About us

Nov 20, 2023

Grow, but don't change

Rachel McCrickard, LMFT

CEO and Co-Founder

Hi friends,

A little over a month ago, Motivo welcomed a new member of our executive team. His name is Jon Stout and, he's kind of a big deal.

He's one of those people who has had an extremely impressive career, but when you meet him, you'd never know it. He's humble, kind, disarming, and super-duper smart.

Jon could have gone anywhere, but he chose to come to Motivo because he is invigorated by our mission of increasing the number of licensed therapists. He's mission-driven and centers the experience of clinicians and patients. He is exactly what we were looking for.

I gotta admit, when Jon got here, I was a bit intimidated. He says words like "profit margins" and "customer acquisition cost," and he actually knows what those words mean.

I, on the other hand, still count on my fingers, and I failed college math.

I don't say this to be self-deprecating; I'm just attempting to convey that Jon is strong in many of the areas I'm not. I watch the way he describes our financial projections or explains our business model, and I think, "Man, I wish I could do it like that."

Observing Jon's skillset caused me to reflect on some interesting advice I received from a consultant about my leadership style a few months ago. The consultant read a few of my Mondays with Motivo, watched a few of my podcasts, and then suggested that I work on becoming more of a "model CEO."

He also told me that I needed to be more charming and smile more. 🙄

After I received his feedback, I reflected a bit on what it means to "be a model CEO."

I suspect that it doesn't look like someone who says things like "omg," "lol," and "super-duper" as part of her everyday vernacular.

It likely also doesn't look like someone who talks about her husband's vasectomy in a professional newsletter.

Chances are it doesn't look like someone who wears sweatpants on the daily and has her hair in a messy bun for most meetings.

Recently, while I was reflecting on this idea of a "model CEO," I was also drafting a company update to send to Motivo's investors and board members.

It might surprise you to know that even when I email Motivo's investors, I speak the exact same way that I do here. I write like I talk. I include pictures of my pups. I tell funny and embarrassing stories about myself. I give equal airtime to the things I'm doing well and the things I'm struggling with.

It's not that I'm trying to be edgy or overly familiar; I just don't do a good job of putting up a professional front or hiding who I really am.

The other day, I was talking to Jon about this - asking for his advice on if I should work on sounding and acting more professional - more like a "model CEO" would.

Jon said, "OMG, absolutely not." (He probably didn't say OMG - I added it for dramatic effect).

He told me that the most important thing I can do as a leader is to be wholly and completely myself. He said that changing who I am would be the wrong decision for the company.

He also said, "WTF is a model CEO?!"

What I took away from that conversation and others like it is that I can grow and evolve as a leader without changing the core and essence of who I am.

Now, when self-doubt creeps up, I gently say to myself, "Rachel, grow, but don't change. Keep being true to who you are."

I wonder if some of you out there can relate. Perhaps you think you might need to change or morph your personality to fit some sort of outdated view of a successful person.

Maybe you are thinking...

"As a therapist, I'm supposed to always have something insightful to say." "As a mom, I'm supposed to look like I have it all together." "As a leader, I'm supposed to always know the right decision." May I offer you these same words that have been helpful to me?

Grow, but don't change.

Seek opportunities to learn and evolve, but double-down on being your truest, most authentic self. It's what makes you different from any other person on the planet. It's what helps you offer unique perspectives to your clients and supervisees, and what allows you to be creative in your decision making. It's your superpower.

Here's to being our truest self and to smiling whenever we damn well please,

"Be bold, be brave enough to be your true self." - Queen Latifah -

Rachel McCrickard, LMFT
CEO/Co-Founder, Motivo

Each Monday, I’ll share my perspective on topics that mean a lot to me: growth, resilience, relationships, and leadership.

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