10 Questions with Dr. Mary Meduna-Gross | Unlock your 2023 Mindset23 Dec 2022 2022-12-23 18:56
10 Questions with Dr. Mary Meduna-Gross | Unlock your 2023 Mindset
10 Questions with Dr. Mary Meduna-Gross | Unlock your 2023 Mindset
As we head into the final week of 2022, we share our last interview for the season. Over the next few days, we will take the time strategize for the new year, and reflect over the past one. We were incredibly privileged to share many stories this year, visit beautiful places and experience a full and healthy year! Before we clock off for the holidays, we leave you with a truly special interview with Mary Meduna-Gross, Ph.D.
If you are new here, Reve Insiders is an exclusive network of global leaders, businesses, brands, professionals, and creatives. Our 10 Questions Series is all about exploring what makes them tick. We find out how they are making a difference in our world or making changes in their own lives to impact the lives of others.
Dr. Mary Meduna-Gross. An author, speaker, podcast host, a certified NLP Master Practitioner, with a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Indiana State University, a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Tennessee, and a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education and Teaching K-12 from Wayne State College. She is also the founder of Blue Bamboo Leadership and The Conscious-preneur Magazine. In this exclusive interview, she shares more about her journey, life, business, and thoughts for 2023.
REVE INSIDERS: First off, thank you so much for taking the time to join our holiday interview series this year, Mary! We are so excited to get into our ten questions, so without any further ado, let’s begin. You are the founder of a leadership coaching practice and one of your biggest passions is helping entrepreneurs lead with their
hearts. What is conscious-preneurship and why is it so important?
Dr. Mary Meduna-Gross: Conscious entrepreneurship is a growing movement challenging our existing rules and assumptions about entrepreneurship. This challenge starts with the values that drive the conscious entrepreneur. The leading value is that they are in business to make the world a better place through their products or services. This means conscious entrepreneurs have a double bottom line, impact and profit. They also care deeply about people, wanting to create cultures that address the needs of their team members.
Finally, they are intentional about the footprint they leave on the planet. I recognized myself and my favorite clients in these values. I also noticed that in the world of business coaching, most coaches aligned with what I refer to as the “traditional” business values and beliefs. Under traditional values, revenue is king. All decisions and actions are for the purpose of generating more clients and revenue to grow a team that will generate even more clients and revenue. In this traditional world, people are often used for what they contribute to revenue generation and their needs are often seen as a distraction. When team members sense they are being used without being cared for, they become dissatisfied and begin to require more ‘management’.
REVE INSIDERS: After spending 6 years of service in the U.S Naval Reserves and deployment in Operation Desert Storm. Being in this type of position or leadership role, what were some of the hardest or biggest leadership lessons learned during this time?
Dr. Mary Meduna-Gross: Enlisting in the Navy right after high school was just the structure that I needed to launch me into adulthood. In the military, I knew exactly what was expected of me and I trusted that my leaders would give me the support I needed to be successful. My confidence grew as I met each new challenge. As my confidence grew, I was given leadership opportunities and these experiences helped me begin to experience myself as a capable leader.
REVE INSIDERS: As a follow-up question – What are some ways in which rigid/traditional leadership works? (Does it still work?) Are new methods of leadership required? Or is it a blending of rigidity and flexibility? – A blending of boundaries.
Dr. Mary Meduna-Gross: In my own experience, the structure of the Navy helped me build my confidence and even helped me begin to grow as a leader. However, it is important to note that the military has complete control over our lives and the work we do has already been distilled down to predictable and replicatable sequences. Creativity is not valued or rewarded at these levels. Good team members simply follow an existing game plan.
These conditions are practically opposite of what we experience as entrepreneurs.
As entrepreneurs, we have to create our own systems and this can only happen through experimentation and exploration. While we can model our systems after others, we still have to make these models work for us and our business. This requires creativity, especially as we grow our business. In this model, good team members are willing to hold the vision in mind as they explore, experiment and learn new ways to contribute to the vision. I think the question is, what leadership does your business need now? How can the predictability of established standards and procedures be integrated with the nurturing that is necessary to develop the creativity of each team member?
REVE INSIDERS: Being a conscious entrepreneur is largely linked to creativity and leadership, being connected, self-aware, and listening to your heart and the hearts of others. What does leading with a creative mindset and with your heart feel and look like? Versus leading from a victim mindset.
Dr. Mary Meduna-Gross: The conscious entrepreneur recognizes that they cannot—and nor do they want to—use command and control leadership, however, they often do not know what else is possible. For me, leadership starts with our core beliefs, attitudes and expectations.
I love the quote, “We do not see the world as it is, we see it as we are”. When we are unaware of how these unconscious programs create our experiences, we believe that life is happening TO us. This means that we must constantly be on alert to defend ourselves against external threats which leads to chronic stress. This is how most of us experience life; stuck and stressed. The alternative is to take ownership of your experience and to see yourself as co-creators of your experience. This begins by listening to the stories you tell yourself and the core beliefs that shape these stories. Listening allows you to make these unconscious programs conscious so that you now get to decide if you want to continue to live with that belief or transform it. When you make these decisions intentionally, you begin to experience yourself as a powerful co-creator.
REVE INSIDERS: “If I’m not leading my business, then who is?” is a famous Mary Meduna-Gross quote. Being able to lead a business requires one to develop systems, and also make sure that wellness and self-care are a priority. How do you fill your cup and take care of your well-being so that you can lead effectively?
Dr. Mary Meduna-Gross: One of the big lessons I’ve learned this year is the difference between working hard and taking inspired action. I grew up with a powerful internally motivated work ethic and I feel satisfied when I know I’ve worked hard, even if results are not immediately evident. This is the express lane to burnout.
When I started the ConsciousPreneur Magazine, I noticed that to make progress, all I had to do was to share my vision and invite the people I met to join me on this mission to validate, inform and inspire the conscious entrepreneur. Whenever I didn’t have an answer, all I had to do was ask and wait for the answers followed. I use this experience now as my benchmark. Now, instead of pushing or forcing something to happen, I’ve learned that as long as I have a clear vision and show up consistently, all things happen in the right time. I trust the Universe to co-create with me for the optimal outcome. This core belief has been a game changer for me when it comes to self-care. When I don’t trust the Universe, I am left trying to figure it all out myself, driving myself (and others around me) crazy. When I let go of the requirements I have about a situation, I can genuinely rest, knowing that I don’t have to have it all figured out today and that a simple solution is available.
REVE INSIDERS: Can you share more about your experience growing up on a farm, with horses and herds of cattle? Thinking back, does your childhood tie back to the conscious and heart values that you lead and serve within your business and projects today?
Dr. Mary Meduna-Gross: I was a difficult child growing up, often sad and angry and I didn’t know how to regulate these emotions. I struggled with relationships, even within my family. However, I found it very simple and natural to connect with animals. We had all of the usual farm animals; dogs, cats, chickens, pigs, cattle and horses.
I loved communicating with them all. However, the most powerful connection I experienced was with my horse, Eagle. We herded cattle each fall and I learned that Eagle was just as committed to the task as I was. He was watching the cattle better than me and he was ready to redirect a roaming steer without me having to tell him. It felt like a dance between us. There is no doubt in my mind that this relationship set the standard for how I want to lead my life and business.
REVE INSIDERS: What does a day in the life of “Mary Meduna-Gross” look like?
Dr. Mary Meduna-Gross: I’m an early riser and I love to get up while the house is still dark and quiet. I feel like I can hear my heart best at these times. The purpose of this time is to take time to nurture my relationship with myself. Sometimes this means I’m meditating, being still and letting things integrate.
Other times, I feel inspired to take on new information. On these days, I’ll find something interesting to read or listen to. Movement is also important to me. We got a new puppy over the summer, so now Spicy and I head out to the dog park by 7 AM. Not only do I get the benefit of the walk, I am also really enjoying the chance to experience the seasons in person.
During my workday, I use time blocking so that I can focus my efforts. Mondays and Fridays are used for creating content and business operations so that Tuesdays-Thursdays are dedicated to networking and client facing services. When I’m done working for the day, I usually get to spend a couple of hours with my husband Marco. We might go for a walk, play games, or work on a project together. After dinner, we usually watch TV as we nod off.
REVE INSIDERS: What are your top three life, career or business highlights to date?
Dr. Mary Meduna-Gross:
- I participated in Operation Desert Shield as a hospital corpsman.
- I earned a Ph.D in leadership.
- I had the audacity to set out on this entrepreneurial journey.
REVE INSIDERS: What can one expect from booking a call with you and Blue Bamboo Leadership?
Dr. Mary Meduna-Gross: I approach my exploratory calls just as I do my coaching calls.
My first intention is to connect with the caller so that I can truly sense and hear what this person is struggling with and what solutions they are looking for. My goal is to help you get into inspired action. I’ll help you gain clarity on your vision, why this is important to you, and what you are willing to do about it. Sometimes we just need clarity on one or more of these points is just what we need to take the inspired next step. The day may come when you realize that you don’t want to—and you don’t have to—figure out how to lead and create your ideal life and business alone. If today is that day for you, we will discuss what support would make the most sense for you. I offer a leadership assessment that will help you understand the lens through which you are viewing your world, individual coaching, and starting in January 2023, I am also offering group coaching.
REVE INSIDERS: Moving into 2023, what are your best recommendations and advice for our readers to help with recognizing dissatisfaction and moving towards action?
Dr. Mary Meduna-Gross: Sometimes the hardest question to answer is “what do I want?”. When we are dissatisfied, we have a pretty good idea about what we don’t want, but this may not help us gain clarity on what we do want. It is so easy for us to get caught up in the story about what we don’t want and the pain this is creating for us, that we can’t seem to gain any clarity or find any resolution. This is how we get caught up in over thinking—we focus our thinking on the problem rather than the solution.
We convince ourselves that if we just think long enough or talk about the problem the resolution will reveal itself to us. Rather than focusing on the problem, ask yourself what you really want. As you define what you do want, you’ll hear the internal rules that tell you why you can’t have what you really want.
This is a painful conversation to have with yourself and we are often tempted to ourselves off the hook. It is easier to complain than to take responsibility for our own experience. I encourage you to set aside the time and space to have these conversations with yourself where you really listen to your heart. This practice will help you gain clarity on what you really want. Because you are now focusing on what you want, you’ll become aware of both internal and external messages about what you are ready to let go of and for what wants to emerge. Use this intuition to guide your next inspired action.
Taking inspired action requires that you trust yourself, and to trust yourself, you have to have a strong relationship between your head and heart. This isn’t something most of us have ever been taught to do, so if you find this foreign or challenging, be easy on yourself and find someone who can help guide you through the process. You can get there on your own, but it will be simpler and more effective to have the right support at the right time.