On this episode of Work-Life, host Eric Dickmann talks with Margo Garcia. Margo is a business leadership coach, speaker, consultant, and Founder of Great Leader Coaching. She obtained her BA in Psychology from UC Santa Barbara and MBA from the University of Michigan. Garcia is certified to teach a number of leadership, performance, communication, accountability, and change management programs and workshops. She has over 30 years of experience in coaching executive teams, senior and mid-level managers, organizational development, and corporate human resources. Margo also had the privilege to work with leaders in diverse organizations: large and small, decentralized, global, corporate, and privately held companies.
Margo Garcia started her professional career in human resources. She did everything from recruiting to leading HR teams for various firms and hosting leadership and training programs. Her motto has always been- "Every employee deserves to work for a great manager and leader." Garcia has spent most of her career training and growing managers to become effective leaders in their workplace. When she left the corporate world, she got her professional coaching credential. She found a sweet spot working with mid-level managers. She believes that coaching mid-level managers is an underserved arena. According to her, companies spend a lot on first-level supervisory training and bringing executives to expensive training programs. However, it’s the mid-level managers who are in the trenches with their people. They are the ones communicating the message from the top management to the employees and are often not given the proper skill-building, training, and leadership development.
There may be hundreds of books out there on leadership, but Margo believes that only some people are able to apply the concepts in practice because it takes a lot of courage, vulnerability, humility, and integrity to do so. Some executives who have worked their way up the ladder don't recognize how they will apply book learnings to the routines they have embraced throughout their careers. In Margo's three decades of experience, she has seen that people must be self-aware of their weak points and willing to show up as their best selves before being introduced to change. The COVID pandemic has challenged people to lead in new ways where they often had little experience. Garcia points out that just like a manager adapting to change, it takes much courage to recognize better ways to lead, build relationships with others, and find out what pushes each individual to perform at their best.
Managing a group of individuals can be tough, but it is even more challenging to lead people who are a generation younger, working their way up the ladder. The things they believe are important to them may be much more different than what’s important to older managers. Margo shares that business leaders need to ask younger people- "What is it you want out of this? How can I help?” She also adds that a healthy partnership with younger employees allows them to work on what they are supposed to do while creating opportunities for them to stretch their wings in other areas and gain experience so that they can make amazing moves in the future. Margo Garcia regularly does training sessions inspiring managers to do the same to their employees so that slowly but surely, they can create an impact both in the organization and in their employees’ lives.
Margo is on a journey where she does not feel crazy busy, overscheduled, and running on a hamster wheel that is not taking her anywhere. It took Garcia many years before she could live a life where she could work anywhere, regardless of the location. Margo can now enjoy her life in Northern California, visit her mom and daughter in San Diego, and even enjoy the view in her beach house located on the Central Coast of California. She shares that the secret to her stability is being very mindful and intentional about what she is doing and why she is doing it, and learning how to say NO to the other things that no longer serve her well and get her excited.
Margo also shares that there was a point where she hit rock bottom. Once she reached her goals through hard work and dedication, she asked herself- "Is this all there is?" Margo loved her family and work, but there were many times that she went home exhausted and not being able to bond with her loved ones. She came to a point where her son was going off to college, and her daughter was starting to attend high school but felt that she wasn’t yet done being a parent. Because of this, Garcia took a step back and understood that the situation will never change; she had to change. Margo pointed that out that she used to wear her busy schedule as a badge of honor that showed how important, accomplished, and successful she was. In the end, Margo realized that what she really wanted is time with her family.
Aside from business coaching, Margo loves traveling with her family. Though they weren't able to go out last year, they plan to have a month-long vacation in Hawaii and travel Europe the following year. When indoors, Margo loves cooking, hosting dinner parties, and outdoing herself from the time before.
According to Margo, her transition from the corporate world to being an entrepreneur was terrifying. In the past, people were lining up to talk to her, but now, it takes more effort. Though clients in her coaching business mostly came from referrals, some marketing and sales tactics were still required. The only difference between her past corporate position and her present venture is that instead of selling her company's brand, she is selling her own. Ultimately, the most important part of her business is sharing what she knows and bringing the best out of others.
For more information about Eric Dickmann and Work-Life, visit Work-Life.
Get to know Margo Garcia more on LinkedIn.
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