Episode 71: Tired of Feeling Guilty? How Wise Women are Exploring Guilt and Becoming Better Leaders with Catherine Flavin

Mar 15, 2021

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You’ve managed to wrap things up at work an hour early. You get home, put on some music, and head straight for that big cozy chair, and sink in deep. You take a moment. Just to sit and rest those weary bones for the 40 minutes you’ve stolen for yourself before the kids come home, the dog needs walking, or your partner arrives home from work. 

But, shouldn’t you really be using that extra time to get ahead? 

Dinner could be prepped. Those weeds in the garden really need pulling. And, ughhh... that laundry.

Do you ever feel guilty for sitting still? 

If you answered “yes” to this, congratulations. You’re a bonafide human woman. We all do it. 

But the important thing to understand about guilt is that it’s a signal. It’s a real emotion tapping you on the shoulder, asking to be recognized. Guilt is saying, “Hey...there’s a value being violated here. Pay attention.” 

Instead of succumbing to the emotional gravity, what if you dared to pause and ask what your guilt it’s trying to tell you?

If we don't process our guilt, then we’re permitting it to drain us. Learning how to heed its message and engage with our emotions makes us better. Better partners, better parents, better friends, and better leaders.

As women in the world, we’re intimately familiar with guilt. We try to create balance between work and family, between authority and empathy. But the truth is that our guilt isn’t the problem. The corporate environment in which we’re living is the problem. 

The sooner we all accept that male and female balance in the workplace is what will truly allow us to thrive as a whole, the sooner we’ll elevate the whole world.

Today, Karlee unleashes some ultra-rich insight in her conversation with Catherine Flavin, founder, and CEO of Leader Mom/ Whole Leader. Catherine is a trained social scientist providing researched-based practices for sustainable success among high-performing leaders. With over 25 years of experience exploring culture and leadership, Catherine is an expert in providing support programs for leaders during difficult times, including 911 and the financial crisis in 2008. 

You’ll hear Catherine’s perspective on the mindset professional women need to consider to regain their workplace status and continue to thrive after changes brought on by Covid-19. She also shares the classic behavioral traits of women who secure significant leadership roles and reveals the glaring disparity in how men and women are evaluated in the workplace and what’s behind it. 

When we take pause and try to understand the message wrapped within our feelings of guilt, we’re able to meet our emotions with curiosity and softness. This allows us the space and the energy we require to do amazing things. 

If you’re ready to “be amazing and take the bumps lightly,” then this episode is for you! 

What You’ll Learn in This Episode:

  • Taking control rather than accepting “inevitability” (8:22)
  • The implicit bias women face (11:23)
  • Why motherhood affects all women (22:13)
  • Gathering the right intel to process guilt effectively (26:27)
  • Sustaining your most valuable asset (35:15)
  • Understanding our values and sticking to them (40:40)
  • The learning path towards leadership (52:43) 

Resources Mentioned In This Episode: 

Episode 69: Out of Sync? How Wise Women are Receiving Nourishment

Episode 70: Thinking About Change? How We Find Focus and Make Elevated Choices

Guide Sheets for Appreciative Inquiry "5 Better Questions To Ask During Change"

Connect with Catherine Flavin:



Podcast: Hard Won Wisdom & Ways

Website: Leader Mom

Connect With Karlee: 




Messy and Magnificent is produced by the folks at Ginni Media 

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