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  • Ricki Braswell

Welcome to Beyond A Pep Talk


Beyond The Edge


My decision to change my career, and ultimately my life, as I transition from being a CEO for not-for-profits to a success coach didn’t happen without a whole lot of soul searching and quite a few bumps along the road. I’d love to paint a rosy picture for you, but that wouldn’t be authentic, and on the list of things I value, authenticity is at the top.

I stumbled into not-for-profit work by accident. My first job out of college was a position with a temp agency. (Not familiar with temporary agencies? You may have to Google it. I don’t even know if they exist anymore!) My second assignment was with a trade association. I quickly discovered an environment where I had the ability to continuously learn, to be creative – in problem solving and opportunity building – and I had the chance to support other people. This filled me with passion and purpose. Thus my career in, and love for, non-profits was born!


Fast forward a couple decades, add a handful of kids, one former spouse, several change of addresses, many, many frequent flyer miles, a tiny bit of wisdom and a smattering of laugh lines and I found myself faced with leaving my position as the CEO at The Pankey Institute. I felt at one with the organization, I adored the team (in truth they were an extension of my family) and I was really proud of the work we had accomplished. But when faced with the option of choosing what I wanted to do next, I knew that it wasn't going to be a position with another non-profit as their CEO. With that one decision came my leap beyond the edge. The edge of what, you might be wondering. The edge of my comfort zone, the edge of my expertise, even the edge of my own expectations.


Every other week this blog will contain practical advice, encouragement, leadership tips and inspiration. I will also share a piece of my journey with you, not because I think my journey is exceptional - far from it - I'm sharing because I know that I am not the only person living beyond the edge! I hope you laugh with me and share my fears and my wins all while exploring the edge. I'm hoping you'll share your experiences too. Let's set up camp out here and explore beyond the edge together!

Exercise Your Muscle Mindset

"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."


I'm often asked for coaching on how to have "difficult conversations". Many times the situation is a conversation between an employee and an employer. Sometimes, during those conversations people get defensive and communication breaks down. If you follow Dr. Wayne Dyer's advice and change the way you look at the conversation and go into it with the objective of trying to understand the other person's perspective, then it lessens the need to defend, or push, your own. During the conversation, remind yourself, "We are both here for the same purpose. I want this person to work here and this person wants to work here. So our shared purpose is to communicate the challenges and collaborate on the solutions." This mindset takes practice, but the effort yields more authentic conversations with a whole lot less stress!


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