The Importance of Celebration

As we wind down 2016, I’ve been reflecting on the people I’ve had the opportunity to work with this year, and can’t help but feel tremendous gratitude for my clients, and how they’ve touched my lives this year just as much, if not more, than I’ve touched theirs.

When I launched this coaching and consulting business 12 months ago, I knew it would be quite a journey, and seeing my clients experiencing breakthrough after breakthrough is, as they say, PRICELESS.

This year, as an Interim Executive Director, Transition Strategist, Group Facilitator and Guest Speaker I’ve worked on-site in Brookfield (Milwaukee), Santa Barbara, San Antonio, Seattle, Puerto Rico and at home in San Diego, and am coaching leaders around the country.

Through my work, and creating an email community of smart, purpose driven leaders, I’ve been blessed to have made life-long friendships and witness breakthrough’s and transformation this year.

As we look forward to a new year, with new goals and new intention, let’s also use this next week to celebrate the year that is ending. Celebrate what we learned, the challenges we faced and how we dealt with them, the new experiences we stepped into, and the impact we’ve had. And share these “wins” with others in order to presence what matters to you, acknowledge the momentum you’re creating and provide the launching pad for your vision for 2017.

See if you can tell what matters to ME:

I’m celebrating the leaders who made a choice to invest in themselves, be vulnerable, and set an intention to curate a career/life that has impact and brings joy.

“The impact of Kathryn’s coaching was tremendous, resulting in a positive next step in my career trajectory: from associate artistic director at The Pasadena Playhouse to deputy artistic director of Arena Stage.” – Seema Sueko

And celebrating the Boards and Staff of organizations facing leadership transitions, who made a choice to leverage the moment of change and strongly and strategically move forward.

“Kathryn communicated with a positive can-do attitude, and provided a fresh opportunity-focused perspective that energized the board, getting us ready for our next chapter!” – Peter Schlueer, Board Member, Santa Barbara Symphony

And celebrating all the successful people who continue to look for and find inspiration and insights.

“Thank you for the wonderful “Happy Friday” emails, they are enthusiastic and vital to me. I have to whip my disease and be vigorous and work to overcome my disorder.” – Brooks Joyner

A year ago, I made a “leap” and launched my consulting business in order to focus on helping individuals and non-profits navigate times of transition. I expressed it as wanting to do things that make my heart sing. Now a year later I am celebrating and SINGING with the gifts my clients have given me.

As I reflect on these experiences, I’ve learned that the reason I get so excited by my work is not only about the successful revenue-generation, increased attendance, and increased effectiveness – its about being a part of the transformation of individuals and thus the organizations (and families) they lead. Successfully moving from a Point A to a desired Point B. I know that when they succeed, it means they’re making the world a better place. Isn’t that a pretty awesome reason for celebration?

So my question (and challenge) for you is this:

What “wins” are YOU celebrating, and how will you celebrate them? Has this been a challenging year? Then, even more importantly: how did you keep moving forward?

I know first-hand that celebrating these wins publicly, no matter how small they seem, will build incredible confidence and momentum as you enter the new year.

To your success,


p.s. If you need some support to start 2017 with a clear, energized intention, get on my calendar now for January and let’s talk.

Some snapshots from 2016:

Leading Visioning Summits, and Workshops, Sessions and speaking engagements on Leveraging Leadership Transitions, Interim Management, and Curating the life/career you’re meant to have.

Pictured: Director, Kevin Maifeld and students, Seattle University MFA in Arts Leadership

Working with amazing Board members and supporters, as Interim President & CEO. 

Pictured: Board Presidents Jan Wade (outgoing) and Fred Syrjanen (incoming), The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts.

Getting to lead, support, empower, and super-charge staff during transition!

Pictured: Dr. Amy Williams, Director of Education & Community Engagement, and amazing team at the Santa Barbara Symphony

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