How do you want to show up to the world?
Being a leader is often an unseen lonely path.
It can be hard to see the struggles of the “successful,” those who seem to have accomplished everything in life. Because being a leader means showing up for everyone else, it’s easy to forget to show up for yourself.
It’s a problem therapist, life coach and executive leadership coach Andy Maurer saw among high-level leaders. Executive coaching helped with running a business, but it didn’t fill the gap of the emotional toll being a leader takes.
And so he founded Pursue Whole, a company that approaches a business leader’s whole being. Having a degree in personal fitness and wellness, having been a former licensed therapist and a certified life coach and executive leadership coach, Maurer provides a one-stop-shop for executive leaders throughout the country.
“Pursue Whole started as a leadership coaching program for high level leaders in three categories—business, entertainment and sports,” Maurer tells us. “We really wanted to help them work through what are helpful ways to help them pursue wholeness in their life work and relationships and we really wanted to create a coaching program that bridged the gap for these leaders.”
In a recent episode of our podcast ICONIC Hour, we dive into the overlooked struggles of leadership and strategies for overcoming them.
THE “WHY” BEHIND PURSUE WHOLE
Andy and Charity Maurer started Pursue Whole probably at one of the most critical times possible—just months before the hit of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In those uncertain times, it became more crucial than ever that leaders and athletes had a resource that went on a deeper level than the traditional “executive leadership training.”
“I have a very strong ‘why’ behind Pursue Whole,” Maurer says. “I co-founded this company with my wife two years ago and we started Pursue Whole together because we both share a very common passion.”
That common passion originated from overcoming their own life obstacles. For Maurer, being a leader has just always been a part of his life. A true go-getter, Maurer had a bit of an epiphany moment while earning two graduate degrees, taking care of a newborn and working three jobs of, “Why am I really doing all this?”
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“I felt that if I can just do a little bit more, make a little bit more, have a little bit more success, then I’ll feel happy and content on the inside,” Maurer tells us. “But I realized that that bar kept getting higher and higher, every time I went to reach for it, it got higher and higher.”
At that point, Maurer found that all of it was a distraction and a race to find value in his life. He realized a personal fallacy that working meant he had value in the world and it was time to face his inner self.
“I am much more of an aware man now, a connected person and I think that is a real gift I have for others in my life,” Maurer says.
Because leaders shape the world around us, Maurer wanted to make sure they are shaping a world that he wants for his child.
And so the couple started Pursue Whole to help executive leaders and athletes reach their own wholeness and determine how they wanted to show up to the world.
HOW DO YOU WANT TO SHOW UP TO THE WORLD?
“I’ve worked with a lot of their athletes as well, a lot of different leadership nationally and globally. Some of the really important questions that I ask them are, ‘Where are you headed in five years from now?’” Maurer says. “And I don’t mean a business plan, because they have that keyed out very well, but I ask them, ‘Who do you want to be and how do you want to show up and how do you want people to feel in your presence in five years from now?’”
It’s a bit of a daunting question, “How do you want to show up to the world?”
When you’re a leader trying to run a high-level business and often raise a family, this isn’t the first thought that crosses your mind. Instead, you’re busy with accomplishing the next goal, making sure your teams have what they need, driving success to the business or even ensuring your family is taken care of, which puts you at the bottom of the list.
“Some of the big feelings that these leaders want in their life is they want peace, they want fulfillment and they want all the crazy chaos to slow down to actually be comfortable in their own skin,” Maurer says. “They don’t know how to slow down because they’re so built on action and movement that they have all this momentum and the slowdown is actually kind of scary because then they have to face what’s on the inside.”
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SLOWING DOWN AND FINDING EMPATHY
In six months, Maurer works with high-level leaders and professional athletes to change their mindset, shift priorities and help them not just improve as leaders, but in work, personal and self-relationships as a whole.
“We don’t want this to be a quick fix, we want to transform leaders to pursue life in a different way and pursue wholeness in their work lives and relationships differently,” Maurer says. “So when we ask leaders to jump into this journey we’re really asking them to change the way they show up to life.”
Although the program at Pursue Whole starts with six months, Maurer told us nearly 90 percent of clients continue past that mark because they find their whole life shifting as they have a safe space to really dive into their personal goals as leaders, spouses, parents and more.
One of the common skills Maurer tells us his clients say they gain from Pursue Whole is learning empathy, which empowers them in their work and personal lives.
“It’s extremely difficult to have empathy if we can’t slow down and feel what we need to, so that’s really the biggest gap to it is that leaders do have a hard time slowing down,” Maurer says. “Because everyone around them wants something from them, they don’t have a lot of places where they can sit and feel contentment and really help someone discover who they are.”
CHANGING THE WORLD ONE LEADER AT A TIME
Whether you’re going to make a positive impact on the world has to do with your ability to deal with what’s actually going on inside, according to Maurer.
“I think people look at leaders and say, ‘Well they have success, they have money, they have fame, they have all these resources, how could they possibly be struggling?’” Maurer says. “And yet, leaders are often the most overlooked individual because we just assume because they have money and wealth and resources that life is easier for them and it’s not. It’s actually way more complex in some ways.”
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