I’m currently in graduate school at Gonzaga University, studying Organizational Leadership. This past spring, I took a class on Transformational Leadership. The class explored the lives of Malcolm X, Gandhi, and others. I set a hypothesis at the beginning of the class – to be a great leader, you must undergo some sort of transformation. Believing that transformation leads us to understanding ourselves better, opens our minds to other experiences and thoughts and allows us to interact with others without judgment. And that those who see life in that light are the type of people who make good leaders. This melded perfectly with my purpose in life which to help others achieve their goals. From that the message for the podcast started taking shape.
The podcast began as a tool for those seeking to become leaders, whether at work, in their community or in their life. Lead with Purpose was the first title, but it felt too rigid. I wasn’t quite sure what I was creating, and I wanted to leave the most space in which I could experiment. In June I took a storytelling class and that helped me narrow down the format I wanted to pursue. I didn’t just want a conversation, I wanted to be able to plant insight and connection alongside of the story. I also learned that when a story can parallel our life experience we have more insight into the message, versus just being told what to do. For it is only in ourselves that can make change occur.
Looking back on my own life I saw the changes I had been making and saw that it was the stories that my friends shared of their own lives that helped me through challenging times. Hearing how they looked at the challenges they faced and the mental mindsets they had in place I could see that by looking at my own situation with a new perspective I could find new solutions.
It was on a drive from Utah to Iowa and back later that month when I settled on a new name for the podcast – STRETCH. Stretch is an action, a verb. The name is asking you to do something and that is exactly what I wanted my podcast to do. I want it to ask others to stretch – to make changes in their lives that will have positive impacts and possibly change their navigation. Change equals a process that can lead to transformation, and this process takes small steps – stretches – to get you from where you are now to where you want to go.
I hope you join me on my journey of sharing stories and insights that will broaden your perspective and encourage you to stretch along the way. I hope you take time to subscribe and listen.
Most of all I hope you enjoy!