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Laurie Gerber

Laurie Gerber

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

I am Head Coach at Handel Group® Life Coaching and have been an executive in the company for the last 14 years, helping to grow the company into a thriving and vibrant team of world-class executive life coaches. The Handel Method® is taught at MIT, Stanford School of Business, NYU, NYC public schools and over 35 institutions of learning across the world, as well as at small and large companies around the world. Currently I am focused on reaching as many people as possible to teach them the core principles of The Handel Method and inspire them to use tools to design a life filled with love, success, and activism. Our most popular tools include: how to dream, debunking excuses, how to stick to a plan, and (my favorite!) Personal Integrity®, defined as the alignment of the head (plan) with the body (actions) to fulfill on the heart (the dream).

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

My favorite memory with Ellevate Network took place over the first two live events I led in Los Angeles and Chicago for Ellevate members. I lead workshops all over the country and rarely have I experienced such an engaged and earnest audience with such a high degree of attention and passion. There was a high level of participation driven by members clearly intending to make changes in their life. It was extremely gratifying to be able to provide actionable tools to these very impressive women. I’m a member because I want to empower and contribute (and be contributed to!) by this caliber of person and community.

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

When I was in my early 30’s I had checked off a lot of boxes: married, apt in NYC, 2 little kids, ran my own business, made my own hours. Most would say that list should equal happiness, especially after all the therapy, courses, yoga, and self-help books I’d been through to help me achieve those things! Unfortunately, I wasn’t happy. I was overweight, addicted to sugar, not sleeping well, not parenting well, no longer intimate with my husband, and I was essentially a workaholic who was unfulfilled at work.

My friend Lauren Handel Zander had a similar life to mine but she was almost literally buoyant. She saw no conflict between building a business that could change the world and being an awesome parent and wife and she was full of vitality. I hired her to coach me and she taught me the Handel Method. Within 6 months we had addressed every issue on my list: I got into the best shape of my life, quit sugar, saved my marriage and got myself a sex life, got my kids and myself back sleeping and got to work figuring out my career path. It didn’t take me long to realize I wanted to do for others what she had done for me. I trained to be a coach and magically a role as an executive in the life coaching division opened up just when it was perfect timing for me to leave my executive role at my former business.

Everything Lauren taught me stayed with me for last 13 years and I still use it everyday. I am blessed to also be able to teach it every day, which keeps it fresh!

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Creating positive change in people's lives. I get to teach people how to shift their lives into a higher gear and make their dreams into realities.

What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?

A more peaceful, loving and just society in which we take beautiful care of ourselves, each other, and the planet itself.

What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?

When I was redefining my career path there were a few key ingredients I knew I needed: -The feeling I was making a real positive impact on people and the planet. -A high level of challenge and engagement: I get bored easily and this job keeps me on my toes with new challenges every day. Plus in order to teach The Handel Method, we have to “walk the talk” so the level of integrity that is demanded of me insures my life is always pretty great! -Community: working with a group of people committed to honesty, compassion and making the world better. -Flexibility: I knew I was a workaholic so working hard wouldn’t be an issue, but I wanted to work from home and get to make my own hours.

Being an executive at Handel Group fits that bill to a tee and over the years in our company my job has changed to fit what I most want to do and I am very grateful for that!

What is your morning ritual?

20 minutes of meditation, reading my mission, designing my day in writing and sending it to my team, thinking about each meeting or client and what I really want to accomplish, prepping for those meetings, checking email, 40 oz of water, make my husband and myself breakfast, and then I take my youngest kid to school in the yummy fresh air!

Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?

Work-life balance was a problem for me until my coach taught me that anything can be designed. And even though you can’t do everything, 24 hours is plenty of time in which to do the most important things with a full heart and a present mind!

My calendar is my no-fail tactic to create balance: every single thing I am committed to and desire in my life is in my calendar in a reccuring time slot--including meetings, clients, exercise, meditation, kid time, family time, husband time, sleep time, chill time, etc. If it’s not in the calendar it doesn’t exist. If the calendar reflects my values I’m all set--I just have to follow what it tells me to do. I have an agreement with myself to do just that!

What is the best career advice you ever received?

I used to believe that being a great mom and a great business leader were in competition. My coach helped me develop a new theory. I decided that the better I was at parenting, the better I’d be at work and the better I was at work, the better I’d be as a mom. In other words, that career and family helped each other vs hurt each other. My coach suggested I prove this true and I did.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?

If you have a limiting theory about your ability to be great at both work and parenting, question it. Consider there may be something missing that would make all the difference, for example a difficult conversation you may need to have with your boss, partner, or child that would open up a higher degree of teamwork and partnership. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts and sometimes us working moms want to or are addicted to trying to do it all by ourselves---not the best strategy!

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.

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