If life and career proceeded in a steady upwards trajectory, fuelled by energy alone, leading oneself first would be little more than putting one foot after the other. But they are not in tandem, and as we advance in our careers, so too do our parents advance in years, our families grow and change and our life choices resolve to possibly take us far from home and into new, uncharted territory.
As an internationally recognized motivational speaker, Michelle Ray has been telling stories and sharing the wisdom of a career that’s had its share of ups and downs, but has rarely been without forward momentum for long. She graduated from university in a recession—when jobs were thin on the ground. Some thirty years on, Ray has collected her thoughts in Lead Yourself First: Indispensable Lessons in Business and in Life. Self-motivated, self-employed and self-driven to help others, she challenges her readers and listeners to apply leadership where it matters most—their own lives.
What gives Ray a credible motivational voice are her own setbacks and sadnesses, the end-of-life declines of her once-vital parents; mortifying moments at work and memorable encounters with others who answer the call to lead their own lives (and a few who do not). The lighter side of her lessons come from her unconventional successes (creating a “Certificate of Perseverance” during a particularly gruelling job search; donning a spur-of-the-moment “Cat Woman” costume that nailed a major client during her years as an advertising sales agent). Funny and wise, Lead Yourself First is a supportive career companion and generous boost of resilience for anyone inclined to take action for a better future, starting with themselves.