Joy is a Leadership Necessity. Jump In!

“Joy; the kind of happiness that doesn’t depend on what happens.”
— David Steindl-Rast


Today, my invitation is to join me in experiencing and BE-ing joy.  No matter what is happening around you.  Yes, “even if…”  and “even when…”.

Joy isn’t like happiness which is based upon the happenings around you. It’s not dependent on whether things are going “well” or not.  In fact, joy can be present at some of our most difficult moments.  It is an emotion that comes with the anticipation and/or awareness of something that is wonderful. I learned this when I experienced joy at the hospital bedside of our son when he was in the serious throws of what would be a successful battle with brain cancer. In my client work, I teach how to gain greater clarity on joy (and thus ourselves as leaders) by identifying “peak moments” where we felt alive, at the top of our game, with a full heart in gratitude – and then through a guided process help to reveal the Evidence of ImpactTM in those very moments.

In fact, one of the amazing secrets about joy is that ultimately, it is not about US. We may seek it, but in reality, joy comes at the very moment we are living in our purpose – showing up fully and having the impact on others we are meant to have.


Here are 6 more secrets (FACTS) about Joy; learned from my own journey and now championed by my clients:

  1. JOY is not a selfish act – it is an indication that you are living in your purpose and having the impact you are meant to have on this earth.
  2. Choosing JOY does not mean we move through life ignoring feelings of sadness, loss, inconsequence, separation, frustration, stress, injustice or are pretending something negative does not exist. 
  3. JOY is both a litmus test and a compass for creating the (meaningful) success we really want.
  4. JOY is in the present moment.
  5. Moments of JOY, and thus impact, are… limitless.
  6. JOY is a choice, and a practice.


When thinking about your career and life, your next steps, your decisions, “Let joy be your compass and impact be your guide.”  Ask yourself:

  • What have been my moments of joy (specifically, the 3-second moment of “spark”?) 
  • Where in my body did I feel it – specifically?
  • Why did it feel so good?  When I felt Joy, what were the ripples of impact to others?  How do I know?
  • How often do I want to be feeling that?
  • What would it mean to others if I could feel that way?

I am often asked, “How many true moments of joy are possible to experience or to expect in a career and life?”  Understanding that when you feel joy, others also benefit… my answer is not a surprise, and for the past five years it has been true for me  “At LEAST once a day!”

To your success and JOY! 🥂 Kathryn

Next Chapter Coach
Creator of The Career (Life!) Breakthrough AcademyTM


Gratitude: for YOU

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and my heart is singing.  When we observe and express gratitude, extraordinary things are made possible.

I am grateful for YOU! 

Thank you for reading and sharing my emails and social media posts. Thank you for reaching out to me when you are struggling, and entrusting me with your feelings as you consider the first steps in making a change. Thank you for your vulnerability as we work through these shifts, and thank you for letting me know when my words have made a difference in your life. 

When I look back at my life prior to starting my coaching business, I remember gathering around the Thanksgiving Table with my family. We would take turns giving thanks for our blessings. It was the singular time of year I would take the time stop to reflect and express my gratitude – and it always felt wonderful.

Yesterday, we came together and again expressed our love and gratitude, and I realized that now I’ve curated a life where I do this Every. Single. Day

This past year I’ve watched in awe as the practice of noticing and focusing on what I am grateful for, has become one of the foundations of the multi-faceted abundance, momentum, ease, clarity, curiosity about what is unfolding, confidence and joy I am blessed to experience. 

These past nine months I was entrusted to lead the Tucson Symphony Orchestra forward as their Interim President & CEO.  I remember letting the Board President know “I only work with people I like and who want to join me in creating impact.” (!)  Just as I do with my individual coaching clients, I’ve found joy in helping them reveal their organization’s unique strengths and purpose, and support the professional staff and volunteers create new-found momentum by focusing on their impact. Not only has a lot been “accomplished” but I am now blessed to have created new life-long friendships. I will miss my team when the permanent CEO arrives!

I’ve also come to observe how the more we focus on what we’re grateful for, the more frequently extraordinary things happen and momentum builds. This one practice (noticing and expressing gratitude) literally creates the possibility for creating the lives we may have not even known was possible.

Last year, after receiving the IAOTP’s “Top Leadership Coach” award, new things began happening “out of the blue.” (This is a known phenomenon that many of my clients also report experiencing when we work together.) I was invited to join an international group of women launching a video conversation series on compassionate leadership,  I was invited to co-author a book with Oprah Winfrey, Melinda Gates and 47 other extraordinary women, I was contacted with the news I’ll be receiving the “Empowered Woman of the Year” award in Las Vegas next month, and last week I was invited to coach and facilitate a convening of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Commission on the Arts. “Out of the blue” three extraordinary professionals reached out offering me their expertise and support in the exact areas I had been thinking about, but had not yet taken action on.  And,  have had a graduating class on the on-line self-paced “Career (Life!) Breakthrough Academy.

Every single day, I have deep, meaningful conversations with people around the globe. Friends, clients, members of the on-line self-paced “Career (Life!) Breakthrough Academy, leaders signing up for Strategy Calls – people just like you – all successful leaders who want to have impact and be of service.  People who are often feeling a pulling to a Next Chapter and have a curiosity about what may be possible. I am so grateful when amazing people have willingness to ask for help and their trust in me with their story. 

I teach, I learn, I support.  I laugh, I cry.  I love my life!

None of this would have been possible if I had not taken a step into possibility 4 years ago. 

Shifts don’t just happen, and trying to decide what to do next, or how to differentiate yourself can be quite frustrating or confusing.  I’ve developed a unique process to help you look inward, take stock, gather evidence of impact, and develop the elevated language needed to reveal and speak your uniqueness.

If you would like to take a concrete step that is likely to create new possibilities for you, I invite you to build upon the North American tradition of Thanksgiving, and every day between now and December 31stcomplete the following simple prompt:

·       Today, I am so grateful for (start with a list of at least 3 things):

Then, record and reflect on what you list.  What do you observe? What are you choosing to notice and capture? Over time, does your list shift? Over time, what do you observe is occurring in your life? And please let me know!

Thank you for all you do, thank you for who you BE.

To your success!


P.S. – You may also be interested in this BLOG:   “Gratitude is a Verb”

Kathryn R Martin,
“Next Chapter” Coach
Leadership Transition Strategist & Professional Interim CEO

Making Time For You, Helps Others

When we think of time to refuel as “self care” we often put it at the bottom of our list (sad, but so often true).  Instead, if we reframe vacation or time away from work as a means to ensure we have the capacity to ultimately help others – putting the proverbial oxygen mask on ourselves first – our motivation and way we prioritize can shift.

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