid to re-create that experience again

Veena’s learned to transform her Achilles heel

Despite being both an excellent performer and a friendly, approachable teammate, Veena grappled with impostor syndrome. She lost time and energy every day worrying that her work wasn’t good enough to warrant her recent promotion. It also took a toll on her health.

“LeeAnn understood my desire to break the glass ceiling without hurting myself in the process.”

Through the coaching process, Veena learned to transform her anxious mind-chatter into calm, productive thoughts that steadied her emotions and uplifted her mood. 

She’s been able to gracefully navigate an unexpected health challenge and a geographic re-location, as she continues to pursue her dreams.

“With her help I am becoming a more resilient and compassionate individual who is excited – rather than anxious – about the new challenges ahead of me.”
Join the Guts & Grace Mastermind program to learn how to lead successfully without burning out.

Discovering her greatest strength

Cindy, Executive Director of a women’s nonprofit, felt secretly insecure about her vision as a leader. When she learned to connect with her inner voice, she began to understand her own strength in ways she had never done before.

"Working with LeeAnn was eye opening. The coaching wasn’t always comfortable. But every time we would break through, it was liberating and empowering. Before working with LeeAnn, I seemed confident, now I feel confident."

Cindy Kanusher, Executive Director, Pace Women’s Justice Center
Click to read her full story

When Cindy joined Guts and Grace, she had just taken on the Executive Director role at an organization she’d been serving for years. Like many new executives, she was feeling overwhelmed with her competing tasks. And, while she did have a bigger vision, she didn’t always know which direction to take. 

Her organization was doing well, but deep down she knew that more was possible. She was looking for a way to take the company forward, by growing her employees – and the center itself – to their full potential. 

“Even though I knew the organization well, I was feeling less than confident that I could truly lead.”

How did she get off track?

  • Her to-do list was overrun with urgent and important tasks; she was struggling to set priorities 
  • She rarely took the time to ask herself what she most cared about as a leader
  • She second-guessed herself and downplayed her greatest strengths

Cindy’s deeper leadership goals came into focus

“I was in my mid-fifties at the time, and there were things I had never really thought about before: who I was really, who I wanted to be, and what I could do.”

And that focus built confidence...

Cindy finally owned her strengths as a leader. Her confidence had always been there, but she had been leaving it in the back seat. she wasn’t allowing herself to step into the role she was really good at--and the one she ultimately wanted.

Now, Cindy is confident and energized…

Cindy learned to transcend her fears. She identified her strengths and is now working toward bigger goals with even greater confidence.

What’s more, Cindy’s organization is thriving under her leadership. She’s allowed herself to take credit for the significant impact she’s made. While she may have seemed confident before, she actually feels confident internally today.

“I’m happier, more secure, and I’m more settled in who I am. It all came together, and I’m grateful.”
Want to level-up your confidence? Book a discovery session today.

Subtle shifts lead to transformation

Working with LeeAnn provided the wisdom, support, and tools for Deborah to gain new perspectives and create transformation for herself and her team.

"The mastermind program took me exactly where I needed to go. The online modules gave me the opportunity to reflect on my situation more deeply, while the group and individual coaching sessions gave me the space to talk things through and gain insight."

Deborah Mathews, Executive Director, Office of Strategic Initiatives, University of Rhode Island
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Deborah is a successful Director of Strategic Initiatives, with decades of experience and a mature skill set. When she started working with LeeAnn she was struggling with how to integrate two very different staff cultures and create a new department.

Deborah discovered that she could be open to risks at any stage in her life

As an industry leader, Deborah knew how to navigate a business challenge. Often, her maturity in perspective was a strength. But she could also be rigid in her thinking, which got in her way.

Meanwhile her personal challenges were also causing a strain. Working with LeeAnn opened her mind to new possibilities – an invigorating and rewarding experience.

How she got off track:

  • As a leader, she was pushing and her team was pushing back
  • She wasn’t creating real space for new opportunities
  • She knew a lot about leadership, but had more to learn about herself

Deborah needed support—and a new perspective—to help her move forward.

LeeAnn helped me to get back in my body, to become aware of what I was feeling in the difficult moments. And then she gave me the tools to help me handle those moments with grace – including breath and centering techniques. Movement and meditation became my new practices.

Deborah’s career has taken an exciting turn.

Deborah found that the program—its design, pace and the methods LeeAnn used—really helped to transform change in herself, which impacted her leadership and thus impacted her teammates as well. Deborah created dramatic change in her life through seemingly small daily actions.

"At first it seemed like nothing was happening…but now I can see I’ve really transformed. Situations became "easier" to handle. My team seemed more relaxed. The truth is, I am more relaxed, and that creates ripples. I am more centered and aware and able to better deal with the stress and challenges of transforming and leading a new department."
Are you an experienced leader looking to invigorate your leadership experience? Join a coaching program created for women just like yourself.

Moving beyond anxiety

Underneath the confidence of this high-performing Fortune 500 leader, Megan dealt with anxiety. Working with LeeAnn ensured she didn't diminish her potential.

"Through coaching, I was able to see how my desire to make the best possible impact on others—especially on projects that really matter to me—can lead me to put a lot of internal pressure on myself. I am getting even better at embracing my unique abilities as a leader, all while living even more fully into my purpose and receiving more positive recognition at work!"

Megan Maltenfort, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, Fortune 500 Company
Click to read her full story

Megan decided to hire a coach and join a mastermind because she was forward-thinking in spirit, and she wanted to preemptively shift any questionable unconscious habits now, lest they become bigger liabilities later in her career.  

"I wanted to understand how I could become an even more effective leader, while also achieving more balance and fulfillment in my life."

She was a high-potential millennial powerhouse, working in a Fortune 500 Company in the field of sustainability. She had already racked up a string of successes in her short time in the workforce. She had a great relationship with her boss and she loved her work.

On paper, Megan was all set. She had a secret though: underneath her confidence and visible high performance, she also dealt with anxiety on a daily basis as she was putting a lot of internal pressure on herself.

Working through the mastermind program, Megan identified her goal (her North Star) as releasing the anxiety, and changing the world by inspiring others. LeeAnn encouraged her to imagine what single "Quality" would help her embody this declaration. It seemed like a tall order, but when Megan did the basic centering practice and asked her body for guidance, her body didn’t disappoint.

Quickly, Megan imagined herself as a massive old-growth tree, with roots going deep into the ground. She could sense the solidness and stability in her body. She felt grounded and nourished by this image of a tree solidly rooted in the earth. 

A few weeks later, when giving a presentation to a large audience, Megan found that her tree Quality practice came in handy, helping her to slow down and connect deeply with her audience, while easing the stage fright.

"Through a combination of guided practices, self-reflection and deep inner work, the program helped me to embrace the characteristics that make me a strong leader, along with those that could hold me back, so that I can maximize my own personal potential and the greater impact I have on the world."
Learn how the Guts & Grace mastermind can help you level up.

Experiencing more joy

A high performance athlete and business owner, Tito stopped driving herself so hard and started to experience more joy both at work and when working out.

LeeAnn helps you better understand the root of the problem. My experience with the mastermind has been wonderful.

Tito Ogunsola-Smith, Owner, Concierge Physical Therapy
Click to read her full story

Dr. Tito is a high-performance athlete and exercise physiologist. When she joined LeeAnn's women’s program she was struggling with burnout, despite her healthy eating habits and solid exercise regimen. She was looking for tips on stress reduction and better time management.

She tried the movement practice and after a few weeks, she told us the practice had changed her life. She exclaimed,

“I work out every day, but I never paid much attention to how I actually feel. I brought a totally different mindset to the exercise I was already doing. I listened to my body and made changes so that it actually felt good.”

She also realized she took a similar hard-driving approach to running her business. Tito started placing more focus on Joy and paying greater attention to how her body felt day to day.

She was soon able to delegate with less effort and finally make space in her life for an unexpected and very pleasant surprise—a new baby girl, who turned life upside in the best of ways a few months later. 

Learn how the Guts & Grace Mastermind can jumpstart your own transformation.
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