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Being Brave and Learning to Learn with Linda Glass of Glass Talent

Updated: Apr 5, 2020

Linda Glass has a fascinating background which has undoubtedly prepared her to be great coach. I've personally experienced her talents as she's helped me navigate through my own transitions.

In this week's "In My Network" interview, Linda covers a range of topics from being brave, learning how to adapt quickly, career transitions, and small steps you can take to move yourself forward.

How and when did we first meet?

I know we knew each other at Starbucks in early 2000’s, but really we are just getting to know each other. It’s fun to finally connect! Love that about our alums.

Before we get started, tell me a little bit about your company Glass Talent and what you do.

Wow – I LOVE what I do! Glass Talent is my coaching practice. Leaders come to me when they are facing a new level of leadership, taking on a bigger role or trying to figure out what’s next. I get the honor of helping them cut through the noise and focus on the behaviors that need to shift and develop for them to succeed. It’s such an honor to work with these high-growth companies and coach their leaders through such pivotal points in their careers and lives.

In this time of complex systems and rapid change, what are the most important skills for leaders today?

Learn how to learn, adapt and apply quickly. As a distance runner on a team, I’m sure you recognize how critical this is to your success. Didn’t meet your desired time? Conditions change? You immediately turn to your team and your head coach to learn what needs to shift. It might mean you need to develop a new skill, partner differently. It’s a normal and critical part of you achieving your goals. Quick learning with an ability to synthesize and act with appropriate risk is vital. Leaders need to be continually aware and intentional around learning for both themselves and their teams. And all of this requires vulnerability.

Is that why you spent time with Brené Brown becoming an expert in her research around courage and vulnerability?

Definitely. I was drawn to Brené and her work, one because her work is backed by solid research. But even more so, she was able to identify the observable and therefore, teachable and measurable behaviors that are required for courage. It all starts with vulnerability. And no, it’s not about crying. It’s not about oversharing. It’s about being authentic, open and practicing empathy – for yourself and for others. Something I think you and I saw as key ingredients to our rapid growth and success while we were at Starbucks. Weaving her research into my coaching practice has been tremendous.

As people expand their scope or go to that next level leadership, what is the biggest development challenge?

Well it’s funny. You build up competency and confidence and that gets you promoted. And the moment you step into the new role, the baseline is reset. You are a freshman in many ways again – so being open to what you don’t know and back to my earlier comment – learning, learning, learning while being vulnerable. Also, the broader your scope and higher your level of responsibility, it’s less about you getting the ball across the finish line, but seeing the potential in those on your team and coaching them to success. It’s important to resist the urge to fall back into your comfort zone of doing and becoming more of a coach.

How can leaders encourage and reward team members for being courageous and sticking their neck out there, especially with an unpopular topic? No one wants to get skewered...

I love this question. Don’t expect anyone to do this unless you are willing to do it yourself. Stick your own damn neck out. Fall down. Make mistakes. Have discussions. Normalize the practice of sharing and learning. Make it a constant – not an elusive threat like a Yeti.

Besides companies hiring you, you mentioned you’ve had an increase in individuals hiring you for career coaching. What are people seeking?

It’s been really fascinating because every person has come to me with a strong desire to change, but overwhelmed around where to start. Is it my job? And since you are wired to quickly find a solution to get rid of that discomfort, you start doing what I call the external data dumpster diving – searching on LinkedIn or Indeed. RESIST THE URGE! The key is to start with what’s most important to you. What are your values? Strengths? What are your life and work requirements? What is marketable? Then when you start entertaining possibilities you are vetting them against YOUR criteria and making intentional decisions that will best support your life needs. I love being a guide in that process.

What's one thing someone can try today to practice being braver at work or in their career?

Being brave at work or in your career happens in micro moments of connection and learning. Start small - Ask yourself, what is one thing I can do today that will help me make progress in building stronger, more trusting relationships? Such as… ask a peer you admire to have coffee. Ask him/ her advice on a project. Seek to learn. Connect with someone on LinkedIn that has a career you are interested in. Ask him/ her if she’d give you 20 minutes of their time to learn more about what they do in the spirit of networking. Seek to learn. Every day and often.

It's time for our rapid fire round!

  • What you are listening to or watching right now: Podcasts: I am Beyond Barriers and Ready Pause Go; Youtube: SLEW

  • Your life mantra: Practice compassion

  • Favorite pastime: Painting and procrastibaking

  • One word your family would use to describe you: Kind (I hope!) and funny (or maybe I just think that)

  • One thing on your bucket list: Hmmm… have my own gallery show!

Learn more about Linda by checking out her website or admiring her artistic expression at

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