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“Be Coachable”, With Lisa A. Holmes and Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated

Be Coachable: Ask and be open to receiving feedback, looking inward at how you can move forward, and being interested in growth. You don’t take things personally or as a criticism, instead you see it as an opportunity. As a part of our series about “How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, & […]

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Be Coachable: Ask and be open to receiving feedback, looking inward at how you can move forward, and being interested in growth. You don’t take things personally or as a criticism, instead you see it as an opportunity.


As a part of our series about “How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, & Focus”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lisa A. Holmes MSHR.

Lisa serves as CEO of Strategic Performance of Los Angeles headquartered in Los Angeles, California, where she’s designing and implementing HR solutions that drive revenue and enhance leadership capabilities through Human Resources Consultancy, Leadership Development and Executive Coaching.

After much anticipation, she released the best selling career book entitled “Job Hunting. NOW What?” Keeping It Real in the Modern Career Search. It is the perfect go-to guide to best understand the modern job search process, its emotional (and mental) journey, assessing your career landscape, writing an HR-beloved resume, negotiating your top salary and how to maintain a career in an ever-changing world, and so much more.

As a Media Contributor, Lisa has been mentioned in Money Magazine, Clutch, Reader’s Digest, Fast Company, ReWork and other media.

In 2020, Lisa launched a health and wellness lifestyle site, Honey + Company.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I grew up as an only child to a single mother in St. Louis, MIssouri. I had a deep love for music and sang in choir, as a lead singer in a girls group and played several instruments. Often, I could be found gardening, working on craft projects or cooking. After graduating in my junior year from high school, I headed off to college. From Lindenwood University, St Charles, Missouri, I earned a MS and BA in Human Resources.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

Initially, I wanted to pursue a degree in Business Administration. A professor encouraged me to take a Human Resource class which changed the course of my career.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

My maternal grandmother, Mary A. Hoskin was hard working, resourceful, wise and beloved by many. She was attentive and which always made me feel extra special and safe. At an early age, she encouraged me to be the best version of myself. I aspired to be just like her.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

Very early in my career, I didn’t devote enough time networking. Later, I realized that I needed a broader sense of community in order to increase my capacity.

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?

Develop a clear vision for your life and career. Seek out experiences that will challenge you and drive towards your vision. Surround yourself with a personal board of directors. These are professionals across every area of business that can share their expertise and help grow you. Lastly, leverage your strengths to become an expert at something that will amplify your personal brand.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations by Brene’ Brown. I was on a journey to continue growing as a leader. Brene teaches how to remain curious and ask the right questions, leaning into difficult conversations and being brave.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated”.-Maya Angelou There are going to be things that happen that you’re unprepared for. This is where you must dig in, embrace the journey and capture the lessons learned.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I’ve launched a new Health and Wellness site, Honey + Company. After struggling with this condition for more than 20 years which caused me to gain almost 100 lbs., I had a pivotal moment that led to conquering the disease and losing the weight and gaining back my life.

​Now, I want to share my journey to Be Well & Live Well with others. Through our social media interaction, I’ll inspire and introduce artisan beauty, books, electronics, food, home and wellness products and tips that will activate you to live as your best self.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give some examples?

Developing good habits makes it possible to do things without consciously thinking about it. Or, feeling deprived of other things that might not be good for you. Years ago, I started a morning routine of prayer and meditation before even reading a single email. It helps me position my mind in a positive direction for the day.

How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

My dependability and consistency have enabled me to build solid relationships in my professional and personal life.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

I establish the problem that needs to be solved, its benefit, why haven’t I been successful with it in the past and what issues can stand in the way. Once I can honestly answer these questions, then I set a simple strategy and remove all barriers that would hinder my success. I break habits by holding myself accountable to a mantra to be well and live well. And, submitting to consistent execution of the strategy. If my actions don’t support that, I set more healthy plans and eliminate distractions in order to move beyond the bad habit.

Let’s talk about creating good habits in three areas, Wellness, Performance, and Focus. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum wellness. Please share a story or example for each.

Wellness is super important to my mental, physical and spiritual health. I’ve set my daily routines to include meditation, workouts and meal preparation. This enables me to remain on target. And, I give myself time to enjoy hobbies which feed my creativity.

As an Executive Coach, I’m usually contracted to work with professionals who are experiencing challenges in their jobs. When I dig into some of the issues, it can be attributed to lack of strategy and focus. Often, they aren’t clear on the areas of opportunity, key performance indicators and actionable steps. Creating a strategic plan is critical to your success. I coach professionals to embrace the strategic planning process.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

I advise using your calendar and a planning tool to stay on target. Set mini milestones along the way to remain encouraged. Lastly, reward your accomplishments.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal performance at work or sport? Please share a story or example for each.

Have an abundance mindset: In order for you to win, others don’t have to lose. Remain open to sharing your expertise to model a team-first attitude.

Be Coachable: Ask and be open to receiving feedback, looking inward at how you can move forward, and being interested in growth. You don’t take things personally or as a criticism, instead you see it as an opportunity.

Take initiative: When you identify issues, volunteer to solve it. Or, offer to take on assignments that will help you gain new skills or subject matter expertise.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits? Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal focus? Please share a story or example for each.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Changing habits can seem overwhelming. I’d advise to take micro steps toward your goal. Visualize yourself taking each step. Create a vision board to stay motivated and feel good about change. Through consistency, those steps will lead towards developing those habits.

As a leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?

You can remain in a state of flow when you choose work that you feel passionate about. I’m naturally a problem solver and am energized by maximizing my abilities to resolve issues.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I’d pick 3 things that I’ve excelled at in life and teach it to as many as possible. Hopefully, it will positively impact their lives and inspire them to pay it forward.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

Martha Stewart is my role model. She’s a multi-dimensional businesswoman who has created an empire. I’d love to hear what have been some of her biggest lessons, how has she been able to stay true to self and gain and how does her brand continue to thrive.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

www.thehoneyandcompany.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/thehoneyandcompany IG: https://www.instagram.com/thehoneyandcompany/

www.strategicperformanceoflosangeles.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/StrategicperformanceLA/ IG: strategicperformanceofla

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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