The Latina Book Club is proud to be part of Ellen Castro’s Condor Book Tour. We like that Ellen has come up with 52 Ways for people to build trust, stay positive and flourish. Read all about this “Chief Energizing Officer” and her new book. And, for a full listing of the tour stops, see end of interview below. ---mcf
Q: You seem to be a very spiritual person. Please tell us a little about yourself and where your faith and positivity come from. Why is trust so important to you that it is the basis of your book?
A: I am a spiritual person. If not for my belief in God, I probably would be depressed, an alcoholic or dead. My mom was bi-polar, totally unstable and mentally ill. She committed suicide when I was 17. With a sixth grade education and heavy thick Mexican barrio accent, my dad broke through the poverty cycle for his family. None of his many successes were ever enough because he could not comprehend he was already enough. Dad was a genius in creating beauty, his style impeccable and world class. He was also totally self-absorbed, depressed and a raging, mean-spirited alcoholic machismo male. His mother committed suicide when he was 17.
I’ve used positivity to survive and now thrive! What you say about your life impacts the direction of your life. Being positive and believing that everything works out for good has given me the courage to become the person I am.
Trust is gigantic for me. And thus, I write what I most had to learn – God has a sense of humor. My life changed dramatically when I realized that life was for me regardless of appearances. My childhood was not punishment but preparation to do what I do today which is to give hope and encourage others to live from their greatness.
Next to God, the most important person you need to trust is yourself. Learning to trust myself is a continual journey. What I know for sure though, the more I trust myself the more others will trust me because I come from a place of inner confidence knowing I’ve done the right thing. The 52 ways were my way of learning to become trustworthy to myself and to others. My sincerest desire – with fingers and toes crossed – is to make others’ path easier, lighter and brighter. I have enough gray hairs for us all!
Q: What is new and different about the third expanded edition of your book, SPIRITED LEADERSHIP: 52 WAYS TO BUILD TRUST? Why not write another one?
A: I was compelled to write the third edition based considering today’s intense and interesting times were competence is not enough to succeed in business or life. It’s all about the relationships with people and your people smarts.
The third edition is better and expanded because I am better. I have 15 more years of coaching experience as well as global experiences to share. Several of the 52 ways have been adapted based on the observations and wisdom gained from my experiences. For example, “Excel at Stakeholder Management” is critical today with the increase in matrix organizations and partnerships. I’ve included additional activities, exercises and success applications to make people smarts practical and doable. Plus “Coaching Moments” have been expanded to give the reader leadership muscle and emotional stamina for these crazy fun times.
In fact, I have written another book-- currently with an agent for review. It will be the second book in the 3-book series DARE TO BE GREATER! Each book is a building block to greater success with less stress!
Q: The Latino population is growing rapidly nationwide. How can your book help our Latino leaders strengthen their management capacity and become more effective and successful leaders not only in Latino communities but in their cities and corporate America? Do you think Latino leadership programs would be beneficial as well?
A: The Latino population is growing rapidly and that is another reason I felt compelled to write the third edition. I’ve mentored and worked with many Latinos and Latino organizations. I was born in the 1950s at a time when Mexicans were deemed “undesirable.” I disagreed with that concept and became a trail blazer. The 52 ways gave me the courage to live my life -- not the lives that others or society said I should live -- based on values, respect, trust and love.
This book can absolutely help others navigate their way through their careers while living a life of excellence, a life of self-expression and a life of meaningful success both in business and in life. While I believe the 52 ways are universal leadership attitudes, principles and behaviors, I have provided Latino-specific leadership programs that address our particular needs/opportunities for succeeding in corporate America and other arenas.
Q: Is your book only for company leaders and entrepreneurs or can anyone use it to empower and energize themselves? Can you give us a sample exercise for the average person that would help them harness their personal power and “live greater, freer?”
A: The first 2 editions were focused on business. The third edition was expanded to include anyone who wants to live a fulfilling and amazing life. We are each created with a purpose for a purpose! We are far more powerful than we imagine. I know how much energy and creativity I have freed up by living from the inside out as this book facilitates. By trusting myself and trusting that life is for me, I can trust others and bring out the best in them.
When you live from your passion and purpose, there is no competition. You liberate your greatness and allow others to live from their potential instead of living from fear, doubt and survival. We all have greatness. We were meant for greatness!
There are many exercises for self-discovery and self-reflection that empower and energize. One specific exercise includes choosing one value they want to live by. Mine is credibility. It is awesome how my life changed when I chose that one word and used it as a compass for further actions versus pleasing others.
Q: You travel around the world lecturing, giving motivational workshops. You have private and corporate clients. You have a new book, a newsletter, a blog and you tweet almost daily. Plus, you have family obligations. How do you do it all? Please share some of your time management tips with us.
A: The best tip I have is to start the day off with prayer, meditation or whatever fills and nourishes your spirit. When I start my day this way, the rest of the day seems to go better. I am less stressed, more at peace.
Another tip, don’t get distracted from what is yours to do with the crazy demands of others. Do what you love and time does not matter. Remember, you don’t have to fight every battle. And please remember, you have nothing to prove – just be you.
Q: Who are your favorite Latino authors? How do they inspire you? What was the last book you read by a Latino author?
A: I’ve learned the hard way never to answer that question. Someone always gets their feelings hurt. I can say there are some great reads out there. I am blessed that I get to hear people’s stories all the time when I am coaching and mentoring. The stories are a source of great inspiration and hope for me.
Q: What are your plans for the holidays? How will you be celebrating your Latina heritage?
A: I always celebrate being Latina! I am having a group of Latinas over for a holiday panchanga. I will spend time with family and friends. Plus I plan to spend a lot of time feeling, acting and being grateful. Happy holidays to you and yours.###
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ellen Castro, Chief Energizing Officer, is a best-selling empowering author, exhilarating speaker, a global consultant and a trusted coach since the 1980s. She gives immediate results and real lasting solutions for her clients spanning 17 industries and 11 countries. Ellen’s clients range from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies to non-profits to schools and individuals. She has touched millions via keynotes and media appearances. Ellen earned her MEd from Harvard and MBA from Southern Methodist University where she served on the faculty of The Business Leadership Center. Learn more about Ellen and sign up for her free newsletter by visiting her at www.ellencastro.com. To order her book directly at Amazon, click here.
CONDOR BOOK TOUR DATES FOR ELLEN CASTRO -- NOVEMBER 18-27:
Condor Musings, audio interview with Ellen Castro
Latino Books Examiner Q&A with Ellen Castro
Que Means What Book Review
The Latina Book Club Q&A with Ellen Castro
Leading Beyond the Status Quo audio interview with Ellen Castro
Latina Lista Guest Post by Ellen Castro