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Lynell Green talks about her book ‘Visionary Discipline,’ and the digital age

Up-and-coming author Lynell Green chatted about her forthcoming book “Visionary Discipline.”

Lynell Green
Author Lynell Green. Photo Courtesy of Lynell Green.
Author Lynell Green. Photo Courtesy of Lynell Green.

Up-and-coming author Lynell Green chatted about her forthcoming book “Visionary Discipline,” as well as support an organization in creating a work and life balance culture.

Green also discussed being an author in the digital age now with technology being so prevalent.

Background on Lynell Green

Lynell Green is a strategic management consultant and executive coach. She has been a public speaker, leadership program leader, coach and consultant for over 40 years, in addition to working in accounting, tax, and finance.

Her clients include growing Entrepreneurs, leaders at Meta, Twitter, Netflix, Hilton and others. She is committed to supporting leaders with their strategic planning and execution as they continue to expand their scope and impact nationally and internationally.

Green successfully completed the Warren Buffett 10,000 Small Business initiative Program in Boston with CEOs from around the country. She also recently received a Certificate of Specialization in Strategy from Harvard Business School to continue to expand her mastery in strategy as a framework for leadership and life.

Q & A interview

Can you describe your childhood growing up? How did it shape you into the powerful professional you are today?

I was born in northern California, and we moved to Hawaii when I was nine. My father was in the Navy, so we lived near Pearl Harbor and attended schools that were a mix of military and local families. Our neighborhoods and schools were diverse with families from all around the world.

I grew up with an appreciation for diverse cultures and ways of life. There were six of us – three boys and three girls and I am number two. My older sister deferred to me to play the role of the oldest, so I was always the one organizing and supervising my siblings.

My parents gave us a great deal of freedom if we followed “house rules” which included doing our housework, homework, and being home on time. I remember leaving home Saturday morning and walking two miles to the pool with my friends, going to the movies, or ending up at the bowling alley or a friend’s house.

If we were home by dark, we were free to do whatever we wanted. I was in Hawaii through college, and I still go back at least twice a year. It is home. I believe growing up in Hawaii shaped who I am as a professional in three fundamental ways.

As a leader, I am a demand for diversity because I saw first-hand how it influenced my ability to see various points of view at school and in my neighborhood. Hawaii also trained me to adapt to the myriad of ways innovation, creativity, and problem solving that shows through different cultures.

I have acceptance in my bones. I believe organizations can be short-sighted if they define diversity as different ethnicities only, but not include diversity of life experiences.

I remember the first time someone asked me how I felt being the only African American on a leadership team and they were surprised when I said I don’t think about it. That was grounded in growing up and going to college in Hawaii.

As a professional, growing up in Hawaii gave me a global perspective of business, people, and products. I think and lead with a global perspective in mind. This skill gives me a depth to what I provide my clients as their global strategic partner as they navigate the uncertainty and competitiveness of the global business environment.

At the University of Hawaii, the college of business had students from around the world. I remember running for President of the accounting club my senior year and I won as the only African American in the club and the only one in the college of business at the time. I only thought about how I could serve, not the color of my skin.

I have an authentic curiosity about people and a firm belief that people can achieve their dreams or least have fun on the journey. I am a demand for people to find and develop their zone of genius and that they realize it is their responsibility to grow and develop for the rest of their lives, if they chose to.

I believe the freedom that we had in Hawaii gave us the space to discover what we were passionate about in life and I love witnessing people discovering that for themselves, both personally and professionally.

How do you support an organization in creating a work/life balance culture?

I love this question because I believe it is critical that teams and organizations continue to address this issue with their leaders and teams, especially as the company grows and develops. I have led numerous workshops on work/life balance and here is what I discovered.

It is critical that you like the majority of what you do for work, and you have practices during the workday that reduce your stress and support you doing your best. If you don’t like what you are doing, spending 10 hours doing it will be exhausting no matter what your work/life balance strategy is.

If your work is not a fit for who you are, create a plan to transition into something else. If you like your work but you are not being responsible for how you work and you dominate yourself to “push through” all the time, you will eventually grow tired. If you need to take a quick walk every 3 hours to improve the quality of your work, do it.

Work/life balance is a personal phenomenon. An employee with a newborn will create balance very differently than a professional right out of college. It is important that leaders don’t create a one size fits all approach. Communication is critical. This includes employees managing expectations with their partners and family members.

Most of my clients are in tech and I encourage them to be honest with their partner regarding work demands. If you have a launch in three weeks, let them know you will be working fifteen-hour days but make a promise to take a trip once the product has launched, but you may still need to be available if there is a breakdown.

Communication and agreement on expectations with all parties impacted is important. Finally, when you are with your partner and family, be present. Some of the home pressure to not work so much is because employees are not turning work off and giving their family quality time.

Employees are responsible to communicate with their manager, so they are on the same page regarding how an employee’s desire to bring balance impacts the work that needs to get done. Leaders cannot run a company and give every employee a customized work/life balance plan.

Employees must understand the company has to make money and be competitive so there must be a balance between what the company needs and what the employee wants.

We hear you also have a new book coming out soon. Can you talk to us about it and what readers can gain from reading it?

I am excited about the book. The working title is “Visionary Discipline” – the key ingredient to launching anything in life. There are three key fundamental principles that I explore.

First, it takes discipline to connect to your authentic self and what you really care about. Second, it takes courage and discipline to see where you are in your own way, and when you are ready move forward and stop making excuses.

Lastly, one needs to take full responsibility for success and bring integrity and discipline to the work needed to bring your vision to life. I have spent thousands of hours teaching leadership classes and coaching individuals and teams and I believe everyone can make a difference in life for themselves and others.

That requires us to be willing do deal with our fascination with our comfort zone and take ourselves on in any area that is stopping us. We all get stopped. The skill is to learn how to be nimble and move through the obstacles without getting a PhD in perfection, failure, or procrastination. And of course, find a way to have fun.

How does it feel to be an author in the digital age now with technology being so prevalent?

Given our access to AI and all the knowledge that is at our fingertips, writing a book can seem anticlimactic. So why am I doing it? I do believe that when life experiences are shared in conjunction with knowledge, it gives people a place to stand for themselves that goes beyond the theory that knowledge provides.

I know hope is not a strategy, but it is place to start when you are pursuing a vision and dealing with the challenges on the road to launching. My desire is that the book inspires people to launch.

What was the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given, and why was it so important?

What comes to mind is when one of my mentors told me “People in your life can have an opinion, but they don’t get to vote.” That helped me continue to pursue the journey that felt right to me through the years, and I don’t treat my life like a democracy where everyone gets to vote.

You can have an opinion; I will listen, and I will be making the final call. It has me be 100 percent responsible for how my life goes.

To learn more about Lynell Green, check out her official homepage.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 19,900 original articles over the past 16 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a seven-time consecutive "Best of Long Island" winner, and in the past three years, he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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