204: Tara Lynn Foster on Situational Confidence
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Tara Lynn Foster is a leadership development speaker, consultant and coach. After twenty years climbing the corporate ladder, she took the risk to start a new career helping other professionals push past barriers and accelerate success in practical and meaningful ways. Tara has presented concepts of confidence, charisma and leadership to audiences ranging from Fortune 500 companies to regional organizations and non-profits. When she isn’t speaking, consulting or coaching, Tara enjoys spending time at home with her husband and three kids – or on a sandy shore in a beach chair alone with a pen and paper, contemplating her future best-seller.
Playing Small Moment
Tara had a goal while she was in corporate to have an executive role by the time her oldest was in kindergarten. She achieved this goal with a job within the same financial institution that she went after without knowing all of the details, but she was thrilled. On a day that it was her responsibility to pick up her children from daycare, as her husband was in study group, she was told she could not leave work until everything was finished. After informing her boss of these terms, she received a look and was asked why her husband couldn’t pick up the children. At that point, she knew her role was threatened and she had to continue to prove that she was reliable and capable of doing the job. If she was playing big, she would have realized that role was not right for her.
The Wake Up Call
Tara knew she was unhappy with her current role in the corporate world, and hired an executive coach. Tara was overwhelmed with life and unhappy at her job and she remembered driving to work, praying for just one happy moment in her day because her job was sucking the life out of her. Tara attended a women’s leadership conference and had major realizations. In the midst of a meditation exercise, where Tara was asked to focus on moments that brought her pure joy and laughter, she kept drawing a blank. In another exercise, she found that the fear of not having money from childhood experiences was what was holding her back. Tara spoke with her friend and her friend pushed her to make the jump. That Thursday evening, after the talk with her friend, Tara called her husband and confided in him about her need to change her life. He was supportive and kind, and not alarmed by this decision. On Monday morning, Tara made that risky move she had been dreading for five years, and started her new journey.
Style of Leadership
Tara takes an inclusive approach that is dynamic in nature. She loves to make things as interesting as possible. It’s important to Tara to be relational and empathetic, and to understand the perspective of those around her. She is also very focused and has a process driven mind, where solving problems becomes a puzzle she strives to solve.
What Are You Excited About?
Tara is excited about adding a new certification to her business to take the concept of personal branding and make it come alive in practical and useful way. She wants to help people take their slogan they could use on LinkedIn and push it past those boundaries into something completely new. This new certification will work with business teams and individual clients, as well.
Biggest Leadership Challenge
Tara’s first challenge is finding time to have time to maintain her family, marriage and social life while also running her business as a solopreneur. Because Tara does everything by herself, and is also trying to tackle this new project, she is struggling to find time to make it all happen.
Secondly, Tara is starting to realize more and more that she needs to incorporate her faith more into her business. She has always relied so much on her faith, that she hopes she can translate that into her daily work. Tara knows this may mean her clients will change, and she may have to niche more, but it is worth it for her to be her authentic self in her work.
Tara has a morning ritual that is critical to getting her attitude right and starting day right. First, she writes down five things each day that she is grateful for. Tara also reads scripture and meditates on that, while writing some notes down on how she can apply that scripture to her day. Lastly, she adds a little bit of time for prayer before starting her day. That quiet time in the morning is so important for her to ground herself and start the day off in the best way possible.
Advice For Younger Self
Tara believes that so much of what happens to us helps us become who we are. Of course, Tara wishes at times that she had known more, but wouldn’t change a thing. When she really thinks about it, she would listen more. Tara thinks that she really could have done better if she was more observant of the people and world around her and more empathetic. “Work hard and look forward, but be present. Enjoy where you are.”
“Fear is stupid, so are regrets.” ~ Marilyn Monroe
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Phillipains 4:6-7
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