In Conversation with Aleta Maxwell of Uplifting Leadership
Describe your business in a few words?
Organizational Consultant and Leadership Coach
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
I get such joy watching my clients have their own “lightbulb” moments! These are the moments that bring clarity, focus, and vision for their future. These moments come from self-realization and help catapult my clients to the next level of their professional careers. It is an honor to journey with them and witness their “lightbulb” breakthroughs!
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
Previously I was the Chief Human Resources Officer for Dos Toros.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
I spent some years in my career trying to figure out how to align the companies’ values to my own when working for others. This led to a lot of emotional energy expended and let down as a leader. I have learned that even if we would do things differently in a company we work for, we can still bring our own values and influence in our leadership role which affects a lot. I’ve learned to keep my own emotional energy tied to what I can control and/or influence.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
Helping build a restaurant group from 3 locations to 22 locations while keeping the focus on our employee’s happiness and engagement.
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
I would ask the interviewee to tell me about a time that they had to deal with conflict with a team member. How we deal with tough times, especially within our team, shows emotional intelligence as well as if they will lead with ego. This question also reveals their communication skills, or lack thereof.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
I found that when COVID-19 first hit, many seemed to be paralyzed, which certainly impacted my ability to connect with new clients. In the last month or so, I’ve seen some softening and a desire to control what we can, which often includes development. More people are starting to understand that they need to take control in areas where they can, and their focus has shifted a bit to how to boost their own skill sets. Which I think is really wise given that the career market is changing as a result of the pandemic.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
I’m super excited to publish my new book, “Uplifting Leaders: How to Have Difficult Conversations that Motivate and Inspire” next month! I’m also in the middle of building out development programs for new and experienced leaders which I think will be really valuable for those that are wanting to develop their leadership skills!
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
Imperfect progress is the goal! The focus on perfection is what will paralyze us, so moving forward without the goal of perfection, but instead, keeping the focus on forward movement and count it as success.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
All-inclusive packages are not smart buys! I’ve learned to invest my resources with those that specialize in their niche, and not go with someone that claims to be an expert in everything.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
By focusing on all that I have to be grateful for. Yes, there are reasons to be afraid/timid/sad, however there are so many more reasons to be thankful, grateful and appreciative. Searching for the light rather than focusing on the darkness has kept me grounded.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Yes, however I’ve learned that this takes on many different shapes during different parts of our lives. I have learned that I can’t have it all at every moment, so I need to choose when and where to invest my energy. I think more about balance in a week, rather than balance in a day.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
90’s hip hop is my happy place.
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
Morning meditation, lots of H20, and keeping my motivation in mind. My personal motivation is my 13-year-old son. Ensuring that my son sees his mother handle her business with grace is a fantastic motivator on a daily basis.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
A female leader who focuses on adding value to the world through equal measures of grace and grit. Someone who does not back down, but leads with love.
Listen to Aleta Maxwell’s episode of the Entreprenista podcast here and learn more about her incredible career at Dos Toros and lessons learned before launching her own business.