Live and Lead for Impact with Kirsten E. Ross

Be a person who follows through on commitments.  It will require you to be more intentional about what you say yes and no to.  

If you give yourself wiggle room it is easy to say an immediate yes and then figure it out later on the fly.  You can end up overwhelmed and filled with remorse as you hide from those you've let down.


Are you struggling with difficult relationships?

Head over to:

Direct download: ep_138_F_it_for_Impact_-_Fulfill_Your_Commitments.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Khalil Thompson

Empowered Readers Literacy Project

Khalil is a husband, father of 2 girls and a serial Enabler of Good. He was born in Oakland, came of Age in New Orleans, and became an adult in Atlanta.

Khalis is on a mission to help families build strong reading rituals.  Not teach people to read, but grow people who are excited about reading.  Give parents the tools to build the fun of reading into daily life by providing fun activities and also access to diverse books.  They focus on families with children from birth through age 8.

Khalil’s daughter is the inspiration for his work.  She came home from kindergarten one day feeling very sad that some children couldn’t read.  She was heartbroken that some kids didn’t have access to quality books.  Khalil and his wife tried to explain that every family is different.  His daughter didn’t like this answer. 

When Khalil and his wife started researching the issue they learned that literacy was directly tied to stats for time in prison.  Two thirds of children who are not reading well by the third grade will end up on welfare or in jail.  And the school dropout rate is high.  And, that prisons actually plan for jail space based on the dropout rates for an area.

Now they too were inspired to do something about this issue!  And that’s how Empowered Reader’s was born.

They are now encouraging reading in 3 main ways:

Books on the Green – outdoor reading or theatre depicting stories.

Educate Parents about fun reading activities.  Help to create reading rituals before age 3.

Books for Kids through free neighborhood libraries, books into homes through pediatrician offices and also Books for Kids by Kids in the neighborhood.

Khalil shared that he had just taken the leap of faith by turning in notice with his employer so that he could fully focus on the nonprofit. 

His words of wisdom for others, “You can either let tough times box you in or be the wind that moves you.  Have a vision and you can get there.”

Direct download: Khali_Thompson_Interview.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

If you are leading for impact you are not working for someone else.  No one will stand over your shoulder and tell you what to do.  And, you may be working from home where the laundry and dishes beckon, the tv sits there, neighbors are near and invites call..  It's important to create structure that builds in accountability.

Direct download: ep_136_F_It_for_Impact_Form_Your_Foundation.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Girl Boss Sports - An Interview with Sarah Wolfer

Sarah Wolfer is the CEO and Founder of Girl Boss Sports - a Greater Seattle area soccer company that is devoted to female athletes and coaches. Sarah is also a Professional Tackle Football Player with the
Seattle Majestics (#29) and is working on a book centered on women in leadership and sports in 2019.

As a female soccer player a turning happened when a male soccer coach got in her face and was very aggressive. She started crying and was kicked out of practice. She quit playing for a while and is not determined to encourage more women to become soccer coaches. And, she wants even more girls to play the game. She uses the sport to teach beyond the techniques. She teaches leadership and other life skills from the field.

A key to success, she says, is to have a great support system. Her husband and teammates are part of her strong support team. She also has an accountability call every Tuesday night. It’s also very important to engage in good self care. Get good sleep, find ways to feel inspired, listen to great music.

It’s okay to be scared! She was terrified before her first football practice. She did it anyway! One strategy she strongly recommends is the Power Pose that she calls the Fearless Girl Stance. Spend 2 minutes in the pose while saying positive affirmations and you’re ready!

Direct download: Girl_Boss_Sports_Interview_with_Sarah_Wolfer.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

F it For Impact - Fuel Your Fortitude  #1 In a Series

  • Commit and just don’t quit – Don’t give yourself the out – Table the Decision – don’t waste time pondering
    • Every day I learn new things
    • It will get easier
    • I will find a way
    • I haven’t tried all the possible ways yet
    • Play it like a game - have fun while you try new things – see what you can make happen

Here are the trip ups to avoid to help you fuel your fortitude

  • Know that Perfect Timing is a Myth – Sometimes you have the commitment BUT – you need to commit to action – NOT just committing to commit – Don’t delay action until you feel ready – get in research mode- feel like you have to have it all figured out first - you won’t know everything until you just do it – It’s okay to figure things out as you go – unitl the kids are back in school or the sun begins to shine - WRITING MY FIRST BOOK
  • Instant Gratification is Mostly a Myth
    • Bill Gates said, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in 10.
    • Impact takes time – commit to the specific steps you must take daily, weekly, monthly and just keep going.
      • If you have kids you know you had to wait for that first smile – that first little positive reinforcement while you fed, changed, burped, walked…..
      • Blogging, podcasting – anything where you are working to connect with people – can feel like it’s going out into a black hole – invisible – but…often people are watching, noticing….it takes time
      • Most famous people had years of struggle before you knew them. Much of what you see is the end result of years of sacrifice – to US it’s instant fame but that is rarely the reality
    • Your Why – I have my Objectives – WHY I participate in Network Marketing – Not heart centered – more practical – and then my WHY – Objectives also help and can be good when speaking to people – different things to pull from:
      • Solo Preneur 15 years – provides a team of goal oriented people into personal development – hard to find – NM provides that environment
      • Help More People – Coach, Speak, Motivate
      • An additional Stream of Income –

And then the WHY – Heart Centered – More than money – what that money or time freedom can do – MUST include an element of serving others – When speaking with others they need to feel that a part of your purpose is about them – This will also have you speak in a way that gives them freedom to say yes or no – to decide for themselves if it’s right for them.

  • Run Your Own Race – don’t compare -
  • Burn the Boat – Remove other options - earn the auto bonus, get the car
    • Downturn in the economy – single mom and business owner – started also looking for a job – realized – needed full focus on biz – couldn’t get my heart into working for someone else – my time and energy was divided – full force – highest earnings to date that next year
Direct download: Ep_134_F_It_for_Impact_First_in_a_Series.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 5:54pm EDT


We Are More Similar than We Know – He’s On a Mission to Ignite Unity Through our Stories

An Interview with Kenneth Williams Jr.

Kenneth recently graduated from Michigan State University with a Master's degree in Public Relations and a specialization in Nonprofit Fundraising.

In the fall of 2017, Kenneth was selected to be a Forbes under 30 Scholar.

Kenneth earned his Bachelor's Degree in Communication with a minor in Leadership and Integrated Learning from Michigan State University in May of 2016. He has extensive experience in various sectors of Public Relations including nonprofits, technology and crisis communication. Additionally, Kenneth has studied abroad in Mexico, Belize and China whilst also being a published author.  He was also on MSU’s Homecoming Court.

He contributed a section to an anthology published by the MSU libraries.

Kenneth’s mission is to connect people through story telling.  He is passionate about the power of shared experiences.  He has spent his life writing and sharing stories and learned early that, even when people seem very different, they can connect when they see themselves through someone else’s experiences.

One of his biggest challenges was dealing with the loss of his grandfather, who was always his biggest cheerleader.  He also struggles to maintain a good sense of his worth.  He works to know his value without feeling arrogant.

To overcome tough times he prayers every day.  His favorite verse is Luke 12:32.  He knows that he should not have fear.  God seeks to bless him beyond what he can imagine.

He encourages others to learn to love themselves and says that no one should curb their brilliance out of fear of fueling someone else’s insecurities.  –Be Boss-

For A Free Relationship Renovation Roadmap Tool Visit:

Direct download: EP_133_Kenneth_Williams_Jr.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Do you set goals and fall short of meeting them?

Do you make promises to co-workers or volunteers and then fail to follow through?

Are daily choices inconsistent with the outcomes you say you’d like to create in your work or life?

You are not alone. Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution to get to the gym 4 times per week or a commitment to an employee that you’ll be better at delegating tasks with a reasonable amount of lead time, we humans have a tough time breaking bad habits and implementing the new and improved.

We have great intentions. We just get stuck. And before we know it 5 months have passed without any noticeable change or personal growth.

So, based on the title of this episode you might be thinking, “oh yay! She’s going to tell me it’s okay. Everyone does it anyway. Move on and just be okay with how things are.”

Sorry. That’s not the emphasis today.

Yes, I will still encourage you to stop beating yourself up when you fail to meet a goal or a deadline. However, the reasoning is different. If you’ve been listening for a while or have worked with me you know that I’m all about defeating drama. Beating yourself up is just a waste of time. And it shifts your focus away from meeting your objective.

You see, when you are calling yourself names and mentally berating yourself, where is your focus? On you and how bad you are.

Is this motivating? No.

Is this time spent on creating a new plan that DOES move you towards your goals? NO.

Beating yourself up is just self-induced drama. It shifts your focus away from where it needs to be; on making the plan you must implement to meet your objectives.

And, too often our berating tends to lend the opportunity to give ourselves a pass.  Do any of these sound familiar?

  • I do this every time. I’m just not cut out to be successful.”
  • Why bother even trying? I’m just setting myself up for failure.
  • I have no will power.
  • I’m a complete loser!
  • I suck

Our mental beat down can become an excuse, a long term justification.

And how motivated do you feel while engaging in this kind of negative self talk?   Get over yourself and get on with it!

Now, I don’t want you to completely skip over the feeling of disappointment or the loss of what could have been. Experience the pain to motivate you to new momentum. So, notice it quickly but don’t park there. Don’t let a disappointment become a long term beat down.

When a client shares their story of a missed deadline or failed commitment my first question is always, “how does it feel?”

If it’s a failed commitment to another person I also want them to think how that person might feel or what their team might be saying to each other. I also ask them to think about how they might feel if someone failed to follow through for them in the same way.

This helps build the motivation for change. The goal is to reignite the commitment.

From there we move quickly to, “Now, what do you want to do about it?”

  • What did you learn? This is an important question. Perhaps you can glean some additional information about structure required to pull off the change. Are there ways to build in hourly, daily or weekly accountability? Do you need a tracking system? A notorious strategy for dieting is to keep a food journal so that dieters are conscious fo what’s going in their mouths. A tally of calories can be an eye opening experience. Information and facts are so helpful to maintain motivation.
  • Is there any clean up you must do as a result? Any apologies or acknowledgements to make? Is trust eroding or disappointment building between you and others? Acknowledgement and an apology go a long way to rebuilding trust and igniting hope.
  • How will you reaffirm your commitment to yourself or others to create accountability?
  • What actions will you take to keep your commitment?
  • What do you need to create logistically to succeed?
  • What progress, if any, did you make? Was there any forward momentum? Any positive steps? If so, take a moment to celebrate.


If you’re like most of my clients you have big dreams and a hearty list of goals to tackle. You have a vision for the difference you want to make. Don’t get in your own way. Break those goals into manageable stepping stones and create the positive mindset that you WILL make them happen one daily choice at a time.

And, if a bump in the road happens caused by you or something out of your control you’ll keep on keeping on. Your plans are too important to give up on!

Remember, the world needs your unique impact!  Go do it!

Direct download: Episode_132_Stop_Beating_Yourself_Up.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Tracey Maxfield is a nurse with over 36 years’ experience. She experienced her first episode of clinical depression in her twenties and lived with chronic depression ever since. However, nothing prepared her for the acute depressive episode she experienced in 2015. After enduring years of intense work place stress, harassment and bullying, she plummeted into an abyss of darkness, hopelessness and despair the likes of which she had never experienced before.

Encouraged by a psychologist, Tracey started a Blog, Escaping the Rabbit Hole: my life with depression, to better help her friends understand her depression. Over time, Tracey began to heal and found that out of the darkness and despair, there is hope, there is life after depression.

Since the release of her book, Escaping the Rabbit Hole: my journey through depression (, Tracey has become a staunch advocate for Mental Illness and Mental Health Awareness and Bullying and completed the course, Bringing Mental Health to Schools. She has met with teenagers ages 11 to 15 years to talk about bullying and mental illness and has appeared on numerous podcasts in the USA, Canada and UK, live radio shows and ABC KOMO News 4, KSHV 45, and NBC News 6 television shows. In June, Tracey was featured in a series of articles by HelloCare magazine in Australia.

In September, Tracey embarked on a new life journey, she sold her home, donated most of her possessions to various charities and made a commitment to try and make a difference in the world and is spending six months traveling in the USA, talking about mental illness and bullying in children and teenagers. Her philosophy is to Engage children and teenagers, to Educate them about mental illness and bullying and to Empower them to develop confidence and skills to continue to move ahead in their own life journey.

Tracey completed the Global 7/7 Challenge and recorded 7 days/7 videos on mental illness and bullying in children and teenagers In February, Tracey is heading to Kansas and Florida to appear on TV/radio shows and give talks at local schools.

She is also one of the ‘Break Out’ presenters at the TEACH 2019 Conference in Jacksonville, Florida on March 2, 2019.

Direct download: Tracey_Maxfield_Inverview.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

So often when I’m working with clients they share the list of things they’d love to make happen in their lives….. closely followed by all of the excuses for why they cannot start.  Often the excuse list can be boiled down to one short phrase, “The timing is not perfect.”

If this is you, I hate to break it to you but, as for perfect timing….…there is no such thing! 

If you want to live and lead for impact, you’ve got to know this to your core!  If not, you’ll waiting a long time for your impact and so will the world!

I have a good friend who is a project manager for a large, international company.  They pull the best of the best of the best to work on their projects….the best minds, best talent, best resources from across the world.  And, even they have never found the perfect time or had the perfect launch.

I look back on my life and there were MANY times when I just pushed forward rather than pressing pause when timing was far from perfect and I can say with certainty I have no regret about starting when I did for any of them

For instance, I remember deciding to write my first book. 

At the time, I knew nothing about writing or publishing.  I didn’t even know how many words or 8 ½ x 11 pages in a Word document would equal enough pages for a book.  I had to call a friend who’d recently had a book published through Wiley, Corey Perlman.  I asked him….so, how do you know when you have enough content?

He shared the number of words he’d been given as a goal and the number he’d ended up with.  Based on the information he shared, I decided I’d celebrate as soon as I hit 25,000 words.  When I did and still had plenty more to write about I knew I had a book! 

I still had a lot more to figure out beyond the word count too: Self Publish or look for a traditional publisher, editing, covers, formatting, indexing and more.

I was also a single mom with 2 young boys.  None of this made it the optimal time.

So, I just started.  I didn’t focus on any of the end of project tasks and instead just made a commitment to get up every morning at 5:30 AM to write. 

My first book came out in 2010, the next, 2012, then 2016 and 2017.  And, each time it has gotten easier and easier because I’ve learned so much along the way that I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t just started.

Similarly, when I was part of a team starting a ministry we talked about delaying launch until we did some more research, tweaked a bit more. But, the truth was, there really wasn’t more to learn from research.  Many of our questions could only be answered by doing.  There would never be a perfect time.

And then when I think about starting my coaching business almost 15 years ago.  Talk about not the perfect time…and yet, I’ve loved every minute of it and know that I’ve positively impacted so many people and companies. 

I started that business on the heels of an abusive marriage!  I’d spent years being berated and told I was worthless, lazy and a sham.  I was about to be a new single mom and had no family support.  The income from my new business needed to support myself and two young boys.

My ducks weren’t in a row, they were all over the place! 

And, yet….I started.  I had spoken to a few trusted advisors in my life and they had helped me identify my unique abilities. I took a self study course, created a business name and website and launched!

A couple of years ago I added a second business as an extra income source.  It’s well aligned with what I was already doing and I loved that I would have the chance to spend time with motivated, goal-oriented people, something that I miss, at times, while working for myself.

My kids were both going through major health challenges. Once again, it was not the optimal time to launch a new endeavor or meet a new team.  But….I jumped.

These are just a few examples.  I’m sure I could share more.  But you get it.

I can tell you that in not one instance do I regret moving forward during a time when things were far from perfect.

And, I know I’ve made an impact on this world each time I moved past discomfort to start or create a new something when it wasn’t the perfect time.

What if I’d robbed the world of my impact while I waited for all the stars to align?

What have you been pressing pause on?  Is it something for you, your family or your health?  Maybe it’s something you’d like to learn or train for, a trip you’d like to take.  Is there a new business on your brain?

Whatever it is just start!  The Perfect time will never happen.  Why is today’s barrier to perfection any worse than the one you’ll have tomorrow?

Don’t rob the world of your plan, don’t rob your life of your plan.

To what will you commit to today to put your plan in action? 

Today commit to taking the first step and tomorrow take one more.  Before you know it you’ll be well on your way and looking back with a feeling of satisfaction and a smile.  Impact made or lessons learned.  Either way a life enriched by a chance you took.