Having gone through a difficult family situation in her teen years, the founder of Women’s Leadership Accelerator—Kelsey Boyer, was blessed with a strong support system that helped channel her negative experiences into a part-time coaching career. Wanting to gain a taste of the corporate world, she served as a recruitment leader and consultant in the tech industry, where she saw the barriers women in the field faced when it came to leadership. Soon afterward, she decided to make the switch to coaching women for leadership and empowerment in a full-time capacity.
Sharing her experiences with The Edge, Boyer discussed her journey into the world of coaching, her thoughts on leadership, and what it looks like to take charge of one’s life.
How did you get into leadership coaching and female empowerment?
I originally got into coaching in my late teens due to my own struggles at home, being in a toxic and abusive place with my mom as she was going through a rough time (we’re great now and have put in the work—but that’s another story). Thankfully, I had a great support system that taught me to channel this negative energy and experience into something more impactful and share my story with as many people as possible so that they could feel less alone. I decided to get involved with coaching young girls from grades six to 12 from underprivileged areas in Hamilton through leadership development, mindset training, self-appreciation, and working through self-doubt and goal setting. I have fallen in love with the profession since then. It’s always something I did on the side, but I wanted to try out the corporate world in Toronto before doing it full-time.
In terms of my professional background, I spent over five years in the tech recruitment industry, providing more career coaching, with my most recent role being an independent consulting partner helping to grow an AI recruitment start-up from the ground up. I also got my life/executive coaching certification in 2016. Throughout my experience, I was usually working as a leader or manager in male-dominated environments. This is where I noticed a major gap in women in leadership and women understanding their full potential. And I have been working hard to put more women into leadership roles for as long as I can remember. So, after a breakup and a major transitional year, I decided to take the leap and combine my passions and experience to coach full-time and developed Women’s Leadership Accelerator with the mission of lifting the potential of women and creating more female leaders in the world!
While this all may sound impressive, what you’re not hearing is how these difficult experiences caused me to suffer from anxiety. Incidents like the bullying I faced as a kid, or the uncertainty I experienced in trying to figure out what the heck I wanted to do with my life, the broken friendships, and relationships. And of course, the time I got fired four months into my second job in Toronto for saying how the work environment made me uncomfortable, and so much more. I bring this up because this is a reminder that even when you see others’ successes or journeys and are inspired by them, what you’re seeing is the end result. There’s a lot along the way that you’re not seeing. So, treat yourself and this journey with kindness and compassion, as failure and hardships are an important part of success.
How do you help career-minded women overcome life’s obstacles and become leaders?
I help them by teaching them to validate themselves from within. By providing the tools to overcome and shift lifelong limiting beliefs like fear and self-doubt, I hope to help women gain complete clarity on their long-term vision and hold them accountable to take action towards their dream careers and lives. This allows them to be leaders in every area of their lives and gives them the tools to positively impact those around them and create more leaders themselves.
What aspects of emotional and mental health are necessary in becoming an effective leader?
I feel that these all go together as the awareness of your emotional and mental health is a must in being an effective leader. We need to understand our inherited traits and why we are the way we are today. Understanding our limiting beliefs that could hold us back from our potential, our triggers, and hinging points (these are essentially the things that cause the “wheels of your bus” to fall off if they aren’t present in your life like routine, exercise, recognition, etc.), what drains and accelerates our energy, how to communicate compassionately, and how to set boundaries if we want to be the most effective leaders. Self-awareness of your emotional and mental health allows you to step into your true authentic potential and power as a leader and enable you to elevate yourself in your light and potential in a way that inspires others to do the same.
What would be your advice for someone who is interested in taking full control of their life?
Don’t try to do it alone! Ask for support! Whether that be mentors, coaches, therapists, or others, my biggest piece of advice is to invest in yourself somehow. Other people have been in your position for years and have come up with a roadmap to get others there much quicker, so take them up on their wisdom and experience to help you get there too. Because what’s the cost of you staying in the same place with your life? What would life be like two or three years from now if this didn’t get resolved? I have never regretted investing in myself because doing so saved me from years of pain and suffering.
What does success mean to you as a coach and as an individual?
As a coach, success means seeing my clients completely step out of their comfort zones to transform their lives and take action towards their dream lives and careers, along with accelerating my impact to change the lives of dozens, and eventually hundreds of women per year. As an individual, success means living in alignment with my true authentic purpose and waking up each day with energy and excitement to do exactly that. It’s been my dream to make a difference in the world, so being able to impact the lives of many incredible women never gets old.
Rose Ho | Contributing Writer