Start Creating a Positive Impact in Your Organizaiton

Here we are to share part 3 with Anese Cavanaugh, who is devoted to helping people show up and bring their best selves to the table in order to create significant positive impact in their lives. She is the creator of the IEP Method® , an advisor and thinking partner to leaders and organizations around the world, and author of Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone, and Intentionally Create an Organization That Thrives.

Anese Cavanaugh, Speaker, Leader, Coach, Author
Anese Cavanaugh, Courtesy

In this episode she shares how she knew she was onto something with IEP, and getting aligned with your purpose.

Let’s dig into these topics and more with Anese. We’ll see you on the other side.

Social Shareables

Are you aligned with your purpose? Are you listening to your day?

Do you remember those early days of your business when you were energized by the work? How can you tap into that again? Can the renewed energy help your team?

Are you speaking your true message/strength to your team and to your prospective customers? Are you being honest with who you really are?

Questions for entrepreneurs, leaders, and managers

She talks about her company’s beginnings and how she was so energized, to the point that it woke her up in the morning with ideas and energy. Do you remember those days? How can you tap into that again? How could renewed energy help your team?

Share your responses on the comments section below. 

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Join us next week as we begin our conversation with David Burton, Director of the Greene County Extension Office and how open book management is helping turn their little office around.

Until then, be inspired and intentional.


Anese Cavanaugh’s website

Contagious Culture Book

Top secret resources page – http://IEP.IO

Anese’s resource kit

Anese Cavanaugh’s Busy Blog Post

Remember to subscribe to the  Inspired and Intentional podcast via itunes at

The inspired and Intentional podcast is copyright 2016 by its owner. The music is Funk Game Loop, Kevin MacLeod Royalty Free from Incompatech. Thank you for sharing your talent.

Complete Manuscript and Notes
How did you know this was the way to do it? How did you know that you weren’t crazy? Or how did you know … Or maybe you are crazy, I don’t know. The confidence to start this and then start moving forward on your own and say, “You know what? I have something to tell the world and I’m starting my company.”
That’s great. Well, I fell down a lot, I’ll say that. I fell down a lot. I learned a lot of things the hard way which I’m super grateful for. I would not give any of things up. I will say the very beginning, the reason why I knew it was important … I didn’t know it was going to be the IEP at the beginning, I just thought I wanted to help people unlock potential and feel good things in the world. That was it, that’s all I knew. When I started I just kind of … The reason why I knew it was really important was because I cracked a vision for my company literally while my son slept in the back seat when I was waiting in the parking to go work out. I didn’t want to wake him up, he was really young. I didn’t want to wake him up and so I was sitting in my front seat for 90 minutes while I was waiting for him.
I started postings, if I was going to have a job, first thing I think is a job, I wasn’t thinking I’m going to create this company. I was thinking, “If I was going to do a job I’ll do my job until … .” I started to pull all of my favorite things I have ever done in my kinesiology and corporate and working with rehab patients, all these different things. Once I started creating a JOB out of it and I was like, “Well, actually, wait a minute, what if this is a company?” When my son woke up, I went and work out my energy and went home that night. It woke me up the next morning, I was so excited about it and I couldn’t get it out of my blood. I really wanted to do this thing, I really want to have a big impact. That was one way that I knew it was important.
The rest of it, I was just … I invested a lot in myself, I hooked myself up with really good advisors. I went and I got professional training around things like leadership and coaching. I kept investing, like the first 5 years in my business I just kept investing at myself and had advisors to help me move forward and learn how to do this in a way that would save me time and energy which I’m really grateful for. Then I started really into building the IEP work and I would go … I can remember one here, I particularly went to a new huge organization, they wanted me to come and they wanted me to talk about leadership, and sustaining leadership. Then I started talking about words like energy and presence and I lost them, they hated it.
Oh, right.
It was such a long time ago. They hated it and I loved it. I had an hour for the keynote, they ended up pushing me to the very end of the day, at the end they gave me 15 minutes. I had 15 minutes after lunch, it was like a 3:00 slot and I said, “Well, you got 15 minutes, what do you want to say?” I did the best thing I knew to do which was to like morph this stuff down, and this is of course called IEP, it was okay but it wasn’t great. I remember leaving there, I was on the verge of tears and the guy that brought me in chased me at the parking lot and he said, “Don’t let anybody reactions about … Don’t let that hinder you, this work is good.” Because he had used it with his team. He says, “This work is good. Don’t let that hinder you, keep going.” That was really helpful.
There were a lot of things that I did that didn’t work, there were a lot of things I did where I got a lot of naysayers, I’ve seen a lot of cross arms, furrowed brows, I thought I heard people tell me that it’s ridiculous. There was something that happened for me in 2009, that was all pre-2009. In 2009 I decided that I was not going to compromise any more, that I was going to lean 100% into this work and I was not going to make any apologies for it, I was not going to disguise it. For a while I would do what I call the Trojan horse where I would go in under leadership development to work with the company but I would pepper in things around energy and presence and taking care of yourself. What I started noticing is that the sooner I did that, I got better results faster when I did it.
In 2009, I said I’m no longer willing to compromise, you either let me bring this stuff in … By then it was still not called IEP but it was like, “You either let me bring energy and presence and then talk about that in conjunction with leadership development or I’ll give you guys over free to somebody else.” As soon as I did that my world opened up, because it was my presence that changed where I wasn’t willing to compromise what I knew was really important for people. I also wasn’t so attached to it, that I had to force it to penetrate through. It was like, you know what I mean?
It’s like you were holding yourself back and that was again reflecting on the people that was watching because they sensed that lack of confidence or something, I’m not certainly not deep enough to get into that. Then when you finally burst out and became who you should be and saying what you should be saying people received it because-
Absolutely. I was trying, before 2009, I was trying to fit a mold that people could understand. I was trying to fit what everybody else is out there doing, and too many of them. Basically, in a lot of ways I was compromising what I knew to be true. I was compromising and I was also trying to meet people where they were at. What I found was … I believed in it, I did the work around it, I felt good about it but I didn’t have necessarily the right team in place and I didn’t have the right way in which to frame it that made it easier enough for people to understand. There were a lot of things that happened, 2009 was a really big year for me. In 2009, I went, “I’m done. I don’t care if it doesn’t fit the mold, it doesn’t feel to me.”
At that point, I’ll give you an example, I’d had a brand manager. Her job was to manage me, her job was to make sure my brand looked great and there was a picture of me in a suit on my website. The funny thing was I didn’t wear suits. I wore jeans, I wore boots, I didn’t wear suits but she wanted me in a suit. She said, “if we put you in a suit then it’s going to be a lot easier for you to get these corporate clients because they’ll take the suit more seriously. Oh, and you can’t use words like energy and presence.” Instead of standing for what I believed I abdicated my leadership. That was a humongous lesson for me because after 2008, in 2009 I went, “This doesn’t feel good to me.” I took a Fire host basically to my life, to my business, everything. I completed with anything that didn’t support my energy and anything that didn’t allow me to shine completely. That’s when my business really really started to take off because I showed up different.
Two questions?
Why 2009 and how did you know that you were speaking the truth you should be speaking?
I realized I wasn’t speaking the truth I should be speaking because it was what was true for me. When I said earlier about not being attached, I believe in it full heartedly, and I believed in it full heartedly but I know it’s not for everybody. There is a, me speaking the truth, my truth, it was a sole decision. It’s the best way I can put it, it was a sole decision. It felt good to me. It was a sole decision. I also realized I have tried for a while to teach other people stuff, so I get certified as a facilitator to teach different model. While the model would be beautiful, or the body work would be beautiful, I had a really hard time teaching other people stuff. What it came down to it was like, “I only know how to teach what I live. I only know how to teach the stuff that I live and how work with clients that really works. I only know how to teach that.” I actually stopped doing ventures with teaching other people stuff or leveraging other models and I just thought that was the big reason in 2009.
You weren’t scooping ice cream or something in 2009?
I wasn’t, no. In 2009 I went through a really, really big personal life change, it was really big. I also brought some really awesome new people into my life, which we attract. I believe whole-heartedly we attract the right people in our life at the right time. In 2009, I attracted some awesome business relationships into my life. I attracted some great advisors and some really, really great friends. I also, I said I took the Fire host, that Fire host was, for every part of my life that didn’t feel in alignment. I just became that much committed to alignment, something about 2009, it’s like I woke up. I remember waking up in February and going, “I’m not in alignment in a couple of places. It’s not because I’m bad, I’ll not be messed up about it. It’s because I haven’t been listening and I haven’t been taking a stand. I’ve been aligning it like fit in and make the stuff work. That was the beginning of the Fire host activity not Fire host hit. Not a single part of my life was not infected by the Fire host of 2009.
Do you have a couple of examples of that? I guess, congratulations on your seventh anniversary of your Fire host.
Oh my gosh, it’s right. Well I just didn’t notice the Fire host was last year so it’s got a seven years cycle. I had a couple of people on my team who were awesome, but they weren’t the right fit for where I wanted to campaign to go, and they had different visions for it. They didn’t resonate with me. For example that brand manager, totally brilliant, she was totally doing her job, she was doing exactly what I had asked her to do, but she had a different idea of how I should show up in the world, and it wasn’t congruent, so we completed. We completed like we’re still in touch, best of terms all I could say that it wasn’t the right fit.
There are a couple of things like that just making switches in my team. I really made a bigger commitment to building my team and getting the right people in place. That was part of the Fire host, up until that point, we’ve done a bunch a of Websites redesigns, a bunch of designs they’re so many. I’ve gone through four different designers and in 2009 I decided to really make investments to find somebody who will do a phenomenal job. Who cared about this work as much as I did. That’s started a whole new level of standard for me and the way that I looked for team members.
That was a big … Team was a big thing. Advisors were a big thing in 2009 and I would say, I read, I’m always, I found amazing people in my life. I think that’s a really important component for people listening to this, is to really look at who are you surrounding yourself with? Who are your mentors? Who are your advisors? Who are your friends? If they don’t support and nourish and help you become better and inspire you to be better, then you have to really look at are they right people to be in your life?
Questions here.
What inspires you or who inspires you to keep going and getting better?
Everybody. Honestly, everybody. I saw that question last time and I said, “Oh, who’s the person?” I got people in my life who’ve had huge impact on me, but I have to say on a day to day basis, it’s everybody . It’s me dropping my daughter for school today and talking to her teacher for three minutes about something that’s going on in the classroom, and me walking out of there going, “Okay, I want to make this work better, because it needs to get into the education system more the teachers need this.” It’s me … It’s anything. This Podcast talking to you, talking to me and thinking about questions in different ways. Thinking about the people that are going to hear this, and hoping that if you’re going to find people hear this and if there is anything in this Podcast or something to help them, show up more impact-fully and to be even happier, that is full for me. It’s literary everybody.
You kind of answered this with that. What excites you most about your business and what’s next for you?
What excites me most? I just gave myself a gift of a two month, almost a three months sabbatical from travel which is really interesting when you’re in the middle of … Like when you’re just coming to launch the book. I gave myself a gift after Christmas to kind of stay put and not to attend a travel and fortunately, because the world is the way it is, I can do a turn of stuff virtually. I’m really grateful for that. This space has really given me the opportunity to look out where this work is going and at what pace.
What I’m excited about right now is I’m loving the riding, I’m always loving the riding. I love sharing the book with people. We’ve got three events that are coming up this year, we’ve decided to do three events to share base on feedback form and request from people that we will be doing all over. We are doing one in Ann Arbor, at Zingerman’s which you know very well, we’re doing one at San Francisco, we’re doing one in Sacramento. We are excited about those events, because those events are always opportunities for people to come together, and do this work. Then, the other thing that I’m really excited about is the Stewardship model that we‘re opening up in October more publicly. That’s where I’m going, I’m starting to get a tickle about more books which shocks me. My daughter has asked me to please wait a year because she wants to keep me more present in her life. I’m going to tickle about that, the Stewardship the more speaking for really meaningful fans.
I’m started to be asked to speak at things like State-wide Education Conferences and stuff like that. That’s really interesting to me because I really feel like physicians, medical and the healthcare, education, law enforcement, there is so many different industries that can benefit from this work. Not just from the standpoint of them having impact on other people but them really, really taking care of themselves. I’m excited about everything. The only thing I’m not excited about right now is just some of the little stuff I have to care of, but that’s a leadership thing for me that says I have to get better at delegating it. That’s all I can say about right now, logistics and all the email I have to get to when we’re done here.
Anese, this has been incredible and I really appreciate the time and I know the listeners are going to just benefit like crazy and want to hear more. I know they’re going to … I will put all the links to your website and to the videos and to some of the other Podcast episodes you’ve been on on other Podcasts. I really appreciate the time you spend with us.
Oh, thank you so much. It was a pleasure and I’ll do it anytime. We can talk more if you like, I’m sure that you and I can talk for … We can talk a lot more than this. Thank you. To everyone listening just go out, show up, do some really good stuff in the world, take care of yourself and thank you for listening.