Giving yourself permission to grow first, then take others with you
Kelcey Summers is the President of Service Business Evolution (SBE), a training and coaching company specifically dedicated to organizations and contractors in the air conditioning and heating industry. SBE was born out of a larger HVAC company that did heating and cooling work—SBE was created to help organizations find the same success they did through training and coaching.
Kelcey’s journey has taken her from an initial role as a sales manager to the president of an organization. However, she’s humble enough to acknowledge that it wouldn’t have been possible without continuous self development and the accountability that came from her mentor.
It was her mentor that led her to her journey with Intently that ultimately “changed the game.” This mentor of Kelcey’s even stated the most growth he’s seen in the last 8 years working with her, was when she began working with Intently. By helping Kelcey to organize and develop more powerful communication she’s been able to create a path moving forward without being weighed down by what’s happening around her.
Kelcey was truthful, everyone starts somewhere and for her she started with 1:1 coaching with Intently. That experience impacted her so deeply, that when asked to join Intently’s newest offering at the time, Kelcey was immediately on board—but with the mind set that she would contribute more than gaining. But, more than anything, she was at a place in her career where she wanted to meet other leaders, get to know them, and learn from them in order to continue her story and her growth.
She’d get that, and so much more.
When you hear the term group coaching, your immediate thought is that it’s a one size fits all approach and that you’re lumped together with your cohort. Intently’s Loyal Leaders Lab group coaching experience was the complete opposite. Kelcey did not expect the sessions to have such a clear focus on her as an individual, and likewise to the rest of the group. By design, the cohort was enabled to share and develop themselves by offering up, not being asked. Christina, CEO of Intently was truly facilitating an environment that was meant to explore themselves over time. This format was different from any other group Kelcey had attended. She was able to focus on herself, but also how to bring that into her business as a better leader and into her personal life.
As such, Kelcey admitted that it was critical to attend each week, by going all in you don’t let yourself or the group down. The Lab is a community to speak about what’s happening and how each lesson has been implemented in both personal and work life. It also created a level of accountability—something that Kelcey craves.
Intently provided a plan for each session that the group would stick to, and follow up each lesson with homework and workbooks. This kind of accountability ensured that 1. Attendees were following through in their personal and business life and 2. Wanting to get the work done so as not to let their peers down.
Feeling heard and a part of a community is great—but what does it all mean if it hasn’t impacted you and created results and life changes every day. Kelcey went into group coaching thinking that she’d contribute, and while she did, what she left with has been much more powerful.
Organization & Accountability
Kelcey has always been challenged when it came to taking time for herself just to get organized. Because of that, it passed down to her team and she wouldn’t show up to meetings or engagements (personally or professionally) as fully “there.”
Kelcey holds herself to a high standard, sometimes to a fault—and Intently helped her realize that not everything was her burden to bear. By holding others accountable to what they need to do or what they’ve committed to she was able to free up her time and focus on staying organized and pass that to those around her.
Specifically, she made strides with creating agendas and not wasting time in meetings if not everyone was prepared by canceling and rescheduling immediately. She began to understand that her time is valuable, and that everyone needed to take accountability.
After implementing the accountability and organization into the office life, the team's feedback was that it was inspiring and turned out to be exactly what they needed and craved.
Boundaries & Permission
Kelcey is the person everyone goes to, and as such has always been the person who couldn’t say no when asked. Through the Loyal Leaders Lab, one aspect of accountability they worked on was setting and reaching the goal of the boundaries. For her she does everything for everyone and not herself—her challenge was to be at peace with saying no and not always doing all the work.
This trickled down to her team, because by taking everything on she was taking away the ability of her team to learn and grow themselves. They were stunted from doing the work, learning or failing. This was a huge takeaway for Kelcey because she implemented boundaries for herself, and for her team members.
The coaching also helped her set boundaries personally with her mother and aunt. On top of being the president of SBE, Kelcey plays a key role in the well being of her family—but it has been to the detriment of herself. Her family would have lists of things she needed to do every week or that she would need to cook meals. This was interfering with her at work and in her personal life, she was running on empty and unable to give herself time to rejuvenate.
Through the lessons and goals of the Loyal Leaders Lab she implemented one of the teachings of giving herself permission and created an alternative to helping her family. Rather than helping all week and doing it all she proposed every other weekend, for one day with the time she was prepared to spend along with help to provide other accommodations. To her surprise, even though she wasn’t used to saying no, this boundary was well received and accepted.
There’s a theme for Kelcey Summers of always doing for everyone else and feeling guilt for focusing on herself. The Loyal Leaders Lab set out to change that mindset so that she would not feel guilty about having time for herself and work on things that help her grow and be better.
Is it ever easy to get personal with strangers? Christina facilitated a space where people that didn’t know each other connected in a deep meaningful way, and that doesn’t happen by accident. Christina set the tone on day one that [they] ”don’t need to know anyone, just trust me and this group.”
Between the exercises and placement into chat rooms, you have to overcome the natural feeling of vulnerability or your time is wasted. While uncomfortable at first, the specially curated group eventually open up and share their stories through the right questions and strategically placed silence.
She learned that vulnerability can easily be looked over because everyone is feeling the same. In a specific exercise of “Strength Letters,” in which each group member asked a close person to write a letter about their super strength, the public reading encouraged you to be uncomfortable and accept it. The best part of it was that the deepest relationships come from sharing something so impactful.
Putting It Together
Many leaders aren’t always in a space to work on themselves, or perhaps they think that it’s selfish to work on their self development. What Kelcey learned through her impactful experience with Intently’s Loyal Leaders Lab is that leaders need to be in a place where they are comfortable investing in themselves to be a better person for their team, themselves, and their family.