“Nobody Cares and Nobody is Watching™. It stems from the fact that we all care so much about what other people think, when in reality nobody is even watching. This is true for the person that is nervous to be the first in line at the buffet, for the person that is nervous to go for a job that their friends might not approve of, for the person who is ready to put a video of themselves out there but stressed wondering what the world might think. This creates doubt, fear and the result is that it leaves us paralyzed. Do not let the fear of what others might think stop you from honouring what’s important to you. Nobody cares, and nobody is watching… I proved this to my sister when I started singing out loud at the top of my lungs in a shopping mall and nobody turned to look. We haven’t spoken since (kidding).”
I had the pleasure to interview Yasmeen Tonnos, CPCC, BA. Yasmeen is a certified coach whose strength lies in her ability to lead and inspire others. Her passion stems from over 7 years experience in leadership roles where she focused on assessing situations and people, and formulated action plans to achieve specific goals. During this time she recognized the powerful ripple effect that a positive work environment can have. She saw a direct correlation between strong leadership and optimized performance. Since then she strives to develop, inspire and equip leaders and teams to live a BETR life.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Thanks for including me! While attending university, I spent my summers working as a bank teller at various branches. During this experience, it became apparent to me that, despite having the same positions and structure, the cultures of the branches were vastly different. I began to question why employees at certain offices were happy, excited to be at work, and productive, while other branch employees were miserable, frustrated, experiencing high levels of stress and lacking in productivity. After working at 10 different branches, I recognised that the only difference was leadership.
I was also very involved in various sports growing up and recognized from an early age the powerful impact that strong leadership can have. Leadership has always been present in my life.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
Many interesting things have occurred since I began leading my company but what stands out is the generosity of others. Our head office is located in WeWork, a global shared coworking space, and in our building alone you would be shocked at the number of people who are generously willing to support fellow startups. It’s been such a pleasant surprise and I’m very thankful for it.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I make mistakes every single day and always learn from them. But here’s a story for you… A small part of me wishes I could be a CIA Agent and that small part of me doesn’t trust technology. So when I first started out I was saying to our team “we can’t use normal email, we’re only using a Swiss email account” you can imagine the looks I got. Although it was VERY secure, it wouldn’t integrate into anything: our crm, calendar, nothing. We even had one of our team members boyfriends, who is an engineer, volunteer to try to integrate this email. Finally everyone sat me down and was like “We think you need to break up with the Swiss email account provider” and I said “I think you’re right”. My desire to be the next James Bond was preventing our team from operating efficiently, so I had to let that one go.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Giving. Our ability to give without expectation.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
For years I have been wanting to bring practical leadership to youth. The two things we struggle with our entire lives are relationships (personal and professional) and money. How different could our lives be if we brought these skills into our education system at a younger age? We’re currently working on incorporating our BETR Leader Program into the Grade 8 students’ curriculum. At BETR, we’re looking to partner with innovative schools who care about the long term well-being of their students.
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
Discover what your team needs to thrive. One of the first things I ask my team is “what do you need?”. Powerful questions, like this, evokes clarity, action, discovery, insight and commitment. It also allows us to collectively support the goal. As a result, you boost your team oriented approach.
What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?
The ACC Approach. Acknowledge, Champion and Challenge.
Acknowledging is different from praise. Acknowledgement addresses the individual and the effort / circumstance the action was accomplished in. It articulates a deep knowing of the other. For example “I acknowledge the courage it took to vocalize your thoughts during the meeting today, your insight was valuable”
Championing is such a powerful tool that can be used in the workplace and at home. We all can begin to doubt our own strengths and abilities, especially when faced with an obstacle. Leaders can champion their team by standing up for others when they doubt or questions their own abilities.
Challenge — I LOVE this one. It’s the best for growth and development. By challenging your team with a goal it stretches others beyond their self-imposed limits. You’d be shocked at the powerful results that come from effective challenges.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There have been not one, but many people along the way who have drastically shaped my life. The support from my parents and siblings is something that I am eternally grateful for. There is a prayer I say every night “God I trust you will put the right people in my life at the right time”. That intention has brought mentors, beacons of hope and support, colleagues, employees, and friends along my path. That is a huge key factor to my success.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Yes, I value paying it forward. There are a number of young entrepreneurs whom I mentor and often I’m sharing the lessons I’ve learned to help make their journey a little easier than mine.
This has nothing to do with success but I am a BIG advocate of being nice to people. Treat others with respect. A smile, a moment to ask someone how they are doing that day, using someone’s name, wishing someone a happy birthday. You do not need to be “successful” to go about bringing goodness to this world.
What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
Reality vs Expectation — Someone will never execute something the exact way you would. Instead up getting upset, appreciate the uniqueness they bring to the project.
1% is Better Than Nothing — Lofty goals bring about disappointment because they can be nearly impossible to meet. Instead, focus on something small, for example, what would the impact be if each person improved their performance by 1%?
Give What you Want in Return — If you want to foster a culture of trust, be trusting of others. If you want people to be empowered , engage them. If you want your team to be motivated, inspire them.
Not Today — Girl, it ain’t happening today. And sometimes that’s a tough pill to swallow in a society that is becoming so instant. Patience is a skill in business and in life. There are times where it has taken twice as long as I had anticipated for something to come to fruition.
Open Mind — Be openminded, which is easier said than done. When leading a team or organization we can often get fixated on a path or goal and be closed off to other possibilities or paths in which we can achieve that goal. Stay openminded because you never know what wonderful opportunity is around the corner.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Nobody Cares and Nobody is Watching™. It stems from the fact that we all care so much about what other people think, when in reality nobody is even watching. This is true for the person that is nervous to be the first in line at the buffet, for the person that is nervous to go for a job that their friends might not approve of, for the person who is ready to put a video of themselves out there but stressed wondering what the world might think. This creates doubt, fear and the result is that it leaves us paralyzed. Do not let the fear of what others might think stop you from honouring what’s important to you. Nobody cares, and nobody is watching… I proved this to my sister when I started singing out loud at the top of my lungs in a shopping mall and nobody turned to look. We haven’t spoken since (kidding).
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My Uncle always says “Persistence Prevails When All Else Fails” and this couldn’t be more true. Entrepreneurism in my mind is defined as: extreme highs and extreme lows. There were countless opportunities where I could’ve given up and instead I chose to persevere. Nobody goes through life unscathed, however, if we can continue to persist, we will prevail.
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 with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Geez, hey everyone! My pick would Anjula Acharia. I admire people who can get things done, she seems to get it done. I meet a lot of people and I am taken aback when people have such a deep understanding of multiple industries. To me she encompasses business, VC and entertainment. Call me?
Originally published at medium.com