Volume 6, Issue 1 – January 2005
Welcome to IWL’s eNews, designed to inform and inspire you about the progress of our global leadership community and commitments.
1) Alumni Profile – Maggie Mui, Wells Fargo
What are your name, title, organization and accountability?
Maggie Mui, sr. vice president, director for small business banking in San Francisco Bay region. I am accountable for 79 store branches and focus on business acquisition, cross-selling and retention of the small business customers for these locations. I am focused on helping small businesses achieve their goals. I moved into this position in October 2004.
When and why did you attend WLC (Women Leading Change)?
I attended the WLC for ethnically diverse Wells Fargo women leaders in June 2004. 20 of us from all over the US got together. I felt WLC was a very unusual type of leadership training. For one thing it was very emotional. Being able to fully be ourselves was liberating and we learned many things in the course and from each other.
What skills have you used the most since the program?
I moved to the US about 15 years ago. As an Asian American I previously felt that my communication skills were not good.The one thing that has had most impact for me is the conversation for achieving ground-breaking results. I love the action conversation the most. Before I have important conversations I refer back to my WLC notebook and review this approach. It’s my ‘bible.’ I look at what’s important to the people I’m about to converse with. I find out what will make a difference to them. I try not to assume they’ll understand my point of view or what’s important to me. This format and template helps me in my conversations with others.
I always use the top-of-the-mountain vision to identify the outcome I want to produce. Once I’ve got that in mind I work backward to establish the foundation piece. This has been very helpful for me in working with my own vision as well as the team’s or bank’s vision. It helps us move forward.
I am still working on expanding the playing field for people’s commitments. As a leader, my job is to ensure that more people are doing the right thing for the customer. I encourage people’s commitments and link them to the bank’s commitments so that people enjoy moving the bank’s business forward and serving our customers.
What resources do you want from or do you have to offer the rest of the IWL community as you continue your leadership journey?
Our Wells Fargo WLC group of 20 decided that we would help effect change for the bank by positioning the bank as a better and more diverse organization. The Diversity Line Group Project is our focus. The purpose of the project is to make suggestions to the company that will encourage further diversity so that Wells Fargo, our customers and the employees will all benefit. We’ve presented to management twice and will have a follow-up in the future.
I am also proud of expanding my ability to partner with others. I enjoy getting more people on the playing field and expanding it for the people I work with. I am partnering with others to get work done instead of feeling like I have to do it alone. We have a collaborative effort in working towards mutual goals. Now it’s one team, one goal, one vision. We better understand each other’s jobs and are getting clear about how to make everyone more successful. The sky is the limit when you work as a team.
5) What resources do you want from or do you have to offer the rest of the IWL community as you continue your leadership journey?
My WLC program and my experiences are solely within Wells Fargo. I’m dying to hear from others in other companies about what they’ve found successful in their application of Leading by Context™ principles. I would love to hear about what people in other organizations do when they run into obstacles, for instance.
From my point of view, I highly recommend reviewing the WLC notebook when someone gets stuck because that’s what’s worked for me. However, perhaps someone else has something else that really works for them that I am overlooking. I would love to alumni stories.
I offer to be an available partner to anyone who’d like to contact me. If anyone would like to know more about banking, I’d be happy to speak with you. Email
2) Coach’s Column – For the Sake of What? by Loretta Booker
3) Coaching Success – Dr. Colleen Brophy and IWL Coach, Victoria Castle
By any standards, Dr. Colleen Brophy is a very accomplished person. A vascular surgeon practicing at the VA Hospital in Phoenix, AZ, Dr. Brophy is also a center director of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University and a founder and chief medical officer of AzERx, a company developing ground-breaking approaches to treating asthma and strokes. She is also a wife and mother.
Why would someone as successful as Dr. Brophy engage the services of a coach? According to Dr. Brophy’s coach, Victoria Castle, “although she is a remarkable achiever, she was not fully feeling joy in her life. Colleen was smart enough to know that something was missing and decided to fix that.”
When Dr. Brophy noticed her sister, Tracey Warson, a graduate of IWL’s ELSC program, was ‘totally energized,’ Dr. Brophy ‘wanted what she got’ and enrolled in ELSC where she met up with Victoria Castle, an IWL coach.
Castle, continued, “Colleen is almost always at the head of the pack. She’s an innovator, visionary and inspiring leader. It’s easy to take on ‘everything’ and people in Colleen’s role often become ‘burdened.’ Colleen made a brilliant shift in focus as she engaged in ELSC and in our coaching relationship.”
“Coaching helped me focus and prioritize,” shared, Colleen. “My organizing principle now is ‘I am exactly where I need to be right now.’ I let the universe guide me to be in the right place at the right time. It’s been wonderful to engage Victoria as a coach,” continued Brophy. “In each session, we spent a good part of the conversation acknowledging accomplishments instead of simply pushing beyond them. It opened up a lot of completion for me.”
Coaching tip 1: Always go into a coaching session with an agenda. Dr. Brophy’s agenda included:
• Acknowledgements – what have I accomplished? What can I celebrate? What is complete?
• Gaps – what am I missing to move forward?
• Goals and Aspirations – where do I want to go next? Where do I aspire to be in the future?
A true overachiever, Dr. Brophy knows if she can identify a goal, state it and visualize it, it will become reality. “Victoria helped me to identify why a goal is important to ME. She helped me to use my goals more as compass points rather than having them on a to-do list. She helped me to uncover the true value in my goals and become clear in why I should ‘bother’ with them.”
Victoria adds, “We kept exploring where Colleen was in the equation. We kept bringing in her personal experience as a metric for accomplishment. Colleen was a quick study with regard to applying the centering and somatic practices included in ELSC. She would often ask herself, ‘How am I feeling? What’s my state? Can I drop my shoulders and open up my chest?”
“Somatics was one of the most powerful parts of ELSC,” said, Dr. Brophy. “It’s a matter of practice makes permanent. I consciously come back to my body and notice what’s going on. I’ve applied this professionally and personally.”
Victoria noted, “As accomplished as Colleen is, she’s available to learn new things. She’s got the capacity to be ‘provoked,’ and explore when things are uncomfortable.” The strength of a good coach,” said, Dr. Brophy, “is to find what’s missing and present it in a way you can hear it. Victoria’s focus is always in service to what I care about and what I’m committed to.”
Coaching tip 2: Keep an open mind and be available to learn something new. Test out new things to see if they make a difference. Dr. Brophy quickly began applying new practices from ELSC and coaching and began to see the pay-offs early rather than waiting to some other time to explore these new ideas.
“I’m now able to see who I am being and how who I am being is going to impact me, my family and the people around my in ever increasing circles. I am now aware of expanding my sphere of influence,” said, Dr. Brophy. “I’ve got a lot more joy and satisfaction in my life. I was recently sitting in a hot-tub with my mom. She noticed I was ‘back.’ I showed up for my mother in a way she wants to be around. At work, it’s now a lot more fun to give presentations, for instance. Instead of hurrying through the ‘unpleasant task’ of presenting, I now see it as a real opportunity to really be there – to find my feet and really connect with people. Now when I walk into the Biodesign Institute, instead of seeing a cavernous barn and freaking out, I connect with how great it is for all these people from different disciplines, to be together in our all-glass ‘fish bowl.’ It is awesome.”
“The Biodesign Institute, which has an integrated and multidiscipline approach, hasn’t been accomplished previously, shared, Brophy. “We’re mixing ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ researchers and experts together and asking them to work together in a way they are not trained to do.”
Victoria, shared, “Colleen spent time with the team, taking them right into the places of their discomfort, such as why this set-up might not work. She helped them to explore everything so that nothing was un-said. Colleen sponsored and guided in way that attracted and drew others to be on board. She recognized what humans need to react to change and helped them deal with it. She hasn’t lost anyone along the way. Her center, currently one of eight, includes 50 people.”
“At the same time, the establishment of our company, AzERx, is unfolding. I was committed to establishing the company in the right way – not knowing what the right way was – and I used my experience at ELSC to do so. It is fun to start at the ground-level and watch the thing grow. For me, it all works by holding a vision of the end-point. I envision this molecule or drug successfully helping patients, “ said, Dr. Brophy.
Coaching tip 3: Establish a compelling relationship with the future. Answer the ‘why bother?’ question. Dr. Brophy holds a huge vision. When you’re really in relationship with your vision, then all the obstacles take proportionate size. Dream big.
How’s the rest of Dr. Brophy’s life? “It’s great, “she said. “I believe the work/life balance is critical. While I’m watching the kids play soccer, ‘I’m exactly where I need to be right now.’ I stay present when I’m engaging the rest of the community, the VA, Biodesign or AzERx team. The real challenge is transferring what I’ve learned through ELSC and coaching to the ever-widening circles around me, especially teaching them to celebrate their successes and acknowledge their accomplishments.”
“Colleen is always finding the growing edge. In the past she was willing to effect change without getting the kudos for it. Now she’s brilliant leading out in front. When people see who she is, it helps to pull them forward. Colleen keeps expanding her ability to learn more but asking herself, ‘what’s next?’ ‘What’s the next place for me to grow?’”
Coaching tip 4: Community of peer coaches. It’s particularly important for women, as we assume leadership roles to be part of a community of coaches (like the ELSC alumni). Whether we’re facing a ‘sticky floor’ or a ‘glass ceiling’ we’re facing greater challenges and need support to intervene in the tendency to ‘do it ourselves and not bother anyone.’
What’s next for Dr. Colleen Brophy? “We’re going to build the first medical school in Phoenix, starting with dirt!” she said, enthusiastically.
About Victoria Castle
Victoria Castle is a Seattle-based coach, consultant and an IWL coach, who works with executives and business leaders to make their most potent contribution to their organization and to the human community – and to thrive while doing it. No suffering allowed!
When something as incomprehensible as the recent disaster in Southeast Asia occurs, sometimes donating financially seems like a small way to participate. In this case, it’s what’s needed in large measure, right now:
Red Cross: The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Federation), along with national societies like the American Red Cross, are partnering with numerous international humanitarian and non-government organizations to coordinate relief efforts. American Red Cross personnel will assist in conducting disaster and needs assessments, in addition to providing direct relief assistance to those affected by the disaster.
Save the Children: mission is to create lasting, positive change in the lives of children in need. Save the Children is mobilizing its response to children and families who, having survived one of the world’s most powerful earthquakes and a wall of water, are now in desperate need of food, clean water, medical care and temporary shelter.
South-east Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog: Real-time help needed, help offered, missing persons information and updates.
World Health Organization: WHO is seeking an initial $41 million appeal. The immediate concern is to ensure the health of the survivors.
The USWCC is creating economic and leadership opportunities for women by building a strong community voice, lobbying for women, and providing programs and benefits to support the growth of women across America. More
C. Working Mothers
Mothering: Mothering magazine celebrates the experience of parenthood as worthy of one’s best efforts and fosters awareness of the immense importance and value of parenthood and family life in the development of the full human potential.
5) A Note from Rayona
I wrote the rest of this note prior to the unprecedented devastation in Southeast Asia. I am finding it hard to fully comprehend the enormous losses of those who experienced this natural disaster. Each of us can count our blessings AND dig deep in our pocketbooks to make an appropriate financial contribution. This truly will make a difference for survivors. We’ve provided some links in the IWL eNews resource section for your convenience.
It’s hard to believe that we are almost through the first half of the first decade of the 21st century. 2005 is bound to be a defining year for many of us personally and it certainly will be for IWL. We just completed our 5-year planning process and you can expect some exciting new changes to be announced throughout the year at IWL. Our primary focus is always on creating an extraordinary customer experience, both through the quality of our programs and the level of service you can expect to receive. We are doubling our efforts to serve you and your colleagues. We expect to be making some staff additions early this year and will announce them in future eNews issues.
2005 looks to be a year of sustained profitable growth through partnerships including Linkage, Women in Technology International, Barbara Annis & Associates and several other organizations with complimentary services for our clients. We are also excited to be included in the new blockbuster book, ‘Enlightened Power: How Women Are Transforming the Practice of Leadership’ edited by IWL alumnae, Ellen Wingard and Lin Coughlin. The acquisition editor from publisher Jossey-Bass, Kathe Sweeney is also an IWL alumna and will be partnering with us on the book launch set for April 8 2005. As you can see, whole new possibilities are available through our global network and our 50-year renewable lease.
Currently, we have scheduled three-day WLC or PLC programs in Canada, Minnesota, Hawaii, Alaska and, of course, here in the Bay Area. This is likely to be the last year that I personally lead the WLC public programs. With growth comes the need for new program leaders and Helen is proving to be a real star in this area. The lion’s share of my public programs time is increasingly aimed at our Executives Leading Sustainable Changeprogram. We expect to be taking some of that curriculum into the major business schools throughout the U.S. and of course I will be continuing my participation at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Spreading our work throughout institutions of higher education is not only a business goal but a passion. If you should have contacts or interest in advancing our work in academia please call me at 650.556.8800 or drop me an Rayona.
We have renewed enthusiasm and resources for supporting our alumni network so look for reunion meetings, one-day advanced programs and other programs to increase your knowledge and application of Leading by Context™ and expand your network of support. If you have specific needs that have not yet been addressed please let me know.
More and more we are playing a larger role in spreading Leading by Context™ throughout our alumni client companies. As you can imagine it makes a huge difference when a business unit, a project team or the entire company is practicing generous listening, action conversations and separating facts from conclusions. I would be honored to discuss this possibility with any of you who are interested.
If you haven’t already done your 2004 register for accomplishment I highly recommend doing it before the end of January. Not only does it help bring you present to the difference you have made but it can open up wider fields of opportunity for 2005 and beyond.
When I do my register and count my blessings I am always grateful and present to the contribution that you have made to my life. It is because of the alumni network that I see a future of endless possibilities and unlimited rewards.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being my partner and friend as we change the world one person and one company at a time, starting with ourselves. Have a great 2005 and please stay in touch!
With love and gratitude,
Rayona Sharpnack, Founder and CEO