Author Archives: jenny


Three Leadership Traits That Never Go Out of Style

Once in a while we come across an article that is a great encouragement to leaders. This one from Harvard Business Review discusses Emotional Intelligence and its role in growing our leadership abilities. You can find the original article here. Hope you find this helpful in your quest to lead well!

Your Coach,




P.S. – your True Life Team is ready to assist in your understanding of EI. Have you seen the EQ report we use with our clients? See how our team can help you find your next level!


When I was a kid, the children in our neighborhood would play in a nearby park every evening. Our undisputed leader was a boy barely a year older than I was, I think. He introduced the new kids to everyone, taught them the rules of games we played, and made sure no one felt left out. We also trusted him blindly because he had our backs whenever we messed up.

None of the leadership lessons that I have learned, unlearned, or relearned ever since have left as indelible an impact as the ones I learnt as a child. Three, in particular, stand out:

Trust: Do your team members trust you? Do they accept that you will, without doubt, stand up for them whatever the situation? Only that kind of trust makes people feel empowered, gives them the courage to innovate, take risks, and to push themselves beyond their comfort zones to find success.

David Maister, Charles Green, and Robert Galford, who wrote The Trusted Advisor, outline four attributes on which to assess your trust quotient: Credibility, reliability, intimacy and self-orientation.

Empathy: Did you notice that look of anxiety as your teammate walked into office this morning? Or did you miss it because you were busy fretting about deadlines? Do you treat your team members as human beings, and not just as workers?

Emotional intelligence is widely recognized as a leadership quality, but being transparent about your emotions isn’t. I’m puzzled by the fact that leaders are expected to maintain a stiff upper lip, as the British say, at work. Why can’t we rejoice in our successes, or show concern about our setbacks rather than taking them in our stride? Why don’t we laugh and cry with the highs and lows in the lives of our colleagues? We are human beings, and knowing that our bosses care for us is a fundamental human need.

Mentorship: No matter how talented we may be, we crave the guiding hand, the mentor who will teach us the rules of the game. Pat Riley, the widely respected NBA coach, once said that there was no great player who didn’t want to be coached. The same holds true of work. Would you be where you are today if your first manager hadn’t nudged you in the right direction? When people are perplexed about what the future holds for their organizations and themselves, mentorship is critical.

Little did I know when I was out playing in the shadows of the Himalayas that I was learning some principles that would never go out of fashion. At a time when people everywhere are questioning their leaders’ values, those characteristics seem to resonate even more.

worry1 (400x307)

Worry is a False Sense of Control

Everyone has fear. The courageous learn to not listen to fear. Instead they choose to take action and press through to do what’s right.

The cowardly learn to listen to fear. They choose either passivity or control to hide behind — and ultimately compromise their values resulting in a boring meaningless life.

Either way it’s a choice. Your choice.

False Sense of Control

Remember I gave up worry for Lent? Well, choosing to not worry is nothing short of a miracle every day. Yes I fail sometimes. But what I notice is that when I stop myself, whatever I am thinking about is not that urgent, rational, or even real. When I stop the thought, nothing in my life changes!

You know why? Worry is trying to control the future, which clearly cannot be done. When we are anxious it is never about the present, it always about the future — and our need to control it.

Worry is a big fat lie and a false sense of control — which is addicting if you haven’t noticed.

Today on a coaching call, I had a client share about his victory over anxiety. He shared that his “A-HA” was that he is really good at solving problems and even better when it is a crisis. He is sometimes at his best in those situations. Therefore, why worry that something might happen when, first of all, it rarely ever comes true, and secondly, when it does, he is the man for the job to solve the problem quickly and efficiently. He has his joy back.

Learn to Trust

It’s true. We have what it takes to solve most problems! We all struggle with different fears, depending on how we are wired. Your fears may not even faze me, while my fears might make you laugh.

In my fast from worry, I am learning how much I suck at trust and lean heavily on worry for a false sense of security and control. However, I am learning the great lesson of trusting in something bigger than myself for that 3% of negative that might happen, and to leave the 97% behind (or at least for tomorrow to worry about LOL).

Live Fearlessly!

I often will ask my clients, “What if the fear of ______ (name area here) did not exist in your life, then what would you do?” The answers that pour forth are so amazing and life-giving it always gives me goosebumps. Try it right now and you will see what I mean.

Dismiss worry from your life! Or at least try it out for a few weeks. Join me for the next two weeks! Do not allow yourself to worry and see what happens!

Oh and one more thing. This entire epidemic of fear is the reason our theme to the 6th Annual LEXI Women’s Leadership Summit is FEARLESS! Send your women to it! Seriously you need to invest in the women in your life in this area of being courageous and bold in all areas. It is Friday, May 2, 2014, and here is a special promotional code for my personal discount when you register: tlc2014. SEND YOUR WOMEN!

Let me know your thoughts below.

Fearlessly Your Coach,


sad-72216_640 (265x400)

I Gave Up Worry for Lent

What, me worry?

Truthfully, I’ve never seen myself as a person who worries. I guess I have so many people around me who worry about everything, I thought I’m was pretty good in the area.


Last month, I returned from vacation on Fat Tuesday. At the airport every TV station had stories about what people were giving up for Lent. I thought, what the heck I need to lose a few pounds. I’ll give up white sugar.

That didn’t sit well with me, though. It had been on my mind to try this ancient 40-day tradition, but I wasn’t very serious and hadn’t gotten around to researching its significance. I decided right then to get real quiet and ask God what I should give up for Lent. I was shocked at the answer.

Fear-Driven Action

The voice in my head said “WORRY.”

Worry?  What? I knew that voice wasn’t me as “worry” would be the last thing in the world I would bring up. Therefore, I thought I’d better take this seriously.

OH MY GOODNESS! What I have realized in the last few weeks is that my worry can look like action at times (aka workaholic.) When I begin to worry, I immediately take action and do something. Except for when I am lying in bed, driving in my car, washing dishes, then I fool myself into calling it planning.

Poison to Our Joy

Now don’t get me wrong. I am all for planning, I’m a business coach, for goodness’ sake! However, I have had to admit in my “fasting from worry” that what often looks like strategizing and planning is plain old-fashion worry…and it is poison to our present joy and happiness.

Take a look at what drives your activities.

Be honest.

Is your busyness based on fear?

LEXI: Get Fearless!

This entire epidemic of fear is the reason our theme of the 6th Annual LEXI Women’s Leadership Summit is FEARLESS!

Send your women to it! Seriously, you need to invest in the women in your life in this area of being courageous and bold in all areas.

It is Friday, May 2, 2014, and here is a special promotional code for my personal discount when you register: tlc2014. SEND YOUR WOMEN!

Let me know your thoughts below.

This is adapted from the article in my monthly newsletter – sign up if you don’t get it already.

Fearlessly Your Coach,


jen and emmanuel (224x300)

Givers VS. Takers – Who Are You? Clarity #38

In order to be an effective giver, you must first be a good listener. This type of listening includes asking questions and being curious about the other person’s thoughts, needs, and desires. Week 38 of Clarity focuses on the difference between givers and takers. We talk about this all the time in our world of coaching here at True Life, Inc. Coach Mary Beth King introduces our very own Jenny Bookamer while Shandel is out of town – enjoy!! Jenny’s blog invites us to consider whether we tend to give or to take in our relationships. She points us to the clearest indication of our tendency: how do we listen?  Do we listen and respond from thinking, “it’s all about ME”? I need you to let me be in charge. I need you to know that I am brilliant. I need to feel like I’m helping you.  Or, do we listen and respond from thinking, “it’s all about YOU”? How are you? What do you truly need? How can I help?  Notice whether you are listening to have your needs met or serve others, and you will clearly see whether you tend to be a giver or a taker!    ~ Mary Beth King, PCC Here’s Jenny… In order to be an effective giver, you must first be a good listener. This type of listening includes asking questions and being curious about the other person’s thoughts, needs, and desires. Week 38 of Clarity focuses on the difference between givers and takers. We talk about this all the time in our world of coaching here at True Life, Inc. In re-visiting this chapter it reminded me of another part of my world where I am a childbirth educator in the Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth and a birth doula (a doula is a nonmedical person who assists a woman before, during, or after childbirth, as well as her partner and/or family, by providing physical assistance, and emotional support).


Courtesy of Nichelle Isaacson Photography

In this part of my world, an aspect of my role is to teach the support person to be tuned in to laboring woman. Support people may think they have a good idea of what is needed, but until they truly listen to women as they work through the process of labor and birth, they only have part of the equation. As a doula I once made the mistake of gently insisting the laboring mom try a certain position because I THOUGHT she was tired. She told me she wasn’t, and yet I persisted. With her next contraction it became very obvious that I was way off base. That was a big moment of understanding for me about the importance of listening in order to give effectively. What would happen if we intentionally listened and asked good, open-ended questions to gain insight into a person’s thoughts and heart? How would that change the way we give to others? I suggest that it would allow us to give to others in ways that would affect them in profound ways. It would make the process of giving more about the receiver, than the giver. We all have something to contribute in our sphere of influence. Start being an intentional listener and an effective giver and see what a difference YOU can make!

Jenny Bookamer

Ronnie diving (800x533)

Busting Out of the Box of Misery

Research tells us that 90 percent of what we worry about never comes true. Think of all we miss out on in life — because of the 10 percent! Is it worth it? I think not. I’ve encountered so many people whose greatest strengths had yet to be discovered because fear keeps them in a safe, controlled box. That box is called misery.

That’s one thing I love about entrepreneurs. We are notorious for taking tons of risks and thinking outside the box. However, do not think for one moment we don’t wrestle every day with our fears. In fact, the entrepreneurs who are truly successful are the ones who face and conquer their fears — not avoid them. In fact, in my experience of coaching 500-plus entrepreneurs, the key to their success is becoming aware of and addressing their fears — not avoiding them. They have learned that the reward is worth the risk of busting out of the box of misery.Ronnie swimming

What reward are you looking for? What is it you desire more than your comfortable box of misery? Don’t let fear stop you from all the rewards that come from busting through your fears.

If you read my newsletter or last week’s blog you heard how my nephew faced his fears about swim team. Now it is time for you to conquer yours! Next time, I’ll share the four steps to conquering F.E.A.R.!

If you want immediate gratification just email me.

Just say no to misery!

Your Coach,




5 Ways To Prepare Yourself For Success-Clarity #32

 Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get. –W.P. Kinsella

photoI love Summer and I love sunshine! It seems this recent heat wave nearly sent my Seattle friends over the edge as evidenced in their tweets and Facebook posts. Bless our hearts. We complain about the grey and rain and yet when we finally get the sunshine we long for.. we complain and grumble.

When I wrote Clarity: Focusing on What Matters I addressed this in week #32 and challenged readers that in order to be successful you first must know how you define success. It never ceases to amaze me how many people have never taken the time to define success for themselves. Instead they go through life with someone else’s definition and find they are never satisfied or better said never fulfilled.

What do you want?

What do you really, really want? Most people answer that question with what they do not have which I think is a lost opportunity. What you really, really want you may indeed already have and by your own definition be a successful person. Shocking!

To identify what you want and be clear on your “why” does not mean you don’t have goals and should not strive for what you want that you do not have. Conversely, there is joy in realizing you just might have more than you ever imagined which will energize the journey toward more.

Take some time this summer and really think about how you define success and prepare yourself to live it and receive it.

5 ways to prepare yourself for success:

  • Define: What is it that you really want? Why?
  • Identify: Where are you at right now in your life? Who are you?
  • Motivation: What motivates you to be where you want to be? (the why)
  • Goals: What are the top 3 goals you have?
  • Preparation: Be prepared for the worst and best outcome.

Remember, you are eagle leaders and success is just who you are! Take one step toward defining your own success story before the day ends.

Your Coach,





P.S. YAY! I am feeling rather successful that after months of tech issues, we launched our new website today.  Check it out and tell the world.

Ten Things Leaders "Should" Do

I wrote Clarity: Focusing on What Matters for leaders who like short reads (400 words or less)  and big application. That is why I fell in love with this article by Robin Sharma as I think he has a great perspective on what authentic leadership looks like when the leader is keeping it real.

What would your life look like if you had absolutely no fear? What kinds of things would you do if you lived from a frame of reference that your thoughts literally could form your world?

Continue reading

Do you trust yourself? Truly trust yourself? Clarity #30

Do you trust yourself? In week #30 of Clarity: Focusing on What Matters, asking the question today takes on an entirely new meaning.

Trust is a word that is often taken for granted. It is a very delicate “thing” because it is either growing or eroding. That is why I am continually challenging leaders to invest in their self trust, the leadership team trust, and the organization’s trust. It makes or break … EVERYTHING! Continue reading

5 Keys For Women to Succeed as Leaders

Can women truly achieve work/life balance? If that question brings you feelings of guilt, shame off you! According to LEXI keynote speaker Rebecca Pomering, day-to-day work/life balance is a myth. Instead, we should strive for work/life “WOBBLE.”

This is only one of the many jewels of wisdom Rebecca Pomering, CEO of Moss Adams Wealth Advisors, shared at LEXI 2013 in Seattle. Continue reading

Quotes on Purpose

The poet Matthew Arnold made a prediction in the 1800s: “If ever the world sees a time when women will come together purely for the good of humanity, it will be a power as the world has never seen.”

Purpose creates an opportunity for value creation. Passion follows purpose. Passion creates energy. – Garrett Gunderson

The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is to give your gift away. - David Viscott

If you have a purpose in which you can believe, there’s no end to the amount of things you can accomplish. - Marian Anderson

You need to have a vision. Having a vision is the first step toward having the life you want. Purpose gives meaning to your life and changes your attitude and perspective about life. – Unknown

Taking action is how you GIVE your gift and live a life of true service to yourself and others. And that doesn’t mean that your life’s work has to be something that seems grand and noble. The real key to being of service and living your purpose is simply to do what you LOVE to do — whatever it may be. –  Rebecca Fine