This is Who I Am
Leadership does not need to be difficult or a chore.
Hello, I am Dr. Maria Church, CEO of Government Leadership Solutions and Corporate Leadership Solutions, but please call me Maria. My goal, purpose, and mission in life is to help leaders lead in powerful and authentic ways, influencing others toward a goal.
My job is to help you influence others with confidence and ease, increasing your leadership effectiveness.
I love working with leaders, creating and designing authentic leadership qualities, leadership traits, and approaches that are reconstructed into holistic de-compartmentalized ways into a leadership style that is true to you.
The old leadership model that taught us to compartmentalize our lives, checking our soul at the door, doesn’t work for us now – and never really did!
We are multifaceted people, living multifaceted lives. Why should that change when we go to work?
I’ll never forget the time my husband and I were in a book store ( I LOVE to read) and he commented on my varied selection. I purchased two biographies: Mother Teresa and Grace Slick. I rest my case!
We lead and live our lives on many dimensions including personal, professional, and spiritual. I like to look at leadership holistically, or in other words, leading with all aspects of our lives – mind, body, and spirit.
I have always loved leadership. Discovering the innate leadership qualities and drive within me began at the ripe old age of five when I began writing, directing, and producing neighborhood productions. As I grew up, I continued to find myself in informal leadership roles, always moving into formal leadership in business.
In Your Shoes – I’ve Walked the Talk…and Walked the Walk!
In my early twenties, I made the conscious decision to develop my leadership abilities and skills, so I earned a master’s degree in organizational management. I was hooked! I loved expanding my mind, learning theory, and discovering ways it could apply to my day-to-day activities. I continued moving up the ladder with many hits and misses in my leadership effectiveness.
I had some great teachers along the way, also known as my bosses, and I learned a great deal about leadership from many of them. Some of them showed me ways to motivate and inspire others, but perhaps the greatest teachers showed me what not to do—ever.
Burnout → What WERE You Thinking → and Back
During a time of tremendous financial and professional success in my career, I had an epiphany on my back patio that propelled me to ponder the million-dollar question: What exactly am I doing with this life and why am I here?
An excerpt from my book, Love-Based Leadership: Transform Your Life with Meaning and Abundance describes this epiphany:
I’ve done it! I accomplished whatever Mom and Dad told me I could do! I have arrived.
As the first-born of an early baby-boomer couple, my parents always told me to do what makes me happy, and remember that I could accomplish anything.
They supported my desire to pursue acting.
They supported my desire to study sign language interpretation (I liked the dramatic flair), then they encouraged my business drive.
My mother, as an early baby-boomer, always had a career. She broke through many glass ceilings and earned great respect in her profession. She was my inspiration to break on through to the other side. I have arrived.
When I moved up in my organization, and took on more responsibility, I tripled my income over a nine-month period. In addition to the money, I earned respect and a place at the table with the men. Four men, and little ol’ me. I had a place at the table in a predominately-male industry. I have arrived.
I changed my wardrobe, hair, and personal style. After all, I was in senior management. I have arrived.
I worked 80 hours a week. I was dealing in hundreds of thousands of dollars daily. I was getting little sleep with the worry. I felt important and needed. The men in my organization had come to depend on me, and my opinion. I have arrived.
I started to show symptoms of extreme stress. On my 40th birthday, the doctor put me on blood pressure medicine and told me I needed to exercise more. I had been working such long hours, that my eating habits were atrocious. Fast food, eaten even faster, became the norm. I took up smoking as a stress reliever (yes, I am an educated woman, and yes, I know the hazards of smoking). I have arrived.
One day, on my back patio after a long day at work, with a martini in one hand and a cigarette in the other, I had a thought – I have a place at the table. I have earned respect for my hard work and knowledge. I have an awesome six-figure income. I have everything the successful men have had for decades. I have 30 pounds of extra weight. I have a high-level position. I have a stressful job. I have a beautiful home. I have high blood pressure. I have a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Oh my god… I do have it all! I have arrived…
But just exactly where am I going?
I was bound and determined to answer that question. And when I did, it was too good not to share! Today, I help leaders around the world influence others with confidence and ease, discovering leadership success in personally satisfying, authentic, abundant ways—and getting results!
Dr. Maria Church, CEO of Corporate Leadership Solutions, certified professional leadership coach, and author of Love-Based Leadership: Transform Your Life with Meaning and Abundance and the upcoming book A Course in Leadership: 21 Spiritual Lessons on Leadership, Love, and Life has started a movement to revolutionize the workplace with a paradigm shift from fear to love.
Dr. Church specializes in leadership development based upon her more than 25-year career in corporate America, government, non-profits, and academia. She inspires audiences with her keynote speaking on leadership, love, and life. Her company, Dr. Maria Church International, coaches, mentors, and trains individual leaders and leadership teams worldwide.
Maria holds a doctorate of management degree in organizational leadership and currently teaches for several universities. She writes a regular newspaper column on leadership and is the host of Dr. Maria TV. Memberships include Society for Human Resource Management, International Leadership Association, National Speakers Association, American Management Association, International Women in Business, Association for Talent and Development, and the International Coach Federation. Splitting her time between Scottsdale and the canyons of Southern Arizona, Maria is working on her next book.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE classic rock and classic Motown.
My favorite songs are Tangerine (Led Zeppelin), Hey Jude, Yesterday (The Beatles), Won’t Get Fooled Again, Behind Blue Eyes (The Who), Tales of Brave Ulysses (Cream), any song on Joshua Tree (U2), Ain’t Too Proud to Beg, I Wish it Would Rain, My Girl (The Temptations), and Heard it Through the Grapevine (Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight’s versions) OK, I could go on and on…
Born on July 31 makes me a Leo. That explains so much!
My favorite movies are To Sir with Love, Almost Famous, Imagine, The Doors, the made for TV movie The Temptations, and just about any rockumentary.
Married to my soul mate and mom to the most incredible young woman.
Love to meditate, rock-out, swim, read, and read some more.
My motto: Life is full of choices.
“Dr Maria is an excellent mentor and leader. I have been able to attend three of her talks and came away a better person as well as with new skills to continue learning.”
– Lee Swearengin, President, Association of Arizona Healthcare Volunteers