Navigating High-Stakes Leadership: Stress Management Techniques and Building Effective Teams with Nicole Monteforte

By PeopleLeaders | People Leaders Podcast

Navigating high-stakes leadership is not for the faint-hearted. It involves managing the pressures of achievement, overseeing team dynamics, and keeping your own stress levels in check. Our recent podcast guest, Nicole Monteforte, shared some invaluable insights into how she has successfully managed these challenges throughout her illustrious career.

Nicole, a seasoned leader and CEO, believes in the power of bravery, adaptability, and humility in creating and sustaining successful teams. She argues that these qualities are cornerstones of successful leadership. These attributes allow teams to take risks, quickly pivot in response to changing circumstances, and maintain a grounded perspective even amidst success.

However, the journey to leadership success isn't without its share of stress and burnout. The pressure to achieve can sometimes become overwhelming, leading to a lack of self-care. To counteract this, Nicole introduced an ingenious stress-hacking technique involving a simple one-minute exercise with a bouncy ball. This exercise helps reduce stress chemicals and stimulates the production of good endorphins, leading to improved performance.

Understanding the impact of stress chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline on performance is crucial. These chemicals, while necessary for motivation and action, can also impair performance when their levels become unbalanced. Nicole emphasized the importance of completing stress cycles and taking time to de-stress to maintain peak performance.

To truly excel as a leader, it is essential to turn the lens inward. Self-awareness and self-care are crucial aspects of leadership. Nicole's concept of "self before wealth" advocates for understanding one's triggers and motivations and placing oneself first to thrive in the face of adversity. She stresses that a successful leader is one who is aware of their needs and prioritizes their wellbeing.

Lastly, Nicole shared some insights on finding the right mentor and discussed her new online stress-hacking course. The right mentor, according to Nicole, is someone brave, adaptable, and humble, someone who can apply the right pressure at the right time to polish the "rough diamond" in emerging leaders.

In conclusion, effective leadership is a balancing act between managing team dynamics, keeping stress levels in check, and prioritizing self-care. It involves constant learning, adaptability, and the courage to face challenges head-on. As Nicole Monteforte's experiences demonstrate, mastering these aspects can pave the way to leadership success.

If you'd like to access a free preview module to the Stress Hacking course Nicole mentions on the episode, you can get that here. If you then decide you want the full course, Nicole will give you 50% off until the end of August 2023! 

Episode Highlights:
  • (00:00) Introduction and Nicole's Background
  • (03:08) The Key Foundation Every Successful Team Should Have
  • (07:08) Managing Prickly Personalities in High-Performing Teams
  • (10:33) Motivating High-Performers
  • (11:54) The Biggest Obstacles for New and Emerging Leaders
  • (13:53) Stress Hacking Techniques
  • (16:43) How a Simple Activity Ignited Focus and Collaboration in Stressed Salespeople
  • (18:35) The Vicious Cycle of Unresolved Stress
  • (20:31) How Stress Chemicals Impact Our Performance
  • (22:35) Handling Stress: Strategies and Recommendations
  • (25:57) How Can Leaders Find Meaning in Life and Manage Responsibilities
  • (28:24) Earn the Right to Lead
  • (30:47) Best Way to Connect with Nicole
  • (32:23) Top Tips for Enhancing Leadership Skills and Effectiveness
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NB: This transcript has been AI generated and may contain some slight errors. Please judge our efforts accordingly 🙂

(00:00) Introduction and Nicole's Background

Jan Terkelsen: Welcome everyone to People Leaders Podcast. It's me and a special guest today, and I'm really excited to introduce Nicole Monteforte. Nicole and I know each other through our love of Vedic Meditation. 

In a course that we were doing, we happened to sit down, have a chat, and we had so many things in common. I just needed to bring her on this podcast. 

So Nicole is the founder of Strong Mountain Consulting, leading the way in coaching and training high-performance teams and businesses to success. And she has certainly done that. 

She came from a grassroots level through the health club space, and she ended up growing a team or managing a team of over 2000 people nationally. And this is with Fitness First Australia. 

She was the first-ever female to become a director for Fitness First Australia and was really one of the key drivers behind the company's success. And she was responsible for managing over $250 million in annual revenue.

 So that kind of gives her some credibility and also some insight into how to grow new and emerging leaders, and that's what we are really gonna talk to Nicole about. 

 Not only did she do that, she accepted a role with Michelle Bridges, as CEO and director of marketing, and with over 15 years of experience in senior leadership roles, her strengths lie in the strategic leadership of teams and organisations to achieve great success.

And she's now on a mission to take all the skills that she has learned to work as a business performance coach, to reinvent and upgrade people, teams, and businesses for a new way of operating with meaning. And I love that about Nicole. It's not just about the task. It really is about the people and having purpose.

So, welcome, Nicole.

Nicole Monteforte: Thanks so much for that introduction. I'm, I'm honoured to be here and excited, so thank you, and grateful. So thanks for the opportunity.

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah, for sure, Nicole. Like, it was just so good when we first met. We just had so many things in 

Nicole Monteforte: common.

I know, right.

Jan Terkelsen: And what I love about, your background, it really is based in that moving through the ranks. 

And I think for people who are listening you know, especially new and emerging leaders, even though they are in the grassroots, they're really kind of in the task and also the managing people side to just get a sense of the progression and what it actually takes. And you have all people have really gone through it. So I'm really excited to get stuck into it. 

(03:08) The Key Foundation Every Successful Team Should Have

Jan Terkelsen: So, as we've just heard, you have had. Such a, bounty of experience, leading teams in the health and technology sector. Can you just share what you think every team needs to have, as its foundation, to be really successful?

I know it's a broad question, but just what comes up for you, Nic?

Nicole Monteforte: Yeah, the, it's funny, I, I had a bit of a think about it and the three, there was kind of three words that popped into my head that I were, were things that were part of my career that made my teams and me successful. And it was, we were brave, we were adaptable, but we were humble. 

So those three words are sort of three words that really sort of just, they literally just flew into my head, and I went, that's what was, we were brave. We were, we were brave in terms of taking chances and risks.

We were brave in pushing ourselves and, and or, and me leading teams. I had a bravery and a camaraderie, a a amongst particularly my really sort of high-performing teams. We were brave enough to push that little bit further. 

We were brave enough to take care of each other. We were brave enough to have tough conversations with each other. We were brave enough to be really authentic in the good times and the bad. 

We were brave when things got tough cause it wasn't all good times. I can absolutely assure you. We were brave to stand with each other during the challenging times to help each other, to hold each other up. 

But, in all of that, there was a humbleness. There was no ego. We weren't. It wasn't about one. It was about all. We were all one. And if one failed, everyone failed. And it was that humble sort of approach that we had to our success that allowed us to keep succeeding because we were succeeding for each other.

It was like being a a, the most important thing for me as a leader and an emerging leader, cause as I, as you said, my career was, I started at the bottom like I started in sales. Hardcore sales, right? 

And, and my career went from sales to sales management, to general management, to regional management, to state, to exec, to board. So I came all the way through. 

So, I was an emerging leader that had an amazing mentor who believed in me and saw something in myself that I didn't see, and put me on the journey, and grew me, and put me under massive pressure. I was a rough diamond, and he saw that there was a diamond inside, and so he knew to put pressure.

 So I was an emerging leader, and because I was an emerging leader, I was humbled because I didn't know that I had what I had. And then, I was able to raise and grow emerging leaders with that same mentality. So they were the sorts of things. 

And then adaptability to be adaptable is the number one, I think, skill that every human on the planet needs right now, whether you're an emerging leader or a parent, I actually think being adaptable. 

And being adaptable means that you can pivot quickly, that you don't get stuck on what the outcome looks like. You are, you've got no attachment to when the outcome comes. That if the outcome that you get isn't what you thought you were going to gonna get, then you adapt, and you pivot, and you move in a different direction to try again. 

And so I think those three words really sort of embrace the emerging leader and, and what teams need to be able to really success, particularly in the current climate that we're in at the moment.

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah. I love that, Nic. And if someone is listening as a new and emerging leader and thinking about themselves or even their team, that is something that they could possibly reflect on, is where have we shown bravery in having that courageous conversation or giving feedback, where have we pivoted and shown adaptability and also humbleness.

(07:08) Managing Prickly Personalities in High-Performing Teams

Jan Terkelsen: And, and that's one of the questions I wanted to ask you, Nick. You said that you had a great, high-performing team, no egos at all. Did you ever come across people who had prickly personalities or somewhere? Yeah. So tell me about that. How did you manage that? 

Nicole Monteforte: All the time. And, and listen, they had egos, right? But I was able to bring an element of humbleness to the ego and turn the ego into not about self but about a whole team and about a result. 

And as a leader at the end of the day, you can't have an ego as a leader because it's, unless you are selfless as an leader, you're not gonna succeed because you have to make it about everybody else's success. Your success comes with everybody else's. 

So I absolutely, I mean it, I, because we work, I worked in a pressure cooker. And as I said, the sort of rough diamonds we, we, we were a hardcore pressure. That sort of pressure, I don't think you can really apply anymore in this current. So I grew up in the school of tough pressure. 

And I absolutely had personality, every personality that you can think of. And yes, definitely, some of my top performers were the ones I had to manage the most because they had the drive, the ambition which comes with ego. 

So managing those prickly personalities was, was a, the one thing that I always did was I came back to them and what they were doing it for, because at the end of the day, they weren't you, you could, they could tell you they were doing it for the house and the boat and the all of those fancy things. But I that I knew that wasn't it. 

So I'd have those brave conversations, and I'd put them in uncomfortable situations where I'd peel the layer of the onion away to find out what they really, really wanted it for.

 Some of them would come and say, I wanna be able to buy my mum a house. Some would say, I just wanna have money in the bank to know I'm secure for when I have a family. Some would say, I want the freedom to be able to take holidays without worrying about it. Others would say, I wanna start a charity.

Like they're all different things, but I would get to that root cause of those prickly people. And so when they would become prickly, I would just bring, put that back in front of their face and say, "Well, hang on a minute. This is what you told me you wanted it for. So if you wanna keep pushing back or being difficult, then we're gonna have a problem here. 

"You're not gonna get to where you want to go in the time that you want to go to. You might get the shiny cars, but the apartment for your mum, it's not gonna happen." 

So I would just constantly go back to them. It wasn't about me, and it wasn't about me fighting against their prickliness and their ego because their egos worked for them, if they were managed well, and I could maneuver them to get back to the root cause of what was truly motivating them to do what they wanted to do. 

And all the walls would fall away, and they'd, they'd laugh. They'd go, "Oh, you got me again." Like, and boom back, they'd go into high performance. And back they'd go into producing, and we'd end up, this was cyclical what happened all the time. 

Like, so hopefully, that sort of answers a little bit of your question.

Jan Terkelsen: That's brilliant, Nic. And, and for someone who is listening, it's, that's the importance of having those one-on-one conversations. So it's not just transactional and what needs to get done. 

Part of the one-on-one conversation absolutely needs to be about the person and asking those questions around purpose and meaning and why you're doing what you're doing. I think that's brilliant, Nicole. And. 

(10:33) Motivating High-Performers

Nicole Monteforte: Just to, sorry, just to add to that. Just sorry to interrupt, but to add to that, the thing that allowed me to do that was understanding the domino effect of questioning, and using that domino effect of deep diving. It was like, doing a needs analysis on them and to understand which is what gets you to the core. 

I mean, a classic, I just. A funny story, one of the guys, he was a top performer and he really wanted career growth and he had a lot of things that he wanted, but there was this one thing that he really, really wanted. And it was this big red rug. And he was a salesperson. 

And he wanted it for all these reasons, right to impress his girlfriend cause he wanted to ask her to marry him, and he wanted to do it on this rug that she loved. And, this is, this is where I got to. 

So when he would get difficult, which happens with high-performing people and teams, I just would hold a photo up of the rug that he wanted cause I had it, and that was, it was like, boom, gone.

And he'd get back into it because I'd gone that far in my conversation with him and had built that, that authentic trust that I could do that to get him to keep going. Sorry, a bit off tangent, but relevant story.

Jan Terkelsen: Totally on tangent. Because what you are explaining are the skills that leaders need, and it's that being able to listen deeply to what it is that they're telling you, and also to be able to question them, to get to the source of the real issue around what is driving them. So it's very, yeah, important.

(11:54) The Biggest Obstacles for New and Emerging Leaders

Jan Terkelsen: And, when we are thinking about the, the new and emerging leader, and reflecting on your experience, Nic, what do you think is one of their biggest obstacles? Like is it mindset, imposter syndrome, stress? Is there, was there a theme that came out for you?

 I think the main theme that I would see would be fear would come out. And also burnout. So, the pressure. Because they were high performing, their ability to take care of self first went out the window, which is funny because a lot of them, you, you would think many of them with, uh, are quite selfish cause they're on this drive.

But the one thing that they never put first was themselves. So I'd find burnout and, and you could see them, falling off, like they fall off at the edge of a cliff. Because they push, because they get the adrenaline from the push, and they get the dopamine, kicking into gear on the back of the reward centers working, and they want more, and they want more and they want more.

And so it was the balance of taking care of the self, Yeah, I love that. leading to them taking care of the results. And that's where they, I, they would, I would often find them, so it would be fear of not achieving what they wanted, and then that fear would then motivate them to push themselves harder. 

And then the lack of self-care or taking care of self and burnout were the things that were really prevalent, including with myself. That was me. That I'm speaking about me when I was there and in those roles as well. I absolutely was exactly the same, driven to the point of exhaustion. 

 And I, I, now that's where I'm focused on, helping high performers, business owners, not do what I did and giving them the lessons before they get there, and the skills and strategies to be able to avoid that.

(13:53) Stress Hacking Techniques

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah, and and I have had the opportunity to actually have a sneak peek at your program, called, Stressless. And it really does delve into this whole area of being able to operate at your peak performance, and you give some really great strategies around how you can do that and some fun ones as well.

So, could you just share one, I don't know, stress hacking technique that you think people could actually start using today?

Nicole Monteforte: Yeah, sure. They, the, the. What people don't understand, and this is sort of my education in human physiology, coming into play in my nerd burger science brain around brain body obsessed. 

But what people don't understand is while whilst we're, we're constantly getting put under pressure all the time and under stresses from every single angle, and what people don't understand is that, that the physiology, the human body is the most powerful tool that they have to be able to support them during those challenging times. 

It doesn't get rid of stress, but it balances the body's response to the stress out so that you are responding rather than reacting all the time under pressure, and sit like one minute of time can actually make you go from reactive to responsive. Just one minute. 

And that's what people don't know, and it's the best, my number one tool. And, and there's reasons behind that, which I can explain, if, if you want me to, in terms of what happens in the brain and the body with the chemistry and stuff. 

But the greatest thing that they can have sitting with them all the time is a ball. One of those bouncy balls that you buy at Rebel or a tennis ball or something that's pretty bouncy. 

And the best technique I can give them, and I have them everywhere. They're sitting here under my desk. They're in my car. The companies I work for all get one, and they all just sit on their desk. 

And you, you take the ball, and you put a timer on your phone for one minute, and with your non-dominant hand, you bounce the ball as many times as you can without drop, without stopping the bounce, consecutive bounces, non-dominant hand in one minute and you count. 

So you get to 50. You set the timer again, and you do another minute with the intention of beating your previous score. Another minute, non-dominant hand bounce, bounce, bounce to try and beat 50. 

In those two minutes of time, your body will come out of it, not just laughing and feeling light, but you will, your body, you'll feel all of the stress chemicals being released out of your body because your body is producing the good endorphins that actually counteract the ones that set you off down the burnout trail. And it is the simplest. I have used it in workshops with hundreds of people, and it is the game changer. 

(16:43) How a Simple Activity Ignited Focus and Collaboration in Stressed Salespeople

Nicole Monteforte: I remember running a workshop for a group of high-performing salespeople in the real estate industry, and it was on stress-hacking techniques to help them stay calm under pressure. 

And I walked into the this big room, there was maybe 50 of them in there, and they're all sitting at their tables. They were doing like a half-day conference, and I had like 45 minutes to run this workshop. And the looks on their faces were like, we don't have time for this. We should be making sales. Like I had, I could see it. 

So without even speaking, I walked around, I gave everybody a ball, and I started the challenge. And within a minute, the whole room was laughing hysterically. We had scoreboards up of who was getting the highest score. Then we ran an extra minute. Same thing happened. They were all beating their previous score. 

And at the end of that two minutes of opening that session, they sat down, and I had their full undivided attention because they felt their energy felt fundamentally different, and they were ready to listen because I'd calmed them down and taken all the, I need to be making sales energy out of their body. 

And then I ran the workshop, and it was a huge success, and it is just proven every time I've done it. So it's that. They're all leaders that are listening to this right now. They need to go and buy their teams those bouncy balls from Rebel.

And at the start of their day or before a meeting, or if they're going into a pitch or if there's something big going on, everybody gets up one, two minutes of their time, a minute on the clock, non-dominant hand, and have them all and watch the whole dynamic in their team change, including for themselves.

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah, and that's their challenge to be able to do that within the next, like, two weeks to go out and, and do that. And even if you've got a remote team like, you can actually post them and then set it up. So there is so many things. So thank you for sharing that. I think that's a really wonderful, practical, fun.

Yeah, I love it. Thank you. 

(18:35) The Vicious Cycle of Unresolved Stress

Jan Terkelsen: That's what I love about you, Nicole You were so generous with your the sharing of your knowledge. And also the amount of knowledge, and when you talk about stress chemicals, can you just share a little bit about how they actually impact our performance?

Nicole Monteforte: Yeah, sure. So, there's lots and lots of them, but the two big ones are adrenaline and cortisol. And we know that we need these chemicals to push us into action. 

So this is where people have got this myth wrong, myth about stress. It's the stress response is a natural response that we are meant to have as humans. It motivates motivates us into action. 

I mean, we don't, not running from lions anymore. And the problem that we've got is that we are not completing stress cycles. So if you think about an animal in the wild, it gets chased by a lion, a deer gets chased by a lion. The deer's body gets pumped full of cortisol and adrenaline so that it can run fast.

The minute it's out of danger, and it runs. So it moves. Aggressively. So it's an aggressive movement. It runs to safety. It finally finds safety. And it's body it it's body has used up all the stress chemicals. It's finished the stress cycle, and it can calm down, and it's fine. 

What's happening in our world at the moment is we're not finishing the cycles. We're getting stressed. We're not doing anything about it. We're getting more stress. We're not doing anything about it. We're getting more stressed. 

So the body is getting overloaded with the stress chemicals, and we're not removing them from the body. And the impact that it has on our physiology is massive sickness.We get sick. Our digestive systems doesn't work. Our immune system doesn't work properly. Our heart doesn't pump blood properly. 

Like this is the impact of an overload of the stress chemicals, cause we're, it's, it's holding on, it's like a dam that's getting built up, built up, built up, and at some point the dam's gonna break and then all of these illnesses are gonna come out inside the body. So they're really, really significant. 

(20:31) How Stress Chemicals Impact Our Performance

Nicole Monteforte: How they affect us as performers is, I mean, think about it it. When we are stressed, it closes off a part of the brain where you can think rationally and clearly. You lose clarity. You lose clarity. Full stop. End of story. 

The minute you lose clarity, you can't see your, your five senses are not working properly to be able to see and read situations well. And it pushes you into reactivity. 

You can't make decisions. You get decision fatigue because you dunno what decision to make because you don't have a clear brain. You get aggressive. You get hot and sweaty. You might withdraw. 

So it brings out all of those behaviours in us that are behaviours to try and get rid of the stress response when it doesn't. The minute you lose clarity, how can you manage a team of people if you're not if you don't have clarity over what you're meant to be doing?

When a when a stressful situation comes in, rather than you being able to stand back and look at it, you are instantly react cause your body's flooding with all these chemicals. And when you react first time round, it's usually not the right reaction because you're not paying attention to everything that's going on.

And you can make bad decisions. You can behave badly with your team members or with the people that you're working with. Get reactive going into a sales pitch. 

You can't read the room. You, you're not delivering your message with clear, concise clarity. You're not seeing the way that people are interacting with you, so you're not responding individually with those people. Some people need to be spoken in a particular way to others.

You can't do all of that cause your brain functions not working the way that it should be. And it, so it has massive flow on effect. So it affects everyone around you. And it affects you internally in your physiology. 

So without finishing stress cycles and allowing those chemicals to just run rampant in your physical being, you are impacting your ability to perform optimally for yourself and for everyone around you and the bigger, broader organisation.

(22:35) Handling Stress: Strategies and Recommendations

Jan Terkelsen: Right. So, Nic, you did share with us an awesome stress-hacking technique before. What do you do now? Like, do you find yourself in stressful situations, or do you coach people in stressful situations? And what do you recommend?

Nicole Monteforte: Yeah, I do for myself. Obviously, when I created the, the course and when I actually wrote the book, it was back when I, I'd been through 10 years of hell.

Like too long a story to go into, but it was because I had an understanding of the human body and I was so driven that I was deploying these techniques without knowing what they were, and then I dived in and did the research, and I just went, "Oh my gosh, everybody should know these." 

So now for me, obviously I practice Vedic Meditation, which I didn't do back then when I wrote the book because I, people say, when people are under huge pressure, and you say to them, "You need to sit down, and be still and quiet in your mind." It's like, you may as well tell them to stand on the corner for five hours on their head.

It's like it doesn't work. So this is for before that stage. This is to help people manage quickly and instantly during the day. So I coach people on a multitude of different stress-hacking techniques. 

And for myself, I do have Vedic Meditation, but that doesn't mean I doesn't, I don't get triggered like everybody else. 

And humming is, humming is one of my other techniques. It, it has a scientifically proven effect to calm the nervous system down cause it works with the vagus muscle. So that's one that I use all the time for myself when I'm feeling under pressure is I'll hum, and of course it calms the nervous system down. 

The ball is a non-negotiable. That's always with me. So that's something that I do. And with people that I'm working with, I've got, in the course, there are five coaches, there are five stress coaches. 

And they're all, the five coaches have the different techniques that you can deploy. So depending upon who I'm talking to or what situation they're in, will depend on which one they pull out.

 For example, you can't sit in a, in a, you can't be doing something with a whole lot of people around you and then just start busting out a hum. People are gonna think you're a bit crazy. You can go and walk into a room and start bouncing a ball or bouncing it on a wall.

 So it depends on where they're at and, and what they respond to best. 

Like there's one one of the techniques is rock throwing, and there's a whole science behind getting a rock and throwing into water. Well, clearly, you can't do that in the office, can you? But if you're at home and you're struggling, you can use that.

So that's how I work with people holistically. But it's not about the actual, the techniques are there to help them optimise themselves and to get them outta sticky situations. 

If they're going in for a job interview or a promotion, you use the technique before. They're proactive, not just reactive. So they've to calm you down before you know that you're going into stressful. 

Before you're going to a board meeting, you're going to an exec meeting, and you're having to, to do your monthly report, you bust out the techniques before. 

And that's how I work with people is giving them the tools but tying it into how they apply it to performance and optimisation.

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah, I love that. And understanding what the risks and the benefits are, if you don't do things like that, I think are really important for people to bridge that knowing-doing gap. Like I know I need to do it. I. But people aren't doing it. 

And so you really have to educate yourself about, okay, well, what would the benefits be. And I love the fact that you've shared those examples with us, Nic. 

(25:57) How Can Leaders Find Meaning in Life and Manage Responsiblities 

Jan Terkelsen: When I was, when we were talking, I really love your passion and your mission to take all the skills that you've learned over the years to really help people reinvent and upgrade themselves with meaning. 

And when you talk about operating with meaning, what do you actually mean by that? And how can a person listening to this podcast now managing a team, has responsibilities, getting pushed from the top and the bottom? How could they start to bring this aspect into their life or into their career?

Nicole Monteforte: Well, this is where it's, I kind of have a bit of a, a saying, and it's like, self before wealth. Self then team. Self then business. And it's coming back to self. That's where the meaning is. 

And it's by understanding the self first and everything about who you are and and, and what you are about, that's where the meaning comes in. It's, it's self before profit. People before profit in businesses. Self before profit. 

If you're not putting yourself first, and it's not about being selfish. It's about knowing the self and knowing the triggers in the self, and understanding these sorts of situations are the situations that affect me negatively. 

Or these are the reasons why I'm doing this every day, and reminding yourself about doing that, that flows to everybody that you're leading and that you are, you are working with, because they will feel that, that there is a, a, a, a, it's not a superficial intention behind anything that you do.

And as a leader, if you have those conversations with your team, that you then start to know what their self is, and then when you are managing them through those challenging times, you are focused on the that layer, not the superficial layer of I want a promotion, or I wanna make more sales. 

You're focused on that real true self, and if you understand that about them, you'll know what their triggers are, and you'll see it coming before it happens, and you start to see future in the making as opposed to being reactive to situations.

You can see it, you can know, and you can help them in advance of situations rather than fixing the problem after the problems happened.

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah. Like you're really getting to the source of the, of them and who they are.

Nicole Monteforte: Yeah.

(28:24) Earn the Right to Lead

Jan Terkelsen: That's what I really love, Nic, about when we have an intimate relationship with ourself, and we have self-mastery, that's when we actually earn the right to lead others. Like if you can't lead yourself, how can you lead others effectively?

And I think some of the, the, strategies that you shared with us is an opportunity for people to really reflect about what is it that they are doing now to develop that. 

And if they're not, this is an opportunity maybe to just start to bring one of those strategies into their life because the impact is not just them, their team, their, their life. The most important thing in your life is your life. Yeah.

Nicole Monteforte: Yeah. And I think when in emerging, like when you think about leadership and the levels of leadership, cause if emerging leaders, you start at the bottom of the rung, right, where you're emerging, and you're learning how to be a leader, having a great mentor that believes in you, that knows how to apply the right pressure at the right time to sort of rough polish the diamond is, is absolutely vital.

So you thinking about that with the people on your team who might be rough diamonds as being really aware. But when you first start out in leadership, you, the production that you get from your team is production with permission. Like you have to ask permission to get production out of them cause you haven't earned the right yet.

By doing these things that we've spoken about, understanding self and understanding, peeling the onion away of the people that you're working with or that are on your team, all of a sudden, you start getting production because they want to, for you, as opposed to because they have to, because that's where you start.

So the more that you can invest in understanding yourself as a leader and what makes you tick, and then applying that and learning more about the people that you've got on your team, the quicker you move through levels of leadership that get to you to a point where they're just doing it cause they love you and they love everything about you and what you stand for.

And that's kind of the journey that you want to fast track as much as you can, and bringing these sort of you know, stress you know, the tactics and strategies and the hacks in play help because it lightens tough situations sometimes it makes it easier, and it keeps everyone at a calmer, responsive way of operating rather than a highly reactive way of operating.

(30:47) Best Way to Connect with Nicole

Jan Terkelsen: I love that. Nic and I actually wrote it a note around mentoring because I think that is definitely one thing that new and emerging leaders need to do is find themselves a mentor or a coach or something that can, bring another perspective to develop their level of awareness. So Nic, where can people find you?

Nicole Monteforte: They can find me at, on my website, strongmountainconsulting.com, and they can find me on LinkedIn and all, all my details are in both of those. 

And my new online Stress Hacking course is going live on Monday. So if they wanted to participate in that, it's super cheap. It's like 49 bucks because I don't, it's, I, I want everybody to have it because there tools everybody should use.

So it's really cheap. It's got six core modules and about three hours of content in there, and it's got all my signature hacks. So not just the ball bouncing one, but it, there's a lot of education. It delves deeper into the questions you, you've asked me about the stress chemicals and about the impact that they have.

And there's a lot of education in there that makes really puts the light bulb on and it, light bulb on and helps people really understand it. So they can, they'll be able to get that as well from my website. But they're the best places to find me.

Jan Terkelsen: That's great Nick. And if you are a, a leader who is leading a team, that's a course that you could download and then roll it out. Maybe doing one activity every month or every week or whatever, and so what you've got is a toolkit and a mentor, you know what I mean. In your series, which I love. 

So, Nic, is there anything else as a wrap up that you would like to share with our listeners?

(32:23) Top Tips for Enhancing Leadership Skills and Effectiveness

Nicole Monteforte: I think. Just remember self first always, but then remember self in everyone else that's on your team. The mentor, I think a, a real mentor for an emerging leader is somebody who uses those three qualities we spoke of as well, being, they're humble, they're brave, and they're adaptable. And that's what you wanna be looking for in a mentor.

You want somebody brave enough to be able to question you and to put the furnace on the diamond to try and polish it a bit more. And you wanna learn from that so that you can do the same when you identify the rough diamonds in your team. 

And ultimately, make them laugh and bring some joy and lightness into being a leader because life is too serious sometimes. And we get caught up in that. And we get caught up in the, the, the want for the next thing and growth ladder and ladder. 

And I did it myself. And the ladder will come. If you take care of the self first and you lighten up and have a bit of fun with it, they're there. They're my top tips.

Jan Terkelsen: Great advice Nick. Thank you so much. And I will see you on the flip side when we do another meditation course.

Nicole Monteforte: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. And thanks to all your listeners for listening to me. I really appreciate it. I'm so grateful. Thank you so much.

Jan Terkelsen: Thanks Nic. See ya.

Nicole Monteforte: Bye. 

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