Dr. Sarah Andreas interviews Lara Currie about her leadership journey. FInd Lara at https://difficulthappens.com/
You will learn:
You maybe saying the same thing, but not communicating in a conflict situation.
Come to a yes with the other person.
Keeping your goal front of mind
Dr. Sarah Andreas: Hey, everyone. Welcome back. Today my guest is Lara Currie. She is an author, a podcaster, and trainer. I'm going to let her introduce herself a little bit more. Tell us about yourself.
Lara Currie: Hi, Sarah. Thank you so much for having me today. It's exciting to be here. Yes, like you said, I'm a podcaster. My podcast is Difficult Happens. I'm an author, my book, also Difficult Happens. I train people in high-stress, high-stakes fields like real estate, the law, finance. Frankly, I think every field is high-stress. I help them deal with conflict. Navigate through it, avoid it, and identify why it happens.
Dr. Sarah Andreas: That's awesome. How did you get started in this field?
Lara Currie: It was really a sideways thing. I started out in my early career as an investigative journalist. As that field became less viable, let's say, I then went on to private investigation. I also had a lot of nonprofit jobs at the same time, which I think are rife with conflict because you have a lot of different personalities and the obligations aren't clear. That together kind of coalesced into my desire to understand why people act and react the way that they do, and why sometimes people are stressed out or defensive for really no reason, or at least I perceived it as no reason.
Then I went on to become a guardian ad litem in the court system during high-conflict divorces. That's when it really coalesced for me where I understood how I could be a value to people. To help them understand that half the time when they were freaking out and really stressed out, they were saying the same thing as the other person. They just weren't communicating correctly, or not correctly. They just weren't communicating on the same wavelength, if you know what I mean.
Dr. Sarah Andreas: That's very interesting. Of course, my podcast is all about leadership and leadership lessons. I'd love to know what was the biggest leadership lesson that you had to learn in your career?
Lara Currie: Interesting. It's funny because I have been in leadership positions in corporate. I have also been in leadership positions as an entrepreneur, which is really hard because you're leading yourself and you are your worst employee, let me tell you. The biggest leadership lesson that I have learned is to listen. Just be quiet and listen. Don't right away discount something. Don't right away say, "Yes, but." Listen and see if you can incorporate it, but also follow your own navigation. Follow your own North Star.
Dr. Sarah Andreas: How did you learn that lesson?
Lara Currie: Trial and error. Because of the way I was raised, I'm super defensive just in general. We are a nation of defensive people. Right away, we put our guard up. However, if you can come to a yes with someone else or see something from their point of view, you can get to your goal, to your mission much faster. Just listening and also opening up yourself to a different point of view.
Even if maybe the way that the other person might want to get there isn't the way that you would get there, your goal is your mission, your intention, where you're going. If you keep that front of mind, you can get there.
Dr. Sarah Andreas: I love that. You talked briefly about how you got to where you're at today, but think back, all the way back. How did you get started at the very beginning?
Lara Currie: I had a lot of help from people around me who believed in me. I did a lot of volunteering and nonprofit. I just tried everything. It's so funny when you look back. It's like, "Okay, I was a barista and I delivered newspapers and I used to do the recycling." All these different things. You just got to try everything. Fail forward, fail fast, and fail often. I know it's kind of cliché to say that but I believe in it. Just try whatever your heart's desire. You'll learn a lesson from it, whether it's something that you end up adopting or incorporating or not.
Dr. Sarah Andreas: Yes. One of the things that we always say is that education can never hurt you. Whether it's learning how to decorate a cake or it's learning how to speak another language, it broadens your horizon somehow.
Lara Currie: Absolutely. Professional development is personal development, and personal development is professional development. Anything that you're learning helps you in all aspects of your life.
Dr. Sarah Andreas: Absolutely. What advice do you have for a young professional who-- they're trying to figure it out. They're really struggling and they're like, "Hey, I want to grow. I want to get to that next level but I'm just not sure what I'm doing or where I'm going." What advice would you give them?
Lara Currie: Two things. It's actually one thing but it's two sides of it. That is that your path is exactly the path that you're supposed to take. It may seem like you're going the wrong way, it may seem like, "Damn, I tried this and it failed," but that is the path that you are supposed to take. Hindsight is the only way that you can see that it was a clear path. It is going to happen really slow, all of a sudden. You know what I mean?
You can only truly see it when you look back and go, "Oh, of course, I had to go there before I went there." Also, everybody else who's an overnight success, no, they took a long time too, believe me.
Dr. Sarah Andreas: Yes. That's the one thing I talk about a lot, is I talk about the superhero. I call it the superhero theory where we see superheroes on TV or the knight in shining armor and it takes them literally five minutes to figure something out. Our brain really has this preconceived notion that if I don't succeed in five minutes, I'm a failure.
Lara Currie: Right. Everything that you try. Like this podcasting. I've been podcasting for a little over a year and I almost have it right. I've been doing an hour long weekly show for-- I'm on episode 53 now, and I still haven't gotten my processes right. I still forget the Canva graphic upload. I still have to get on the and then say, "What the heck tags." The more you learn, once you look back, you'll be like, "Oh, yes, that was easy." You forget, no, that was 12 to 13 months of hard labor, but it's worth it. It's worth it.
Dr. Sarah Andreas: Yes, absolutely. What else should we know about you before we finish up today?
Lara Currie: That I'm a bit of a nerd. I love science fiction. If you read my book, it will be-- I pay homage to a whole bunch of my favorite sci-fi books. I'm sick today, I don't know why I added that in there.
Dr. Sarah Andreas: I love it. If somebody was interested in your book, because I think this topic is so important, especially right now. Even everybody, but especially for young people who are just really starting to figure out their career and they're butting up against difficult situations. Where would they find your book?
Lara Currie: I'm at Amazon and also you can go to my website, difficulthappens.com. The full name of the book is Difficult Happens: How Triggers, Boundaries and Emotions Impact You Every Day. One of the things that it does is it takes a look at you as a human being at work, at home, and in life. We are, we're human beings, and conflict comes up. Frankly, internal conflict comes up more often. I spend a lot of time in the book dealing with that. I'm everywhere on socials, @difficulthappens. Come check me out.
Dr. Sarah Andreas: Awesome. Thank you so much for being here today and sharing your wisdom with us.
Lara Currie: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. This was fun.
Dr. Sarah Andreas: If you enjoyed this podcast, make sure you subscribe. That way you can hear new podcasts that come out every week. Embrace your journey and we'll talk to you next week.