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ET Project \ Podcasts

ET-081: Artistry in Leadership: a deep dive into the essence of top performance, unraveling the threads…

With Ms. Mariana Macias

ET-081: A conversation with Ms. Mariana Macias

and your host Wayne Brown on January 02, 2024

Episode notes: A conversation with Ms. Mariana Macias

Hello and welcome to the ET Project. I’m your host, Wayne Brown, and as usual, we’re delighted to be delivering this podcast for executive talent all over the world whom we’re affectionately referring to as Team ET.

Happy New Year!

It’s the start of a new calendar year 2024 and I’m very excited today to be heading to Mexico City, Mexico to chat with our guest Ms. Mariana Macias.

Mariana trips between Mexico and New York serving her army of clients, international giants such as Sales force, North Face, Colgate and Sodexo as well as consulting firms insurance companies marketing agencies and a host of independent entrepreneurs.

Here is an extract from our conversation as we start to get into it…

So to be very very honest I come from the background of marketing. So I studied marketing as a career. I actually was developing on that. I even had a master’s on that. And then because I love marketing and I’m a very sports enthusiast I was just thinking okay maybe my path is gonna be marketing in sports. Why not? But then life is beautiful and life will always take you to the right places in the right times. So I started discovering coaching. I was working as an intern for a coaching firm and that was the first time actually that I was introduced into this concept that at first I was just like oh okay it’s kind of interesting. Why not? I’m a very curious soul. So I was like okay let’s just go deeper and let’s study about this. And when I was doing all of the marketing things and marketing strategies and actually also the sales strategies for this coaching firm I started also to be very curious in fact to say “Hey I wanna volunteer myself for actually having or initiating my own coaching process with a coach…

Today’s Guest: MS. MARIANA MACIAS

Ms. Macias methodology is 100% pure coaching leveraging KPIs and questioning, that lead her clients to experience powerful breakthroughs by making a commitment to fulfilling their dream and introducing massive action into their lives.

She’s a certified meditation guide a published author which of course we discuss more during the conversation and Mariana has been selected and recognized for being one of 500 companies and most influential coaching leaders for her entrepreneurial success achievements and dedication to helping others.

Mariana is passionate about helping top executives and leaders transform their organizational culture as well as being part of their transformational journey with people and leadership.

Additionally, Mariana specializes in employee performance culture and change management. So Team ET Mariana’s journey to reach this point in her life and her career is a fascinating story on its own. From being kidnapped to learning her craft under the legendary John Mattone this journey has helped to crystallize her focus and ambition. I think you’re going to really enjoy this conversation.

Final words from Mariana:

The first one would be there to getting into a beautiful process with yourself. Do not limit yourself or do not restrict or do not avoid the process that needs to be done. It doesn’t matter how many years you have as a leader or the industry as well, because then I have that justification right now, but we come from another industry. So it doesn’t matter the industry, it doesn’t matter the years, it doesn’t matter at all the status or the position or the stage of life that you are in. I think unleashing yourself and surrendering to say, I’m gonna do a process and I’m curious in getting into self-discovery because again, you always, always will keep learning from yourself. It doesn’t matter how experienced and how old you are, you will always get some truth to know about yourself that you can actually receive a lot from that.

So do not limit yourself or put in a place where you think you don’t need it anymore. Keep being open and surrendering to these kind of processes. Then second of all, of course, I would say keep questioning, questions, please. Like questions, first thing in the morning, questions whenever you feel that you’re not getting to the places where you would like to be, it’s like, I love this, but it’s very true. It’s like maybe you’re not getting the answer or at least you’re not being able to figure it out that answers. It’s not because the answer doesn’t exist or because you don’t know, it’s because you’re required to do a better question and that’s so true. Try to always play to actually get, say, “Okay, this was a question, this was the question that I needed.” That’s like a beautiful art. And then the third one, I would say, get a coach, okay? I do think that every single leader, again, I don’t care who you are or what, how many years you have in the industry or how many mentors do you have, honestly, or education or certifications.

Honestly, I think we all need a coach for our different seasons in our lives. So maybe right now you just need a coach for a safe space and listening or giving you some powerful questions. But then in another stage, you only need a coach for having or creating accountability with the processes or with the plans that you are achieving or putting in practice. Or maybe you need a coach right now in order to make you question if you’re in the right path or actually put you in a place where you get connected again with your purpose or discover what you wanna do in your next stage of life. So I truly believe that we all need a coach in every single season in our lives…

0:00:01.9 Wayne Brown: Hello I’m your host Wayne Brown and welcome to the ET Project. We’re delighted to be delivering this podcast for executive talent all over the world whom we’re affectionately referring to as Team ET. It’s the start of a new calendar year 2024 and I’m very excited today to be heading to Mexico City Mexico to chat with our guest Ms. Mariana Macias. Mariana trips between Mexico and New York serving her army of clients international giants such as Sales force, North Face, Colgate and Sodexo as well as consulting firms insurance companies marketing agencies and a host of independent entrepreneurs.

0:00:44.1 WB: Ms. Macias methodology is 100% pure coaching leveraging KPIs and questioning, that lead her clients to experience powerful breakthroughs by making a commitment to fulfilling their dream and introducing massive action into their lives. She’s a certified meditation guide a published author which of course we discuss more during the conversation and Mariana has been selected and recognized for being one of 500 companies and most influential coaching leaders for her entrepreneurial success achievements and dedication to helping others. She’s passionate about helping top executives and leaders transform their organizational culture as well as being part of their transformational journey with people and leadership.

0:01:30.3 WB: Mariana specializes in employee performance culture and change management. So Team ET Mariana’s journey to reach this point in her life and her career is a fascinating story on its own. From being kidnapped to learning her craft under the legendary John Mattone this journey has helped to crystallize her focus and ambition. I think you’re going to really enjoy this conversation. So please ready yourself now sit back and prepare for a little self-reflection once again as we get started with our guest Ms. Mariana Macias and learn how to fully harness our potential while leading others to harness theirs.

0:02:12.9 Speaker 2: Welcome to the ET Project a podcast for those executive talents determined to release their true potential and create an impact. Join our veteran coach and mentor Wayne Brown as we unpack an exciting future together.

0:02:26.6 WB: All right well welcome Team ET to another incredible week. We’ve kicked off this year in the best possible way and we’ve hand-selected our guest Ms. Mariana Macias. Mariana very happy to welcome you to the show.

0:02:45.0 Mariana Macias: Wayne thank you so much for having me here first of all. And we’re already in 2024 so such an amazing way to start and kick off the year. So thank you for having me here.

0:02:56.7 WB: Team ET we’re going to be talking about you as a leader and that’s what Mariana excels at. You the leader first we’re probably going to do a little introspective gazing if you like for the purpose of deepening self-awareness as the leader of others and the impact that you have on performance as well as building culture within the organization. Mariana I’m going to hit you with a very broad question to start with but if I look at what you do and what you’re certified as you’re an executive coach but in ontological mindfulness and ecological areas the question is how does your method of coaching support leader’s personal as well as professional growth perspective?

0:03:48.6 MM: That’s such a powerful question. I would say that first of all I would like to say that the kind of coaching that I do I do think that of course right now there are a lot of propositions and offers on the table on executive coaching but I am very specialized and focused on performance. But let’s talk about performance right? Because when I introduce the word I am an executive performance coach a lot of people just go ahead into the actions into the tactics right?

0:04:17.2 WB: Yes.

0:04:17.4 MM: Into the “Oh so you’re gonna measure me you’re gonna measure my performance but relate it into the technical stuff.” And I’m like we are losing something big about the word of performance that is like performance is not only our actions or our operational or our tactical or technical actions, you know?

0:04:38.7 WB: Yes.

0:04:39.4 MM: Performance is bigger than that. And it also includes the part of our human skills or soft skills if you like to call it like that but also mostly about our attitude and our behaviors. And of course our attitudes and our behaviors also come with all the part of the mindset. But also the mindset come with emotions. So I found this topic so beautiful because when I say that I work in order to improve top leaders their performance. I am including the coaching in a holistic way. So you mentioned it correctly right? I studied and I certified myself into the part of ontological which is the study of the being. And it’s all about powerful question. It’s all about questioning why are we here? What’s our life purpose? What are our main drivers? Values? What do we appreciate? What do we care about? What do we actually live for? Our why the powerful why? And then of course whenever I touch the part of the ecological is we’re talking about all of the relationships that we actually as human beings we have in life. We’re not thinking only about the relationships with our employees or with our loved ones or with the human relationships at all. It’s also the relationship for example us relating with time us relating with our mindset with our emotions with the food with our habits and also with our thoughts. So we… If you see it like that we actually have a relationship with everything that surrounds us and exists among us. And then lastly…

0:06:13.4 WB: Yes. Sorry.

0:06:14.9 MM: Yeah. Then lastly I of course that I cover all of the part as I mentioned of the mindset but this is very very important as well. So yes I do give some methodologies. I do give some tools because also that is very important not only to receive breakthroughs but then what are you doing with every single breakthrough that you are receiving. You need to be able to put it in practice. So you practice and you stimulate what you are discovering about yourself. ‘Cause are you better than anyone who knows this? The leadership kind of coaching executive coaching is just a process of self-awareness and a beautiful journey for you as a leader to actually get in touch and recognize a lot of areas of improvement and gaps but also with an amazing and beautiful version of you.

0:07:04.1 WB: You answered that so eloquently. Thank you. [laughter] It was a very broad question but as I said I think it sets up our conversation nicely. Let’s now backtrack and find out a little bit more about who you are who is Mariana and what led you on the journey that you’re on.

0:07:24.7 MM: Well yes of course. Let’s go a little steps backward about how do I start it right?

0:07:30.2 WB: Yeah.

0:07:31.5 MM: So to be very very honest I come from the background of marketing. So I studied marketing as a career. I actually was developing on that. I even had a master’s on that. And then because I love marketing and I’m a very sports enthusiast I was just thinking okay maybe my path is gonna be marketing in sports. Why not? But then life is beautiful and life will always take you to the right places in the right times. So I started discovering coaching. I was working as an intern for a coaching firm and that was the first time actually that I was introduced into this concept that at first I was just like oh okay it’s kind of interesting. Why not? I’m a very curious soul. So I was like okay let’s just go deeper and let’s study about this. And when I was doing all of the marketing things and marketing strategies and actually also the sales strategies for this coaching firm I started also to be very curious in fact to say “Hey I wanna volunteer myself for actually having or initiating my own coaching process with a coach.”

0:08:38.2 MM: So I was thinking I think if I actually get the experience I’m gonna be able to sell it better or I’m gonna be able to understand it better. So I can’t imagine what was… Literally you can’t even imagine what was my… The impact and the growth that I had in my life the season that I was being coached. And then I saw the real power of a very good coaching. And I was like wow if all of these changes and results happened in my life and for me I can’t keep this for myself. So I started getting even extra and extra careers and then I was just getting to convince myself like okay maybe I’ll do it as I get older when I just become a CMO and then as part of my soft skills I’m gonna be a coach as well but I’m gonna be all about in the marketing industry. But then life again hits you hard and it’s like no when it’s your purpose you know it and this was your call. So I had a lot of calls I have a lot of different moments in my life that I was drawn once and over again to be in positions and actually opportunities where I was very very close to coaching processes to coaching leaders in the industry.

0:09:50.2 MM: And then I was like okay I’m just only gonna but for curiosity certify it and doing it in a professional way. So I started writing my book. I started actually getting the certification by the ICF and then I started actually asking myself well leadership and organizational cultures was something that was always very attractive to me. That’s part of why I wanted to be a CMO in an older time because I really wanted to actually be a leader and be developing that kind of job and actually being in teams and the organizational cultures were very attractive to me. So I was kind of oh okay what if I just mix all of that and I start studying and actually I get very very professional in the part of executive coaching. So that’s when actually I hit the industry.

0:10:38.5 MM: I hit that niche. And of course then performance came along. And when I discovered performance and how this impacting cultures and all of the organizational development and psychological safety and all of these beautiful beautiful concepts I was all in, I was studying so hard. I was learning every day. And I still do that. I think that a part of being a coach that eats in the executive coaching arena you need to be all the time keeping updated because everything is changing so fast as leaders. So you always wanna have a fresh vision and innovation. So that’s a little bit how I started the journey here. It’s been already six, seven years that I’ve been doing it formally. And I’ve been having the blessing to be collaborating with from big companies international which I’m very very very grateful that I’ve been able to learn from big companies but also helping startups or also just helping performers like owners of companies or actually leaders that they just wanna upgrade or start practicing or actually preparing themselves for achieving or getting into their next leadership level.

0:11:54.8 WB: You mentioned your internship was that with Lois Barth?

0:11:58.6 MM: Yes. Yes.

0:12:00.1 WB: Probably the listeners outside of America aren’t as familiar with Lois but very very popular very well-known female coach speaker around America. Nice nice internship. You also mentioned about your book. Is it in English as well as Spanish?

0:12:19.0 MM: Actually the fun part or the curious part is I started… One of my first clients were American. Big American company. So that for me was such a challenge from start. I was like “Oh okay.” I thought I was going to have Mexican I’m from Mexico City by the way so like Mexican clients at first but no actually I started coaching American clients.

0:12:41.7 WB: And the title of the book.

0:12:43.7 MM: I GOTTA STORY TO SHARE.

0:12:45.9 WB: If I understand correctly. It’s about your journey?

0:12:49.8 MM: Yeah well this is a beautiful question. Okay ’cause then you need to buy the book and actually figure out what is it about. But yeah in a nutshell this is actually one of the most important moments in my life that I just happened to had an accident. And well it was not an accident I will call it an incident. I was kidnapped for two days.

0:13:11.0 WB: What?

0:13:13.1 MM: So this incident was life changing for me but also life threatening. And this was the moment in my life where before that well after that I take the leap and the action of switching careers and starting from scratch and actually getting professional into the coaching industry. ‘Cause I mentioned I had the beautiful experience with Lois Barth and I was yes I’ll do this. But when I get older or like yeah in… Six, 10 years later and then this incident happened and that was a very powerful wake up call in terms of life is too short and I just need to start doing what I love and what actually makes me really really really vibe and ignites me. So I just got to do it right now. There’s no other best moment than today.

0:14:02.9 WB: Incredible. You’re also in the process I believe of a second book. How far away are you from the release?

0:14:11.8 MM: Oh my gosh well I would say that I am getting ready for having it end of this year which was last year if you’re listening to us. So December 2023 I’ll be finishing the whole editing thing. And then I’ll guess the publishing will be this year 2024. I would say if everything goes well that it will be May.

0:14:36.9 WB: Are you able to share the title at this stage or you want to keep that under wraps?

0:14:41.6 MM: Of course. Now I mean I’m not 100% sure that this is going to be the formal title but the message it is the core message. And it’s like your classroom as a top performer in life.

0:14:54.5 WB: Okay. What can readers expect? What will they learn from the book?

0:15:01.9 MM: It is going to be a literally eye-opening book for all of the top performers out there ’cause I’m going to be interviewing great people very very successful leaders but in a very vulnerable side of them that they will share, yes I am a top performer but this has been my lessons that I’ve been getting to actually deal and learn over and over again plus my challenges in life ’cause this is real. We all want to be top performers. We all want the performance in life. But it’s hard to maintain ourselves calling ourselves and building this identity of top performers. So I’m giving these different chapters which are all of the part of performance but also in a very deep and personal way. For example the impact that your relationship with your father plays in this role. And then the impact of the discipline. So we’re gonna be talking about all of the different aspects and scope of performance but in a way that it’s gonna be sensitive and touching these vibes but mostly understanding that as a top performer even though you are great and you’re made for accomplishing greatness you still have some downs and lows and a classroom that you will always be having hard tests which is fine.

0:16:22.2 WB: You’ve done an enormous amount of study and coaching exposure. You’ve done courses on Mindvalley. You’ve done a whole host of things. I believe you’ve just been accepted or you’re about to start with John Mattone in one of his programs?

0:16:42.2 MM: Yeah I finished it already that was September.

0:16:44.8 WB: Oh really. Okay.

0:16:45.8 MM: Yeah yeah. It was so exciting. And I learned a lot of things because again I always try to maintain myself updated but also learning from the best of the best. I think that’s also something very important in life. Learning from the people you actually admire and that they are well positioned in the industry.

0:17:05.8 WB: That’s a great segue. I was going to ask you this a little bit later but we might as well touch on it now. For me books are my passion. They’re my way of staying current as well as research. But books really feed me. I’m wondering for your journey what is it that you do apart from studying through courses like this? What is it that you do to stay current?

0:17:29.7 MM: This is something that I love to do and it’s being curious and reaching out to people and to big leaders that maybe I don’t even know them but I just see them. I just research a little bit about themselves, how their career path their trajectory in life. And then I just invite them for a coffee or maybe for a zoom call. And then it’s like a little mini interview but also I love hearing Hey I don’t know. I know you don’t know me but what is it something that you are very proud about your journey. What has been your biggest challenge so far as a leader. So I try to always have conversations with leaders about… In different industries not necessarily someone that I know or someone that I have access to and that’s also a tricky part of doing this ’cause I need to be reaching out and I need to be curious and creative in many ways that I can have access to them. For example also investing in going to networking events like big forums big business forums where I’ll have access to a lot of leaders. So those kind of things and I also think that traveling. It’s one of my biggest passions that help me doing this because then I travel and then I go to places where I know that leaders are going to be. I don’t know like book clubs or maybe I just go to the bars near the universities.

0:18:52.8 WB: Yes.

0:18:52.9 MM: So yeah you never know or to alumni events from big Ivy Leagues events. So yeah I try to always be creative and travel and meet new people and have conversations with different kind of personalities.

0:19:11.0 WB: It is such an important factor for us in our profession that we do try and stay current. Let’s generalize now a little bit and look at leaders of today. Perhaps starting from the perspective of being self-aware and learning how to harness and realize their full potential. The people you’re working with, the different leaders you speak with, perhaps are some of the challenges that they’re facing in achieving that?

0:19:39.5 MM: I love this question. So I see that this is a recurring pattern. I must be able to dare myself to say that. But in a certain way, I do actually see it very often. And the first one is vulnerability. This is a huge topic. And I think that a lot of leaders and more the one that comes from all schools or that have a big, big credibility and maybe a big name as well. They are very used to say, “Okay, I already have a voice. I’m already someone credible out there. So, people are gonna follow me or people are gonna listen to me.” But guess what? Even those experienced and amazing leaders have some vulnerable moments or actually doubts for taking some decisions or actually, let’s just face it, some mistakes as well. And when they are talking and having conversations or even asking to the people closer to the real problems, I’ve been seeing a lot of leaders facing and using this last element, literally they use it as the last possible tool or scenario, which is like oh, okay, then I think I need to be vulnerable now ’cause I’m not getting the answers that I would like. I’m not getting the truth out there.

0:20:57.6 MM: While people are telling me everything is fine, but that doesn’t seem reflected in results or that doesn’t seem in numbers. So I really need to get to the core what’s happening here. So while people are not telling me the truth. And I mean it. You can be an excellent leader. And people will admire you and respect you. That’s not even questionable. But so many times, if you really wanna know the truth, you also need to open this safe space, but also through vulnerability. It’s not enough saying you’re someone that you admire, so then you’ll trust me. No, people actually will be open on accepting their mistakes or actually asking and raising the hand and saying, “Actually, I didn’t understand your last instructions.” Or, “I am having a hard time in following you here. Your pace is so fast. You are very, very, very strategic, but maybe not me or maybe not my team.” So we just need a little bit of grace in here. So asking for those things or opening even the space to be one-on-one clear and candid with the leader requires from the part of the leader to actually be vulnerable you know?

0:22:07.3 WB: Yeah.

0:22:09.2 MM: So I think that vulnerability, it’s a huge topic. And I think that a lot of leaders actually are scared, that’s a word as well, to be vulnerable because they might have some beliefs as well that they will be like “Oh, vulnerability is going to affect my authority or even my credibility.” And not in that way. ‘Cause vulnerability, by the other hand, is gonna give you more authority because being vulnerable is not easy at all, but it’s a very, very, very courageous act.

0:22:39.2 WB: You’ve opened Pandora’s box for me. This is my topic. I’m very passionate about this topic shifting from what I call the 20th century leader to the 21st century leader and the need for us as leaders to remove the S, the superhuman label that we thought we had when we were in the 20th century as we come into being more vulnerable, being more transparent and willing to ask the question, willing to say, “Hey you know what? I don’t know everything. I need those around me to contribute, to challenge, to give feedback if we’re going to move forward.”

0:23:17.0 MM: Yeah, and I think this is the principle as well for something else that I see a lot with leaders. And it’s like not letting go the control. ‘Cause they wanna be in everything at the same moment, at the same time. And sometimes capacity, it’s one of their problems. It’s like yes, you are amazing. Yes, you are on top of everything. Yes, you can. And you have the capability. But that doesn’t mean that the capacity, And sometimes if you’re not able to actually trust and be vulnerable and say “Hey, listen, I really wanna and I need to listen to you guys because you are the ones closer to the problem and closer to the problem that you’re challenging every single day while I’m here, maybe in another cloud, getting like with a lot of things in my hands. So I need you guys to tell me more.” That’s okay as well to accept that as a leader. I can’t be in every single places and I do not know every single piece of my company. That’s also okay to accept.

0:24:19.9 MM: Another thing that I think it’s very, that creates awareness and that I’ve seen that happens in this space with my coaching sessions is the fact that actually leaders realize the big impact that their own leadership have in their cultures. ‘Cause sometimes we’re just like “Yeah, yeah I need to be a big leader for my people. I need to be an amazing leader for results. I need to be an amazing leader for performance or for the stakeholders or even for the investor’s sake.” But no, it’s deeper than that. Leadership has the completely and direct impact in your culture. And sometimes leaders are like “Dude, I think this is a culture problem.” Okay, then you’re saying that you are the problem? It’s deep. It’s deep when literal leaders want to excuse everything and say, “Oh, no, it’s just like I have a terrible culture.” Or “I don’t know why I don’t have the people ’cause the culture, like it’s critical.” Well, then you must ask yourself, how is your leadership, right?

0:25:20.9 WB: Yes.

0:25:21.0 MM: ‘Cause if you’re defining your Culture as critical, then your leadership, I’m not saying it’s gonna be 100% critical, but it might be something there ’cause it is related. And when leaders go into this deep awareness moment and aha moment, breakthrough, whatever you want to call it, they are just “Oh, yes, the style and the leadership style that I am bringing in the table is impacting directly and hard to my culture.”

0:25:50.7 WB: In terms of culture, my own experience is quite often it’s easy to feel that we don’t have enough capacity as a leader to really influence culture. Listening to what you’re saying, we would argue that that’s definitely not the case. As we’re sitting, let’s say we’re a middle management, let’s say we’re running a division and our bosses above us may not be demonstrating that cultural direction that we believe is required and we want to make the change, but perhaps we don’t feel that we have enough clout, enough ability, enough capacity ourselves to really influence it. And therefore we don’t try. We say, “You know, the culture is what it is and we’re stuck in this merry-go-round.”

0:26:42.6 MM: Yeah. That’s totally, totally, totally true and very powerful. Sometimes they, as leaders, they just think that it’s a cultural problem. And so let’s just let human resources fix it, or let’s just invest in a lot of workshops and that’s it, or let’s just take all my people to these retreat. I don’t know. And what I’m trying to say is no, first for sure, you need to be able to say people are… Yes, I just mentioned, people are always looking up, but also know that people behaviors in general are influencing the culture. So at the end of the day, the culture is like the average or actually the sum of all of the behaviors…

0:27:26.9 WB: Yes.

0:27:27.4 MM: That you have from your people in your company that are being allowed by that they are being repeated.

0:27:36.2 WB: And I think this feeds nicely into the second part of that question, is the impact that leaders have on others in helping others to reach their full potential. So not only the leader reaching their full potential through self-awareness and growth, but the leader’s role to help their teams find their full potential. I can imagine there’s many challenges you come across with a leader trying or wanting to achieve that, but struggling too.

0:28:08.6 MM: And also you see something very important here. You mentioned as well, I do believe that we can talk about managers and then we can talk about leaders.

0:28:18.9 WB: Yes.

0:28:19.3 MM: And then I would say that one main difference, there are a lot of differences certainly between a manager and a leader, but one that is key for me, and you actually mentioned it so good. Is like saying the manager, yes, he do whatever he can with what he has. So he sees the potential in people or not even the potential, but he sees the capabilities or the capacities of people and try to actually administrate it. Try to actually say, okay, you are gonna do this or you will do that and whatever. So try to actually, manage it like that. But then the leader is able to identify and it’s part of their duty every day to see and identify maybe your capacity is great, but you’re not in the right role or you’re not in the right position. So for them it’s not only managing the talent, but actually working with the talent for taking them to the next level for actually developing this potential and showing them, actually opening the safe space for them to thrive and to keep exploring themselves and telling them, “Hey, you are made for greatness and maybe let me help you as a leader. Maybe this is not your place, but what about this or that? ’cause I see, and I identify your strengths, but also I identify and I’m very conscious about your gaps or your weaknesses. And let me help you address them and let me help you to also be aware of them.” Right?

0:29:53.7 WB: Yeah, definitely. I’ve spoken with a couple of leaders recently and they’ve opened my eyes to a concept that has blindsided me all my career. That is looking at your employee’s journey just as you would as a sales leader, looking at the customer’s journey and looking at the touch points that the employee has within the organization, their role and their tasks. And seeing how you as a leader can influence and improve on and close the gaps where those touch points are not as at the level that they should be. You’re very focused on coaching of course, which is fantastic. How do you bring about through coaching the needed changes in leaders that you engage?

0:30:41.0 MM: Of course. I think that part of the coaching, it’s also doing this transformation around them, not only within themselves, but that transformation for themselves has an impact in the whole organization or their people. So part of course doing the one-on-one coaching, I think that one of the biggest things that I also enjoy doing that I don’t call these like one-on-one coaching, but I actually call it cultural transformations. I love guiding, if that’s a word. Or maybe just going hand to hand, with the leader, but also with the team and with the whole organization for creating this cultural change and cultural transformations. I don’t wanna be like the coach that give something for a season or will give you lots of questions and lots of methodologies and then disappear. I think that actually, or maybe just being hired for giving one workshop, let’s be real, one workshop, for the people it’s not gonna be even useful. They’re gonna be maybe entertained, which that’s nice, but they are not gonna be equipped. And I am looking for equipping people, not entertaining them, at all. And I think that being part of transformational cultures.

0:32:00.5 MM: And then I wouldn’t call it consulting, but I think that part of the journey as well is give some feedback as well to the leader, but also by me interacting with the whole teams and with the whole areas and being like these eyes, I always say that this is beautiful ’cause I am like an ally or a business partner for them as well. And it’s only you and me. The benefit is not gonna be only you and me, but the benefit is gonna be also for others. But let me be this fresh eyes for you that will give you some vision or that will give you some insights that maybe you, because you are in the middle of the pace every single day, you are missing out. And I think that’s beautiful as well.

0:32:43.1 WB: In Australia, we talk about the fly on the wall principle and you act like the fly, maybe a nicer creature, but [laughter] you act like the person sitting on the wall observing the scenario play out. And you can bring a different perspective through your observations which is great.

0:33:01.2 MM: That’s True. That’s true. I prefer calling it like you’re the beautiful eyes, some external eyes, instead of being a fly in the wall but…

[laughter]

0:33:09.1 MM: Yeah. Yeah. Of course. I get the point. Also, I think like shadowing is so powerful.

0:33:16.9 WB: Yes.

0:33:17.0 MM: How many leaders, are very, very, very a get benefit, get very benefited when you have like a shadow there that actually then is able to say, “Hey, listen did you observe what happened when you do this or this?” Or “Actually what would be possible if you start using this or that with your people? Let’s just try it and check the reactions together.” Right?

0:33:40.2 WB: Yes.

0:33:41.3 MM: So being… Yes, also like shadowing. I love doing that.

0:33:43.7 WB: You’re also very big on the approach around questioning. To quote something that I read about what you wrote, you said “Questions are the genesis of human growth and expansion.” And you asked the question to leaders, “How often do you create safe spaces for questioning and pondering.” How do you use the questions yourself when you are coaching?

0:34:07.8 MM: So, the questions for myself or whether or when I am coaching with when I, yeah. So basically I think that in all of my sessions I need to do questions to be honest, because the pure essence of coaching are questions.

0:34:21.7 WB: Yes.

0:34:22.1 MM: You can’t say this was a coaching session if you didn’t, question the person or actually, just, put the seed and then the person maybe doesn’t have the answer in that session, but then this person are gonna go out the session actually thinking or pondering, on those questions. And I think that’s very, very powerful. So I use questions all the time in all of my sessions. But I have to admit that there are one sessions that are okay after three or four big questions. Then we go to, also talked about the moving part, the action plans, or actually again, question something that it’s already brought or proposed in the table, which those ones are more dynamic and based in practice.

0:35:04.2 MM: But mostly I always tell my leaders, the first sessions, at least the first six or seven, it’s gonna be all about questions. ‘Cause I need to actually be, creating this safe space for you. But also because if you don’t know yourself. And one of the best ways for knowing ourselves is through curiosity and through questionings. ‘Cause sometimes we don’t even have, or we choose to not have the time for reflecting and questioning, or maybe, let’s face it, we are very lazy to just start. “Oh, let me just question myself today.” So being able to have this space and this, safe space and this person that is just like “Hey, about what I just heard.” Or “I don’t know if you, just, were very conscious about what you just mentioned, but can I just ask you something about what you just said what why would you think this or that.” Or “Hey, let me just ask you, what’s the purpose behind that?”

0:36:03.7 MM: Even those tiny questions, ’cause sometimes when I say I do very powerful questions, people are like “Oh, give me an example of a powerful question.” This lady’s gonna just throw at me. I don’t know, a question that I’ll never, ever have received in my life. And maybe I got to tell you if I’m inspired, you’ll receive those kind of questions. But sometimes the most simple ones are the ones that we’re like “Oh, really?” And it’s yeah. Why would you do that? Or what’s the main intention on doing that? And it’s like, “Well, now that you ask.” And I’m like “No, the real intention one, not the automatic one, not the ethical one, not the, this was supposed to be.” Just take all of those narratives or those adjectives and just answer it from the core. Right?

0:36:47.5 WB: Yes.

0:36:48.1 MM: And sometimes they’re just like, “Well, now that you answer me, it doesn’t even make sense to me. I don’t wanna even do it.” And I’m like “Okay. Now we’re talking.” So it doesn’t matter if it’s like a simple or a very elaborated question. I think questions are gonna be the things that will move us. And will basically just take us away from, just be stagnatic or being like static, and not actioning or actually not having a better answer for us.

0:37:21.6 WB: I wanna change track a little bit here or tack a little bit. AI, it’s such a big topic in the world, rightly so. It’s reshaping much of what we’re doing, how we’re being. I’m wondering how it factors into your life now as a coach. Is it impacting you at all?

0:37:42.1 MM: Let’s be honest. I think innovation and technology is something that will always impact us.

0:37:49.0 WB: Yes.

0:37:50.3 MM: Because we’re very close to that and because we get a lot of resources as well on that. So, but also being clear, there are some things that you can’t replace. And that is called intimacy. I think that sometimes for more than technology that you have, I think that this is amazing for automating processes or for actually creating methodologies that can be more visible and clear to your client or maybe, just like, Hey, just listen again, like automating ourselves. Okay, just go there and like, watch these or with AI, what cannot be possible? Basically you can have me 24/7 and not be actually in real life. But to be honest, there are some things that I don’t think AI can replace. And that’s the authenticity of the moment, the power of creating something right now that maybe with AI, you can’t create. Because that is called human presence. And that I think that it’s a very powerful gift that cannot compete, with anything else.

0:38:57.6 MM: Also, I see that a lot of clients right now, they are using, for example, ChatGPT for answering some questions, some hard ones, and they are like, “Oh, you asked me about my life purpose.” Or “Actually, you told me to define my leadership purposes statement. I think I got one that sounds powerful.” And I’m like, “Oh, is it?” And then they give me like this amazing, elaborated, wording phrases. And I’m like, “Oh, wow, where does this come from?” And they were like, “Well, I just, used a little bit of help from ChatGPT.” And then I’m like, “Okay, great. You can have that. And it’s gonna sound beautifully rebounded. And you can put that in your office if you want, or create your values or create your mission and statements through that technology and put it in your walls.” But what’s that gonna actually mean to you? If we don’t do the work ourselves, from our mind, from our soul, from ourselves, I don’t think that actually we are getting in touch with our true selves. So that’s another thing we can replace doing the work with other technologies rather than choosing to do it ourselves.

0:40:12.6 WB: If I restricted your response to three pieces of advice for leaders based on your journey, your experience, your wisdom that you’ve acquired so far in your career, what are three pieces of advice that you would give to a leader?

0:40:32.4 MM: The first one would be there to getting into a beautiful process with yourself. Do not limit yourself or do not restrict or do not avoid the process that needs to be done. It doesn’t matter how many years you have as a leader or the industry as well, because then I have that justification right now, but we come from another industry. So it doesn’t matter the industry, it doesn’t matter the years, it doesn’t matter at all the status or the position or the stage of life that you are in. I think unleashing yourself and surrendering to say, I’m gonna do a process and I’m curious in getting into self-discovery because again, you always, always will keep learning from yourself. It doesn’t matter how experienced and how old you are, you will always get some truth to know about yourself that you can actually receive a lot from that.

0:41:32.7 MM: So do not limit yourself or put in a place where you think you don’t need it anymore. Keep being open and surrendering to these kind of processes. Then second of all, of course, I would say keep questioning, questions, please. Like questions, first thing in the morning, questions whenever you feel that you’re not getting to the places where you would like to be, it’s like, I love this, but it’s very true. It’s like maybe you’re not getting the answer or at least you’re not being able to figure it out that answers. It’s not because the answer doesn’t exist or because you don’t know, it’s because you’re required to do a better question and that’s so true. Try to always play to actually get, say, “Okay, this was a question, this was the question that I needed.” That’s like a beautiful art. And then the third one, I would say, get a coach, okay? I do think that every single leader, again, I don’t care who you are or what, how many years you have in the industry or how many mentors do you have, honestly, or education or certifications.

0:42:37.4 MM: Honestly, I think we all need a coach for our different seasons in our lives. So maybe right now you just need a coach for a safe space and listening or giving you some powerful questions. But then in another stage, you only need a coach for having or creating accountability with the processes or with the plans that you are achieving or putting in practice. Or maybe you need a coach right now in order to make you question if you’re in the right path or actually put you in a place where you get connected again with your purpose or discover what you wanna do in your next stage of life. So I truly believe that we all need a coach in every single season in our lives.

0:43:25.8 WB: Are you working on anything additional to your book at the moment? Is there anything in the pipeline that we should know about?

0:43:34.3 MM: Well, yes, I’m actually I’m hosting this leadership retreat this year, 2024. This is gonna be in May. Amazing. It’s gonna be from a Thursday till a Sunday. And it’s gonna be a full, full, full safe space where you are gonna be in Myers there as a leader and you’re gonna be able to network with other powerful leaders as well. And we’re gonna be touching different topics in this retreat that it’s from the part of authenticity and vulnerability, but also we put a key element here that I think it’s great that it’s called the humor. How we can use the humor as well in our leadership. Sometimes [0:44:14.3] ____ we need to be very, very, very serious or strict as well. But what if we know that humor can also make us create genuine and stronger connections with our people as well? And having fun as a leader is part of the process as well. Yes, I’m doing this retreat, collaborating with other great colleagues. It’s gonna be three of us. And we’re hosting this amazing retreat that, by the way, it’s gonna be an exclusive Paradisiac beach in Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana. Yes.

0:44:48.2 WB: Very nice. I’ll get the details off you later and we’ll put it into the show notes so we can…

0:44:53.8 MM: Yes, yes.

0:44:55.2 WB: Advertise it for you. Where can people go to learn more about what you’re doing, the wonderful work you’re doing. Particularly if they wanna connect with you?

0:45:03.3 MM: So I think my most active social media will be LinkedIn. LinkedIn is where you can always find me and I’m actually answering my own messages and inbox, which you can find me like Mariana Macias, you know what’s my name. And also Instagram. Instagram, I’m also very active and Instagram is @Marianita low dash Macoaching.

0:45:30.7 WB: I’m going to be waiting for the book to come out. I really appreciate you coming on the ET project. It’s been a wonderful conversation.

0:45:38.5 MM: Well, thank you, Wayne. This was an amazing and a very productive conversation. I enjoyed it as well so much. Thank you so much for the invitation. And I really hope that all of the leaders listening to this great podcast will be benefited. And learned something today.

0:45:54.6 Speaker 2: Thank you to joining us on the ET Project a show for executive talent development. Until next time, check out our site for free videos, e-books, webinars and blogs @coaching4companies.com

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