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Holly Dowling

LISTENING IN: How she taps leaders into their creative side | Interview By: Susan Rocco

Holly Dowling, speaker, corporate facilitator and consultant, is brought into companies like Microsoft, Facebook, IBM and Wells Fargo to stand before their team and literally light them up. She does it well, which is why she’s invited by companies all over the world. Her unique approach has led companies to discover new opportunities for success and discover untapped potential and paths to leadership. Holly’s passion and enthusiasm for life was built from her own challenges in life that enabled her to see not only the potential in herself, but in others.

Stop doing, and start being. Many of us in today’s world spend much of our time running from one task to another. This constant juggling of “to do’s” ends up being a checklist rather than an experience. To take moments to learn or perform, we have to slow down. Companies today are looking for innovation, creativity and strategy daily. The best ideas are realized outside of the chaos and in moments of quiet reflection. Holly’s customized programs and keynotes for Fortune 500 companies teach her clients the best way to stop the madness and settle in to those moments where creativity flourishes — and it comes in times of simply being.

Personal development and professional development go hand-in hand. We speak often on the show about personal development versus professional development. People often shy away from the personal development in the workplace, as it may appear to be a sign of weakness. I asked Holly how she wins over the skeptics when dealing with clients that only want to focus on the work. She talked about moments she’s had with men in particular, who have actually broken down when presented with the opportunity to speak about their challenges. These breakthrough moments lead directly to a person’s success in the most unexpected ways. Holly’s work is most rewarding when she sees the transformation in someone who goes from managing their day-to-day to becoming a leader.

“It’s a privilege and an honor to be in a position to lead others.” Leaders often forget the impact they have on others. With leadership comes responsibility, so there is always a pressure to perform. The truth is, “one of the greatest things a leader can do is to give their team permission to take time for themselves,” says Holly. It is then that they are at their highest level of productivity and it becomes a win for everyone.” Instead of “work-life-balance,” it should be “work-life-boundaries.” When we put boundaries on what we chose to take on, both leaders and those around them begin to feel a sense of freedom. This freedom and lack of overwhelm opens up tremendous opportunities for creativity and performance.

To listen to the complete interview, go to www.women2watch.net and click on podcast.

Originally posted on Bizwomen.com. Philly Femfessional Susan Rocco is a weekly columnist for Bizwomen.com, The Business Journals. Sue Rocco is the founder, producer and host of Women to Watch, a live radio program and weekly podcast with a mission to inspire and encourage more women to pursue leadership roles worldwide.

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