Make rest and recharging an integral part of the company culture. Mental and emotional health is just as important as our physical health. Bring mindfulness practices into the daily routines of your teams. Make sure your employees are taking all of their vacation time by the end of the year. I hear countless stories of employees who just chose to lose their paid time off each year, because they were either so busy to take the time off or they were afraid of being seen as lazy or not a “team player” if they went on vacation.
As a part of my series about about how leaders can create a “fantastic work culture”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Vanessa Petronelli.
Vanessa is highly sought after for her gift of spiritual & performance coaching and trance-channeling work. These lifelong gifts have transformed from a personal practice to a business and brand. She is teaching, speaking, and writing about the powerful impact of accessing higher-levels of consciousness as the CEO and Founder of Soul Aligned Success.
Through her unique accelerated Quantum Coaching method, leadership retreats, keynote speaking, intuitive workshops, trance-channeling events, and transformational online programs, she provides grounded, strategic results-based transformations.
Vanessa works with and supports high-performance actors, directors, musicians, celebrities, and influencers to embody and lead from their soul, to find balance throughout their entire lives.
Vanessa and her work have been featured on Good Morning America, Parents Magazine, MSN, ABC News, Access Hollywood, Glamour, Collective Evolution, Elephant Journal, Good Morning La La Land, and more.
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Vanessa now resides with her husband Jeffrey and rescue dog Leo, in San Diego, California living the SoCal lifestyle of sunshine, sand, and surf.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Starting at age 15, I sang in a pop group, started an event promotions business, walked on red carpets, worked on film sets and did photoshoots, walked down runways as a model during Fashion Week. But the longer I was doing this work the more misaligned it felt because I wasn’t able to really speak my truth and share my fullest expression of my Soul in a way that I had once dreamed of and believed that this industry could provide me. So I left the entertainment world, and everything that it offered, in search of doing the thing that I knew I was BORN to do on this planet.
I was guided to focus on my own healing, spiritual growth and helping people professionally as a coach and healer. It was during these years that I chose to commit and dive deeply into my spiritual and personal growth. I worked with many different mentors, healers and teachers and became fully devoted to the evolution of my soul and my consciousness. I even received my yoga and mindfulness training certification, did a post-grad and built my current business from the ground up.
I finally realized what my purpose was — to help people to connect to the essence of who they are. To fully align with that part of themselves and to express that to the world in a way that is most true for them. I started to work with many leaders, artists, visionaries, entrepreneurs and influencers from all walks of life. I offered online and offline classes, events, workshops, retreats, and one to one work.
For over a decade now, I have been supporting high-performance leaders, visionaries and influencers in becoming more impeccably aligned to themselves, their missions and leadership by creating Soul-Aligned Success. Through my unique trance-channeling events, accelerated Quantum Coaching Method, leadership retreats, keynote speaking, intuitive workshops and transformational online programs, my work provides grounded, strategic results-based transformations — all through learning to embody and lead from their soul and higher consciousness.
Currently, I’m integrating my past decade of work in the entertainment industry to bring my transformational skillset to Hollywood. I love working with celebrities and influencers. I’m excited to help raise the consciousness of the planet through the influencers who are both in front of and behind the camera, on stage and off stage.
Are you working on any exciting projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I’m currently working on a couple of very exciting projects that I believe will absolutely transform and help people in their personal lives and in their relationships. The first project is completing my book, which I expect to have published in 2020 by major publisher. I’m excited to have a simple and immediate way for people to have access to the tools and principles I teach.
The other project is working on a television show which will allow the masses to witness the power of personal transformational work, both with everyday people and celebrities. The show will allow people to see what can truly happen when somebody does their inner work and transforms their problems and pain into power and possibility.
Ok, lets jump to the main part of our interview. According to this study cited in Forbes, more than half of the US workforce is unhappy. Why do you think that number is so high?
I personally believe that a big part of the reason why so many people are unhappy in the workforce is for two reasons: overwhelm and a disconnection to one’s purpose. Just look at all of the data and information that is being fed to us 24/7. It is keeping people in a constant state of distraction and consumption.
Having the clarity on what to focus on and how to remove distractions that do not support your wellbeing is going to be a crucial skill. Not only today, but also in the future. Also important is to be inspired and fulfilled by something bigger than oneself. When you have a purpose that inspires you, it helps create forward momentum much more easily.
Based on your experience or research, how do you think an unhappy workforce will impact a) company productivity b) company profitability c) and employee health and wellbeing?
An unhappy and unfulfilled employee is a risk to the company. While it’s not possible to 100% control what any individual feels and does, it is possible to create an environment that fosters happier and more fulfilled employees.
Society is moving in a new direction. Everything is interconnected. It always has been, but we are now more aware of it. Employees need to be seen as integrated, whole humans — mind, body and soul.
While a lot of the business world focuses on mind and performance, the next phase of evolution will involve fulfillment and the integration of other forms of intelligence: relational, emotional, intuitive, somatic and energetic. The fully resourced employee will be more resilient, efficient and effective. Creating and implementing ideas and solutions will be much more powerful.
The more that a company can adopt the understanding that the wholeness of a person needs to be considered, the more an employee will feel seen, supported and appreciated. And most importantly, they will feel a connection to the company and their colleagues. Because, all factors being equal, people will perform better with those who they like and feel a connection to.
Can you share 5 things that managers and executives should be doing to improve their company work culture? Can you give a personal story or example for each?
- Make rest and recharging an integral part of the company culture. Mental and emotional health is just as important as our physical health. Bring mindfulness practices into the daily routines of your teams. Make sure your employees are taking all of their vacation time by the end of the year. I hear countless stories of employees who just chose to lose their paid time off each year, because they were either so busy to take the time off or they were afraid of being seen as lazy or not a “team player” if they went on vacation. When employees are less stressed and anxious at work, they perform better and are more focused and productive. Lastly, rest and rejuvenation helps boost the immune system, meaning less sick days.
- Create solid boundaries for communication when employees are not at the office and outside of working hours. A big contributor to the stress and dissatisfaction of employees is feeling as though they always have to be “on call” with work. Set clear examples and guidelines for what is truly urgent and what can wait to be resolved until the next day at the office. Society and technology has created this mindset of hyper urgency, but just because something CAN be handled right now via a smartphone or laptop, doesn’t mean it NEEDS to be handled right away.
- Learn and practice effective conflict resolution skills. Unspoken resentments and disagreements need to be resolved. If there is still an emotional or energetic charge left between a manager and employee or between colleagues, then it needs to be dealt with. The core of any company is its people. And communication is the currency of all relationships. Any unresolved conflict and misunderstandings just block the flow.
- Remove anyone who over time proves to be a truly negative influence on the company culture. An employee that is consistently negative or even verbally or emotionally toxic towards other team members is going to hurt the company and its reputation. Attitude and energy are powerful influences on a team. It’s one thing to have a bad day or moment. But constant negativity is a culture killer.
It’s very nice to suggest ideas, but it seems like we have to “change the culture regarding work culture”. What can we do as a society to make a broader change in the US workforce’s work culture?
I think a big shift that can happen is no longer separating work life from the rest of life. By that, I don’t mean bringing work home. But rather adopting the mindset that work is an extension of who you are. While the job someone is currently in may be what’s needed to pay the bills currently, it’s important to look at the long-term view of one’s career. It’s a place you spend at least 40 hours a week, over one-third of your waking life. It’s imperative to review how a job and work environment does and does not align with one’s deepest values. When someone is working in a job and company that they are aligned with, they will be more fulfilled.
Now from a management perspective, that means getting crystal clear on what those values are and making sure it’s being embodied by every single manager and team leader. Because if it’s just a mission statement you paste in the break room or during an onboarding process with HR, that’s not going to work.
Lastly, a growth mindset needs to be more prevalent. One of the biggest indicators of fulfillment is progress. For most people, staying at a job for years doing the same role isn’t going to be fulfilling and inspiring. Making sure that each employee is growing and advancing are important for both the employee and the company.
How would you describe your leadership or management style? Can you give us a few examples?
My leadership style with my team members can be summed up in two words: energy and empowerment. I firmly believe that tracking, clearing and building our energy is crucial to thrive. Any action and decision that’s made from an unclear, ungrounded energy is not going to work well. The practices I do for myself and that I teach my team members and clients are designed to help clear and increase their energetic capacity.
The second element is empowerment. I don’t want my team to have to rely on me for every decision. I want them to feel confident and competent within themselves. The more they can have a sense of full ownership and personal responsibility for both their successes and their mistakes, the more deeply that they will grow.
Nobody is 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?
I wouldn’t be able to mention one person. I have been mentored, coached, trained and guided by many successful, spiritual and growth oriented individuals over two decades. To step into one’s fullest potential, they have to be a growth-oriented individual. I believe you have to be willing to ask for and allow yourself to be supported and challenged by those whom you look up to as a role model for what’s possible in both personal and professional success. There are many people I have hired over the years whom I believe have been that for me.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Everything I have been doing both personally and professionally over the last eleven years is about contributing to and making the world a more conscious and self-aware planet.
Working with high-performing leaders, business owners, celebrities and entertainment industry professionals in Hollywood means that I get to work with some of the most influential, innovative, creative and impact-driven people in the world who are here to be agents of positive change for others.
The world is in dire need of a more conscious form of leadership where it does not just focus on the present moment and what it can gain for itself. Instead the new generation of leaders that I work with views the human as an integrated and holistic being that has the ability to dramatically shift the human consciousness by being stewards of a new type of embodied and heart centered leadership style.
Understanding ourselves on a deeper level and what drives us to be who we are and do what we do on a daily and even momentary basis greatly defines how we show up in the world personally and professionally. My biggest passion over the years has been helping others increase their self-awareness and truly know themselves on a deeper level.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
There are many different phrases and mantras that I use and share with my clients, but one of my favorites is “slow down to speed up”. Understanding that when you slow down and tune into stillness, it actually causes you to be more productive and focused. We also have the ability to respond vs. react in situations. The old paradigm of “faster and bigger is better” doesn’t work so well anymore. It’s created a society and culture of stress and excess. We need to show up differently and more powerfully moving forward.
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. 🙂
I’m already in the process of creating this movement and have been for many years. My passion is making transformational work something that is accessible and necessary for all. When we learn to connect to ourselves and heal our past, we become liberated and have the ability to align with and become the highest version of ourselves. Doing your inner work isn’t just for when you’re struggling or when you’re in some type of life crisis. When people understand that they have the ability to change their circumstances and improve themselves, this creates a more empowered population. When we gift ourselves the ability to love and approve of who we are, we create more compassionate and loving individuals and communities.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you continued success!