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Building Resilience and Bravery by Focusing on Strengths

Building Resilience and Bravery by Focusing on Strengths

Webcast Details

  • How can your failures and life lessons pave the way for your future success?
  • What can you do to build resilience at work and in life?
  • How can entrepreneurs and their coaches focus on their strengths to grow during COVID and beyond?

Failure. It's not a word most of us want to think about. Yet our failures and life lessons can be powerful tools to build resilience and shape our future success. Belle Lockerby -- an Australia-based author, entrepreneur and Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach -- joins the webcast to talk about what focusing on strengths has taught her on her journey toward being brave yet vulnerable.

Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series -- Season 9, Episode 37.

There is great strength in choosing vulnerability.

Belle Lockerby, 5:19

So similar to how we can talk about having a board of directors, I'd have a board of besties, like Bravery Besties, who would actually come and be brave enough to do some of these things with me.

Belle Lockerby, 23:27

"Get the first one out" is a really important thing to do with business. So get that first idea launch, test it in the market, look at what your minimum viable is and go from there.

Belle Lockerby, 54:56

Jim Collison 0:00

I am Jim Collison, and this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on August 4, 2021.

Jim Collison 0:18
Called to Coach is a resource for those who want to help others discover and use their strengths. We have Gallup experts and independent strengths coaches share tactics, insights and strategies to help coaches maximize the talent of individuals, teams, and organizations around the world. If you're listening live, we do have a chat room. We'd love to have you log in; I see a few of you joining us live -- right above me there. It'll take you to the YouTube page. Just sign into your -- with a Google account there and we'd love to, one, know where you're listening from, but two, if you have questions during the program, you can put them there. If you have any questions after the fact or you're listening to the recorded version, send us an email: That account works for just about everything. And then don't forget to subscribe to Called to Coach on your favorite podcast app, or you can subscribe right here on YouTube. Belle Lockerby is my guest today. She has developed and delivered entrepreneur capacity-building programs -- and Belle it sounds super important -- that helped over 1,000 people change their thinking so they could reclaim their confidence (we're going to talk a little bit about this in the program), redefine and redesign how they launched and grew their business. She holds a postgraduate -- a postgrad degree in Change Management, is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach and maybe the first one in Australia -- is that, is that, is that right? -- and utilize both CliftonStrengths and BP10 (we'll spend a little time talking about that) there to help transform information into meaningful impact for those in the startup space. Her Top 5 are Connectedness, Relator, Futuristic, Strategic and Ideation. Belle, I love to say this: Welcome back to Called to Coach!

Belle Lockerby 1:50
Thank you, Jim. It's been 7, 7 years, I think, since we did the first one. A lot has changed.

Jim Collison 1:56
It has. A lot has -- why don't you take a second. They've been hearing me blab on. Why don't you take a second, catch us up. Give us a high, what's, what's been going on with you over the past half decade? Yeah, just give us a little update on what you've been doing and what you're up to.

Belle Lockerby 2:10
Yeah, sure. So, oh, gosh, lots. So when I kind of first certified, I was really, you know, focused on helping people celebrate what was good about themselves. And my business was very early in its stages then as well. So I was running workshops. I went through some, I guess, relationship changes. So while I was busy helping these women -- so it was predominantly women that I was working with in programs that I was developing and delivering. They were rebuilding their self-confidence and understanding their strengths and their talents and how they could design a business and an income to help them in a way that worked for them.

Belle Lockerby 2:53
Behind the scenes, I was going through my own little challenges in terms of becoming a single parent and really looking at how I use my own strengths and talents to break that 9-to-5 model and be able to show up for my children and for my clients in a way that worked for myself as well. So really walking my talk. And over time, it's been wonderful to see people go from grassroots, like starting with basically zero investment from outside and building 6- and 7-figure businesses and see that happen time and time again, which has been wonderful. So I've really loved, more than anything, seeing this journey through the community that I've helped grow and build and support, and seeing what they have done. And now seeing them at that space where they're looking at how they lead their teams that they have grown and are growing and continuing to grow. And really exploring what their strengths do for their people and how they start to think about the culture that they're creating in their own businesses now. So it's been absolutely amazing.

Belle Lockerby 3:59
Outside of that, I challenged myself as well. So there was at one workshop in particular that really stood out. And just to give some context to a few people, a lot of the women that I worked with had gone through transitions, either because they'd been in corporate before and the industry had changed, and the call of motherhood and job design didn't really fit where they were going. So I'd be working with people who were geophysicists and then had children, and just the, the work-life balance needed a little bit of a shakeup.

Belle Lockerby 4:33
But there was this one young ex-geophysicist in particular, her name's Amanda, and she had a daughter who has a condition called Noonan syndrome. And she was taking her skills with photography, and she has Maximizer in her Top 5, and really looking at how she could support her daughter and and basically hit the same income levels that she had achieved in corporate. I remember her asking me this question around how would she be herself in business when she had been so conditioned to almost wanting to fit in a certain box within the corporate space. And I stood in the room and I, and I said to her, "There is great strength in choosing vulnerability." And internally, I cringed as like I'd Brene Browned the room with, with my response. And I thought, Oh, my gosh, you really need to step up. So you might be doing that on the business front. But in all areas of life, I was kind of falling short a little bit.

Belle Lockerby 5:37
And that took a journey of bravery and me really owning my truth and walking my talk and being you know, wholly authentic, not just business authentic, I guess, to start to explore what that would look like so that I didn't get caught into being addicted to busy. So I learned to surf. I have to say, over, I was over 40, learned to surf, which was amazing. So the beach is not far from me here. I ended up in the States and hiked the Grand Canyon, which is just amazing. I cannot wait for the world to open up and be able to explore, you know, the beautiful parts of our, our world again. I wrote a book titled Awkward Is the New Brave, and I continued my coaching practice and really looked at how things would transition and evolve for me as well. So that's almost everything in a bit of a, bit of a nutshell around what's happened in the past 7 years.

Jim Collison 6:37
Yeah, you've been busy.

Belle Lockerby 6:39
Been busy. Yeah, I've been busy trying to not be so busy anymore, which is nice.

Jim Collison 6:44
You, when you turned 40, you you learned to surf; when I turned 40, I ran 5 marathons. So yeah, never was a runner; I just decided it was something I was gonna do and and got it done. So Awkward Is the New Brave is the, is the name of your book. What's that title mean? What do you mean by that? If I were to look at, if I were to read that book, what, what'd I expect to get out of it?

Belle Lockerby 7:07
Yeah. OK. So it is a personal story. I actually committed to having a full year of bravery and really exploring, I guess, some of my own -- to put it in strengths language, Connectedness is No. 1, right? And I really do believe that there is a reason behind things. So I started to test my own definition of bravery and my definitions of success, and really start to redefine those words in that space and look at Well, if I really am about being bravery and around there's great strength in choosing vulnerability, then what does that look like across different areas? So what does it look like in business, in terms of walking into a room and negotiating with people and holding your value? What does it look like in the relationship space? Because I had been single and a single parent for quite some time.

Belle Lockerby 7:59
So what does it look like to go back out into, into date land when the last time you were there, Facebook didn't exist. Right? So a lot of stuff had changed. And what does it look like in terms of, you know, being brave enough to reach out and ask someone for help? So I'd almost, I kind of got to this space of feeling as though I had become so strong from life experiences that I had been through. So probably things that I don't think were ever in the first interview that we did together, Jim, but I had lost my mother, my father and my oldest sister by the time I was 34 years old. So it was a lot of loss in a short period of time. So my resilience muscles were great. But my capacity to be vulnerable in all areas, not so much.

Belle Lockerby 8:54
So I had to really start to look at how I'm actually going to say, You know what, I actually need help with being vulnerable, and start to step into that. So the response from the book was great. It does address a lot of topics that people maybe haven't considered, and it's really about challenging people to look at how they are currently brave and also how they can build their own bravery muscles in a, in a practical way. And with some embarrassing stories on my part; hence, the awkward side.

Jim Collison 9:25
We all have those embarrassing stories. You and I were talking about that a little bit in the preshow. When you think about your own Top 5, your own journey of being brave, what -- are there particular themes or particular talents that, that you either needed to lean on or work on in this, this area? Did any of the -- and you can go outside of the Top 5, if you need to go to 10 or 15 and pull those in. But can you share little bit of that with us?

Belle Lockerby 9:51
Yeah, absolutely. So Connectedness definitely, I think, when you look at the stories. So one of the points that I look at with like, exploring definitions of "brave" or "success" or any other words is how did that start to evolve? And where did my definition of those words come from? And how did I form it? And then how was actually going to be brave in that space? With Relator, in particular, for me, it was around finding the right people. So similar to how we can talk about having a board of directors, I'd have like a board of besties, I guess, like Bravery Besties, who would actually come and be brave enough to do some of these things with me. So really looking at my Relator and the deep connections that I had and who I could reach out to, as I embarked on this 12-month journey, and who could support me in different areas.

Belle Lockerby 9:58
So a good friend of mine, her name is -- in the book, her name is Lauren. And I reached out to her because she was very good on the vulnerability space, in terms of talking about mental health and mental wellness and, you know, really being open and real about things. So I reached out to her as my first port of call to say, "Look, I'm really focused on developing this. This is what I've observed in you that you're great at communicating in this space. Can you almost be my coach or mentor, as I journey through this?" And for each kind of activity that I was undertaking, I would have someone in that space.

Belle Lockerby 11:27
So Relator really helped me in terms of identifying my support crew as I went on this journey, which was great. Ideation, like I have to manage my Ideation because it can lead me down like shiny rabbit holes all the time and derail things. So in the writing of the book, I had to manage that a lot, which was really interesting. But in terms of coming up, like coming up with ideas on how else I could be brave, it was great from that perspective, and, you know, really pushing, pushing the boundary.

Belle Lockerby 12:02
Futuristic really was around envisioning what that whole year was going to look like and really mapping out what the steps were personally. And then sharing that with other people who, since the book came out, have chosen to go on their own brave journey, which I think is, you know, really important for us to consider on how we rebuild ourselves. And then Strategic is, you know, is about that best path forward.

Belle Lockerby 12:29
So I would almost order things to kind of say, if my goal is to be vulnerable and be brave, where's the starting point on this journey? And in my experience, building those bravery muscles comes with doing the, the smaller things first, because you do get that dopamine hit around taking something off your list. And then you start to build that self-confidence that you're going to tackle the next thing and then go after the next thing as you kind of go through that process. So whether it was around having really hard and heartfelt conversations, you know, in a safe way, or facing a fear of frogs. Like I do have a fear of frogs, it's not rational unless you're facing like a poison-dart frog in, in part --

Jim Collison 13:20
You do live in Australia, and you have some weird, you have some weird animals there.

Belle Lockerby 13:25
I'm fine with snakes and like all that other deadly things, but frogs, I would run a mile. So, so yeah, so, so really important, I think, in terms of looking at what's already within you. And then who within your community, whether it's work or personal, what do they bring to the table? And who can you actually reach out on? Because as you go through transformation, you don't necessarily have to do it alone. So I think one of those first brave steps is to reach out and kind of say, "Actually, I need some help in developing myself or developing my business or developing my idea."

Jim Collison 14:02
I think that's important -- the thing you said there about you don't have to do it alone. Right. I think that sometimes bravery, you know, is the tip of the spear and, or some people think it's the tip of the spear, when really can be a battering ram with a lot of people, right. You can get people there to help you do that. You don't have to necessarily be the one on the tip. Jennifer says, in the chat room, she says, I like that -- "Bravery Besties!" My Relator could use some of that! And I do like that. As we think about coaching this way, then, OK, so that's a little bit about you. How, what kind of advice would you give to coaches as we think about coaching with this methodology and pushing that forward? What kind of things can coaches do to help those in that kind of situation? What kind of advice would you give to other coaches to say, "If you're coaching bravery, here's some things to look out for. Here's some things to think about"?

Belle Lockerby 14:52
Yeah, sure. So I actually love -- and like, I know I am conscious of these -- I actually love the idea also with the Bravery Besties. And really getting people to think about What's the area that they want to focus on? And then thinking, Who are the people within their network that they have access to? Or what are the resources that they can draw upon and, and look at, so that they can really understand how they can build those muscles up?

Belle Lockerby 15:19
So for example, if you're concerned, or, let's say, if you're wanting to be brave in public speaking or in speaking up, it may be looking for someone who does that with ease within your circle. And can you start by reaching out and having a conversation or even, you know, writing some scripts so that you've got some icebreakers to go forward? So sometimes it might be coaching them through to kind of say, Well, what would that first simple step look like? And starting with the basics before you build it up, I think is really important.

Belle Lockerby 15:54
I also find it really useful -- I wrote a little post to my email list the other day around doing a neuro detox, which, which is just my fancy or Ideation way of saying a brain dump. Right. So getting everything out at the moment, and then helping your clients to really prioritize where they want to go and lead with things. So if you, if you were to back it out everything that you're wanting to deal with -- because sometimes there can be a lot. Whether it's financial bravery or you're looking at your relationships and what you're wanting to do personally, and how you want to show up in the world, dumping it down so that you can start to say, "This is actually my easiest first step. And who do I need to support me through that? And what kind of talents and strengths would actually be really helpful and complementary to mine?" can be really useful to explore that.

Belle Lockerby 16:49
So Lauren, who I mentioned before, she has Empathy in her Top 5. So like, great person and why she's very good at, at exploring and expressing. Empathy for me sits at No. 32. So it doesn't mean that I don't have it. But like, it's definitely something that I kind of look to explore.

Jim Collison 17:12
And she could be a good partner for you, too, right?

Belle Lockerby 17:15
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Really good.

Jim Collison 17:18
The subtitle of your book, Wipeouts Happen; Get Back Up Anyway. Do you feel like you were saying that to yourself as you were writing, as you were writing the book? In other words, a great example of that. And then how have you helped others? Have you seen? You know, as you've been coaching this, have you seen other, others that have just, you know, life has just wiped them out? I, like, you're a surfer. So you understand the washing machine wipeout, right, when you hit the sand and then you tumble. I'm sure you've never wiped out that way. But we get up out of the water. And we've got sand everywhere. And we're spitting water back out. And it seems like, Why am I doing this? Right. But you got to get back on the board and do it again. Any great, any, any great examples on that?

Belle Lockerby 18:01
Yeah, absolutely. I, so I think from a business perspective or even community perspective, we are subject to global economies. And it was part of how the programs that I, that I was developing got started. So Western Australia's main industry is mining. So they had been through, like, boom time, which is what it was referred to. And then when I started the programs, they had gone through a bust. So you had people who had lost jobs. Their level of disposable income had changed; they, or they had had children, or they had tried an idea and was like, it wasn't quite hitting the mark. So they needed that help and that resiliency to kind of really look at their process and, and what would work, to say, well, we, we, as humanity, I believe, have similar outcomes that we're after.

Belle Lockerby 18:55
So we want to feel financially secure and safe. We want to feel happy, be well in our bodies, know what our sense of purpose is and, you know, have rich and fulfilling relationships. So then it comes down to looking at the process and taking that learning mindset on to kind of go, I understand that it feels like failing. And I would certainly use the word "failing," because I know when I'm on that surfboard and I get wiped out, I feel, I hope, I don't go, "I'm learning at this"; I feel like I'm failing at it!

Belle Lockerby 19:25
But over time, you start to develop it. You identify the inner critic that pops up that can crop up anytime we're looking to launch something new or learn something new, or we're revisiting an experience that maybe was challenging for us before. And as we go into that space, it's really about being conscious of that voice and catching those thoughts and challenging them and then choosing healthy ones so that we can move forward. And also reaching out to people who can coach us through that space as well to kind of say, "Look, this is what I'm thinking. I've done some work on validating it. Can you help me with it so that I can keep progressing?"

Jim Collison 20:11
That resiliency idea of kind of coming back, if we think about in a strengths framework, with everybody being unique and different, how do you, how do you like work through that with someone as they're thinking about -- they're just coming off a failure. They're feeling, you just feel awful. Like, we say "resiliency," but I think in some cases, we forget how bad it really fails when we have those kind of massive. And by the way, oftentimes, I don't think we can get anywhere without them. Like we need those to happen. Think about all the changes in your own life that happened because of some of the failures that you've had.

Jim Collison 20:49
So as we think about coaching, because it opens new doors, right? Sometimes we wouldn't be pushed off, you know, we, we don't get to the, we don't get somewhere else unless we get pushed off the ledge. Right? So as we think about that in terms of the coaching that you've done, and then thinking about, you know, all these, these, these folks come with these different talents, both entrepreneurial talents and CliftonStrengths talents we bring. How do you synthesize that with, with an individual? I mean, how do you work? Do you have any, any methods or as we just kind of think about, how do you approach that with people that, that have these tools at their disposal?

Belle Lockerby 21:26
Yes, that's a great question. So I think one is, it is really important to remind people of what's good about themselves. So a lot of the people who would come through programs, they were in a space where their earning capacity had changed, whether it was by their choice in terms of starting a family or it was through circumstance where they had job loss, that reactivating, when they are ready, to help them explore the good things about themselves is incredibly powerful. And also recognizing that they will grow at their own rate, which I think can sometimes feel frustrating as a coach, or you can feel like you're failing as a coach, because you're pouring into people, and you want to see them do well. But their time frame is going to be different.

Belle Lockerby 22:20
So really helping them explore and understand where they're at. Because it is a bit of a grief process of really getting them to understand where they're at in that process and help them to identify from the past when they have been through a smaller impact, which sometimes it's not comfortable to explore the past, but it can be really helpful. So that they can start to look at, Well, last time I went through an experience that wasn't pleasant, if there was a last time, these are the, these are the qualities that really helped me. So if I look at my Top 5, this is actually what, what helped me get through. And that's where I probably love Connectedness on my side, because it's around helping make sense of the make sense of the past, in terms of how you got to here. So I think that's one thing that's really important.

Belle Lockerby 23:10
And then I use a framework called "septennials," which actually comes from a writing technique, which is to chunk things down into 7 new blocks to look at, How have you even created your definition of what failure looks like? And how can you create a healthy version of it? So what were the lessons that you learned through childhood, through your, you know, through your teen years, through early adulthood? And what are some of the key points that you can pick out? And which of your strengths have helped you to be resilient through that? And which ones can you use to move forward with a new definition? Because I feel once we have that awareness and we're ready for the awareness, so there is this phase of like awareness readiness, then you can make a decision around moving forward. But if you're not ready to be self-aware, then it's going to take longer.

Belle Lockerby 24:02
And that was an important lesson for me to kind of learn as well through coaching people over time is I would feel frustrated, because they'd say, "Oh, you're so inspiring, Belle!" And internal, I'd be like, externally, "That's great!" And internally, I'm thinking, "Why haven't you done anything?" So which is just being real, but it's to learn that their, their time frame is different, and that's OK. So sometimes I would get calls from participants maybe 12 months down the track to say, "Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I've actually launched my business. There were some things going on. And this is what I'm doing, and what you shared was really helpful." So, so good lesson for me.

Jim Collison 24:46
Well, you mentioned 7 years. Right? And that's kind of been the distance between the last time I talked to you and we had you back on. I mentioned to you in the preshow, you know, I think that we have a really good opportunity. You know, 7 years ago, I wasn't thinking, you know, I think completely different today than I did just 7 years ago; it's a good time period to think about. Do you, do you -- in that time, do you feel like your, your own failures prepared you to help people? Like, because you did that, now you can look -- when someone else is going through it, you can say, "You know what? I've walked, I've walked that beat. I've ridden that wave. And let me tell you how this ends. But let me also tell you how it begins again." Do you feel like that prepared you for that?

Belle Lockerby 25:33
Yeah, absolutely. And I would say that I even had like, failures, like, prior to that 7 years to draw upon. And that was even like, if I reflect on it, it was part of my journey. So when I first started running workshops and taking people through everything -- because I had been in the corporate space for, you know, a good 20 years as well -- I wouldn't necessarily share a lot of the life events that I had been through. So I didn't necessarily talk in the very first iteration of the program around growing up with a mother who suffered from depression and then took her life. And I didn't talk about losing my father when he had cancer or losing my sister, and what happened with having like a 5-month-old baby and working full time and getting the call to say, "Your sister has passed away." And basically, it's just almost flip, flipping a humanity switch off a little bit to go and deliver a presentation and then leave, which when I look back at it, is not, not great, right? It wasn't healthy.

Belle Lockerby 26:39
But the more I started to improve the programs that I was delivering, the more I would really talk about the importance of wellbeing and on taking care of yourself and celebrating your strengths in in a bigger way, and sharing how to go through those journeys and that you will be OK. And everyone, everyone has a story. Sometimes they're just not brave enough to talk about it and to share it.

Belle Lockerby 27:04
But what I would find is when I would share these things with the group around wellbeing and the importance of doing things like going and checking your blood and making sure that you have the follow-up with doctors and paying attention to your mindset, I would get messages from people to say, "You know what? I'm not ready to start a business at this point in time. I need to go and take care of some things myself, because you've actually made me realize that something's off." So for me, that's a success story, because you've affected change in in a bigger way. And that helps generationally as well. So it's the difference between a family having both parents present, or coparenting together, or having a parent in burnout and not be fully functional for their kids. So for me, that's a really big thing to help people realize and recognize.

Jim Collison 27:58
Yeah, no. And I think sometimes it's, I mean, you don't wish these experiences on anyone, but we do, we do experience them, right. And they're a part of our lives. And so going through that, and then having a positive change to say, Hey, what can come out of this? This is, this, this is what happened to me, to have that, to have that resolve, that resilience that you're talking about as important. Belle, I want to shift gears just a smidge. But I want to, you know, before COVID, all we talked about was entrepreneurs. Like that seemed to be the biggest topic. COVID hit March of 2020. And like the, the whole topic -- I shouldn't say it that way. But I felt like, from my seat, like we stopped talking about it in some ways. But it's, well, let me ask you. Being an entrepreneur in, in August of 2021, is it still, is it still as important as it was, you know, 18 months ago? And how are you, what are you doing in that space?

Belle Lockerby 29:01
So, yes, I still believe it's really important. And it's really, it really comes down to change and adaptability, right, and looking at what you can do. There are some industries that have been hit in a really big way -- tourism and travel in particular. However, I do know, so within my country or within my state, local tourism has benefited because people are staying within the country. So it's all about looking at what you can do with your industry or what you can do with your gifts and talents to adapt through this.

Belle Lockerby 29:36
Some of my coaching clients, so one in particular that I think of, her name is Deanna. She's the founder of a business called Pretty Little Designs. And she does, she does like beautiful pantry organization that's incredible. And she's got a multimillion-dollar business now, which is wonderful. She experienced impacts with importing and exporting with China. So once again, I think it's important for any business to look at the bigger picture on What are the global influences that are happening to business? And how do you pivot? How do you future proof? And how do you kind of think of diversifying your income streams and making sure that it's not all dependent on one product?

Belle Lockerby 30:20
So that's one side, I think, in entrepreneurship, where it's really important in looking at where certain industries are booming through there. Like I know online and e-commerce has gone through the roof, and logistics as well, because it's a spinoff of that particular industry has gone through the roof. Others have taken a hit. So the adaptability is incredibly important. And then thinking through the future on How will we work together? So how will we work as a team? How will we work with our suppliers? And how will we create options for ourselves? So that's where the Strategic for me kind of fits in to say, Well, what does working within this, within this environment look like if this set of conditions happens? And what does working within this environment look like if this set of conditions happens?

Belle Lockerby 31:11
I also know that there's a lot of talk through publications like Entrepreneur and, around the Great Resignation, which people tend to be talking about, because all of a sudden, everyone who had previously been doing like big commutes and spending probably, you know, maybe 2 or more hours traveling a day, all of a sudden, you get to hang out at home. Granted, that has some challenges as well. So just for those who might be thinking that entrepreneurship is a good path, it's nice and shiny at the start, like all new things and all new ventures and relationships. And over time, you start to realize that there's benefits to both, in terms of, you know, the people that you have around you.

Belle Lockerby 31:56
So, it'll be interesting to see, I think, what happens over the next 12 to 18 months and whether we see this surge of like startups again, for people who no longer want to do the traditional 9 to 5, and if larger organizations can be entrepreneurial and really look at their work design and how they're going to support their people and manage their talents. And they may be challenged to think a little bit more like a startup, even though they're mature. It should be interesting.

Jim Collison 32:28
Yeah, I use the term called, and it's not mine, but we use a term called "intrapreneurial," in other words, organizations generating new things internally. And I think we have to think completely different coming out of COVID. The world's been shaken by this, and there's gonna be some things that are going to come back and be the same. I kind of wonder if the Great Resignation will be followed a year later by the Great Job Search. Kind of wonder. Hey, listen, I had a 15-minute commute, and I was questioning it. So let's, like, you know, it was one of those kinds of like, "Hey, this is kind of nice to recapture." Now, I, you know, I missed all my podcasts. That was the thing, I used to listen to podcasts when I was commuting. I missed those greatly. But, you know, it didn't take a 2-hour commute to get you to start thinking about that.

Jim Collison 33:16
In, in today's, because I would assume you're still fairly close to the startup world, is your coaching going to change at all, thinking about going into the new world (if that's what we're going to call it), will you advise startups any differently tomorrow than you did yesterday, as we think about the, you know, what the world's gonna look like post-COVID?

Belle Lockerby 33:39
That's a really interesting question. I would probably say, "No," because some of those core things that you look at really, for me, comes at exploring, so really thinking about what are the outcomes that you want? Outcomes don't shift so much, but really exploring the processes that are going to support you. So there's always magic in a process. There's a, there's a way to tweak it and evolve it and and do better, right, so that you can sharpen your, the talents of your, your self-leadership and of your team. So I don't know that I would advise differently through that space, because really, it comes down to environmental impacts. Unfortunately, with COVID, like we, globally, we tend to experience pandemics once every 100 to 120 years. So it will be interesting if, on future leadership, they kind of map that as a long-term strategy to consider like, "What happens if ...?"

Belle Lockerby 34:36
So that's probably, I think, a big thing that was missed by lots of businesses on business continuity plans. And, you know, I definitely saw people in larger spaces who hadn't been proficient with Zoom meetings and managing teams that way. Kind of, you know, really had to work to speed to get their heads around it and bring people on board, whereas a lot of the entrepreneurial space that I deal with, they're, they're actually quite good with technology and adapting. Especially like when you're bootstrapping things together, you work out how to be agile and how to make fast decisions so that you can move and pivot.

Belle Lockerby 35:10
So I think being aware of the environments and how they're changing and transitioning, and what you want to create for your customers and your employees, and even yourself personally, is really important. So for me, the coaching questions and areas to explore don't necessarily change. But encouraging organizations to look at how that plays out, I think is really important, so that you've got a little bit of a playbook as opposed to being dependent on one strategy, which is a risk.

Jim Collison 35:45
Five years in a business cycle is a long time, when we think about that. If we have a pandemic every 100 years, let's just say, any, any plans we build today probably will never see the light of day the next time. Because we have short memories when we think about that. You know, 5 years from now, I remember, you know, we have discussions like, Oh, 2008. I mean, that was a long time ago! But it really wasn't when we, in the scope of things. It just feels like it was a long time ago. You know, a lot of the things that happened then, if we, you know, if we try to be ready for them now, will they happen again? I mean, there's just tons of questions on that.

Jim Collison 36:23
When, when we think about, let me, let me twist that question just a little bit. When you think about the way you coach strengths in entrepreneurial talents coming out of COVID, will anything change for you on that? Did you learn anything through this process you're like, Oh, I'm, for resiliency -- and you mentioned wellbeing; that may be something you coach more on. But anything like that you think you'll be changing, emphasizing more in your coaching going forward?

Belle Lockerby 36:52
So personally, probably more on the self-leadership. So how will you lead yourself through change? And then how will you lead others through change? I think becomes really important, because that change is a skill that everyone has been exposed to, you know, on a very large scale right now. So looking at how you take those lessons and what, you know, what does that look like for yourself and for your organization as you move forward? So definitely on the self-leadership, I think, is probably a space that I'll look at more. And really, if you want to lead your team, it does start with, like, what's the blueprint that you're creating for yourself so that you can do that? And really exploring that design process. So whether it's like personal design and work design, and then also your organizational design. So probably there'll be a little bit more attention on that in terms of how, how we choose our responses.

Jim Collison 37:50
George has a good question in chat. He says, Belle, what was it like being the first strengths coach in Australia? A little trend setting? OK. Like today, we look at this, and we're like, Well, yeah, why wouldn't you do this? But like, you know, 6, 7 years ago, this, you took a chance, right? You kind of took a chance on this system; you took a chance on us. We didn't have a lot of coaches, obviously, in Australia at the time; you took a chance on us. And then he says, Please share some of your startup experiences. But what was it like, and, and how did that propel you through this time?

Belle Lockerby 38:26
Oh, OK. So that's it? So that's a great question. So I really drew on my No. 6 strength, which is Belief. So in my Top 5, I don't, I don't have any Executing themes at all. Like they've, they're more in Relationship and Strategic. So I remember talking to Peggy, who used to work with Gallup many, many years ago: "I don't know how I'm going to get this started." She goes, "Well, your No. 6 is Belief, so, so that's a good one to -- " and I'm like, "Right! That's it, I believe I can do it." And I almost kind of used Belief to create this competitive edge that I wanted to be the first coach within Australia. And it was partly because I thought it was so refreshing to see a tool that didn't slot you into a box and say that you are this and that's it. That really looked at the complexities of humanity on like, on an individual level. So I absolutely loved that, that it was about celebrating what was good about people.

Belle Lockerby 39:28
So then, when I started to transfer that into the startup space for me, it kind of came from I had worked in corporate and I worked for a great organization. But when I had small children, and I was doing things like literally leaving my office at 12 p.m., running to my son's daycare to breastfeed him and then running back to the office. So it was like maybe like an 8K round trip kind of thing, having a quick shower and walking into another meeting. For me, it wasn't sustainable for the future, in terms of how I wanted to generate an income and how I wanted to show up as a, as a parent and a mother for my, for my kids.

Belle Lockerby 40:08
So that was my first journey is kind of looking at, well, if I'm in this space, I'm sure that there are other women in this space. So my focus was on female startups who had huge corporate expertise but were looking at how they could generate something in a way that worked for them. So whether they were wanting to generate a 6-figure business or they were wanting to generate a 7-figure business, really taking the strengths space and helping them kind of realize that it's not -- it's great if there's a unicorn out there and you have like an overnight success, but for the most part, it's going to take time and consistency and really understanding what you're bringing to the table so that you can look at what you can create.

Belle Lockerby 40:49
So there's one, one of the ladies in particular, who I tend to think of, she started up at like a virtual assistant business because she was high in Learner. And then till she had that realization with strengths, she actually couldn't see how she could create a business moving forward. And this is back at a, at a time when VAs and virtual assistants weren't really well known in terms of the terminology or how you would even start to become like an online business manager. So it was great to see how strengths would start to birth these new industries, which I think is wonderful.

Belle Lockerby 41:26
And then also, when they're looking at their, their talents, getting them to really understanding where they need to set some boundaries as well. So as it turned out, in a lot of the cohorts with women, Responsibility would come up in the Top 5 quite often. So really getting them to think about, How is that going to play out in business? How's it going to play out in family? And how are you going to ask the support in the right areas? Because as your business grows and evolves, it's really challenging to be the IT department, the marketing department, the finance department, and still fold the washing of an evening. Right? So really having those in-depth conversations around, What's that strength look like when your business starts to grow?

Belle Lockerby 42:10
And getting them to take that on board and start to create a vision and an action plan. "On my first milestone, might look like this." And what are the things -- so this is where I do appreciate the BP10 tool -- what are the things that are not enjoyable for me to do, because it's not the best use of my talents; it's not the best use of my time, and then my return on energy is going to be lower and slower. So getting them to really think about, What's the first thing you're going to outsource so that you can continue to grow your business? And getting them to really look at that from a financial strategy as well.

Belle Lockerby 42:49
So oftentimes, I would see women lowball their value. And I don't speak to male startups, because in my experience over that 7 years, I maybe had two men come through programs. The rest has been female. So that's why I'm speaking into that space, in case there's any questions on it.

Belle Lockerby 43:08
But quite often, the value piece was something to be worked through. We'd even go through exercises around doing like a time-in-motion study, which you can always weave back to strengths to get people to understand, once again, the process. So if you are selling something for this point -- if you're selling a widget for this amount of money, what does the time study look like? And what's the value of the time that's gone into creating this? So are you marketing correctly? Are you positioning correctly? Do you need to make some changes in terms of how you're communicating the value in your offer? And then it might be finding the people who are better at sales than you. So where are your, where are the Woo people? Where are the Communicators to actually get, to help you get your business off the ground?

Jim Collison 43:56
Have you, have you spent much time -- so for you in coaching, you've got the BP10 results. And by the way, it's a great tool -- well, let me ask this question first. It's a great tool for what I maybe what I shouldn't be doing. Like there's, so it can identify right, out of those 10 things that are needed in a startup, it may say, Oh, yeah, I'm really good at these and I'm not good at these. Did you identify that often? Let me ask that question first. Did many see that in a way and then begin to shed some of those things that are like --

Belle Lockerby 44:28
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So there's not a lot of, like I haven't in my time met a lot of spreadsheet lovers -- so the people who are kind of like into the numbers. So a lot would be around like the relationship or the, or the confidence and really understanding how they use those skills in, in selling. So it was great for them to think about, "Ah! Well no wonder, like, no wonder it's taking me a long time to get my business up and running. It's because I'm doing all of these things. And these particular functions for growing a business or in my builder profile, I don't enjoy them."

Belle Lockerby 45:04
So that was always the first port of call to say, Your next step is to look at your value proposition and how you're generating income, so that you can afford to employ staff, whether it's a contractor or a permanent hire, and get someone else who loves doing the spreadsheets to do them for you, which was wonderful. Because then you know that we would do some activities in the room to get them to kind of look at who enjoyed the things that they don't within business and to recognize that there's a, there's a certain gift and steering towards those Top 10, like, to the 10 identified tools that we've got to use.

Jim Collison 45:48
Did you find -- and this is the question I'm going to ask first -- Did you find any, any linkage, or how did you handle the CliftonStrengths tool next to the BP10 tool? And in your coaching, do they, do they run into each other at times? Are there, are there ways you use them together with folks? And by the way, Are there really people who like spreadsheets? I'm just --

Belle Lockerby 46:11
Yes. Yes, there are. So I did find that people who are high in Learner tend to love a spreadsheet, from what I had explored. Analytical, they loved them too. Yeah, they would definitely be overlays. So you would see people who tended to have like a lot of the Influencing, Influencing Domain or the Relationship Domain would tend to feature on the confidence and the selling skills within the BP10. So it was really useful. And the way that I would kind of talk about it is, your CliftonStrengths is your personal DNA, which you will take into any environment. So whether it's your personal relationships or your business relationships, that's still there. Whereas BP10 is really looking at the functional side of what you're doing and what you're wanting to grow.

Belle Lockerby 47:01
So really understanding the story between the two. If they were focused on a personal brand, it might be, How do you take your CliftonStrengths profile and use it in the messaging and how you're communicating with your customers? So really looking for opportunities to talk. So for example, if they were a Learner or they had Intellection, were they actually celebrating that in their marketing strategy or working with someone to help them celebrate that in their marketing strategy, and display their expertise so that they were positioned as the go-to expert. So I loved seeing the overlap between the two. I thought it was really cool.

Jim Collison 47:41
So there may be some coaches who are watching this saying, "Wait a minute! BP10? Like what is that?" Well, OK, so we don't have enough time to dig into that today. For, we have some veteran coaches who have been around a while, I said, "I thought that went away during COVID." I'll just say here so folks know: still on our site; still available. We have lots of details. If you go to, all the tools are still available. All the webcasts that I did on BP10 are still available as well. And so you can get some more information on, on the Builder Profile 10 tool that we have available. Good to hear -- I haven't done a BP10 podcast in a while.

Jim Collison 48:16
So Belle, it's a great, it's great to hear that you're able to link those two together. We hear some real, kind of some real-life stories. I love how you kind of say, I see a task, and then we can come back to the strengths and points some of those strengths, those themes, at it, to see like, "OK, if you love this, here's how you can amplify it." Is that, is that, am I getting the messaging right on that?

Belle Lockerby 48:39
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, really important.

Jim Collison 48:43
George asks a question and, and he says, What was the writing, like a lot of coaches want to write books. And so, How did you, how did you come, how did you get the story? I think everybody says they've got a story in them they need to get in a book. That's not true for me. But for you, how'd you get that out?

Belle Lockerby 49:02
I feel there would still be a great book, Jim, for you, absolutely. There would, there would be such a good book in there. OK, so my writing routine. That's great. I work well with deadlines, which I feel, you know, are really important. So having a look at my team for the book was important to me as well, in terms of, so I had a publishing consultant and an editor. Now the editor held me to account with my deadline. So there was that little bit within me around like creating the vision for the book and getting her to help from a messaging perspective, so that I could go, "I have to have this volume of work done by this particular date."

Belle Lockerby 49:46
In terms of the routine, I was writing the book when I was a single parent, so when the kids were not with me, I would carve out space. And I think really if you're looking to write a book, it is around that consistency in that writing practice and understanding how to get into flow, because writing as a skill in itself requires like a brain-muscle connection to kind of turn the tap on a little bit. And then really giving yourself permission to step into -- depending on the type of book that you're writing -- to really step into those moments and think about, What are the tools that you can access to tell your story? So I would have, like I wrote the first draft of my book in my office.

Belle Lockerby 50:33
And if I'm being really open and honest, which I, which I love to do, the first draft was a complete dog's breakfast. When I got the feedback from my editor, there were, there were like, 25 pages of notes, right? There's a, there's a lot of, a lot of feedback. So then I kind of set it or sat on it for a while. And I was thinking, "How am I, how am I going to do this?" Because I gave myself permission to write it and to write a terrible first draft, which I excelled at writing a terrible first draft, right? So once I had the book out, I took all of her feedback, and I sat down, and I worked through it again. So I love Post-it notes and Trello boards, in terms of getting the organization or doing like the neuro detox, which I talked about earlier. So then I started structuring it and really looking at the overall message and the strate -- like what was the purpose of the book? And what was my strategy for writing it?

Belle Lockerby 51:29
So the second draft, I would sit each night after my kids were off to bed, I would sit at my kitchen bench, and that became kind of like my writing space. And I would write some nights until my laptop died. So that was a rule that I'd sit myself as, like, you don't stop until the laptop has no battery left. And because I was using Google Docs, there was no risk of losing any work. So that was fine. And that's really how I did it was about being consistent and looking at, What's the, what's the subject that I'm focusing on now? So 80,000 words is a lot. It really is. So chunk it down.

Jim Collison 52:09
Do you feel like there's, that's a strengths-based thing? In other words, everybody, based on who they are, is going to maybe come at the book writing or -- you know, for me, I'm going to be honest: I'm going to just keep creating webcasts. That's what I do. Like, why would I spend time doing -- I hate writing, just to be honest. I write very short emails to people. I just am not interested in writing. I would rather call somebody and say, "Hey, let's talk about this," right? Because Communication's high, and I, I'm best when I'm speaking. But do you feel like that's definitely, in writing a book, looking at your own strengths, and then approaching the book from that direction would be good advice?

Belle Lockerby 52:49
Yes. And if I put my Ideation hat on, there's more than one way to write a book. So if you do enjoy speaking, you can use services like Or you can, you can do text to speech, sorry, speech to text, which is a great little tool -- not 100% accurate with an Australian accent. So I have to watch those things. But there's, there are options, in terms of how you want to create it, or whether you want to outsource it completely and hire a ghostwriter is another way to do it. So yeah, definitely look at your strengths and really think about who will help keep you on task and what may derail you.

Belle Lockerby 53:30
Personally, like I know I mentioned Brene Brown earlier. She derailed me a little bit with one Instagram post because she'd mentioned the words "awkward" and "brave" in a post, and I kind of had a, had a little meltdown on, "I can't publish the book now! She's like, she's like the, you know, the fancy department store and I'm like, I'm like the Kmart bit" or like the, you know, "I'm like the budget version of Brene; I can't do it." So having a team to help you go through that is really important because we all have a tendency to be caught by our inner critic and need to challenge them in a way that's going to move this forward. So --

Jim Collison 54:15
And, and it's being brave.

Belle Lockerby 54:17
Very important to kind of be aware of that.

Jim Collison 54:19
Your braveness was writing a bad first draft. Right. That, that takes some bravery, right? To know it's gonna be bad. And you're gonna do it anyways.

Belle Lockerby 54:30
Gonna do it anyway. Yeah. And I think it's so, like, it is that permission piece, I think, in terms of giving yourself permission to just do that first, whatever it is, the first iteration. I mean, I've lost track of what model iPhone we're up to now. But if you have a look at like their first, their first iteration, they may have had plans for all of the features of the ones that we're using now. But it was "get the first one out," I think, is a really important thing to do with business. So get that first idea launch, test it in the market, look at what your minimum viable is and go from there.

Jim Collison 55:07
Yeah, no, I think good advice. Belle, I mentioned the time would go very, very fast. And it did. As we think about just anything you, anything I missed or anything that you want to leave, you know, this group of coaches or folks who are listening to the program today, anything you want to leave them with, as we kind of wrap this up?

Belle Lockerby 55:26
Well, like, so if you ever want to reach out, you're more than welcome to. If you're considering, whether it's writing a book or launching a business or taking your coaching practice to that next level, the advice that I have found has helped startups in particular, and people in particular with taking on any challenge to start small. So start on that easy step first. So start small. Work with what you have available and really look at your resources, both personal time and financial, to kind of get things going. And then, but like believing in yourself is by far the biggest thing in terms of moving forwards and getting that success. And if that's something that you struggle with around hitting that next level, coaches are amazing to do that. Like I firmly believe coaches need coaches. That's how we continue our own growth.

Jim Collison 56:15
Yeah, everybody needs a coach. Belle, if they were gonna get, want to get in contact with you and a website, how would they, how would they get in contact with you and how do they find you?

Belle Lockerby 56:25
Yeah, sure. So you can always head over to my website: If you wish, you can book in for a free 30-minute chat to talk about what that next design iteration might look like for you. Otherwise, you can find me over on Instagram @bellelockerby; on Facebook at Hey There Belle, and then over on LinkedIn as well, you can find me at Belle Lockerby too. So I'm happy to connect on any of those platforms. It's all good.

Jim Collison 56:51
That's good. I always, always appreciate that. Not hard to find. I found your book in about 7 seconds with a quick search when we were doing that. And so, so Belle, thanks for taking the time today to just kind of catch us up on what you're doing. So great to hear from you. Great to hear your experiences. Hasn't always been easy in the process; you've been through a lot, but great to catch up with you. Thanks for coming on.

Belle Lockerby 57:14
Awesome. Thank you so much for having me!

Jim Collison 57:16
You bet! You hang tight for one second. With that, I'll remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we have available on, both on BP10 and CliftonStrengths. You can head out to our, to now the new Gallup Access. Head out there: -- although I shouldn't say "new"; it's like a year and a half old now, so, but you can head out there: Log in, and lots of resources available for you. If you're interested in coaching, master coaching or you want to become a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach like Belle is, you can send us an email: And we can get all the information back to you on how you do that in your region. We have both virtual -- I mean, we've been 100% virtual on that training. But we do have some, keeping our fingers crossed, we do have some in-person stuff coming up. So we're excited to be able to get that out as well. You can find us on any social platform just by searching "CliftonStrengths." And we want to thank you for joining us tonight or today, depending on what time. You had a lot of West Coast folks, by the way, out here tonight. So a lot of the folks in chat I recognize as being out on the West Coast of the United -- not the West Coast of Australia but the West Coast of the United States. They're staying up late for you. We want to thank you for joining us, and thanks for coming out. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Belle Lockerby's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Connectedness, Relator, Futuristic, Strategic and Ideation.

Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:

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