LAC 4 | Ego


True leadership requires the humility to recognize and manage our egos, so we can lead authentically and empower others to do the same. In this episode, we welcome leadership coach, speaker, and founder of the Digital Mindful Choice Leadership Academy, Christie Garcia. Christie discusses how to practice ego management and build authentic confidence for maximum impact in both business and life. We explore Christie’s approach to self-awareness, ownership, communication, alignment, and accountability, and how these are critical components of successful leadership. Through her coaching and programs, Christie helps her clients manage their egos and become 1% better every day. Join us for an engaging conversation on how to let go of ego and embrace authentic leadership with Christie Garcia.

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Leading Without EGO With Christie Garcia

I have an amazing guest. We’re going to talk about stuff we’ve never talked about before on the show, and I’m super excited. It is Christie Garcia. Let me tell you about Christie. I’m going to bring her on, and we’re going to have this conversation. Christie is a leadership coach, speaker, facilitator, and Founder of the Digital Mindful Choice Leadership Academy. She has seventeen years of experience in sales, recruiting, and coaching. In 2009, Christie had a life-changing fall from a 30-foot fire escape. Luckily, she walked away with no physical damage and a huge reality check to start living her next chapter.

After ten years within the walls of corporate business, working as a recruiter in sales management in the healthcare industry, Christie increasingly grew frustrated watching talented individuals be promoted to management, and failed to reach their leadership potential. She courageously left Corporate America and started her leadership coaching business, Mindful Choice. Over the last several years, she has worked with business owners and leaders from fast-growing and modern organizations including Airbnb, Twitter, Movement for Life, and Sunrun.

Christie builds programs that help individuals and teams maximize their impact through self-awareness, ownership, communication, alignment, and accountability. One of Christie’s superpowers is helping her clients manage their egos and build authentic confidence so they can show up 100% in both business and life. Christie’s modern approach is designed to be simple. You just have to choose to be 1% better every day. There’s so much synergy here with me and Christie, and we’re going to have so much fun. Christie, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much. I’m super excited to visit with you.

I’m glad that we’re having this conversation because the ego is not something I’ve talked about before in any depth or anything. I may have mentioned it in passing. I want to start this by diving into that, and then I want to talk a little bit about that fall that you had because that’s crazy. I don’t want to gloss over that in your bio, but I do want to talk about the ego. Can you define for our audience what you talk about when you’re talking about ego?

The first thing that comes to mind when people think of ego is the loud arrogant person in the room, the jerk guy or gal that we don’t get along with. We can all be jerks and show up in our own egomaniac way. I have created a program around normalizing the ego. The ego is our unconscious brain. It is the unconscious habits, mindsets, and beliefs that every single one of us has. It’s the behaviors we do that we don’t even know we’re doing that sabotage our good intentions.

My goal is to go into organizations and work with entrepreneurs and leaders within fast-growing organizations to really teach them how those unconscious habits, behaviors, and beliefs are holding them back, whether it’s starting their business, growing their business, or leading their team and communicating. We all have ego tactics that sabotage our success as a whole. Whether it’s at work or home, it happens.

I wanted to get that distinction out there because some people immediately might have that thought, “My ego doesn’t get in the way because I’m not a jerk.” I wanted to make sure that was clearly defined as we have this conversation about the ego. We’re not talking necessarily an egotistical person. We’re talking about that subconscious mind that’s driving our behaviors that we’re not aware of.

It’s such a great clarification. It’s so funny, the thing I hear the most when I bring up the word ego is, I’ll tell you what I do. I help people manage their ego and identify it, it’s like, “My boss needs that.” It’s funny. A lot of times, those are the people that need it the most. We don’t take ownership of our own part. We think everybody else around us is to blame.

Sometimes our ego doesn’t let us take ownership of our own part, and we think everybody else around us is to blame. Click To Tweet

It’s the blame game. Instead of looking internally and from that third-person view of yourself, stepping out of yourself and seeing how your actions are affecting everybody else, you’re looking at everybody else’s behavior and saying, “They need this more than anybody else.”

“They’re definitely the problem.”

When you’re pointing out what’s happening, three fingers are pointing back at you. You’ve got to recognize that. Talk to me about this fire escape fall because I read that and I’m like, “Wow.” You survived that without any physical damage. What happened?

It was one of those crazy moments in life. To this day, I feel like it didn’t happen to me. It’s amazing. I think that shows how powerful the brain is. It creates these experiences of life we can easily forget or move on from. I lived in a building in San Francisco, and I was out walking my dog. It’s 7:30 or 8:30 in the morning. I got locked out of the building, which was a pretty common occurrence. It locked the door behind me. Typically, we would go to the top of the roof, crawl down our fire escape, and walk into our kitchen window. Probably not a good idea, looking back, but we did it a lot.

That morning was a little more unique. It was raining, I had my dog. I went to my neighbor’s house. We share a fire escape platform. I was like, “Can we go through your window? I need you to hold some Christmas trees.” I was getting ready to have a holiday party. I just put in my window, and I need to crawl through. The dog’s going to get wet. She’s like, “Let’s go out of the bedroom instead of the roof.” This was a new approach.

A couple of things there, first of all. It did seem like a good idea at the time.

It was a genius idea at the time.

It’s a new approach. Sometimes, thinking something new is like, “We could do this.”

Sometimes, plan A is the best plan. We went through her bedroom window. As we were walking across, I am not a normal person, so I wasn’t looking down. Normal people look down when they walk from high places. I’m looking straight ahead, walking where I’m going, and I walked right into the 2×2 manhole that goes down to the ground. Somehow, I miraculously made it through all three 2×2 squares on this staircase. Still to this day, it shows that when it’s not your time, God has a plan bigger than us. I already got to the bottom, and somehow landed more like a cat.

On the second floor, my girlfriend who was watching this whole thing, poor thing, said I flipped over on the second floor and went through now facing down more like a cat style. I landed on my wrist and knees instead of my internal body. Nothing got smashed and damaged that way. I had some ligament issues and five stitches on my chin. It was more of an experience. I was like, “Okay, this is crazy.”

You live to tell about it.

I better not take advantage of it because this was a moment in life when you’re getting a second chance.

That was a catalyst for shifting you saying, “I need something more with my life.”

It built my leadership academy. I was living a really great life. I was happy, had all these friends, traveled the world, made great money, and had an amazing apartment. Life was good. On paper, it was great. I even thought and truly believed I was happy. I think I was happy. The difference was I didn’t know what fulfillment meant. I knew what happiness meant.

That is so big. A lot of times, we think we’re happy, but we’re not being fulfilled. We don’t know that there’s another level. Even in leadership, you hit that level of leadership and you’re like, “I’ve gotten to where I want to go,” and there’s still something nagging or emptiness because it’s not fulfilling you yet. You might be happy with the position but you’re not fulfilled.

The problem is you don’t even know you’re not fulfilled until you stop or something happens. That’s what it took for me. This fall slowed me down enough to feel that emptiness. I kept myself so busy that I didn’t even know I had a hole in my plan. That’s what I’ve been curious about. It took me about two weeks for me to slow down enough the crazy brain at that moment when I fell and woke up. I was unconscious for a few minutes.

You don't even know you're not fulfilled until you stop or something happens. Click To Tweet

I remember I was a sales rep for medical devices at the time. I remember waking up, I’m flat on the ground, and I though, “You’ve got to feel with your toes,” and these are Grey’s Anatomy days. It tells you how to be a doctor. I wiggled my toes and fingers, “I’m good. I’m not paralyzed.” I rolled myself over. The paramedics are getting there by this time. I’m super annoyed. I had a party that night planned.

“I got stuff to do. I don’t have time for this.”

The crazy girl was ready to get back to her party. I’m good. These people get there. These poor paramedics are like, “This chic is nuts.”

People think that of me a lot too.

The doer of all doers. They held me to the hospital and got X-rays. Four hours later, I was released. It was Thanksgiving the next week. Nothing changed. I went home with my family, no big deal. I couldn’t do a few things because my arms were sore, but nothing crazy. Two weeks later, I was on a call with my coach. I’ll never forget it. I’m a controller. I don’t sit down. I don’t have feelings. I’m good.

Give me one second with that because you said you were on a call with your coach. I want people to understand that successful people, driven people, and leaders have coaches. You had a coach. You were happy, but something was still missing. You still had a coach because that’s so important.

It’s like athletes. If they don’t have coaches, they’re not professional athletes.

You’re on your phone with your coach.

I’m on my phone with my coach. We’re great. We’re having a good conversation. I always do my checklist. We always keep kicking booty in life. That day, I told her about my fall, and it was so nonchalant, “By the way, I fell 30 feet, but I’m good. I’m back to work.” She’s like, “Wait. Excuse me. What? That’s crazy. Are you okay?” I said, “I’m good. I’m fine.”

She said, “I’m going to ask you that again. How are you, Christie?” I said, “I am good. I’m back to work. Life is great. I’m a little annoyed that it slowed me down, but I’m good.” She asked one more time, “How are you, Christie?” I will never forget it. I’ve never cried that hard in my whole life. There are about fifteen minutes of that ugly sobbing cry. I had no idea even why I was crying. It was pretty terrifying.

It made me realize from then on out, I realized I wasn’t okay. I had to feel the emptiness, and it was like, “Why am I crying right now? What is this? What is going on?” Ultimately, what I learned in the next 3 to 4 months was that I was completely emotionally unavailable in my life. I had all these amazing people in my world that I wasn’t available to. I was 29 years old. I hadn’t been dating in years. I wanted all these things. I wanted a family and a home, but I was busy traveling, building this amazing career, having all this fun in the world, and making some money.

Again, on paper, it looked brilliant, but there wasn’t anybody that I would call and say, “I fell 30 feet and I want to cry to you right now.” At the time, I didn’t think that was important, but the reality is, we needed that. The thing that scared me the most at that moment is when I was in the hospital, selling my products, my favorite pastime was talking to patients who were there by themselves. I never understood, “Why are you here by yourself?” I came from a big family, and there were always people everywhere.

To think that someone would die in a hospital by themselves was horrifying to me. It’s very sad. I was always curious, “Why are you here?” The most common response you got is, “I worked so much. I didn’t have time for my family. I provided. I was working so hard to give them what they wanted that they weren’t there when I retired and had time.” At the end of the day, it was always I never had enough time for the personal side of my world. It was sad and heartbreaking.

People live to work instead of working to live.

Most of these people were 60-plus men. I thought, “This is our generation. We are now going to die. These hospitals are going to be filled with women and men because women are working just as hard. They are prioritizing their careers over their families, friends, dating, marriages, and kids.” It scared me. I was one of those people. I was going to be that person in 30 years if I didn’t change my ways. I was going to be alone. That was always my biggest fear. I started digging and figuring out what that was, and I learned that’s that unconscious ego, the controller, protector ego that doesn’t need anybody that works hard and that throws themselves out there.

It’s never done accomplishing whatever goal they’re wanting to accomplish. You’re chasing this ghost, and you forget about the human side of your world. From that day on, I started building my business of bringing humans back to work and getting balance and happiness in both business and life, identifying what success looks like in both categories. At the end of the day, 60 or 90 years old on your deathbed, your work success doesn’t matter. I don’t care who you are.

That’s powerful. I always say that you bring your whole self to work and your whole self back home. It’s not compartmentalized. It’s not like, “I’m leaving my home self now, and I’m going to work.” Whatever happened to home is walking with you into that door. It’s the same thing. We’re bringing our whole selves. We need to be whole when we do these things. We need to be able to be whole individuals. Thank you for sharing that story. There’s so much inside that story. I hope that when people are reading this, you’re understanding what Christie is saying about not being fulfilled and not even recognizing the emptiness.

I didn’t have a 30-foot fall, but that realization that I’ve been doing so long that I’ve neglected that emotional connectivity and being emotionally available in my life because I’ve been having to be the person that had to have it all together and had to have all this stuff. To be able to do all this stuff for the kids, family, and everybody else, everybody who calls, I need to be able to be that and said, “Who was that for me?”

A lot of times, we over-care for others because we don’t know how to care for ourselves. It’s like we’re not important enough, or we just don’t even think about it. I don’t think it’s intentional. It’s just that my job is to take care of others.

I feel like mothers fall very much unconsciously victim to that.

That’s what the ego does. It creates the victims and the martyrs. It makes the mothers martyrs to the world around them and victims of their own circumstances. It’s unfortunate. I’m a new mom. I adopted months ago. I’m learning how to be a businesswoman and a mom. It’s hard. The guilt is real. Balance is tough. The way a woman’s brain works is so crazy with multitasking. The ability to be able to think about 47 different things and make sure the kids, dogs, and family are all fed and everybody’s in the car at the same time. My poor dog has been left at my sister’s house already. I’m like, “At least the kids were in the car. At least the living creatures are in my car.”

LAC 4 | Ego

Ego: That’s what the ego does: it creates the victims and the martyrs.


You have the kids. You’ve got to have the baby bag and all the stuff that goes into the baby bag. You have jackets, hats, the pacifier, and all this stuff.

I now have my own mom bag in the car because I’ve left my own jacket, getting everybody else’s jackets in the car, and my jacket got locked. We’re going to have a survival bag for mom. It doesn’t get removed from the car.

I’ve been there. Mine are older now. From 25 to 15, I have 3. At every level, you have to keep shifting. You’re not carrying the baby bag and all that, but there are still other things.

Right now, there are cleats, mitts, and homework. There are so many things. It’s wild.

It’s never-ending. I want to ask you about the three egos that run your life and business. Can you break that down for us? What are those three egos?

I have found that there are three egos. We’ve got the complier, controller, and protector. The trick is to use all three in order to be our best selves. I look at the ego as both our strengths and weaknesses. If we use our egos at about 33%, we’re getting the most out of our thoughts and beliefs, and we’re being very intentional with our behaviors. When we cross over that 33%, we’re unconsciously using it, and that’s when we start to take care of me more than the we.

The complier is the one carrying a big heart and is super compassionate. They care about the people. They set well. They’re loyal. They do all the things that take care of the person and the people in the room. Unfortunately, the downside or the overuse of those strengths is that you could put too many people before yourself, so you never take care of yourself. You can overcommit because you don’t want to disappoint anyone. You struggle to delegate because you don’t want to burden someone.

You don’t know how to hold people accountable because you want to avoid the confrontation or the toughness of the conversation. You can be passive. Anytime you will say the word, “I’m fine,” that’s coming from your complier ego. That’s like, “Blow it off. I don’t want to deal with confrontation right now.” You’re not fine. That’s a terrible word, and that is a huge sign that your ego’s in the room. That’s the complier.

The protector is where all of our values, integrity, authenticity, and truth stand. Unfortunately, that can make us very black-and-white thinkers. It’s also where we can be stubborn, arrogant, or overly confident. We can come across as aloof or not available, because emotionally, in order to have boundaries, we either have to be all in or all out. Again, it’s very extreme beliefs here.

The thing about the protector, though, it’s got a very big ability to see the bigger picture, very into details, but they’re motivated about being right. That’s where they find their worth of value. If I’m not right, then I’m wrong, and I have no worth or value. That’s a big reason why you get a lot of stubbornness or confrontation there.

The controller is on the opposite end of the complier. It’s focused on being the best in winning. It’s competitive, always striving for success, and reaches the finish line. It’s incredibly results-driven with lots of passion, excitement, and positive energy. They’re quick thinkers and actors like you just A to Z immediately.

With that, unfortunately, we have that freight train energy, so a lot of times, we’ll get to the finish line by ourselves. Get on the bus yourself or we’re going to run you over. We talk a good talk, but we aren’t always emotionally available, or we put tasks before people. We don’t always think about the people side of the business or our homes.

Again, it’s finding that balance in order to bring people to the finish line with us. Especially as you become a leader, parent, and spouse running a business, you can’t get to the finish line by yourself and you’re not winning. that’s the real shift when controllers have to recognize like, “That controller energy got me here. It was great and super fun,” until we have to be that we player, and then it’s going to hurt you.

LAC 4 | Ego

Ego: As you become a leader, parent, and spouse running a business, you can’t get to the finish line by yourself.


It’s the Tour de France. We’re a team.

We go together. We ride together.

That is amazing. I’ve never articulated that way before, the complier, the protector, and the controller. Is that 33% in each of those or does 33% of our activities need to be in one of those?

Ideally, we use all three together. An example would be, let’s say, to be a well-balanced player, we want to make sure that we’re compassionate and we think about the people. We also want to stand by our values, hold our own integrity, and speak the truth in order to hold people accountable to get the results we need. That is using the strengths of all three egos to get to the finish line. If you want to look at it as a behavioral thing and example, confidence. Confidence is a great behavior. We all want and strive for that. Overused confidence is arrogance. Everything has that turning point. When does it hurt you? When does it serve you?

When does it become toxic? When do you cross that line into toxicity instead of strength? I love it. How can people use this then to communicate more effectively when they’re in a room with difficult people?

At the end of the day, egos run every single conversation we have, the good, bad, and ugly ones. Know your own ego. Why are you responding the way you’re responding to? Why does whatever you’re talking about matter? That’s the most important question because that’s what’s going to trigger you, whether your ego is the one that gets triggered first or someone else’s.

Once there’s an ego in a room, everyone’s going to follow suit, unless someone’s conscious enough to say, “We’re getting heated. We need to take a step back and say, ‘Why does this matter?’” A lot of times it’s one, identifying the egos in the room. Why are they there? Why are they showing up? Why are they triggered?

Once we can be conscious enough to ask those questions, then we can change the conversation. You can’t change people, but you can change your own approach, which can change how people show up. If we can get in the habit of changing our own approach versus judging how someone else is responding or reacting to us, then we can change the conversation.

LAC 4 | Ego

Ego: You can’t change people, but you can change your own approach, which can change how people show up.


Usually what happens is someone says something in a jerk tone, we need them in our jerk tone, or we shut down and passively say nothing. Now, we’ve got two egos communicating. Nothing beneficial comes from that place, just a bunch of stress and annoying conversation. Either people walk out upset or someone has appeased the other to get the conversation done.

Recognize, where’s the balance there? When we can understand how the egos are showing up in the room, which egos are not just our own, but how our team members are showing up with their egos, we now know what the motivators are. We’ve got egos that want to be liked, want to be right, and want to win. If we are using all of those traits and the strengths of each ego, we can get to a lot more productive conversations by identifying the needs and wants of everybody without having a needs-and-wants conversation.

It’s all around emotional intelligence and understanding how to read the room. I love that. Those who want to be liked, want to be right, and want to win. That’s the three egos right there.

They’re the motivating conversation topics.

You need to understand and identify who is what, and where you are in the middle of this conversation. Are you one of those? I’m hearing this, and I don’t know if you know about the drama triangle. I’m feeling the drama triangle in this: victim, perpetrator, and rescuer. Who is sitting in the room with you with the victim, perpetrator, and rescuer, and how do you get off the drama triangle? What is the opposite of ego then? Once you’re understanding these dynamics, how do you enter the room? If it’s not ego, what do you call that?

I call it our best self. Your best self can show up. At the end of the day, you can’t have drama, unless there’s an ego feeding the drama. Ego brings drama. The ego either entertains a drama, or the best self says, “We’re not going to entertain this. We’re going to have another best self-conversation.” It elevates everybody out of that ego and that drama triangle. If you look at the perpetrator, victim, and rescuer, those are the three egos. You’ve got the victim that typically is your complier. You’ve got the perpetrator who’s typically your protector. The rescuer is your controller.

You can't have drama unless there's an ego feeding the drama. Click To Tweet

If we can identify which one you are bringing to the table or which one is at the table, now we can get curious about why. I always say the easiest way to manage the ego is by asking questions, because the ego wants to judge, blame, accuse, and critique. If we can take all those things out, start asking questions, getting curious, and remembering that there’s a human behind this. No one’s intentionally being a jerk, causing problems, and being difficult at the table. Whether it’s a current story or an old story, there is something being triggered.

They woke up and chose violence against you. They woke up and say, “I’m going to cause an argument. I don’t care who I’m talking to.” Nobody wakes up like that usually.

Not consciously. Unconsciously, that’s exactly what the ego does. How many times have you had someone in your life where you’re upset with them, you’re a little resentful, and they can’t say anything right? There’s no way they’re going to say anything that you will agree with, that you’re going to say, “You’re a nice person.” You’ve already made up your mind. You don’t like this person. “I’m so angry and upset with them.” That’s the ego.

Someone else can come in and say the exact same thing with the exact same tone, but you don’t have the resentment, so you hear it differently, and they’re not a jerk. That’s a perfect example of how egos work. It isolates people. It puts you on your own island. It pegs like, “Who’s going to make me happy now?” When we can unconsciously be aware of our part in those relationships, we can then say, “Why am I so resentful?” Most likely, it’s something they’ve done in the past, either one they weren’t aware of or they unconsciously were meeting your ego or you were meeting theirs, and feelings got hurt.

It needs to be a simple conversation that says, “This happened.” Most of the time when that happens, people can acknowledge, “That wasn’t my intention. I’m sorry.” A lot of times, the ego doesn’t want us to do that. When we can show up as the person that can take ownership and bring our best self to the table, we speak our truth, and it’s not personal. The number one thing to get out of drama is it’s not personal. If we can remove the personal part of it, and take ownership of our part, it’s a completely different approach that can kill the drama.

That’s why I love the four agreements because it talks about that. It talks about, “Don’t take it personally.” I’m a big proponent of that. Look at it as data. Sometimes, you have to boil it down to data. Another reason why I love the assessments that I use too is in helping people understand their motivations and needs instinctively in certain situations when there’s conflict, it removes the personality and the personal nature of certain things from the conversation. We’re dealing with it on a different level. The conversations are on a different level.

I’m loving all of this. Let me think. Before I get into rapid-fire, there’s something else I wanted to ask. The work that you’re doing is impacting leaders at a different level. What is the level of leadership that you usually work with? Is it the C-Suite? Is it managers and above? What’s your sweet spot in there?

I was in the top-down. A lot of times, I work with fast-growing organizations. I’ll start with usually their executive team, and then we work it down into the leadership and management team. That’s where this work is powerful. Many times, I’ll get into executive coaching, and it’s great and wonderful. Executives are changing, and they’re maximizing their selves.

It’s hard to push this work down if you don’t teach it. The ego’s a hard thing to teach. It’s a hard thing to talk about. If you can open it up to all levels of your organization, you’ve got a standard communication that everybody can talk about. I recommend doing a top-down. Right now, I’ve got C-Suite all the way down to first-line managers and leads, upcoming leaders. About fifteen of them are all in one room. They’re all having a great conversation.

It’s bringing humans back to business where we can open up a conversation that’s not real tactical. We talk business, but it’s the human component that’s keeping the business functioning with less drama. When you can start having that conversation with just the humans in the room, the titles are there, but you drop those titles because everybody’s learning about their egos together. It’s incredibly powerful and super fun. It’s a fun conversation to be had. Top-down, get everybody talking about it. Normalize the ego, drama, and conversations, and your communication will completely shift the alignment of your team. Collaboration and accountability show up differently.

LAC 4 | Ego

Ego: Normalize the ego, drama, and conversations, and your communication will completely shift the alignment of your team. The collaboration and accountability show up differently.


It’s so important. You’re developing a culture that’s completely different, open, transparent, vulnerable, and accountable. It shifts the culture so much when you’re able to do that. If you just work with one group, they’re getting it but it’s not affecting the rest of the organization. It has to go both ways because as a leader, you’re communicating on a different level to people who haven’t gotten that yet. Their egos are still going to be triggered. At some point, their triggering is going to set you off. You’ll be up here, and then it’s like, “I can’t deal with this person.”

That’s another tactic. As the ego evolves, it evolves and grows with us. It’s never going to go away. As it evolves and we learn to manage our ego, instead of judging someone for being a jerk, it’s like, “I now know that they’re being a jerk, but I know why they’re being a jerk. They should fix that because I have now fixed that. I’ve now learned that that’s a choice.” They’re judging people for a different reason than when they were judging them. It doesn’t feel as mean, judgmental, and ego-driven because you’re conscious of it. It does create a new level of distance between management and employees.

It’s super important for everyone to get this understanding and build this part of their emotional intelligence together because it creates a different kind of riff and gap now in awareness and how you approach everything. I love this conversation so much. This is where the rubber meets the road. Many times in organizations, they’re so focused on strategy. What’s going to get us to the next level? What’s the new thing? What are the KPIs? What’s this? What’s that?

They’re not focused on how we relate to one another. That’s a very vital component of an organization. The growth and productivity of an organization are how we’re relating to getting the work done. Thank you for sharing all of that great, wonderful information. I’m sure the audience has been enlightened by this conversation. I’m going to read this again from a different perspective to understand more. I’m understanding it because I’m asking you questions, but I want to understand it completely. This is great.

Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

You’re very welcome. Thank you for reaching out, raising your hand, and saying you want to be on this show because I’m excited to have you. I’m going to ask you a couple of rapid-fire questions to end us off. Before I do that, I do want to give you one opportunity to share anything that I didn’t ask you that you think is important about this conversation around the ego that I didn’t ask you about that you want to share.

We’re at a time when the ego is loud and present in our world. We live in a very fast-paced society right now. The economy is creating a lot of stress for business owners and leaders. Year-after-year, there’s something new. I don’t think it’s going to end. This is just a new way of being. How do we navigate that? The only way to navigate that is to focus on the things you can control. The things you can control are your approach, yourself as a leader, thoughts, motivators, what you do, and why you do it. The more you can dig into this ego management, the easier it will be to feel happy, fulfilled, and successful.

Otherwise, you’re constantly going to be stressed, overwhelmed, feeling like you’re not doing enough, and never doing a good enough job. You’re going to be chasing those ghosts forever. When you can learn how to just be and find peace in the chaos, that is ego management at its finest. Your best self gets to show up and you get to feel full at home, work, and in every other avenue of your life. I encourage everyone to do the work. It will pay off and make you even more successful than you are now. Get yourself a coach. Reach out. I’d love to talk to you about how ego management can help you in your business.

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Tell me what is the biggest leadership mistake that you’ve ever made, or was a victim of in your career?

There are so many.

I love that answer because people think that we have to be these flawless human beings as we’re leaders and stuff.

You don’t become a leader without breaking a few eggs. You’ve got to fail to succeed.

That’s why I love asking this question because sometimes you make these mistakes, and you think, “I’m done for. Nobody is ever going to hire me again.” Your confidence is shot. I love asking this question because of that. It’s like, “You’re still here, aren’t you?”

That’s one of the biggest things I’ve learned over time. The fails are where we learn and grow. Unfortunately, if you want early fail, not believing in yourself, probably not asking for enough money, and not standing up in the room and saying, “This is the client I want.” During the pandemic in 2020, I spent a ton of money on different marketing opportunities and agencies, trying to get the help that I needed. I looked down the wrong path and spent way too much money that I’m still paying off without the results.

There are so many different things that we have tried and failed brilliantly at. I would say the failure that I am overcoming at the moment is not taking action on building the digital aspect of my business that allows me to have the freedom for being a parent right now. I’ve been talking about it for years, but I haven’t done it.

We always feel, especially as small business owners, that we’re behind the eight ball. We’re like, “I should be so much further ahead than I am right now.”

Sometimes there’s truth to that. I should have been here years ago, but my ego got in the way. I took the simple route. I tried, failed, and went back to what I know. There’s truth in acknowledging that, which is why it’s so important to know your ego as a business owner and leader because it does hold you back. You don’t even realize what it’s doing until you look back and you’re like, “I should have done that.” I would say continuing to do the work. My goal now is to admit the failure sooner. My controller ego tries to justify my decisions for probably a little longer than I should. It’s like, “No. Backup. Let’s admit it was wrong, and take a different path.”

It's so important to know your ego as a business owner and leader, because it does hold you back. Click To Tweet

What’s the biggest leadership advice that you’ve ever gotten that you still implement now?

I had a coach. She was probably the second coach I hired when I was going through my coaching certification and started my business. Her name was Ellie Redding. She’s amazing and incredible. She had these eyes. The first six months that I knew her, I wouldn’t look her in the eye because she could see right through me. I was like, ” She’ll know my truth. I’m not ready to admit it.” Once I finally had the courage to hire her as my personal coach, I just knew she was going to get to the heart, and there was no hiding anymore. It was great, though. I used to play small because I felt like I had bigger ideas of bigger things, so I was taught, “Don’t be that big.”

She showed me how being big and not leaving people behind looked and felt, and that I can bring everybody with me. I had in my head the skewed vision that if I play this big, then I have to leave my world back here behind. By learning how to have that all, you can have success at home and work. It doesn’t matter how big you are in your career world. Your world can be so simple and still so small. That’s what I prefer. I like the simple life, but my business life is out here, so knowing that I can have them both and they can go hand in hand.

You can bring equilibrium to it. I don’t want to use the word balance. Balance is ready hard to do, but that can be an equilibrium of having a home life that’s very private and small, and then having your work persona out here. That’s another reason I love building an alter ego because the alter ego could be out doing all this stuff, and you can be in your own little world doing your thing. Let the alter ego go. Build it big. You go do.

I kept my maiden name for my alter ego. It’s like, “That’s her job.”

If you are a castaway on a deserted island, and you only had 3 things that could either be airdropped to you or washed up ashore, what would those 3 things be?

I need some Earl Grey with cream. Would that be counted as one thing? I need my cup of tea. It brings me inner peace every morning. Some tea would be great. Probably some fire or something that I can make fire with. That’s so hard. What do I need to survive?

We have one guest say, “I need a Learjet to land, and come pick me up.”

That seemed like that probably wasn’t an option.

I said, “Nothing like seaplane?” He’s like, “Nope. I’m getting out of there fast.”

Fair enough. Let’s deliver a party boat with all my favorite people on it, and let’s just have a party on this desert island, and we can go home together.

Party boat it is.

My friends at the party are not like it once was, so more family-friendly party boat.

I love the tea. The tea keeps you calm, and then you get a party boat. Let’s jet out of here.

Let’s enjoy this island for a minute, and then we can go home.

I don’t know if you’re a music fan. If you were a song or a song title that’s in the world, what would that song title be?

My life song. When I met my husband, I told him, “This is my song. If I ever die, this is the song you play at my funeral.” I Was Here by Beyoncé is my go-to. It feeds my soul. Whenever I question what I’m doing, I play, blare, sing, and scream it. Usually, I’m crying by the end of it because it just reinvigorates everything in me.

That’s wonderful. What are your top three favorite books? You can give me a book you’re reading right now. If you can’t narrow it down to three, just give me something you’re reading that you think is great that our audience should check out.

Leaders Eat Last is an interesting book. Daring Greatly was probably a life-changing book for me, so I always recommend that to people especially if you have that controller brain that struggles with emotion availability. Daring Greatly by Brené Brown defines a vulnerability in a way that’s powerful instead of, in my head at the time, it was weak. That was good. The Power of Now is always a good go-to for me. Again, if you’re feeling stressed and not at all the same power now, it can reground and remind you that it’s all going to be okay.

LAC 4 | Ego

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Thank you so much. I appreciate it. How can people find and reach you?

They can reach me on LinkedIn social media, @ChristieGarcia. My website is If you go there and reach out, there are some freebies that you could learn a little bit more about egos and how to be 1% better every day. Otherwise, let’s connect and figure out how we can get more ego management into the business place.

Thank you so much, Christie. This has been a marvelous, wonderful, incredible conversation. I’ve loved it.

Me, too. Thank you very much. I love the work you’re doing. Keep up the good work. The world needs more good.

Thank you. With that, I’m going to encourage all of you to lead yourselves, your teams, and your organizations with audacious confidence.


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About Christie Garcia

LAC 4 | EgoChristie is a Leadership Coach, Speaker, Facilitator and Founder of the digital Mindful Choice Leadership Academy. She has 17 years of experience in sales, recruiting, and coaching. In 2009, Christie had a lifechanging fall from a 30ft fire escape. Luckily, she walked away with no physical damage and a huge reality check to start living her next chapter. After ten years within the walls of corporate business, working as are cruiter and in sales management in the healthcare industry, Christie increasingly grew frustrated watching talented individuals be promoted to management and fail to reach their leadership potential. She courageously left corporate America and started her leadership coaching business, Mindful Choice. Over the last 11 years she has worked with business owners and leaders from fast growing & modern organizations including Airbnb, Twitter, Movement For Life and Sunrun. Christie builds programs that help individuals and teams maximize their impact through self-awareness, ownership, communication, alignment and accountability. One of Christie’s super-powers is helping her clients manage their Ego and build authentic confidence so they can show up 100% in both business and life. Christie’s modern approach is designed to be simple. You just have to choose to be1% better every day.


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