- How can you benefit from reading Career Unstuck?
- How can you craft a job -- current or future -- that you love?
- How can you employ your strengths to tackle big challenges?
Called to Coach Webcast Series -- Season 12, Episode 3
Below are audio and video plus a transcript of the conversation, including time stamps.
So much of your life and your wellbeing is tied up in your career. So your attitude toward your career -- loving, liking, tolerating or hating it -- has a ripple effect that extends far beyond your workplace. When you realize that you don't love your career, but you feel unable to extract yourself from it -- you're stuck -- what do you do? Author and Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach Charlotte Blair has some answers for you. In Career Unstuck, Charlotte talks to those who need to chart a way out of their current careers -- and to those who are finding success in or are just starting their careers. How can her book help you, regardless of where you are on your career path or how you feel about it? How can you craft a job that you love? And how can your CliftonStrengths® be pivotal as you seek to do this? Join us and start taking steps to move your career forward.
It floored me how many people were a 3 or a 5 [out of 10], in terms of loving your job. And I thought, That's so sad to spend so many waking hours at work and not love what you do.Charlotte Blair, 6:30
You don't have to read [Career Unstuck] end to end; you can just pick it up and go, I think that chapter is going to be helpful for me where I am right now. Pick it up, put it down. Use it as a reference guide.Charlotte Blair, 10:49
The key is, everybody just has to take one little action. ... So what are you missing out on? And what's that impact? That should be the catalyst to help you take one step forward.Charlotte Blair, 39:26
Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on November 9, 2023.
Jim Collison 0:20
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 on our gallup.com live page, there's a link right above me to the chat room; we'd love to have you use it. If you're listening on LinkedIn or Facebook, you can leave comments below there. If you're listening to the podcast audio or YouTube after the fact, you can always send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't forget to subscribe on your favorite podcast app or right there on YouTube, so you never miss an episode. Charlotte Blair is my guest today. She's the founder of Strengths Partners. She works with individuals and teams across the world to discover and use their strengths to meet their goals. Her book, Career Unstuck, is born from her experience with someone who went through a corporate 9 to 5 -- sounds super boring -- and all the trappings that come with it that help her discover her unique talents and strengths, and now loving work again. It contains tips, resources, stories and questions to help you get unstuck and love what you do. That sounded super PR. Charlotte, welcome to the podcast!
Charlotte Blair 1:30
Thank you, Jim. Great to be here.
Meet Our Guest on This Episode
Jim Collison 1:32
Good to have you here. And congratulations on your book. How are you feeling? Today's launch day, but this is a long, let's say a long journey. It's like asking somebody how the first, you know, 5 minutes of a marathon goes, but how are you holding up?
Charlotte Blair 1:47
I'm holding up really well. Very excited. It's been a really high-energy day. It's funny, I remember talking with somebody, and launching a book, we say, it's, it's like a marathon, not a sprint. It's an ever, ongoing process in order to be able to get the book into the right readers' hands that are basically stuck in their career. But it was really fun this morning, we had a virtual launch. A number of people there I can see in the chat. Catherine was there; a couple of other people were there. Casey, it was really great, high energy. And then I did a podcast earlier. So that was, that was really fun. So yeah, it's nice to actually have it physically launched. It was funny that it actually launched before I knew it launched; I was on a call, and Jennifer Vancil said, "Oh, I've got your book!" And I was like, "Oh my God, I didn't even know it was available!" So it was, it was on Amazon before I actually even realized it was on Amazon. So that was, that was fun, and it's an ongoing journey. But being a high-energy sort of person, it's a high-energy day, and I'm loving it, and hope it continues to be a high-energy year.
Jim Collison 2:49
You've been everywhere. I've seen you all over social over the last couple days. And trust me, usually I feel like I'm all over social. And you maybe have done more in the last. It's a lot -- and we're going to talk about this -- it's a lot of work to do what you're doing, and we're going to, we're going to spend a little bit of time on the materials of the book, just for those folks on interested how to use it as a tool. Then later, a little bit later in the, in the podcast, we're going to talk a little bit about the why and the what. Like writing a book, I think some people think, Oh, I could never do that -- that's this guy. And then there's others who are like, Oh, I want to do that. So we'll spend some time thinking about that. Charlotte, for folks who may be listening to the podcast but don't know who you are, give us your 2-minute, When you meet somebody, how do you describe yourself?
Charlotte Blair 3:35
Two minutes. Gosh, that's a tough call. I would describe myself as a Brit living in Australia for the last 13 years. I'm a country girl. I'm a former, as you mentioned, corporate person. So I spent 12 years working at Verizon and then shifted my career. I'm a beekeeper. I'm a failed horse rider after I fell off the horse.
Jim Collison 4:01
Just retired, just retired.
Charlotte Blair 4:04
Yeah, retired horse rider, now beekeeper and vegetable grower. But yeah, I am just your, your average gal, something that I would add in there is I'm also very dyslexic. So when we come on to talk about writing a book and what might stop you, I had limiting beliefs about writing a book, but yeah, I shifted into this coaching space 10 years ago now. I did my ICF certification first, and then became Gallup-Certified about 10 years ago and have been loving doing my own thing ever since. I guess I really started my own thing about 9 years ago now. So yeah, does that, was that 2 minutes, Jim?
The Audience for Career Unstuck: People Who Don't Love Their Careers
Jim Collison 4:44
That's perfect. Your book, Career Unstuck, I mentioned in the intro, you kind of wrote it for a person who maybe, you know, the, on this journey. And my career, in some ways, I don't know if I was stuck; I just don't know if I was necessarily in the right place. As you think about, did you, Who else were you thinking about when you were writing this book, besides the person we referenced in the intro?
Charlotte Blair 5:09
It started off a number of years ago. People would ask me about my own journey, of Wow, how'd you get into doing what you are doing now? And I would share the story. And some of that's in the book about, you know, the Stephen Covey 7 Habits course was a bit of a pivotal moment for me, when you think about, you know, how you want to be recognized, or what you want people to be saying about you. And having people say, "Oh, you know, Charlotte's fun and a great IT salesperson" didn't exactly inspire me. So that's when I kind of started off down that journey.
Charlotte Blair 5:42
But people do ask me, "Well, how did you make that shift? Oh, you should write a book." And then lots of people will say, "Oh, you should write a book," and then I thought, Oh, yeah. I'd write it on my list of things to do every year. And every year, I would get to the end of the year, and they go, there's the book again; well, I never got it done -- partly because I didn't understand the process of writing a book, and partly I had limiting beliefs of being dyslexic. Oh, I can't write a book. But I wanted to write a book. It really kind of came to a head, actually, during COVID. I was, I had a big coaching engagement at a sort of well, well-known Australian corporate here. And I often ask the question in my coaching, "On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you love your job?" Especially when somebody's sort of talking about what they want to get from it, and you can hear something in there about not loving what they're doing.
Charlotte Blair 6:28
So I ask that question. And it floored me how many people were a 3 or a 5, in terms of loving your job. And I thought, That's so sad to spend so many waking hours at work and not love what you do. And that's where it sort of really came about. So actually at the beginning of the book, where it talks about, you know, the person and sharing her story, that's actually a little bit of an amalgamation of a number of people. When I thought about an avatar of who I was writing to, there's a number of reasons why people are stuck. So yeah, the, the main catalyst is helping people love what they do. And my goal for them is to take action -- you know, to take one step forward -- obviously, Activator® -- one step forward, away from, you know, mediocre or the fetal position to finding something that they want to do. And I realized in the process of my research that there's a number of reasons why people might be stuck where they are. And that was quite interesting doing some, some research about that.
The Audience: People With Successful Careers
Jim Collison 7:33
If I'm having success in my career -- I'm at a place where things are great; I'm moving forward with it. Is this a book, like, how -- could this book help me? Or could it help me help others? What would you, be your advice there?
Charlotte Blair 7:47
Yeah, I think it can, it can help a number of people. The way I wanted to write it was a bit like a journey. And I talk about how I am there on the journey to hold your hand. So it's got suggested, at the end of each chapter, it's got additional reading, depending on where you are. So we start with what's keeping you stuck and understanding that it might be money. It might be mindset. It might be you chose to be an accountant because your parents wanted you to become an accountant. So all the different reasons of what's keeping people stuck. And some people find that really useful, to go, Hmm, OK, I hadn't thought about it that way. Maybe I've got a mindset about money that's not that helpful to me. And then the following chapters, all right, well, once we work out why you're stuck, how can we get you unstuck? And then, say there's, there's additional reading. Well, if it's money that's keeping you stuck, you might want to read, you know, Jackie's book about stop worrying about money. Or if it's about your mindsets or imposter syndrome, here's another book that's really great.
Charlotte Blair 8:47
And then I use a number of coaching questions at the end of each chapter, to have people think about maybe then write down some actions that they're going to take. There's a workbook to go with it. So when you get to the end of the book, there's a QR code. They can scan the QR code and go and download a very practical workbook. On the launch call this morning, Donna Gardner -- our friend Donna Gardner -- was even sharing. She said, "Charlotte this, you know, having read this, this would help you even if you were stuck in a relationship, for instance, or stuck anywhere. It doesn't actually just have to be your career. It's, it's what's keeping you stuck in something that's not fulfilling you and how do you, you know, get out of that?" So there's definitely a mindset element, but there's also practical tools worked for me -- you know, knowing that Simon Sinek's know your why. Knowing your why helped me. Knowing my values helped me. You know, having cheer squad and mentors helped me. So I share things that helped me that helped other people.
Charlotte Blair 9:47
I think there's a lot of coaches out there who have already said this is really useful and practical for them when they are coaching their clients as well, if they're having a similar conversations as I was having. Somebody doesn't love what they're doing, and, you know, giving them some tools and techniques that might be able to help them. It's funny, Jim, at first I didn't like the title, kind of Career Unstuck -- because it was not necessarily about a career, but sometimes just that job. But Job Unstuck doesn't sound as great as Career Unstuck. But yeah, sometimes you know, we, we're doing a job, whatever you're paid for, if you don't, if you don't love it, how do you go about loving it?
Charlotte Blair 10:30
So I think about it like a journey. I talk about how I'm there on the journey with you to hold your hand. You might go along the journey, and you might decide to come off down a path and go and investigate or dip your toe in the water or jump into the pool or have a conversation with somebody else. And then you might come back on, you know, later on. So it's not a, you don't have to read it end to end; you can just pick it up and go, I think that chapter is going to be helpful for me where I am right now. Pick it up, put it down. Use it as a reference guide. But I do share a number of stories in there as well of, in particular, when we think about our mindset of the things that we fear, I have done so many embarrassing things in my lifetime that there's not a lot I fear anymore, because I've already done them. Had my skirt tucked to my knickers; dropped my skirt across the concourse; have ... on my face when I go into work. You know, you name it, nearly, I've, I've done it. Tripped up the stage, ... and done. So you know. Exactly, exactly. So what's the worst that can happen? Is a question that I, that's something my mother always said: "What's the worst that can happen?" Well, I'm not gonna die. So --
The Audience: People Preparing to Start a Career
Jim Collison 11:41
Well, the, hopefully not. The, when we think about college students, you know, oftentimes, career-based books that get the question of, like, How applicable, if you were thinking about a college student preparing for the workforce, could there be materials in this that that would help with that?
Charlotte Blair 12:00
Yeah. 100%. You know, obviously, discovering your strengths is a key aspect to that. So once you know what your strengths are, then you can play to them. I think even college students are going to have some belief systems, college students thinking about going into a job and actually being able to craft the job and ask a manager for, for something. I think often we see a job advertised -- there's two aspects. We see a job advertised; we go, I don't meet that criteria -- I can't apply for it. Or we see a job and say, Yeah, I can, I can apply for that. And we go in and we, we fit what they're asking for. But so often, we don't actually ask for something that we need.
Charlotte Blair 12:39
So there's activities in there to think about, What does a great day at work look like to you? What are some of the activities that you're doing? What, you know, do you want to be dealing more with people or technical problems? Links back to, you know, playing to our strengths. So for college students to be able to craft a job of things that they love, but also know that that's going to shift, you and I have both had a number of different careers in our lifetime. There's, research it now that, at our age, we probably had five career shifts in our lifetime. But that's going to definitely change for the, like my kids that are 18 and 20 now and coming out of school in university, chances are they're going to have 13 different careers in their lifetime. So 100% -- it's not, it's not just for somebody that's stuck in an existing job; it could be for somebody that's thinking about, What do I want to do? And a number of the activities will be able to help them in there.
How to Use Career Unstuck as a Resource
Jim Collison 13:37
Many, many of our listeners are Certified Coaches, and others aren't. But as we think about the coaching community maybe using this as a resource, what kind of advice would you give the coach, the coaches about using this as a resource and it's, in the way you kind of intended or as you think about it from that perspective? What kind of advice would you give them? Because as I was, as I was going through it, I mean, it does have a lot of helpful references. It's got some things you can write in. I'm, I'm particularly, I never write in books. So like, I wouldn't, I wouldn't use that. But the, what kind of advice would you give about, about using the book?
Charlotte Blair 14:13
A couple of things there. No. 1, there might be an activity in there that you hadn't used before and come across and go, Oh, I never thought about that -- like, you know, sorting out your values, being able to see a list. I know Jakra, I think, in Slovenia, said the other day, "Oh, yeah, I've seen a number of these different tools but hadn't thought about what my personal values are or what matters most to me." I've got something in there about what matters most to you and your non-negotiable. For me, fun and humor is a non-negotiable. I couldn't work somewhere that, where there's not fun and humor. I even shared the story when I was told to shhh because I laughed too much at an organization that I worked at one time. So they might find their own tool that you go, Oh, I can use that in my coaching -- especially if they download the workbook that goes with it. Go, I hadn't thought about that.
Charlotte Blair 15:04
The second one is, they may well want to send the book to their client as a, as a gift or a recommended reading that they can then kind of read it and then coach them on where they are in their journey. The third one is -- I actually go away this weekend with my husband -- I wrote most of the book in the caravan. When my husband goes flying for the weekend, he's a glider pilot, I would go with him, because if I was at home, I felt the need to do home chores. If I was in the office, I felt like I should be doing work stuff. But if I went away in the caravan, and he wasn't in the caravan, and I had the caravan to myself, I got it done. This weekend, I'm going away. And I'm sort of planning, I'm gonna be running some workshops that are designed for coaches of how they can then use this book. And then how might they even run their own open-program workshops for people who are stuck in their jobs? So that will come with resources and slides and things that they can use. The more people we can collectively help love work and play to their strengths, the better.
Challenges and Learnings in Book Writing
Jim Collison 16:00
Yeah, no, I love it. Love the mission. Love the purpose. Love what you're thinking about, you know, doing with this. As you think about, well, let me ask you this: You're asking people to learn a lot about themselves in your book. What did you learn about yourself, as you were going through this process?
Charlotte Blair 16:20
What I learned, No. 1, that I can write a book. Whilst I'm high Communication®, I'd normally just described that as verbal diarrhea. What I liked this morning is how a number of people on the launch said they felt it was very authentic and me, and it just sounded like, for those that know me, they went, Oh, yeah, it sounded just like you, Charlotte. So I learned that I can write a book, and it doesn't need to be, you know, fluffy and flowery and, you know, very, very technical. So I learned that.
Charlotte Blair 16:50
I also learned a lot about research. So I would, I would write, and then through the editing process, you know, they would say, Well, I think you need some research to back that up. You know, where's that come from? Yeah, it's great, but it's your opinion. But where's that come from? So the research process was actually quite interesting. I'm Learner® No. 34, Input® 33, Intellection® 32. So I'm not a big reader myself. And I'm certainly not a big researcher. I probably bought more books in the last 12 months than I've bought in the last 20 years, if not more. And I've actually really enjoyed reading them in a whole variety of different topics and become more knowledgeable as a result, and then can make better recommendations is why I ended up with a recommendations section in the book. Like, ooh, I'm not writing about that, but that book's really useful. And yeah, just the research and how to research -- not going to, not an academic person; left school as quickly as I could. So yeah, I learned a lot about that.
Jim Collison 17:54
Yeah, it's, there's a lot, I think, yeah. Well, let me, let me take some questions from chat, because I think there's some good ones. Just curious -- Stacy asks this -- Just curious, what was the most challenging aspect for you? You mentioned dyslexia. There's some ways to overcome that in the work that you're doing. You also kind of alluded to -- I can't remember if this was preshow or here -- you alluded to a coach, a writing coach. You engage with somebody who kind of kept you accountable for that as well. But challenging aspect, the most challenging on this?
Charlotte Blair 18:25
Yeah, I think the dyslexia was really more a limiting belief initially, that, Oh, gee, I can't write a book. But that's exactly why you have an editor. And my editors absolutely earn their money. We're giving them what we call a shitty draft and a manuscript full of errors and mistakes. And they were having to decipher what I'm trying to say, and sometimes spell check doesn't even understand what I'm trying to say. So that, that was easily overcome. I think actually, the time that it takes was a big challenge for me, Jim, at first. So I had a coaching session with my own coach. So I've got a coach, Claire Norman, she's, she's awesome. And at the beginning of last year, was it? Yeah, beginning of last year, said, "What do you want to talk about?" And I said, "You know, it's really annoying me that writing a book is on my list for the last 4 years, and I've not got it done."
Charlotte Blair 19:17
And through that coaching with her, I realized that I didn't understand enough about the process of writing a book and wouldn't even know where to start. I knew a number of other people in the community that had written a book, but I was like, Gee, I don't know where to start. I remember having a conversation with Maureen Monte a number of years ago at the Summit and, and her process. So I reached out to somebody that I knew and respected that had written and, a lot of books, Donna McGeorge, Australian facilitator and author here. She, she's a productivity coach, basically. And immediately she said, Charlotte, you need Kelly Irving. Kelly Irving is a book coach, and she runs an amazing community called the Expert Author Community. So, a lot of people like me and Oscar Trimboli, Jim, who I think you know, and I think he even tried to encourage you to write a book. Yeah. He, he's a Gallup coach, and he's written a number of books. He's this kind of deep-listening expert. And when I looked on Kelly's website, and I went, Wow! You know, the, all Donna's books have gone through Kelly as a coach. You know, Oscar uses Kelly. Dermot Crowley, there's, there are a number of books that I've got on my bookshelf, I go, Wow, you know, Kelly is behind some of these. Leanne Hughes, who a number of people in the community knows, I know Leanne even went to Kelly and got a bit of coaching. So she is a coach dedicated to writing a book and has been an editor herself, knows the book world, has a little black book full of books.
Charlotte Blair 20:46
Anyway, I had a couple of coaching sessions with her, and she gave me the structure and the framework to work towards. And then I became part of this community. And it's an amazing community of authors at different stages -- some that have written a number of books, some, like me, never thought about writing a book. And you've got that support crew that kind of helps you write the book. So having that there was great.
Charlotte Blair 21:08
In terms of the challenge, what I found is -- going back to why I needed to go to the caravan -- I would write, and then I would get busy with work. And then writing would fall by the wayside. And I, I had a breast cancer scare at the end of last year. You hit 50, and you go for your first mammogram, and I didn't hear anything. And then I got a recall. And then they kind of do another one. And then they say, "Oh, you know, Mrs. Blair, we found a lump." I'm like, "No! I haven't written my book yet! You can't tell me that!" So there were some other things that went through my head, but anyway, it turned out to be a cyst, and that was all good. But I, then, at the beginning of this year, was very intentional. And I went, OK. I wouldn't say the term worked down, but I was not particularly active in promoting work. And I went, No, I have to get this book done. I set myself a deadline of June; needs to be done by June. No more faffing around in this. Activator initially thought, 6 months, I'm gonna get it done. And it took me more like 18 months. So just the process as well of the time it takes.
Charlotte Blair 22:10
And obviously, the time that it takes you, you're then maybe not earning money. But you've also got to think about, Why am I, why am I writing this book in the first place? It's not just about getting into people's hands. It's also about, you know, raising your profile, raising your, yeah, I guess, you know, raise, raising your profile. So there will be a return on that. The more people that go, "Oh, who do I need to go and talk to when I'm stuck in my career?" Charlotte. Or, you know, the coaches might go, who do I need to talk to? Hopefully, those coaches that this book might help promote their work. So that was probably the most challenging thing. It probably cost a little bit more than I thought it was going to cost as well. But I decided I didn't want to go down the finding a publisher, having to put a pitch to a publisher and getting turned down by a publisher. When you think about Harry Potter, how many times she got turned down. And when you go through a publisher, they have more rights on what goes in the book and what goes on the cover. And I didn't kind of want that.
Charlotte Blair 23:17
I wanted Self-Assurance -- Self-Assurance®, Significance®, Command® -- I wanted it to be my own thing. So I went hybrid route. And if, because I'm dyslexic, and I needed somebody to fully check it and have an edited process, it was probably a little bit more expensive than I thought. But I hope that I get the return. It might not necessarily be just on book sales alone. But all it takes is for somebody to say, "Hey, Charlotte! We need you to come in and run a workshop on this." And hopefully I will get that monetary return. But there's more, more, more to it than monetary return. It's, I'm, you know, I do want to leave that legacy of helping people get unstuck.
Jim Collison 23:56
I do -- I'm not gonna ask you to comment on this -- but I do love your cover. And covers are hard to get, because I think sometimes people try to put too, too much on them. They, they're like podcast album art, where you're like, actually, simpler is better. So I, you kept it simple. It's a great color. Appreciate that. For those listening to the audio, just go out to Amazon -- you're on Amazon, right? Go out to Amazon and search "Career Unstuck," and you can see the cover there. That's my, my favorite part. OK --
Charlotte Blair 24:22
It took a long time to decide on that cover.
Jim Collison 24:24
I bet it did. I bet it did. Yeah, you're back and forth on that. But it's time well spent. It's what, it's the first thing people see.
Charlotte Blair 24:33
That's right. And I've got to love it as well. I didn't love any of the previous covers, and The Grammar Factory, who I used to publish, they know this. You know, she came up with lots of designs, and I didn't love them all. But when we eventually got there, I was like No, I love both. And I put something on LinkedIn that said, Hey, choose which cover. And we --
Jim Collison 24:50
You kind of crowdsourced that, which is good.
Charlotte Blair 24:53
And I love it.
Licensing Gallup Content in Your Coaching Business
Jim Collison 24:55
Yeah, a little scary to put it out there a little bit early. Sometimes, what scares people away, you know, there's a lot of Gallup content in here that you worked with us on to license. Can you talk a little bit about that process? Because I don't know if a lot of people know all the things that, they're like, "Oh, well, I can use all of it, right?" And you're like, "Oh, no, actually, you can't." But to talk a little bit about that.
Charlotte Blair 25:19
Yeah. Correct. If you're writing a book, and it's got anything to do with CliftonStrengths in it, even if you mention the word Woo® or Activator, you need to go through the Gallup licensing team. Scott Wright is the most awesome, helpful person I've ever come across. I do remember having a conversation with him last year at the Summit and saying, Scott, OK, so I'm, you know, in the process of writing my book. What's the difference between permissions, license and the kind of full license? So I think, I don't think I'm wrong in saying Jo Self has, like, the full, because she went through each of the 34 themes in her books, like the Practical Strengths for Communication Styles, Practical Strengths for Career Success. She's got each of the themes and mentions them a number of times, and you got to kind of pay the full license and the royalties. I just had the permissions license. Yes, whilst the book is how to play to your strengths, it's more than just a strengths book. There's a chapter on it, and we refer to strengths a number of times.
Charlotte Blair 26:16
So I went through, Scott would have a look at the first manuscript, give me some guidance, says, Yeah, you need to make sure that you've got the kind of copyright and trademark across those; you need to tweak this; can't put that in there. And then, when it came to the final draft, he would look at it again, and then approve it, and then send me the permissions license to be signed, and I pay my money. And so Gallup made that very easy. But yeah, biggest tip to anybody: Don't, don't, don't just go and write a book and put Gallup stuff in there, because it's your, it's your IP. So we need to ask your approvals.
Jim Collison 26:52
Yeah. We have, for those in chat on the YouTube side of things, I put the link in there. I can't do that for you on Facebook or on LinkedIn. But if you just Google "Gallup Catalyst," there is a, pretty much a one-stop-shop form you can go to. Fill that out -- the earlier, the better. And, and, you know, sometimes what we find is, folks try to reproduce all of our content in their books; be like, Well, I don't want them to have to go to your books to do. And we're like Well, that's why we put them in the books. So just, it's better to, the earlier you start, the better on that, to get that, get that started.
Charlotte Blair 27:29
Yeah, sorry. I'll add to that. Again, that was, that was something that I'm not an expert at referencing. But as I went through, and I wrote the book, I would sort of mark a bit where I'd taken an art, you know, taken a quote from an article. And I would highlight that and put the link to it in the, in the notes, so that when the editor came to do her thing, she would make sure that all the, all the correct appendices and links were there as well. So yeah, you have to kind of give credit to where it is. Karin asked me a good question this morning about, How did I balance my voice with Gallup's voice and not just make it a Gallup book? I used a number of other research in there from Harvard Business Review and McKinsey. Gallup's obviously always my favorite, but you just got to make sure that you, you quote where you have taken the quote from and reference back to the original link.
The Power of Strengths in Getting Big Things Done
Jim Collison 28:25
Talk a little bit about your, your Top 5, because we didn't, I didn't say those in the beginning. And as you think about your own Top 5 and how you brought that to the book, tell -- first, tell us your Top 5. And then what strengths did you bring to the book?
Charlotte Blair 28:41
OK, I was gonna say, Jim, you should know me by now. I can never stop at the Top 5. OK, Activator, Woo, Command, Arranger®, Positivity®; then I do go Responsibility®, Maximizer®, Communication, Individualization®, Significance. The Activator, so the working title and was originally, "Don't Stop Me Now." And it is this thing, like, I love that Queen song, "Don't Stop Me Now." I'm having such a good time. There was definitely something in there about I want people to take action. I want to influence people and inspire people to take action and move away from mediocre. fetal position, boring -- whatever it is -- to something better. So there's definitely that there. The Woo definitely came into play, when I think about sourcing. There was quite a few people in the community that helped and were beta readers, test readers, offered their insights -- even other coaches, how they've gone about starting their own business. (The book originally was about how you start your own business. That's actually going to be book No. 2, probably.) It morphed into this piece about what's keeping us stuck.
Charlotte Blair 29:48
Command, you know, I want to, I want to playfully and boldly nudge people forward from being stuck. You got to take action. You got to have some courage. There's a chapter in there about Dip the Toe or Jump Right In. I'm a "jump right in" type of gal, but, as Kelly, my coach, said, "Not everybody's like you, Charlotte." And that did make me reflect and go, Yeah, OK some people might want to just test the water by dipping their toe. But, again, I want to inspire and have other people be courageous to try something new, whether it be dip the toe. The Arranger is probably coming from all the different resources. You know, if I think about my bookshelf here, you know, some of my favorite books -- Keith Abraham's It Starts With Passion, you know, even Marcus Buckingham's Love + Work, a number of Gallup books, obviously -- you know, Blind Spot, Culture Shock helped me, This Working Life.
Charlotte Blair 30:42
So, you know, I think about arranging other resources that I had that I want to be able to share with other people -- the tools that helped me. And then Positivity, obviously, we got to look at the, what can be. What's, what's, what's possible? You know, what's keeping you stuck? Let's design that perfect job, career, best day at work. Let's see the positives and, and move from here to there, along with other people in a kind of cheer squad. So if I can connect you with somebody, my Woo and Arranger will work together. Then obviously, the, you know, the Maximizer, the Significance, the Communication came out through there, the Responsibility of I've promised a lot of people I'm gonna get this done now; I need to get it done. Kelly, Kelly, early doors, when you work with Kelly, she, she actually has you share that you are writing a book publicly. And that is that kind of scary thing of OK, I've just publicly told everybody I'm going to write the book; I need to get it done now. So you're kind of being responsible to others, but you're being responsible to yourself. The moment I did that, what I loved is so many people would check in with me and go, Hey, how's the book going, Charlotte? In a in a lovely way, in a supportive way. So I feel very supported by, not only this community but a community of other people that I'm with on Facebook, LinkedIn, friends, family.
Jim Collison 32:03
Would you do it any different if you did it again? Or for book 2, will there be a Career Unstuck 2 -- the, everything I learned from the first book?
Charlotte Blair 32:13
No, I don't think there'll be a Career Unstuck 2. Somebody did say to me the other day, "Oh, you could write a whole, you know, series on this -- getting unstuck from a relationship; getting unstuck from -- " and I'm like, "No, I'm not an expert in getting career unstuck; I'm definitely not a relationship expert. No, I think book 2, I got two other books, I think, in me. I love metaphors. I absolutely adore metaphors. So I feel like there's a book in there about coaching with metaphors. And it might be more of a picture book. Kelly has you do this book canvas of what's the, you know, what's the burning book that's inside you? And that was that was a back-burner one. But the other one is about, you know, how, how to start your own, sorry, your own company. If you're somebody like me that worked at a big organization and you, you think you'd like to start your own company, it's actually easier than you think it's going to be. But you do need a number of things behind you. So that's probably what book 2 will be.
Charlotte Blair 33:08
There might be a second edition of it, Jim. So there might be some updates. The beauty of having print on demand, which is what this book is, is a print on demand, even when you order from Amazon, they're just printing there and then; I don't have to do a run of 2,000, 5,000 and panic about selling those. It's print on demand, but it still looks beautiful and professional. So there will probably be revisions and edits to it. There are a couple of spelling errors in there. My, our lovely friend Beverly, I spelled Beverly's name wrong, which I'm a bit mortified about. So I need to go in and update that. So --
Jim Collison 33:45
I think you spelled my name right, though. I think that was -- .
Charlotte Blair 33:47
Oh, yeah, yeah. So yeah, yeah. You're, Jim's mentioned a couple of times in the book. We're just wondering how much he's read the book as to whether he's found all of the references.
Jim Collison 33:57
If there was more than one, I don't think I found them all.
Charlotte Blair 33:59
Oh, there you go. You'll have to go and read the chapter on Peaks and Valleys. Obviously, beautiful Maika, she did the foreword for me. So I feel incredibly honored to have Maika and her amazing Communication talents do the foreword for me. And she also contributed other bits to the book about, you know, her own. her own journey, through her, her career and starting her own business as well. So --
What About Getting Teams Unstuck?
Jim Collison 34:26
We got a few minutes for some questions. If you're on Facebook or LinkedIn, drop them in the comments below. If you're on YouTube, you drop them into the chat. We'll take those questions. Ken had asked one earlier, and I'm gonna change it a little bit, because it's not exactly where I think we wanted to go. But Ken says, How different is your approach when you start with a team that is not getting along with each other? Let me ask you this question: If you have a team that's stuck, could this be a book? Like, if they're not getting along, they're stuck. Could, could, could you use this as a team book? Or is it only for individuals?
Charlotte Blair 34:56
No, I think it probably could be a team book. I mean, I wonder when, if people are, if a team's stuck, it's often because they don't necessarily, well, could be a bit about understanding themselves; it could be a bit about understanding each other. So the book will certainly help understand themselves and each other. When we think about, you know, that disengagement piece, whether you want to call it your, you know, engaged, disengaged, actively disengaged, quiet quitting, there's a number of people who don't love the work, and they act out that disengagement in the workplace. Or, you know, there's a lack of trust, or they just don't communicate and understand each other. So absolutely, it could help them. But it probably is more designed for each of the individuals in that workshop, for instance.
Charlotte Blair 35:51
But I think the, the common factor there is, you know, understanding yourselves. Knowing your strengths helps you understand yourself. Knowing what you love doing at work -- and this whole piece about trash and treasure. There's a, there's a section in here about partnerships -- the story where I share with Sam, when I worked at a consulting firm, Sam, I hated the peer review process. I'm rubbish at the peer review process. We had a very tight peer review process; I can't pick up my own mistakes, let alone peer review somebody else's. And she was like, "Oh, no, I love the peer review process! Give me all your peer review work!" It's great. And it was somebody else who had to do the inductions. And he goes, "Oh, I hate doing the inductions." "Ooh, I love doing inductions! Give me the inductions!" So there's this concept in there about, you know, trash and treasure and working out with your team, What do you love doing? And what do you hate doing? And might you be able to job craft yourself so that you can job craft at a team level? You know, make sure that there's no one, one aspect of the job that nobody loves doing -- it's still got to get done. But I think it could be.
Charlotte Blair 36:56
And I think there are, what's interesting for me, Jim, is How do I bridge this gap between going into an organization and going, Hey, let's run a workshop on being un-, getting career unstuck. Not everybody's gonna want to admit that they are stuck in their career, especially not to their boss. But I think there's absolutely something in there for managers of, How can you make sure? But it's, you know, I'd recommend the Boss to Coach course for them. But, you know, how can they -- or coaching from one of our lovely coaches -- how can they make sure that they are having great conversations with their team members, so that they are playing to the strengths of their team and understanding what purposeful work looks like to them. You know, when you think about the Q12® and the Mission and purpose of my organization, or I have a Best friend at work -- there's very strong linkages between all of those and loving what you do at work.
Jim Collison 37:48
When we think about getting unstuck, and usually by the time we're stuck, it's like we're all the way in. Like, we've waited too long to really start making some decisions. How do you level-set? You've got a chapter on job crafting. And, and how do you level-set people's expectations on changing directions when it's Thursday, and they want, they want a new direction on Monday? And, you know, you kind of say, Well, sometimes it takes a little bit longer than that. But how do you, how do you work through that with folks, as they're thinking about making changes?
Charlotte Blair 38:26
Yeah, it's where my Individualization comes in. It's going to be different for everybody. If you want a new job on Monday, and you have enough money in the bank to quit there and then, great. You can, you can do that, and then spend the time to find something else. But for other people, they go, I've got kids. I've got a mortgage to pay. I've got food to put on the table. I can't just quit. Then yes, there's whole sections in there about, well, what are the little actions that you can take? Maybe you can upskill. Maybe you can go on a course. Maybe you can find a mentor. Maybe you can do a side gig. You love running podcasts.
Charlotte Blair 39:06
You, you know, I use the example of my lovely friends, my local beekeeping supply. She used to work at Telstra. And, you know, they did -- she got a redundancy package, and they set up a bee supply organization. So it was a kind of thing on the side, it was like a hobby on the side. So there's a number of different ways and processes. But the key is, everybody just has to take one little action. That 1% different, and it does depend on your circumstances and where you are. Some people can quit straightaway; some people, it's gonna take a little bit longer. But there's a big thing in there about what's the impact of you being stuck? Like what's the weather that you're taking with you? What's the knock-on effect that's having? If you hate your job and you're miserable, what impact is that having on the loved ones around you? You know, do you go home and metaphorically kick the cat, shout at your husband? You know It's going to have a knock-on effect on other people. So what are you missing out on? And what's that impact? That should be the catalyst to help you take one step forward and at least reach out to somebody. And again, this old adage, if you don't ask you, don't get. A lot of people will fear reaching out to somebody, because they don't want to bother them. Whereas, Hey, if you just took one action and reached out and said, Hey, Ah, maybe I can ask Lisa what she thinks to this. That's, that's one little action that will start a chain reaction of getting unstuck.
Jim Collison 40:34
Yeah, I think you got to ask a lot of questions and see what's even available. In some cases, you may, you may be in a market, you may want to do something different. And it's gonna require either moving or taking what's available, right. I mean, there's just always, there's a lot, there's so many variables to it. I get, whenever I get interviewed on a podcast, they ask me about my job-crafting experience. And I kind of, sometimes I kind of have to say, "You guys will keep this a secret, right? Everybody listening live, cone of silence. You'll keep this a secret, right?" I kind of say I got, I mean, I got lucky, right? Well, luck is where hard work meets opportunity. And I just happened to be doing some things, and the opportunity came up to do this that I was doing, and I kind of fell into it. And it's still, like, I still have to justify my existence every single day in, in what I'm doing. It's not like, Oh, he found it. It's great! It's, it's sunshine and rainbows.
Jim Collison 41:25
So in that area of job crafting, and as I was reading, you know, through what you were, you were talking about, it was like, Oh, this is, it's harder than it sounds. You need to, you need help working your way through. I had lots of people coach me and push me along in that path. But I kind of got lucky too. So it kind of works out that way. Here in a minute, Charlotte, we're going to, we're going to announce some winners. I was supposed to say that up front, but I didn't. We're gonna announce some winners here in just a minute. So if you are, if you're waiting to hear your number and some names, Charlotte's gonna get, get out whatever she needs to do. Don't, don't go anywhere just yet. But we'll, we'll cover that here in just a second. Charlotte, what did I miss in this? What, what do you want to say that I didn't ask a question for? We'll give another extra minute for our audience to throw questions at you. Anything I missed in this or anything -- What are you most proud of? If you can't think of anything you missed, what are you most proud of now, at this point?
Charlotte Blair 42:25
Well, I'm most proud that the book got done, and that it's in the hands of people and that the feedback so far is incredibly positive. It's not just from people that are stuck, but other coaches that have said, Oh, wow, I can see this. It can be so useful. I've just, you know, bought 10 copies, and I'm gonna give them away in, in workshops. So I'm proud that it's done and out there. I think, in terms of missed, if there are people within this community that would like to be part of my cheer squad, and help get this book into the hands of other people they know that's stuck, getting contact, follow me on Facebook. You'll, you'll see I've got two Facebook profiles. But the more glam-looking picture is my corporate Facebook; the one of me on a horse is the personal one. So connect with the, the one where I probably look a little bit more like this. And yeah, I would love to have people that are part of the cheer squad, and they will get entered into some other competitions to win signed hardback limited-edition copies to be pilots, pilots? To be test pilots for some workshops that I'm looking at running.
Charlotte Blair 43:32
So connect with me on Facebook, and I'll be sharing details about that, or subscribe to the newsletter. There are a number of websites, obviously, there's careerunstuck.com.au is the website where you can find a number of the resources. But there's also, for coaches that are listening to this, then there's charlotteblair.com.au. If they follow that newsletter, then they can become kind of part of the cheer squad. So I would love to sort of help more people if they've got ideas of how it can be used, then, that I haven't shared or thought about, that I'd love to hear those ideas, too.
Jim Collison 44:11
Lisa wants to know, What's a cheer squad? And how is it structured?
Charlotte Blair 44:16
OK, cheer squad is just people that will help promote the book, Lisa. It might be I give you some images that have been created that you share on your own Facebook, Instagram with your customers. It might be holding a copy of the book and posting that on Linked, on your LinkedIn profile so that it gets out there. So it's, it's, you're part of the launch crew, you're part of the crew that's, that's helping get the book out there. And in return, you get extra bonus material and resources that will help you in the work that you do. But it's really just a group of people behind me, helping get the book into the right people's hands.
Jim Collison 45:02
Yeah. Just like you guys are for, for Gallup and for CliftonStrengths. You're our cheer squad in making sure that folks know about it as well. I think Charlotte, I think what I'll do, I think we're out of questions. I think what I'll do is I'll wrap up this part of the podcast, so that for our podcast listeners who are, you know, it's now January or February or March of 2024, maybe even 2025. They, they're, they don't care about numbers. So we'll do that in the postshow. Are you OK with that, if that's all right? If you're listening, live, stay around. Everybody listening live, stay around for some postshow. And there may be even a question or two that's off the books, so to speak, and so are off the record. So you might want stay around for that, as we, as we do those numbers. I was going to ask you one more question. I do apologize -- if my audio and video has been bad, I do apologize for that going forward. Charlotte, anything else before I close this up?
Charlotte Blair 45:54
To say thank you, Jim, for having me on. And I hope that this has been useful for others. And if anybody does have any questions that we don't cover in the postshow, they are more than welcome to reach out. I'm happy to help.
Jim Collison 46:08
Yeah, careerunstuck.com.au is what gets you there. And we want to remind everyone: Take full advantage of all the resources we do have available in Gallup Access. Head out to Gallup, head out to my.gallup.com. For coaching, master coaching or if you want to become a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach like Charlotte is, send us an email: email@example.com. Don't forget, we've just opened, as of this recording, which is November of 2023, we've opened up registration for Gallup at Work Summit, which is happening June 3, 4 and 5 of 2024. I know Charlotte's already got her plane tickets. She's already going to be there. And her summit registration, maybe soon?
Charlotte Blair 46:49
My registered, have I done my registration?
Jim Collison 46:53
Yeah. It's open. Did you know it's open? It's all done?
Charlotte Blair 46:55
Jim Collison 46:56
OK. So she's in. And you could be in too! Get out there -- gallupatwork.com. We'd love to see you there. And I'd love to see you there. That's the only time I get to see people these days. I'd love to see you come to Omaha and join us for that. Stay up to date on all our future webcasts by joining our Facebook groups. And join us on any social platform by searching "CliftonStrengths." If you've enjoyed it, hit the Like and Subscribe button -- I'm contractually obligated on YouTube to say that -- and we want to thank you for joining us today, and thanks for listening. Thanks for coming out. We mentioned, they'll have a little bit of postshow. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.
Charlotte Blair's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Activator, Woo, Command, Arranger and Positivity.
Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:
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