Molly & Olivia: they love leadership, and they love teams


Leadership Team

Spring 2019 Intention:

Through presence and balance we strive to empower connectedness. Our own honesty creates growth and trust to foster true joy.


Where we are

We are only two weeks in to Leadership Team, a self growth and team inclusivity program Ruby and I developed a year ago, and it’s already Molly’s favorite challenge of her week. The whole Shakti team can agree that we love setting goals, but even more, we love making lists so we can check things off. In this spring semester of Leadership Team, we will read 6 books, listen to 14 podcasts and several Ted Talks, practice at least 56 times, and share an unidentified number of laughs…but probably around 1 million.


“It’s already pushed me out of my comfort zone. Riding around town, I never listen to a podcast, and now I’ve listened to not only the ones assigned, but branched out into others. I got stuck on campus and found my book in my backpack, so I started reading. Normally I would never do that,” said Olivia.

When I first stepped into my role as manager, I felt like I needed to explain myself a lot. Like when I was speaking to more senior yogis in the community, I backed up, “Yeah, I’m the manager now,” with at least 3 explanations for why I was capable or knew enough about yoga.

So I asked M and O… Molly, who hasn’t attended any trainings, and Olivia, who completed training this past summer… how it feels to be in a leadership role with older and more experienced team members.

“I’m not sure if we’ve gotten into it enough yet to see, but since everyone is already so open with feedback, I think it will be fine,” said Olivia.

Since March 1, 2017 when the Shakti’s doors opened, Ruby has been diligent in creating a culture of feedback; we are required as team members to attend a teacher’s class who is out of our normal practicing schedule and offer feedback at least one time per month. This is important because 1) The student may feel challenged by their habitual practice time and style 2) Because giving and receiving feedback on something you really care about (i.e. teaching yoga) can be really uncomfy. We are all forced to give and receive our opinion with nothing more than a “thank you” in return.

The more we engage in this structured opinion sharing, the less charge we feel about feedback. I remember the first time Ruby gave me feedback. I was shaking in my boots. She said, “Start bringing the extra piece.” I had no idea what she was talking about. This was before I knew anything about theming, meditation, personal shares in a teaching setting… And that’s why it’s so important to receive feedback! The other teacher asks you to ponder, choose, and act (take it or leave it) on what they’ve offered. Now, it’s rare that I walk into a class and don’t speak to my personal challenges. Thank you, Ruby.


One of the side effects of self work, particularly in a structured setting like Leadership Team, is that growth cannot be limited to the studio walls or the corners of our office. Where, how, and why we spend our time is magnified, and our relationships to people, music, the weather, and our friends shift.

“I am working on being more present. There was a house being built across the street six months ago, and I just noticed it….meditation is helping. I can actually sit and be there for 10 minutes,” said Olivia.

I felt like I was sleepwalking through life until everything fell apart. I went to the Baptiste Institute Level One when I was 21 and it wasn’t until then that I realized all if the ways I was sabotaging my life. The meditation, grueling hours of yoga, and inquiry were screaming at me “Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!” Once I did, and I saw like ‘oh I have been asleep in that relationship,’ my whole life woke up, too.

Now, boundaries in relationships are like a never ending river that is always swelling and contracting with the ebb and flow of each individuals’ needs. Sometimes it feels like you’re the only one watch the river or even cares that it’s moving.

“ It’s exhausting and makes me anxious; that feels draining,” Molly expressed,“It’s not that there’s an issue to address it’s like… just ‘call me!’…well I guess I could say that.”

We could probably all get a little better keeping communication channels open so that when something comes up, it can come through unfiltered.

It’s always work, and it’s always worth saying how you feel if it’s stealing your power.


Where we’re going

I dream about all the things I want for Shakti often. So I wanted to know how Olivia and Molly see this space taking shape next week or in 3 years.

Olivia: “I don’t just want to connect with the people I know from the studio on a deeper level. I want to connect with new people, and I think everyone could go to that next level with people.”

Molly: “I want more diversity of people. If you have all of the pie pieces then everyone feels like that have a part. I feel like Shakti can be a place for everyone and sometimes it’s just hard to reach different parts of the community.”

Here it is. You knew was coming.

What is a perfect leader? Who are the most influential leaders in your life?

“A perfect leader brings a group of people together, listens to their ideas, and works toward a common goal efficiently. My dad is decisive, curious, open to change, and he’s confident. One time we parked in the garage for the Blue Jackets game. He drove up to the gate, gave the guard a nod and just pulled into the arena. It’s like in class when you call ‘step your left leg back’ confidently, and everyone knows that it’s the right leg.. they’ll do the left leg,” said Olivia.

“A perfect leader is someone who can demonstrate clear communication and understanding to lead a group to a common goal. Ruby and my mom listen well, they respond not just to hear themselves respond. They have a lot of experience that I don’t have,’ said Molly.

These girls are T H R I V I N G so far. Ask them how they’re feeling, what you can do to support them, or if they want to practice next to you.

Connection is one hello away!

Maggie Scruggs