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Grow or Die

Grow or Die

By Alora & Lawrence
Leadership and business coaches Lawrence Henderson and Alora Chistiakoff chat over a weekly Coaching Mystery Box topic relating to professional development, career management and leadership. With Lawrence's background in the military and corporate L&D, and Alora's background in entrepreneurial tech and startups, we come at everything from two different perspectives, but with a common value: action, not excuses!
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When a colleague drives you nuts
For all the talk about teams and all of my love of work as a source of social interaction, there are times when you find yourself working with a colleague who SIMPLY DRIVES YOU CRAZY. In this episode, I break down my three big buckets of crazy-making when it comes to co-workers, and Lawrence and I discuss how we deal with each.
February 4, 2021
Trying to buy a business
The idea of owning your own business is enormously appealing to many people. There are a lot of ways to do this, and one of them is to buy one. In today's episode, Lawrence and I discuss his journey -- and ultimate decision -- when it comes to buying a business.
February 4, 2021
Managing your energy
We like to pretend that our energy is infinite and that we can muscle our way through when times are tough. But the reality is that our energy matters to how we show up in all aspects of our lives. So when you are feeling out of control, and you feel like you are scattered or struggling, what can you do to start getting a handle on how you are feeling?
February 4, 2021
Managing your own triggers
Have you ever heard someone make an excuse like, "Ignore him. It's just his temper talking." Is that actually helpful? One of the most important characteristics of leadership -- and the PERCEPTION of someone AS a leader -- is their ability to handle pressure gracefully. One of the most important ways to start learning to do that is to identify your own most sensitive triggers, and then work on managing them. If someone else can press your buttons and get under your skin, you are going to have trouble projecting the image of yourself as a leader.
February 4, 2021
Do you feel like you spend your time chasing things for the sake of someone else's rat race? Is it productive? Is it useful? Is it serving you? In this week's episode, Lawrence and I talk about the value of being intentional. Pick your battles, and then choose to be intentional in how you expend your time and energy. It's harder than it sounds, but it's definitely worth it.
February 4, 2021
Living in limbo
In the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election and before the results were called, we all had to sit in a truly uncomfortable state: limbo. We took the opportunity to discuss this, particularly as it pertains to self-management, leadership and larger organizational impacts.
November 9, 2020
Climbing out of mental traps
What are the traps that you create for yourself because of how you are thinking -- or not thinking -- about things? All of us have a different set, and they are usually caused by a combination of how we grew up, our values, the lessons we've learned from those around us and what identities we choose to adopt. But without being clear about the impact, we can keep our biases intact and operating to our detriment. So what do we do about it?
October 29, 2020
Sucking it up when you hate your job
Coaches like to talk about values and self-care. But the truth is, the ability to quit a job you hate is a luxury that not everyone has -- or, at least not one that everyone has all the time. Whether it's for your own reasons or your family responsibilities, you may feel (right or wrong) like you have no choice but to stay in a job that you dread. If/when that is the case, how do you square your sick gut with what you need to do, even when you hate it? Join us for this discussion.
October 22, 2020
Dealing with Hostile Coworkers
The first presidential debate of the 2020 US general election presented us with an all-too-common work scenario: trying to get work done while dealing with a hostile, belligerent co-worker. While most of us don't typically face as extreme a version as we saw in the debate, the reality is that pushback surfaces constantly. Whether it's with clients, peers, partners or project teams, there are different techniques you can use, and so Lawrence and I spend this episode discussing the very tactical things we and our clients use.
October 1, 2020
Authenticity as a Business Owner
Owning your own business can be exciting. But it often brings up questions and challenges you didn't typically face as someone else's employee. One of them is what happens when you have to decide the right type of client to work with. Whether you are a consultant or a coach, the match of personalities, values, working styles and priorities can be extremely important but also enormously difficult to surface in time to make the decision before it's too late. Or, worse yet, as a business owner, can you afford to tell a client no? Join us in this episode while we explore how you stay authentic to yourself while also building a business.
September 24, 2020
Identity, Family and Trust
We have kicked off Season 2 of Grow or Die -- Join me and Lawrence while we discuss identity, family and trust. Throw in some sexism and racism, just for good measure.
September 17, 2020
How do you deal with transition? What kinds are no big deal versus which ones are a struggle? Join me and Lawrence while we discuss what goes into that process, how we struggle with it, and what things cause us to bristle against it.
July 15, 2020
There is no doubt about it, right now our communities are being tested. Not only at a macro level, but also a micro level. In this episode, Lawrence and I discuss the question of being a positive contributor to our communities. This is a tough conversation, but one that touches on everything from the mask wearing debate to military service.
July 9, 2020
Rebuilding Trust
How do you begin to rebuild trust once it's been damaged? Building trust originally can be tough, but rebuilding after it's been broken is ten times harder. So, where do you start?
July 6, 2020
Identity is a complicated, convoluted, mixed up bag of stuff we mostly get from those around us -- at least at first. So what happens when you are ready to start examining what you really want it to be, and how that matches what you actually want from life? Join Lawrence and me while we dive into this juicy topic!
June 24, 2020
Resistance to Change
This week I posed a question: how do we help people get past a resistance to change? A fight against change is central to so many of the toxic things we see around us now, but a basic resistance to it starts with individuals. Our conversation covers everything from Black Lives Matter to the weaponization of Christianity.
June 17, 2020
Very few of us are naturally great at establishing and maintaining boundaries automatically. It usually requires work -- often after we've learned lessons about why NOT holding boundaries creates a problem. So what does that actually look like? This week, Lawrence and I discuss this messy topic.
June 10, 2020
A week into global protesting about unchecked police brutality against people of color, as sparked by the murder of George Floyd, Lawrence and I discuss a core principle that has become a missing element in our social contract that has contributed to our current problem: lack of accountability. But accountability is both a macro and micro issue, and by figuring out how to start holding ourselves and the people in our lives accountable is an important starting point in any social justice effort, particularly as we are seeing in Black Lives Matter.
June 3, 2020
Leadership, Empathy, Privilege and Judgement
In this week's episode Lawrence and I took on a tangled web of big -- and highly intertwined -- topics, starting with leadership in the time of Covid-19, why empathy matters, how that fosters privilege, and ultimately where it all starts: judgement.
May 27, 2020
Showing Compassion with Boundaries
In this week's Coaching Mystery Box, Lawrence asked the question about how to be compassionate with boundaries -- both to yourself and to others, particularly in this time of difficulty.
May 22, 2020
Starting to Look Towards a Next Normal
Instead of our standard weekly Coaching Mystery Box, today Lawrence and I discussed some of the things we are seeing emerge as considerations for a world struggling to find some version of normal with Covid-19 still unchecked, States starting to re-open and more than 36MM unemployed Americans as of early-May 2020.
May 13, 2020
Becoming an Executive Coach
Today's Mystery Box was provided by my old friend and colleague, John Ehmann, who is getting ready to start training to be a coach. We discussed some things for him to keep in mind, ways to approach the function, and boundaries critical to coaches when the person paying the bill is NOT the same as the person joining the session.
May 6, 2020
Asking for Help
In this episode, I raised the question of ASKING FOR HELP. What does it mean? What does it take? And -- in classic Grow or Die fashion -- we ended up covering a ton of ground: gender norms, making friends as adults, romantic partners, and more.
April 29, 2020
Honoring the Small Things
In this week's episode, we address the question of how do we honor the small things? Particularly in this time of chaos and anxiety, what can we do to help cultivate the resilience we need by acknowledging and appreciating the things we have in our life.
April 22, 2020
Using Your Mind to Thrive
In this week's episode of Grow or Die, Lawrence asked the question: what do you do to use your mind to thrive? It's an interesting and complicated question that varies by person. But there are tools that can help.
April 15, 2020
Grow or Die - Episode #7 - Reframing
One of the most valuable tactics you learn as a coach is called reframing. But more often than not, it's the outside world that does something that causes us to reframe how we are seeing something to create breakthroughs, and changes in perspective that help us move forward. But how do you actively do it for yourself when you know that you're stuck?
April 9, 2020
Activating Resiliency
Today was Lawrence's turn to pick the topic, and -- of course -- he found a timely one, as we continue into our third week (more or less) of Covid-19 lockdown in most of the US. His question: How do you activate resiliency?
April 1, 2020
Managing Anxiety
We are in strange, scary times. There is an uncomfortable amount of uncertainty that we all have to navigate. So how do you manage your own anxiety, so that you can show up for those in your life that need you in this time of crisis?
March 25, 2020
Covid-19 at Work
This week we skipped the Mystery Box and are joined by an L&D executive, Shana Storey, in NYC to discuss how to deal with the implications of Covid-19 at work.
March 18, 2020
Tips for Managers: A Newly Remote Team Thanks to Covid-19
Working from home can sound like a great option, but for some of us, learning to do it can be a struggle. And in the wake of the 'work from home' mandates thanks to Covid-19, many managers are struggling to suddenly figure out how to manage a team remotely when they've only ever done it in person. This is a potentially huge topic with a sometimes tricky learning curve, but in this video I start with 5 Basic Steps you can take, as a manager, to help your team with this sudden change in your working model.
March 16, 2020
There are two sides to self-awareness: how well we understand ourselves, and how accurately we understand how other people see us. Both are hard, both are critical for your professional development, and both are more rare than you might think.
March 11, 2020
Boundaries and Resentment
Last week's chat about shame and all we've learned from Brene Brown's work inspired this week's topic: boundaries and resentment, how we enter an organization and show up in relationships -- both at work and at home.
March 4, 2020
Navigating Shame
Welcome to Grow or Die, a weekly show with Lawrence Henderson and Alora Chistiakoff, both business and leadership coaches dedicated to taking on tough topics for growth-oriented professionals. In our first episode, we set the stage: each week one of us will pick a topic to toss out to the other one, and see what kind of great conversation we can have.  We lovingly refer to this as our Coaching Mystery Box.  In week #1, we get things started with the all-too-relateable topic that has made us all love the work of Brene Brown: shame. We record each episode with a live audience, and welcome participants to join us in real time and raise questions and join the discussion.
February 26, 2020