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Interviews on Purpose with guest Laura Costello

This weeks interview is Laura Costello. Laura is a true sales professional known for building high performance sales teams with an amazing culture. She currently is a Regional Vice President for Philips Healthcare. She is a problem solver, a change-maker and an overall wonderful and kind human being. If you met her, I guarantee you would walk away feeling seen, heard and appreciated.

You can connect with her on linkedin

What gives you your sense of purpose in life?

My answer probably isn’t too different than everyone else’s. I get up everyday to try and make a difference – to my family, my friends, my co-workers, my community. I believe that kindness is overlooked as a strength and I try to instill that in everything I do. If I can inspire somebody to do more, be more and love more, than I have done my job (my universal job, that is!). It may mean diffusing a contentious discussion at work. Giving a smile or nod of gratitude to a store clerk or provide direction to someone seeking consult. I believe that every interaction – big or small – is an opportunity to start a ripple effect of kindness.

How did you come to discover your purpose?

I lost my Mother when I was 8 years old which had a profound impact on my life. My Father quickly remarried, but my Stepmother was incapable of accepting/loving me. Not to tell another Cinderella story or to get too deep in the sad details, but it was not good. I guess I have been searching for love my whole life. More than just a romantic love, but the unconditional deep love that comes when you’re accepted, understood and valued. I am trying to make sure I embody that. Fairness, integrity, good will are all things I try to embody. .

How do you connect your purpose to everyday life and work?

The corporate world can be a dog eat dog environment. I have always been a hard worker (and maybe the lack of love from my Stepmother, made me also enjoy praise for that hard work!). But, I have witnessed and experienced situations where hard work wasn’t enough. Where people were mistreated or passed over or been unfairly treated. I do not think you need to be ruthless or cruel to get ahead. I once had a senior level manager (still with the company) tell me that I will never get ahead because I am too soft. When I asked what he meant by too soft. He said, you’re too nice and that means you can’t make hard decisions. But, when I pressed him, he didn’t have any examples of me not making hard decisions. He said, you can’t be successful and have everyone like you. I told him that I wasn’t here to win a popularity contest, I just choose to do my work by being kind. I try to let my work speak for itself, but I think more people would rather work with someone who is kind, than someone who is not. Of course, I’m not a push over. If I need to deliver difficult news, or let someone go, or put them on an improvement plan, I do it with kindness as the backdrop. And, kindness comes from humility, vulnerability, respect and integrity.

How do you remain vibrant, encouraged and energized?

The first words out of my mouth every day are THANK YOU. I wake up with a grateful heart. I try to find the positives in every situation. Even in my darkest moments. If you focus on what is working, vs what isn’t you instantly become more relieved. I also try to surround myself with positive people. I have ended some relationships because they were toxic – they were not promoting a positive atmosphere and were extremely draining. Life is too short. I also notice that when exercise is part of my day, I am most often much happier! Of course, drinking lots of water and taking my vitamins also help. And, without sounding too religious, I do believe in a higher being. I believe that what you put out in this world, you will get back. And, that there are lessons every day, you need to be still enough to notice (currently trying to practice more mindfulness with 10min meditation in my day!).

What is one thing that you do everyday that is a necessity for your success?

ONE THING…. That’s hard. I think you need to start with an open/grateful heart. Wake up with a feeling of expectancy. I expect to have a great day. I lead with a fresh perspective that anything and everything positive is possible. That’s truly makes the difference. You can’t carry forward the negative from the day before. It may be there – but you need to expect the best. Now, if you want practical stuff, I also create a short list 1-3 things that MUST get done and I write them down. There’s something so fulfilling about crossing off your to-do list. I also schedule time in my work week to focus on projects and people. If you let someone else take control of your calendar, you are setting yourself up for misery!

Any other thoughts or word of encouragement!?

It’s really hard to stay positive in this insane world. But remember that you have survived 100% of your worst days. You need to believe and have faith you can do it. And, when you are having a down moment, look for any and all bright spots. If you open you eyes to the small miracles around you, you will instantly feel the uplift (the sunrise this morning was such a gift).

Thanks for reading!

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