Written By Susan Lamphiear
With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice. ~Oprah Winfrey
All of us have choices to make in our lives. Even in this “season” of the Pandemic and challenging societal unrest, when our lives seem to have constricted so suddenly and dramatically overnight, many of us feel it’s hard to breathe, literally and figuratively.
Our keynote speaker has masterfully interwoven deep thoughts about meaning in life, with practical advice, too, about the job search, transition into and out of a Pandemic, and ways to be happy even in the midst of multiple and simultaneous crises we’re all sharing in real time.
Jean got an early glimpse at age 15 into how life feels when everything we know to be true turns upside down. Sort of like how we all feel at being thrust into an uncertain world caused by the current Pandemic.
It was the most defining moment of her life.
Jean Briese was only 15 years old then, and the oldest of four siblings, when their mother left the house to go out on a date, and literally never came back. After the fifth day, it was Jean, as the oldest, who finally called social services when the four siblings started running out of food. Just days before Christmas, Jean also had to tell her sister, 12, and brothers 10 and 5, that not only would there not be a Christmas with gifts and food that year, but likely the four siblings would need to be separated. Even Santa had abandoned them.
The social worker arrived, bringing kind strangers from a local church, who got out of cars they’d filled with food and Christmas gifts. And hope. Though she was traumatized and couldn’t thank them at the time they came to rescue her, she remembers the power of their kindness.
At the time, Jean now realizes, she was deep into survival mode, comparing the overwhelming topsy-turvy feeling she and her siblings experienced to the uncertainty brought on so suddenly by the current Pandemic. She describes that chain of events as a turning point in her life when she vowed to live a good life, and to approach that life with kindness, because, after all, kindness can change a life. And it changed hers.
Jean has achieved much in her life but it was that upside down world at 15 years old that made her the person she is today.
Introduced as Arizona’s highest ranked and most reviewed motivational speaker, she blogs about leadership, high performing cultures, and empowering women. She’s an entrepreneur and a recognized business leader.
Her focus during her online presentation for Career Connectors, was to share with her audience that extraordinary people who achieve extraordinary things are ordinary people who happen to share some important traits in common, traits she calls Super Powers. Throughout her presentation she’s able to relate her message to job transition and to surviving the transition into a world post-Pandemic. And to living a happier life.
Five Super Powers
- The Power of Habits
- The Power of Your Purpose
- The Power of Your Beliefs
- The Power of People
- The Power of Action
1. The Power of HABITS
Jean highly recommends all of us develop proactive habits. She lists her own as examples and recommendations from high achievers or research.
- The first thing she does each day is to meditate, asking God to give her the right words for the people she encounters during the day.
- Next, she selects the three most important things to accomplish during her day and they must align with her 90-day goal. She asks the audience to consider the last time they implemented a new positive habit. She suggests turning off notifications like email and just check at certain times of the day. Studies show for every 30 second interruption it takes 23 minutes to get back on track.
- The fitness goal must include both physical fitness and mental fitness.
- Adequate sleep is a must.
- Self-talk is vital. Talk to yourself like you’d talk to a friend. Jean mentions Michael Phelps, Olympic swimmer, who boils it down to two things. 1) He’s banished the phrase “I can’t” from his vocabulary. 2) He visualizes success. But he takes it a step beyond and visualizes obstacles in his way and how he will overcome the obstacles.
- Life gets better when you DO something. If you want to write a book–why aren’t you writing it NOW?
- How do you HELP others?
- How do you spend your money?
Asking the audience “What’s your BEST habit?” they typed a number of responses which included getting weighed daily, walking, biking, praying, writing a grateful list, and going to bed. Jean stresses that habits are what we do without thinking. We just do them.
2. The Power of PURPOSE
Do you know your purpose? Jean asks. Out of seven billion people in this world, NO ONE has the same gifts and experiences you do. Especially during this Pandemic time, if you don’t know, what better time to focus on or determine your purpose? What is something you do and never get tired of? Pick one strength and become amazing at it. Our culture loves the spectacular but too often we strive to overcome our weaknesses instead of concentrating on our strengths.
Towards determining or solidifying your purpose, Jean recommends the following activity. Send an email to 5-7 friends and ask them what they consider your top three strengths and then something you could do better. She did this with one of her successful teams but was very disappointed at first when so many of the responses came back saying “Jean Cares.” She was looking for a response she could put on her resume. She wanted action items since our culture is so heavily fixed on outcomes. She was always taught to produce results. But as it turns out one of the chief reasons her teams succeeded was they felt Jean cared. It was, in fact, her “secret sauce.”
Too often we don’t give credit for our strengths because we feel society doesn’t value our strength. When she feels down, she still reads those emails pointing out her strengths.
3. The Power of BELIEFS
Belief is the conclusion we’ve come to. What is our truth? Two kinds of truth include lower case truth and upper case TRUTH.
Her truth with lower case is she was abandoned. But that doesn’t mean she’s unlovable. The first was a truth for a season–she was abandoned. Her truth with a capital T is something else. And sometimes, Jean says matter-of-factly, truth isn’t truth at all.
Jean gave an example of a man, successful in business, who had a heart attack. It was only then he began to question the “truth” he’d been told as a child–that art wasn’t valued because his parents felt he couldn’t make a living with art. But the truth was he’s a gifted artist but didn’t pursue it until after that heart attack. Soon his art teacher fired him saying he was the better artist. Sometimes we can retrain our brains about what is true in the lower case versus our truth with all caps. A belief is acceptance that something is true.
Jean explained that she found her truth through prayer. She learned that sometimes you have everything you need. She’s succeeded at her career though at times feeling she didn’t measure up because she didn’t have a college degree. With her background, she explains, she felt lucky to have graduated from high school. When she speaks to groups no one asks her about her formal education.
4. The Power of PEOPLE
In a study measuring stress level, individuals who had a friend by their side found a hill easier to climb. So we really do need people, and certainly in a job search or job transition. Still, Jean points out that some people are lessons, and some are blessings.
In the Pandemic, we still have people.
However, there will always be people who don’t understand us and sometimes it’s people closest to us. That doesn’t mean we throw them out. Instead, we surround ourselves with people who “get” us. “You are never too old or too young to be who you were meant to be,” Jean said.
In her own business she’s had to find new people–she’s sought out people who were already doing what she wanted to do. She’s an entrepreneur so she sought out other entrepreneurs. Don’t forget to use LinkedIn to expand your circle. Ask someone in your circle of influence to introduce you. You don’t have to go it alone.
Consider getting a coach, a mentor. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily smarter than you are. They are beside you to help you on your journey. To guide you. Ask yourself, who are you learning from? Your goal is to discover your absolute truth.
5. The Power of ACTION
Action is key. Did you know that only ten percent of people who attend a conference or take a class ever take ACTION? The number one reason we don’t take action is FEAR. Jean tells the story of watching a group on America’s Got Talent with her daughter who was ten years old at the time. A group called Zucaroh introduced themselves as amateurs who wanted to improve, to be better. They accepted everyone who wanted to be in their group. During their act they performed acrobatics she and her daughter had never seen before, and they received the Golden Buzzer. If you receive the Golden Buzzer in the first round of the show, you go directly to the live how. Her daughter turned to Jean and said, “I wonder how many fails that took?” Lesson here for life is we ACT, we FAIL, we LEARN and we ADJUST. And Repeat.
Four Steps to Engage Your Super Powers
- You must BELIEVE
- You must be DELIBERATE
- You must STRATEGICALLY PLAN YOUR TIME
- You must HAVE A MENTOR
In taking action, people are exhibiting their POWER of Choice–and sometimes in life (like Jean at 15 or all of us during the Pandemic) the only choice we have is how to react. Reframe your thoughts–instead of “I HAVE to do this” say, “I GET to do this.”
- Your Beliefs
Kim Contreras, Recruitment Manager
Leslie’s Poolmart, experts in their industry, was established in a home backyard in 1963, and now operates from over 900 locations in 38 states.
Leslie’s is your local neighborhood pool store, offering a broad selection of pool and spa chemicals, pool cleaners, pool equipment, cleaning accessories and pool inflatables and floats.
Reasons to work for Leslie’s include their 85% internal promotion rate, their core values, company perks, and their distinction as an Arizona Veteran Supportive Employer. Besides that, Leslie’s is fun, offering discounts plus holiday and employee success celebrations. Towards morale, they even brought in puppies one day, and some of the puppies were adopted.
Open positions include the following: Logistics Coordinator, Account Payable Representative, Windows System Administrator, Network System Administrator, Linus System Administrator, Engineer (2), Manager of IT Development, Business Analyst/Project Manager, Project Management Office Manager, and Vendor Management Compliance Coordinator.
To Learn more about the company or to apply, go their website. From there, go to “Careers” at the bottom of the home page and search by job title.
Aimee Bennett, Director, People & Culture
Marci Rollo, Generalist, People & Culture
Equality Health, at four years old, is the nation’s leading integrated healthcare delivery system, focused solely on improving healthcare delivery through the lens of culture.
Their vision is a world where everyone has equal access to quality health care and achieves optimum health; and their mission is to ensure all people receive quality health care that improves and enriches their lives.
Equality Health and Bashas’ Family of Stores’ Food City brand partnered in 2019 to launch a full-service health retail clinic that will provide under- served populations with personalized, quality healthcare that’s easily accessible and affordable. The Equality Health Walk-in Clinic was scheduled to open in April last year at the Food City located at 9020 West Thomas Road in Phoenix, offering the full-spectrum of health and wellness services supported by an onsite care team that includes a nurse practitioner and health navigator. A pharmacy and onsite lab services will also be available.
Equality Health has powerful software and a network of 3000 providers. Their data analysis determines who is best served by their tailored care delivery and social support system. In Phoenix, for example, six care delivery districts have been identified based on demographics, access, quality of care, and social/cultural barriers.
Visit their website to see a full list of benefits, to learn more about the company, and to apply. All interviews are remote or on the phone. No healthcare experience is necessary for some of the positions.
Resources and Closing
Founder/CEO of Career Connectors Jessica Pierce closed the meeting, thanking volunteers and reminding the audience of the free resources on the Career Connectors website including free DISC assessment.
Click here for information about virtual coaching offered by Career Connectors including free 10 minute virtual consultations in the following areas:
- Resume Review
- LinkedIn Review
- Career Coaching/Development
- Financial Coaching