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Exploring the Space of the 'Funknown'

Kari Ginsburg's energy is contagious, and her incredible personality and zest for life shine through in her writing. Kari's approach to creatively building a life and career filled with passion, meaning, connection and the 'funknown' is something we can all learn from. This week, fill your cup by reading our Q+A with Kari below, and to check out more of her writing, click here to read her feature in our latest issue of En Root!

This month's theme is all about creativity. Tell us about how you interpret this theme, and how it has played a role in your personal or professional life.

My background is in theater and creative writing, so creativity is at the heart of everything I do. It means that my approach to work and life is a little less linear, it's unexpected, and it's different than what's prescribed by industry titans. It means I see new ways of approaching problems and challenges. It means I embrace innovation and thoughtful risk-taking as core behaviors, not skills I'm looking to develop. Creativity means I'm supportive and collaborative and energetic. It means I'll say HELL YES and go all in.

At OutGrowth, we believe in designing the space and time to reimagine the path forward. How do you believe creativity plays a role in growing into our best selves.

I LOVE this question! So often when we think about goal-setting, there's a right way and a wrong way to do things, and we're encouraged to be very focused on the end result. I disagree. That space in between where you are and where you want to be is a place of becoming. It's the messy middle. I call it The Funknown, and I encourage play and discovery and curiosity. The outcome may not be what you thought it would, but that's because you've allowed yourself the adventure along the way.

When we spend too much time chasing "what's expected" or "what's right" (through traditional points of view), we miss the opportunity to bring ourselves into the journey. That's where creativity is: it's in disrupting the expected, the traditional, the accepted by infusing the things that make you, you. You are dynamic and luminescent. Enjoy exploring what happens when you amplify those qualities instead of hiding them.

Tell us about your most significant professional moment since the start of the pandemic.

Right before pandemic, I was integrating a corporate consulting job with coaching as a side hustle, teaching artist work, professionally acting on-stage; keeping busy and loving the chaos of feeding all of my passions.

But as the pandemic arrived and all of my "after work" activities went away, I had a hard realization that my day-job wasn't enough. While I liked the type of work I was doing, the environment created by my leadership wasn't what was best for me. What do you do when you discover that the job that pays your bills makes you miserable? You look for an escape.

I sat down with my partner and told him I was unhappy (he knew) and that it was time to make a change (he agreed). I confessed that I wanted to, essentially, blow up my career and start over under my own shingle ("let's do it".) Yes, in a time when there was so much uncertainty and stress, I willingly invited more in.

I spent three months getting things in order administratively to launch a business while I made sure my direct reports had everything they needed to be successful and cared for without me. And then I gave my notice. And I've never looked back.

How did this experience change the course of your life, your career or your outlook from pre-pandemic times.

Uproar Coaching is a pandemic baby and a leap of faith. I had business savvy, but I wouldn't have considered myself a true business woman before starting my own business. Since launching, I've worked harder than I've ever worked in my life, but I've never felt as fulfilled or satisfied at the end of the day.

It took some figuring out how to structure my days, ensuring time for coaching and consulting, but also making room for the back-end things that need to get done, and giving myself time to be curious and to grow and learn. It also allowed me to really get clear on what I value, what I want my relationship to be with work, what impact I want to have on the world.

Since 2020, I've supported over 200 individuals in proclaiming and achieving their goals. It's a privilege to be along for that process, and to be trusted in those vulnerable moments when people reach up and reach out for something else. I am so, so lucky that this is my job.

Now that things are opening up again, I'm adding back those extracurriculars that I've missed in my bones. The constant go-go-go of my pre-pandemic life is over, which is rad. I'm working differently -- intentionally-- in every facet of my life.

What is one competency or skill you hope to develop/are developing in 2022?

Ongoing education is really important to me, and it allows me to support my clients in new, responsible ways!

I recently completed training to become a DISC Assessment Facilitator, and I'm looking forward to introducing that as an offering to my organizational clients.

And, I've just registered for Heather Wagner's trauma-informed leadership program, which I'm really excited about completing this fall. Through this program, I'll sharpen my fundamentals of trauma awareness and learn the critical skills to recognize, navigate, and support others (and yourself) in coping with the effects of trauma. While empathy and kindness are two of my core values, I want to make sure I'm holding the appropriate space differently and making referrals when needed and deserved.

What inspires you these days?

To be honest, our foster puppy. Betty Spaghetti is 16 weeks old, and everyday is a new adventure. She makes us laugh and slow down. She loves smelling flowers and chasing butterflies. Time with her is always focused on finding joy by simply wiggling around in the world.

At OutGrowth, we believe in preparing the next generation of leaders. What is one resource (book, podcast, article, anything!) you'd recommend to those looking to carve out the time for growth in the next year?

I can't get enough of Stacey Abrams' "Lead From The Outside." It's a tremendous primer for anyone who considers themselves a misfit in leadership.

What's next? What are your next steps toward growth in 2022-3?

From a business point of view, I'm about to go off into the woods for a couple of days for a company retreat. My overarching goal will be to continue intentional, purposeful growth of Uproar this year, maintaining my focus on service and impact with clients. There are a couple of programs I'm looking to expand, including my Busy Bitch online productivity-without-punishment program and my Strategic VIP* Day (That's Vision In Progress, and it's strategic planning for non-traditional leaders).

From a human level, I want to remain open to new experiences. I want to embrace my curiosity and the things that make me nerd out, and see where they take me. I'd love to travel more, since that's an incredible way to shape new perspectives.

I'm open to suggestions!

Kari Ginsburg nerds out about supporting people through personal or organizational transformation. She is a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coaching Federation, and one of the first 500 recipients of the globally-recognized Certified Change Management Professional accreditation. As the HBIC (that's Head Badass In Charge) of Uproar Coaching, LLC, Kari supports women and femme leaders what want to spread out, get loud, and be boss bitches.


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