Change Maker Moments with Melinda Estabrooks
Melinda Estabrooks is the creator, executive producer and host of the Canadian women show, See Hear Love . Her career spans over 25-years of broadcast, motivational speaking, and advocacy experience. In this episode, Melinda and Ellen discuss isolation in leadership, that it’s okay to say ‘no’ to avoid burnout, and the hard and important work of inclusivity and connectivity.
Haven’t listened to episode 011, yet? Listen and access the show notes here or search for The Change Makers Podcast on your favourite listening app.
3 Insights from Melinda
1. Leadership doesn’t have to be isolating.
When we envision leaders, we often think of a person with a large network of relationships and connections. If that’s the case and leaders are seemingly more connected than ever, why does leadership feel so isolating? Leaders are facing problems of feeling alone in their leadership – but it doesn’t have to be this way. It takes courage and confidence to connect with others and it’s something you have to do. As Melinda said, leaders who are isolated need to make the call and reach out to others and go to that networking event, that dinner, that Zoom call. These are the places where you will make connections and meet people who are like-minded that can help you in areas of your leadership so that you end up feeling less alone.
2. It’s okay to say no.
Melinda cautioned against saying ‘yes’ too much. She shared, “I want to be the person that’s the ‘yes’ person but that has not been healthy and has caused quite a bit of problems for me. When you say ‘yes’ too much and you don’t have margins, you get burnt out, and then you’re out for a while.”
Sound familiar? Striving for success is what leaders do but if they don’t leave time to recover, sheer exhaustion can creep in. Rather than saying ‘yes’ and putting more on your to-do list, take a moment to check your capacity and leave time for self-care. Melinda expressed the importance of making intentional choices to be healthy and focus on what’s important. She has learned that her responsibility is to manage herself, self-care and what God has called her to do. That’s it.
3. Inclusivity and connectivity are hard – but important – work for leaders.
No one likes to feel left out. As God adopts everyone into His own family, no one is ever left out, and it’s a principle Melinda has taken into her own life and work. Melinda’s personal story is filled with moments of inclusion; from men who believe in equal opportunity for women in the Church, to those who supported her through difficult seasons.
Connectivity and inclusivity are important elements of leadership. Life is hard and unexpected and as a leader, you’ll face devastating losses and uncharted territory, and you cannot do the work you do without people. We must remember that we were never created to do life alone, or to be isolated, which is why God created people. He created families, friendships and churches for His community, because He know that we shouldn’t – and can’t – be alone.
Take the first step and recognize your unconscious bias and be humble about it. Inclusion brings about diversity and diversity is proven to make organizations thrive. Being inclusive is not just the right things to do, but it’s the smart thing ever leader should do.
Want to hear the full conversation? Click here to listen in and hear Ellen and Melinda’s honest conversation.