How to Become World’s Best Leader in 1000 Steps or Less

I’ve cracked the code. I know there are a ton of experts out there who think they have the perfect program or book to make you the ultimate leader. You know, the 3-steps to becoming a super hero in your industry?

Well, I’ve cracked the code. It’s not a book. It’s not a new method, process, tool or framework. Are you ready to learn the secret? The magic? The silver bullet?

Before I reveal the secret, let me back up here a minute and give you some background.

At the beginning of this year, I decided that my “eat only beige, drink only red diet” from the fall had to come to a sad end. It was the right decision and a good one. With that, I knew I also needed to change my habit of not taxing my poor body with additional movement (translate: exercise). So, this year, I have slowly shifted my diet and have begun a regular routine of exercise.

You know when you start eating better and exercising, you find yourself talking to others about what they are doing to look and feel so great? I was on a mission and went into sleuth mode. I asked questions. Some were on special diets, some crazy boot camp routines, and then there’s my friend Dena, who basically just eats right and exercises. Nah, too boring. That can’t work, can it?

“Try Zumba. I really like it,” she told me. Was this it? The secret bullet to exercising without really feeling like it?

I’ve never liked group exercise. Probably due to some traumatic outfit mal-function in the 80s involving a headband and a leg warmer.

However, the gym I joined had a Zumba class. I thought, well, Dena is right about most things when it comes to health. She’s reasonable and fun. She wouldn’t steer me wrong.

And so it happened.

NO, I didn’t go and fall madly, deeply in love. What happened is that I completely and utterly got my ass kicked (pardon my language, but that’s really what happened). In sooooo many ways.

When class began I thought, oh, Latin inspired music mixed with Ice, Ice, Baby. I can do this. My A-type took a grip.  Let me take you through my internal dialogue:

Oh, I see, it’s like dance with peppy, re-mixed Latin songs. I can so do this!

I get to swirl my hands like the girls swirling their skirts on the stage at Fiesta de Santa Fe when I was a kid. I can so do this!

Wait, I don’t follow that. Say what? Wait, slow down. Holy cow, I just got the last step, now you want me to what?

I don’t know if my hips move that way normally. Okay, I’ll try.

Focus. Focus. Focus. You can do it. You can do it. You will OWN this.

Be resilient. Be the Zumba. Love the Zumba. This is good for you. 

Hate the Zumba. Not loving the Zumba. Feeling awkward doing the Zumba.

Hey, look at that guy. He has ZERO self-awareness, following 80% of the moves, and he’s LOVING it… almost in an Elaine from Seinfeld dance trance. Did he just yelp? Was that a “woo, hoo?” I’m sort of impressed. Or am I just jealous?

Yeah, well he may be having fun, but I’m gonna get this RIGHT.

Seriously? Only 20 minutes have gone by? I feel like I’m in a war zone here.

S-o-m-e-o-n-e    h-e-l-p   m-e………..

I think you get the picture. It was a total crash course: 1000 steps of practicing all the strengths that the greatest leaders exercise:

  • Audacity
  • Resiliency
  • Focus

While being challenged by the Blind Spots that can often derail us:

  • Comparing ourselves to others
  • Negative self-talk
  • A-Type drive for perfection and expecting to get it right the first time!

I began to wonder if Zumba is just an intense hour demonstrating what my clients experience throughout the growth of their businesses. I know it is. I’ve seen them sweat.

That Zumba leader plays the role I do with my clients… re-enforcing the strengths, uncovering the blind spots, and cheering them along the whole way.

As a people strategist, I’m right there with you, shoulder to shoulder, with a towel, some water, and encouragement. Until the 1000th step when I say, I think you’ve got this. This is doable and you will succeed.

I’m not your silver bullet, but I’ll help you crack your code to leading responsibly. It takes some healthy eating and some exercise. And it is completely achievable. I know it from my results.

Want your own people strategist to help you successfully Zumba through growth? Email me at

BTW… The sad truth… I believe I was in the seniors’ class. The happy truth, there were some seriously badass seniors schooling me in Zumba. Love that.


Glass in the Raw



I’ve been back from an assignment in London for three months now. WOW. Time has flown.

In that time, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to reengage with clients, pick up my executive coaching and join some amazing conversations. I am about to lead a CEO Peer Advisory Group for the Austin Chamber of Commerce (this ain’t your mom and pop’s chamber… super progressive and really involved in responsible growth in Austin). I also was just asked to be a mentor for the amazing CPG accelerator, the Incubation Station. What an great group of people. I am so inspired by the entrepreneurs in the current track and humbled by their courage.

As I’ve been going through this time of growth, I knew I would start to experience what many of my clients do… some growing pains. So often my clients reveal their fears and together we undercover the blind spots that get in their way. These can create really unhealthy soundtracks in our minds. If they get on a continuous loop, watch out.

Last week, we had a health scare with one of our sons and while it was fleeting, it took me out of commission all week. (He’s 100% fine by the way. I blamed it on the Monster Moon that all the astrologists were fearing.)

Coming off a week of zero sleep and poor eating, I found my own inner soundtrack kicking in… My super shield of courage was really weakened. Gone were the “this is amazing!” “you can do it” and in slipped the “are you kidding me?” “who do you think you are?”

So I started writing it all down in the black notebook I’ve been using for brainstorming. I started writing down all my fears. All of them. I listed every single self doubt and ugly statement I’ve ever made about myself. It was a full on purge.

While I didn’t have full relief, I knew that getting these fears out and deciding whether I wanted them to be my truth would be an important exercise and give me some calm. I knew this was a safe way to explore my vulnerability as a leader.

Until it happened… the black notebook went MISSING. That’s right MISSING. In the midst of waking back up this week I inadvertently left the black notebook SOMEWHERE. Where was it?!?!

The real purging began. I felt sick. Sick to my stomach. It was one thing to be fully vulnerable with myself, it was another to know that pages of my vulnerability were laying around somewhere for someone, anyone, to read.

The next day, I had a full day of meetings and I couldn’t even begin to look for the notebook until 4 pm. I checked a couple of spots and I found it. I picked it up silently from the nice folks who collected it for me and my mind started racing.

The notebook was filled with a lot of benign musings on business development, branding, etc. That was fine. However, I had conveniently tabbed the “you suck” page of vulnerabilities with a blue sticky. It’s like I put a neon sign pointing to the page, screaming out … hey you! Read here! This is some juicy stuff! Linda Glass in the raw!

I didn’t ask if it was read. I just thanked them profusely and went on my way.

Did they read it? Raced through my head. I have no way of knowing unless I ask. And if they did, I began to wonder… what would it matter? Would they read the statements and one by one confirm them. Check! Check! Check!

I decided to use one of my lifelines and called my dear friend Stephanie. She said, “Linda they’re human and have those same fears and feelings. If they did read it, they probably appreciate knowing you are human too.” And to quote my favorite line from When Harry Met Sally… “You’re right. You’re right. I know you’re right.”

She is right.

It’s important for people that I work with and that I coach to know that I, too, am human. I have fears and vulnerabilities. And through that, I can truly sympathize and offer the right guidance and support.

I remember a meeting once at Starbucks when the president at the time said to our team, “I’m afraid I’ll be found out. Do I have what it takes to do this job? Do I really deserve this position?” It was empowering for all of us. He let us in… we connected around the fact that we all have fears. In the end, we all felt we could be open about our challenges and insecurities. We were tighter as a team.

So, while I’m not quite brave enough to publish the whole list… I will tell you that sometimes, even the experienced coach has fears… I fear I’m not enough. I fear I might fail. I fear I might be judged.

And today, I’m choosing to not let those fears take over my soundtrack. Today, my soundtrack might be sung to my fears by Gloria Gaynor…

Go on now, go, walk out the door, just turn around now

‘Cause you’re not welcome anymore

Weren’t you the one, who tried to hurt me with goodbye?

Did you think I’d crumble? Did you think I’d lay down and die?
Oh, no, not I, I will survive!


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