What Makes You a Corporate Rebel?

Time to read: 30 seconds and maybe 2 minutes to respond

What makes a Corporate Rebel? It's the boots!

What makes a Corporate Rebel? It's the boots!

I get invited somewhat regularly to participate in interviews or collaborations with other coaches and entrepreneurs. I'm choosy about where I put my time and frankly, where I put your time and trust. With the most recent invitations, I've noticed something interesting which raises a question I want to ask you.

Most of the invitations are from coaches who help entrepreneurs build businesses. The hosts assume because the word "rebel" is in my brand, that I help people leave corporate jobs to become entrepreneurs. They are surprised when I decline and explain that I do not work with entrepreneurs, but in fact, help people get in and stay IN corporate. They assume that being a rebel and working in corporate is an impossible combination. In fact, a friend once said that he thought being a Corporate Rebel is an oxymoron.

To that I say, PISH-POSH!

You can be a rebel and work in a corporate job. When I was working in corporate, I knew lots of creative, dynamic and interesting people I would describe as rebels.

Which inspires a question for you: What makes you a rebel in your corporate job? (And if you're a coach or entrepreneur, you are most welcome here, too and I'd love to hear what makes you a rebel.) I have lots of thoughts and opinions on the subject and would love to hear from you first.

Feel free to hit email me at christina@boydsmithcoaching.com and let me know what you think or share your thoughts in the conversation at Corporate Rebel HQ on Facebook. Click this link to join or comment if you're already a member.

With rebel love,



You're the Best!

Time to read: Barely one minute. It's summer. You've got fun stuff to do.

You are a gift!

You are a gift!

One of our own Corporate Rebels inspired today's blog. Steve sent me some astute comments after a post a few months ago. His thoughts inspired some fresh ways to think about your career which put you back in the driver's seat. If you feel like your career has been pushed this way and that by the winds of your company, read on!

Steve wrote, "I’ve shifted my attitude about work and career to how to use my gifts and talents (i.e., value proposition). For me, satisfaction comes from applying my gifts and talents which meets someone’s need and who is willing to compensate me for that."

Steve makes an excellent point. Put another way, you are a gift to your employer. Your contributions are as important as the things they give you.

Blow open your thinking about your career with these ideas:

  1. Your employment is an equal energy exchange. You give your gifts and talents. Your company gives you money and benefits. They need you as much as you need them. This idea puts the power in your career back in your hands.

  2. Do what you do best. You have gifts and talents. And you have...what shall we call them?…liabilities and weaknesses. Spend your career maximizing your strengths and partnering with other people's strengths (i.e. your liabilities and weaknesses). Doing what you do best allows you to shine and partnering with others who have different strengths, allows them to shine. It's a win-win!

  3. Stop competing. Spending your career trying to outdo your competition is not a winning strategy. Instead, focus on partnership, relationship, and delivering the best darn solutions to meet your (internal and external) customer's needs. By focusing on value and solutions, you set yourself up to be a sought-after member of any team.

You're the best!


P.S. Have a colleague who needs to see themselves as a gift to your organization? Send them this newsletter and they can sign up for weekly motivation and positivity right here.


What Would You Do If You Stopped Postponing Your Life?

Time to read: 40 little seconds (keeping in short so you can enjoy this summer day - for our Northern Hemisphere rebels!)
This is a vent louver. I had to look it up.

This is a vent louver. I had to look it up.

Happy August Corporate Rebels!

A c!ient recently sent me an ah-ha about constantly trying to improve herself. Her insight made me think of you.

Here's the email she sent me (shared with her permission.):

"I had this revelation this morning that I've been spending so much time and energy trying to fix all these things about myself. It dawned on me that I'm actually using self-improvement as an excuse to postpone really living. The analogy that comes to mind is that I have a car with a bunch of little things wrong - hail dents, torn carpet, stained seats, broken vent louver - and I'm fixating about fixing them, rather than just packing up the car and taking a road trip.

I finally realized that I don't really need fixing any more than I need to fix a broken plastic vent louver. I can just pack up and go for a ride instead.

I want to stop using these excuses that are preventing me from taking the necessary risks to get out and enjoy life."

And there it is.

As a human, you will always have scratches and dents. They are part of what makes you wonderful. So, when you stop hiding behind your scratches and dents, what do YOU want to do?

Two words: Road trip!

Happy lazy August!


P.S. Invite some of your colleagues to road trip with you by joining the Corporate Rebel Video Podcast and Newsletter. They can sign up here.


Have You Paid Too Much?

Time to read: Less than 90 seconds.

You don't have to earn this. It's already yours.

You don't have to earn this. It's already yours.

I belong to a writing salon. Once a month, a small group of unlikely friends gathers around someone's dining room table to write and read our journals, stories, essays, and memoirs. We've been meeting for five years and have seen each other through retirements, deaths, grandchildren, job changes, and the rediscovery of our creativity. This month, one of my esteemed colleagues wrote a beautiful piece with a great reminder of the price you think you have to pay for pleasure.

I was deeply moved by his piece, and he generously agreed that I could share it with you. It's a perfect message for Corporate Rebels in summer.

From Bill Peterson:

In the busyness years of my life, I remember reading an article in which the author recommended some “good summer reads.” I’m thinking it was about twenty years ago. My history is no longer five or ten or fifteen years ago. I now have to reach back twenty, thirty, forty years or even more to reach those heyday years.

For years, I have longed to sit in the leisure of summer, open a book and enjoy a good summer read. And now, this summer I have arrived! I have laid aside the demands I put upon myself through a combination of purposeful intention and opportunity. On Sunday afternoons and mild weekday evenings I am finding myself stretched out on the old couch in the front porch with my feet up and the lamp lighting only enough to illuminate the pages, and I am enjoying a “good...summer...read.” Serendipitously I'm reading a book entitled, “The Art of the Wasted Day”, by Patricia Hampl. A wasted day? I don’t think so. You'd have to read the book to understand that part. But, for me it's more like, “The Fulfilled Day”, “The Blessed Day” or “The Day Long Awaited” because I feel like I have been waiting for these days all of my life.

I’ve paid for these days. I’ve paid with hard work and toil, sweat and burnt skin. I’ve paid, but the truth is I’ve paid too much. And I’m wondering if I really didn’t need to pay for these days at all. They were always there for me, but I told them to wait...for too long...way too long!

So now, here I am, in summer 2018, and I am fulfilling a life dream. I am reading with no intention to rush. I am savoring each word, each sentence, each thought. At last I am enjoying “a good summer read.”

If you loved Bill's writing, please email me and let me know. I'll share it with him.

Happy rebel-y summer, everyone!


P.S. Do you have a colleague who needs permission to sloooowwww down and put their feet up? Send them this newsletter and invite them to sign up for the Corporate Rebel Video Podcast and Newsletter right here.


When You Work In Chaos, Do These 2 Things

Time to read: 1 min. 20 seconds.
When work gives you lemons...

When work gives you lemons...

I was talking with a client recently. Let's call her Polly. (Name changed to protect the innocent.) Polly works for a huge company that for generations has been a bastion of stability and happy employees.

Until recently.

For the past two years, Polly and her team have undergone multiple rounds of layoffs, worked to bridge differing cultures with colleagues from an acquisition, and navigated what sometimes seems like daily emails announcing more departures in upper leadership. They don't know who handles decisions, where to go for funding, or even if their projects will continue to be a priority in six months. They are getting used to their "new normal" and still, it's frustrating and discouraging to do good work in daily uncertainty and chaos.

Does this sound familiar to you? (Keep reading. I'll tell you what to do about it.)

Polly asked me, "will we ever have stability again?" (She knows I spent 5 years in this very environment. We had 3 CEOs in five years. Talk about chaos and ever-changing priorities.)

The answer to Polly's questions is yes... and...

It could be years before the company starts to chug along like a well-oiled machine. It takes a long time to redirect a big ship after a series of tsunamis. The company I worked for started to stabilize after 6-7 years.

In our conversation, Polly and I uncovered 2 excellent strategies for working in, and even thriving in, an ever-changing work environment. With her permission, here they are:

  1. Every morning, say to yourself, "I choose to be here." The fact is, you decide if you can tolerate the chaos or not. If you keep showing up at the office, you are signing up for whatever the company is dishing up that day. Knowing that you choose to stay is liberating. And, if you choose to go (which was my choice), that is liberating, too.
  2. Make lemonade. Seriously. Times of change and chaos need leaders - at all levels. Your company needs YOU. In the midst of the confusion are opportunities for you to step up and lead. Polly walked away from our session chanting this mantra:

    "Be the thing you are wishing for."

If no one is making decisions, you make decisions. If no one knows the priorities, you set your priorities. You may get it wrong. (So what? Sitting around worrying about the future is not advancing your career or making you happy so what have you got to lose?) More likely, you will shine as a leader and initiator and people will notice.

You've got this.

I hope this helps.


P.S. If you are working in chaos and want to chat about it, reach out to me anytime: christina@boydsmithcoaching.com

P.P.S. If you just had drinks with friends who complained all night about the chaos at their workplace, forward this email to them. They can sign up to join us here.


Hungry to play a more strategic role at work?

Read time: 1:56.87 minutes

I coach MBAs in career planning and leadership development at the University of Minnesota. If you are an MBA or one of your friends is one, you know they are determined to advance their careers as fast as possible. When I worked in Human Resources for a major medical device manufacturer, MBAs would come into my office on a somewhat regular basis and say something to this effect:

“I’ve been here for 6 months. How come I haven't been promoted to vice-president?”

Now, you don’t have to be an MBA to crave a role where you get to set strategic vision, manage a large team, and be included in the exciting and confidential things that happen in those rooms with big conference tables. You don't even have to want to be a people manager to want to play a strategic part in your company.

The question is how do you prepare yourself for a higher-level strategic role?How do you make sure you are the one who is considered for the next promotion? How do you plan your career so you end up where you want to be, no matter the level?

The truth: patience is key.

Also key: visibility, your relationships, seeking new challenges, demonstrating your growth mindset, and finding a mentor.

Here's what I mean:

  1. Visibility: Toot your own horn. I know, it feels vain to do so. And you must. No one is paying attention to your accomplishments like you are. Make sure those with the ability to influence your career know what you can do.
  2. Relationships: Most opportunities come through relationships, from people who know, trust, and respect you. Make sure lots of people know, trust and respect you by growing and maintaining your network.
  3. Seek new challenges: Keep your eyes open for ways to get involved in the hot strategic initiatives for your company. (This is also good for your relationships.)
  4. Growth mindset: Be someone who supports change and progress. Never let the words, "that's the way we've always done it," fall from your lips. (I mean this so seriously that I've said it for 2 weeks in a row!)
  5. Find a mentor: Work with someone who has a broad perspective, who values what you value, and who is a few steps ahead of you on the career path.

These 5 steps will have you on the path toward strategic influence in your job whether you are a business analyst or a vice-president.

Good luck!



P.S. Will you do me a favor and share The Corporate Rebel Unplugged Video Podcast and newsletter with your friends and colleagues? Just forward this link (http://unplugged.thecorporaterebelseries.com) to them. I can't wait for you to see the first interview on November 30th! (You don't need to sign up. It will come as part of your regular subscription to my newsletter. Bonus!)