Featured Leader, Tarra Christoff
:: Online profiles
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:: Favorite Book(s)?
I am always asking: "How can we design our work lives so they are an expression of our gifts and making a contribution to the world?" I've found the following books personally helpful and they've also informed my work with coaching clients. I know each of the authors personally and appreciate that they "walk their talk."
True Work: Doing What You Love and Loving What You Do by Justine and Michael Toms
Callings: Finding and Living an Authentic Life by Gregg Michael Levoy
Bringing Your Soul to Work: An Everyday Practice by Alan Briskin and Cheryl Peppers
:: What women leader inspires you?
I am passionate about awakening feminine leadership and am grateful for so many inspirational leaders, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area! I was blessed to meet Lynne Twist, author of The Soul of Money and co-creator of The Hunger Project (http://www.thp.org/) and The Pachamama Alliance http://www.pachamama.org/, at a life changing conference I attended, called The Quest for Global Healing http://www.questforglobalhealing.org/. Lynne is a global leader who embodies grace, gratitude, and humility. She encourages people to become citizens of the world and transform their relationship with money. Other Bay Area women leaders who inspire me include Sara Ellis (who co-founded Young Women Social Entrepreneurs while in her 20's http://www.ywse.org/weblog/2008/05/faces-of-ywse-s.html), environmental activist Joanna Macy (http://www.joannamacy.net/), organizational consultant/cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien http://angelesarrien.com/, and Juanita Brown, the founder of The World Café, an innovative organizational development methodology for facilitating conversations that matter (I have had amazing results facilitating it), http://www.enlightennext.org/magazine/bios/juanita-brown.asp.
:: Who Was Your Best Manager? Why?
I have to confess that I have been an entrepreneur almost my entire life. I have appreciated collaborating with many women leaders who are authentic, creative, and supportive of their team.
:: Your First "Real" Job?
It was working in a non-profit organization as a case manager for homeless and runaway youth. After struggling with burnout and a realization of how organizations often re-create the very dynamics that they are working against, I decided to find alternative ways to lead change in the world.
:: Where Do You Do Your Best Thinking?
I do my best thinking while hiking on Mt. Tamalpais. The most beautiful trails are walking distance from my home. I love the expansive view of the ocean surrounded by the beauty of the mountains. I try to hike at least once a day because I find that nature is my great teacher and source of inspiration. I also consider these walks part of my spiritual practice.
:: What Do You Value Most in Employees? Colleagues?
I value authentic leadership. Women, in particular, have strengths in compassion, communication, collaboration, and creativity.
:: What Would You Like to Be the World's Best At?
I would like to be the world's best me. I think each one of us has unique gifts and strengths, and our purpose in life is to unfold these gifts and realize our potential. For example, I know that I am good at generating ideas, supporting people, coaching and leading teleclasses and workshops. I am not particularly skillful at administrative details or project management, so I focus on doing what I am best at and surround myself with others who complement my skills.
:: What Do You Consider Your Greatest Achievement?
One of my favorite achievements so far has been co-leading a 5-day workshop at The Omega Institute (http://eomega.org/) on a new model of transformational activism for emerging leaders. I loved seeing a diverse group of people come together in the spirit of being of service during these times in the world. Each person fully brought their gifts and passions for making their contribution in the world. I loved learning more about how people envision this new paradigm of leadership. It also moved me to see how people shared resources, developed projects together and supported each other with their visions! I am passionate about creating community so it delights me when people from my workshop stay connected and co-create.
:: What Is Your Personal Mission Statement?
My aim is to support women who are committed to leading positive change in the world. I want women to have work they love, abundance (of every kind!), community, and a sense that they are living their purpose.