Lindsay is a unicorn trainer, transformational leadership expert, master coach, writer, wanderluster, and mama of four amazing kids. She is living the dream with her family in Costa Rica, France and Canada, where she guide leaders, founders and influencers from around the world through transformational activation experiences at international events, at epic experiences in the surf town where she lives and in customized, private sessions. She is completing her first novel and screenplay, “Path of the Unicorn.” A regular Huffington Post blogger and often featured as a speaker and expert in the media, she is a certified professional co-active coach (CPCC) with CTI and a RYT 500 certified yoga teacher. Lindsay has a B. Comm from Queen’s University, where she majored in strategy and organizational behaviour. She began her career at A.T. Kearney, a top-tier global management consulting firm. In the transformational leadership coaching space for over 15 years, Lindsay has spoken to and coached founders and influencers at global events such as Afest, the Bliss Project, and leading organizations, including Accenture, and A.T. Kearney, Starbucks, Deloitte, P&G, Blackberry and Revlon. She has been cited as an expert media such as The Globe and Mail, The National Post and Canadian Business Magazine.
Network Capital caught up with her.
- What do you do?
I am a unicorn trainer, transformational leadership expert, master coach, writer, wanderluster, and mama of four amazing kids. I’m living the dream with my family in Costa Rica, France and Canada. I guide leaders, founders and influencers from around the world through transformational activation experiences, both at international events, at epic experiences in the surf town where I live and in customized, private sessions. I am completing my first novel and screenplay, “Path of the Unicorn,” am a regular Huffington Post blogger and am often featured as a speaker and expert in the media.
2. Why do you do what you do?
It is my greatest delight and the fulfillment of my highest purpose to guide people to their ultimate natural highs and highest potential. To witness someone who is already massively successful be able to activate and alchemize their passions and talents into even more impactful and meaningful lives is the greatest privilege I can imagine. I am also obsessed with supporting leaders, as I know it can be lonely at the top. Particularly when you’re passionate about what you’re doing and super mission-driven, the need for self-care and to remember to have fun is especially important to avoid burnout and help these rare unicorns to operate at their full capacity. This means not only in what they’re contributing to the world, but also how much joy and fun they’re having along the way.
3. What is the one thing you believe to be true but others rarely agree with you on?
I have a core believe that life can be fun and easy, if you let it be. J I see so many people addicted to the struggle, bragging about the “grind” and subscribing to an old model that we have to burn ourselves out in order to be productive. I have walked that path and work with massively high achievers who also have habits of a lifetime of perfectionism, addiction to achievement and external validation and I have seen the impact of that path. It leads to burnout and has a huge impact on vitality, health and human thriving, which are, I believe, the true measures of success. The new model, which I call “Unicorn Leadership,” as I is somewhat rare and mythical in nature, is a new (s)hero’s journey. In this model, we start by filling ourselves up, whether through practices of meditation, movement, dance, music, play, travel, connection to others, rest, art, or any number of ways to tap into our passions and the joy in life. Once we are overflowing with joy and contentment, we can serve at the highest levels, tapping into exponentially greater sources of creativity, focus, big-picture ideas and global impact. From here we serve from a place of abundance, love and generosity, which is far more fruitful than serving from a place of depletion, ego or fear. I believe that this is the Holy Grail, the fountain of vitality, which helps us to be disruptively impactful in the world, all from a place of aliveness. Who’s with me?
4. Which failure or apparent failure set you up for success?
My first giant failure (which of course now feels like the best thing that ever happened to me) was when I got recruited right out of business school to a prestigious position at an elite global management consulting company. I had been playing by the rules for my entire life, checking off all the boxes of going to the right school, getting the best job, etc. I found myself working in the epicenter of power and influence, making tons of money, which all looked really impressive on paper. There was just one catch: I was totally miserable. I hated what I was doing and felt like a fraud for collecting such a big paycheck for work that had no meaning to me. So my failure came when I had to walk into the managing director’s office and tell him, with huge knots in my stomach and sweaty palms, that as grateful as I was for the opportunity, I was quitting this job, this career and this life to go and travel around the world. I had no plan, no good answer for ‘what’s next’ and was walking away from every single source of security and validation that I had worked my entire life up until that point to achieve. I had played the game, won the game and was now throwing the whole game out the window. I failed to follow along with the A-track path that had been laid out in front of me and, instead was leaping into the abyss of the unknown. It was the most terrifying thing I have ever done and I’ve never looked back.
5. What is the best investment you have made in yourself?
The best investment I have made in myself has been all the time and resources I’ve put into personal growth and development, including academics, coaching certifications, training, yoga teacher trainings, reading books, attending global events and the extensive travel I have experienced. I believe the more I invest in my own growth, the more I have to offer back out to the world and it is always time and money well spent!
6. Has your career been planned or a function of serendipity?
My career has been 100% serendipity, to the point where, at several occasions along the way, I tried to walk away from the calling to go in a certain direction, thinking, “I can’t do that, that’s not who I am.” I have been humbled and awakened enough to now know that the universe has much bigger plans for us than anything we can come up with. I do set clear intentions for the direction I want to head and for certain milestones that I feel called to achieve. Along the path to those goals, however, I am always looking around and listening for signs and intuitions, whether from the people I meet, books I’m reading, or any other seemingly random occurrences. I now know that we are all always being guided and if we are listening to our guts and our hearts, in addition to our minds, we can chart a path that is infinitely greater than what we may have thought possible.
7. What is the role of mentors in your life?
I am a voracious learner and have always sought out teachers, role models and mentors along my journey. Sometimes I hire them as coaches or guides, sometimes I engage in informal relationships and sometimes I have never met them but am deeply impacted by their words or their example. I also have a deeply rooted belief that every single person I meet is here to teach me something and that it’s my job to figure out what that is. It could be a piece of wisdom, greater understanding of the human experience, or an opportunity for me to step into my highest potential through learning skills like boundary-setting or to not take things personally. Whatever the case, I do my best to be present to whomever I encounter, knowing that there may be something life changing to learn, even from a stranger in the street.
8. What advice would you give to your 18 year old self?
The best advice I could give my younger self is to not spend a single second worrying about what other people think. I would also tell her to chill out and not worry so much about getting it all right. I would tell her that it’s all divine and wherever she finds herself on the journey is exactly where she should be, that even the dark, tough times are preparing her for the bliss, confidence and wisdom that she will get to enjoy and share. Mostly, I would say to keep having fun and making the most of every moment.
9. What next?
What’s next for me is to finish my novel and move onto the screenplay. I am excited to be hosting many groups at my Alive + Awake Costa Rica experiences and to be speaking at several international events in the coming months. As I look forward to the beautiful experiences I get to have out in the world, I am also grateful for the everyday moments with my family, surfing, practicing yoga, connecting with friends and living my dream in Costa Rica, France and Canada. I would love to hear from anyone who is excited about becoming even more fully Alive + Awake – you can find me at www.aliveandawake.com