Five months ago – in May of this year – Becky offered me the opportunity to work as a contractor for Weaving Influence. As an English major who had just quit my job as a pharmacy tech, I couldn’t believe my ears when she told me about the work I might be doing in the future.

Ever forward-thinking, Becky explained that she couldn’t promise a lot of hours at the beginning, but she wanted me to be available because she believed that good things were in store for our little team.

How right she was! I think that was the last time I was warned of a lack of work, because new clients were soon knocking on the Weaving Influence door. In fact, there are some days when it feels like we’re treading water under Niagara Falls – but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

In June, Becky offered me the opportunity to work with the delightful Julie Winkle Giulioni, co-author of the new book Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Employees Want.

Over the last four months, I have had the opportunity to be a part of an ongoing conversation with Julie, and I can honestly say that she implements the ideas from her book in real life situations.

As we have exchanged emails and phone calls, I have been impressed by her ability to push me to do more, and I have appreciated her encouragement and praise when I have met or exceeded her expectations.

To be completely honest, when I read Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go, I did so because Julie was my client and I thought it would be a good idea to know what I was promoting. But by the end of the book, I wondered why I had waited so long to dig in!

The practical, down-to-earth advice can easily translate to other realms of life, and I’m already reaping the benefits of lessons learned from Help Them Grow. It doesn’t matter what letters follow your name or what your job description says you do, everyone can benefit from learning how to listen and engage.

Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Employees Want was officially released this week. Over the last four months, I have grown as fond of this book as I have its author, and it has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of the journey.

Thank you, Julie, for pushing me to do more and try harder. Your genuine praise and gratitude has been the fuel that kept me going.

And Becky, I’m honored that you took a risk on me. I look forward to growing together as we look to the future of Weaving Influence.

As Julie and Bev would say – Forward and Toward!

Tell me something! What is the best piece of advice you ever received from a leader in your life? Do you find it hard or easy to engage in conversation with those around you?