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If you enjoy reading this week's Personal Growth Gab, please be sure to share it with your friends and followers using the social media icons at the top of this email or via Facebook!
 And as always, feel free to contact me with any questions or comments, and scroll down for info about my coaching services and featured appearances and articles.
 
NEXT WEEK! GROUP COACHING: Thursdays at Three, December 11th, 3:00pm-5:00pm Click here for more info and RSVP here.  *Please note if you would like to receive separate reminder emails(click here for weekly update) about this meeting and other special events, scroll to the bottom of this email, click on the Update Profile/Email Address link and be sure the "Thursdays at Three/Tuesday Talk" list is checked off.

 

Scroll down for more Articles, links to Upcoming Events and info about my Coaching and Speaking Services

 

"...the guidance Kristina provided has been worth over a 1000 books! I am extremely grateful for her help." Andrew L.

 

"I can honestly say that speaking to you was one of the most important events in my life. It is almost unbelievable how a 2-hour conversation can have that effect."  Bozhanka V.  

 

"Listening to you once helped empower me to completely change my life for the better!" 

 

Carte Blanche
by Kristina Leonardi
white fingerprint  
When traveling by myself in Cape Town, South Africa in 2001, just seven years after the end of apartheid, I had a major aha moment while having tea in the lobby of the historic, old-world luxury Mount Nelson Hotel.

Feeling somewhat awkward in my solo budget travel state, I was in the midst of sipping Earl Grey when something clicked within me on the most profound of levels. It occurred to me that due to the mere fact my skin was white - with the bonus of having blonde hair at the time - I was essentially given free rein to go wherever I desired and do whatever I wanted, and no one would ever question me, look at me strangely, or think I didn't belong. 

Yes, I was in one of the most segregated countries on the planet, but it really struck me that this applied in a broader context - no matter where I go, simply because of the color of my skin, along with being tall and dressing reasonably well, in addition to being educated and American, I enjoy a certain level of trust, respect (well, this was just before 9/11) and service, and almost always inadvertently avoid outright discrimination and bodily harm, even as a woman (which itself is topic for another discussion, since that is only a very recent phenomena and may apply to less places, but I digress...).

Suddenly the phrase "carte blanche," which literally translates as "white card," came into my head and I immediately made the connection to the District Six Museum's display of various ID cards for citizens under that classified system:  White, Coloured, Black, and Indian.  In the United States, and in a global sense, it is an invisible card I carry that gives me entree, ease and yes, a certain unearned privilege, to live a life free of so many stresses, layers of misperceptions, institutionalized prejudice, fear, bias and/or hatred the majority of those of darker shades must endure, and are too often endangered by.

I realize in telling you this story I may sound naive, but you have to know this came at a time to someone who from childhood in theory, and more than ten years prior to that moment in practice, was not only quite aware of, but particularly passionate about, the issue of racial inequality and had many interpersonal experiences, observations and relationships informing a significant understanding of the complexities all that entails - earlier that year I had even started a non-profit organization to dispel stereotypes and bigotry in order to bring women together to "Recognize Our Unity" and "Celebrate Our Diversity". 

But being in a place where racism had so recently been explicitly acknowledged and addressed in such a direct manner brought this concept home to me in a way that up until that point in my life, because I am White, had only been subtly perceptible, and even then, only because I was sensitive to the issue.

A couple of years later while waiting in the cold for an MTA bus on First Avenue in the East Village I got to experience this overtness in reverse. Two Black women chose to ditch the delayed public transportation, and I watched in disbelief as two, three, five, six open taxis passed by as they tried to hail them; disgusted, I asked if they needed help, and of course the next cab stopped for me but when the driver realized the Black women, not me, were getting in, he drove away.  Finally I asked where they were going; I was so appalled I decided I would just get in and share it with them. Of course the irony was that they were only going to 78th between First and Second, probably one of the whitest blocks in the city...It was perhaps the closest I will come to know what it must feel like to deal with race on a daily basis, simply trying to accomplish the most mundane of tasks.

Fast forward to February 2012. After my talk at the NY Science, Industry and Business Library a young Black man came up to thank me for what I had shared, how it made him think differently about his life, and pointed out to me what he had written down so he could make positive change going forward. He then said he had recently been released from federal prison, would I be willing to work with people like him?  Well, this began a journey in which I learned more specifically about the consequences of race and the criminal justice system, the roots of mass incarceration and the many barriers to re-entry. It has since widened and deepened my understanding of the unhealed wounds, scars and repercussions of our country's history of slavery. 

What we are dealing with in the aftermath of injustice after injustice against people of color are symptoms of a very sick system that is made up of people, and people are crying out for transformation and healing. It is not a Black problem; it is not a White problem. It is a human problem. No matter what card-carrying member of our race you proclaim (or are deemed) to be, we're all in this man-made mess together - and we will only solve it one story, one interaction, one aha moment at a time.  
  

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If you like what I write, you'll love what I have to say in person!  Scroll down for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today.

 

This and all past posts can be found on my website www.kristinaleonardi.com
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Thinking about working with me one-on-one?
Here are a few ways my services can help you with your career and life, as most of you fall into one or a combination of the following categories:


Executive Coaching:

Who:  Managers, Business Owners, Directors, C-Suite Executives 

What: Authentic leadership, motivate staff, cultivate teamwork, facilitate communication, inspire vision and culture, increase employee engagement, manage stress, improve work/life wellness

ROI/Why:  Productivity, People and Profit!

 

Career Coaching:

Who:  Career Changers, Career Climbers, Job Searchers, Moms, Dads, Grads

What:  Exploration, discovery and attainment of meaningful work and lifepath, improve job performance, professional development and advancement, enter or re-enter job force, time/stress management and work/life wellness 

ROI/Why:  Purpose, Peace and Promotion!  

 

Life Coaching:

Who: Anyone feeling lost/at a crossroads, unsatisfied, stressed, blocked, confused, passionless   

What: Life transitions, identity issues/crisis, body/mind/spirit wellness, authentic expression, improve relationships   

ROI/Why:  Balance, Bounty and Bliss!  

 

Contact me by email or give me a buzz at 917-816-0834  for more information and to schedule your session today!
 

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About Kristina's Coaching
Work with her one-on-one or as part of a group

 

Kristina Leonardi is a career/life coach who has a proven record of getting "stuck" clients empowered to make changes aligned with their true passions and talents in a short time. She provides a practical framework for each individual to make the most of their personal and professional lives, allowing them to recognize, connect to, and fulfill their role in the world at large and live a life with clarity, balance and direction.   

 

Kristina's holistic, gimmick-free, and minimalist approach has earned her widely diverse and fiercely loyal following from all walks and stations of life, including savvy New Yorkers who have tried other coaches, approaches, and therapy with little or limited results.  Click here to learn more 

  

             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *    

She has a laid-back approach, but don't let that fool anyone. Her ability to read people is amazing and her assessments of how a person can enrich their lives/careers are spot-on. After she asked me lots of questions, she was somehow able to give me an assessment that was frighteningly accurate and illuminating.    

 

What's it like working with Kristina? Click here for more info 

  

For more information visit www.kristinaleonardi.com or contact her to schedule a session today.

 
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About Kristina's Speaking
Attend an event or hire her to speak at y0ur company or  organization!

Known as a dynamic, 'inspiring' and 'down-to-earth' speaker with unique yet practical perspectives on career development, work/life wellness, and employee engagement, Kristina has been a featured speaker for many corporate seminars, non-profit organizations and conferences, including: UBS, Saatchi & Saatchi, HR Association of NY, Ogilvy & Mather, American Business Women's Association, the Junior League, NYU and the New York's Science, Business & Industry Library.
Click here for more info
Contact Kristina for full bio and a list of topics

UPCOMING EVENTS:
Thursday, December 18th 12-1pm at SIBL
Staying Motivated Throughout the Job Search Process 

Click here for video link for a clip of a recent talk

     

About Personal Growth Gab
Kristina Leonardi's Weekly eNewsletter

Since launching Personal Growth Gab (PGG) in January 2010, Kristina has formed an avid and faithful following ("they're the only emails I read" "they really help me" "they help me start my week" "I save them until I get home and can read them with a cup of tea" "you're such a good writer!" ) of over 1500 who look forward to a 'weekly dose of thought-provoking, inspirational and entertaining helpful tidbits to keep you connected with yourself and make sense of this journey called life.


All past PGG posts can be found on the home page at www.kristinaleonardi.com


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HOT OFF THE PRESSES! 

 I've recently been featured in a few places:

 45 Pieces of Career Advice That Will Get You to The Top (The Daily Muse) 

(I'm #3 just before Marissa Mayer #4 and Jane Fonda #7, Mark Cuban #42, Steve Jobs #44)

The Ins and Outs of Casual Days at Work (CareerIntelligence.com)

Wherever You Go, There You Are (VidaVibrante.com)

A Body at Rest (Inspire Virtual Mag S.A.) 

 A More Perfect Union (Inspire Virtual Mag S.A.) 

Tiptoe Through the Tulips (Inspire Virtual Mag S.A)

 Scroll down for more articles written by or about me and be sure to tweet and share them all! :)

daily muse
Kristina in The Daily Muse 

 

Kristina's Media Mix
Articles and videos by,  about or featuring Kristina Leonardi
What I Learned Working with a Career Coach
From Passion to Profit Career Transition Support Group - Episode 1
From Passion to Profit Career Transition Support Group
Daily Muse
6 Things You Can Get from a Not-Quite Dream Job (Besides the Paycheck)

NYPL SIBL video
Pink Slips: How Losing Your Job is a Good Thing (Video)
Huffington Post article
5 Simple Steps for Finding Your Life's Purpose.

MORE ARTICLES BELOW:
InspireMag
  
Check out my articles in the July/August 2013 edition of Inspire Virtual Mag (Pages 16-17, 18-19, 32-33 and 52-53)
 
Check out three of my articles in the May/June 2013 Inspire Virtual Mag  from South Africa.  (Pages 24, 119 & 149 with contributor profile pg 16)
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You can also check out these interviews with me:

 

Contact
For more information visit www.kristinaleonardi.com

 You can also email me kleonardi@mindspring.com or call 917-816-0834

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"Kristina gave me permission to be myself!  I can say no other person has empowered me in that way as much as she has - and I am TRULY forever grateful for that.."  - Cherise R.
"Kristina conveys really important practical ideas with such passion and in a really accessible way.  Thank you! - Andrea K.