Alethea Austin, co-founder and CEO of Achieve Wellness Spa, speaks to fostering motivation and communication in the service of your team and clients. Through many adversities that have come her way, Alethea believes even tragedy can be an opportunity if we respond to it with perspective.
Focus On Building Trust
Alethea has had a strong work ethic since she was a child. She grew up in a farming community in rural Canada and has noticed how that experience continues to impact her leadership. She also recalls working at her aunt and uncle’s mining company during the summers — they were her first examples of strong leadership.
Since then, Alethea has had many experiences with a range of leadership styles, good and bad. She names some of the best characteristics:
While she works to emulate those qualities whenever possible, she actively avoids:
- Not leading by example
- Not delegating or trusting the team
- Displaying self-centered behavior
- Having more concern for money and the business than people
Poor leadership behaviors erode trust. Trust is essential for crafting a cohesive team that provides a top notch product or service. Alethea strives to listen to others and help them to feel that their thoughts matter.
Alethea has experienced devastating tragedies. From losing her young son in a tragic accident to shutting down her business amidst forest fires and floods, she has never let tragedy dishearten her or derail her mission. However, the pandemic came close. She shares that it has been the hardest tragedy for her as a leader.
[12:39] “It’s been tough, but I show up.”
It’s vital that leaders stay motivated — and simply show up. Alethea found sticking to her reading goal and taking online leadership courses gave her the motivation she needed to be there for her team.
She also relies on her spirituality to guide her and leans on her recognition that things happen for a reason.
[14:02] “I think every tragedy is an opportunity.”
One of Alethea’s most impressive strengths is her ability to glean wisdom and meaning from life’s most painful events. Her clarity of perspective has enabled her to remain focused and connected with others. This approach has propelled her mission to help others live a healthier lifestyle.
Get The Right People
If she could do one thing over from the early days of her business, Alethea says she would give more attention to the interview process and hiring the right people for the business’ culture.
[21:28] “I’d rather have fewer people that are the right people than have this huge team of people . . . [that] just doesn’t work.”
Having the right people in place fosters opportunity and loyalty. Lead in a way that makes your employees unable to imagine working somewhere else. It’s scary to get your business and leadership on the right path, but it pays off time and time again.