What is your story? Or, in other words, what made you your awesome self you are today?
I’m a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a professional leadership consultant/coach…and I’m a lifelong learner.
Growing up, I was curious about everything. In my formative years, I read anything and everything I could get my hands on and challenged myself to get involved in as many clubs, activities, and extracurricular groups I could fit in a given year. I never wanted to miss out on a new experience. I learned valuable lessons from each of them.
My unending curiosity turned to angst in college when I had to choose a singular course of study that was to establish me on a career path for decades forward. After testing out majors in psychology and business, I was introduced to a field of study, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, that married the best of both worlds and allowed me to study the factors that enable great leaders to do great things in their professional lives. It’s now my life’s passion to bring these lessons to others and support people in learning to become their best selves at work to benefit their teams, their organizations, and their own personal fulfillment.
What message do you promote?
Show up, be authentic and find something you can learn from everyone you come across.
Often, the biggest hurdle we have in achieving something we want is gaining the courage to put ourselves in new, uncomfortable situations. Whether it’s speaking up in a meeting, raising our hand for a promotion, or volunteering for an assignment – we first have to take the leap of speaking up and raising our hands to get involved.
Second, I encourage people to trust that they have something unique and meaningful to contribute. The most successful leaders do not try to play a part, but instead, they leverage their unique skills to make an impact in their own way.
Third, humble leaders tend to learn and develop most quickly – and they are more likely to gain followership than their ego-driven colleagues. The best CEOs I work with are the ones that acknowledge weaknesses, ask for help, and are always open to learning from others.
In what capacity do you LEAD UP in your community?
At the Vaya Group, one of our core values is Serving Our Community. We sponsor opportunities for our entire organization to support local charities and people in need of resources which is always a blessing to be involved in.
I also lead a life group for teen girls through my church – it’s a precious opportunity to engage with an incredible group of girls navigating a tough and formative time in their lives. And the bonus is that I get to learn from them every week!
In business and/or in life, share a struggle you overcame that other women can relate to?
As a professional, I’ve struggled to find the balance in juggling my career, family, and self. While I haven’t mastered this balancing act by any means, I’ve learned that there is no “right” or “better” way to balance it all. I’ve learned to be comfortable with my choices and use how I feel as my measuring stick rather than how I compare to others.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
The absolute best part of my job is working with outstanding leaders who just need a bit of help to make a mindset or behavioral shift that pays big dividends for them in their professional lives. When they put in the work and achieve something meaningful for themselves, their teams, and/or their organization, I feel honored to have been a resource in helping them to get there.
How do you SHOW UP?
With gratitude, commitment, and curiosity. If I’m going to show up, it will be with the best I have to give. I’ll appreciate the opportunity to be there, and I’ll learn something from it.
If you could give one piece of advice for women who are entering the workforce or launching their own business, what would that be?
Ask for feedback and ask for help. Don’t be shy to acknowledge what you don’t know and learn from others.
Contact Michelle Bush, Ph.D.