I’m Leanna Laskey McGrath, a former tech executive turned full-time mom. As a high achieving, ambitious, Type A woman in a male-dominated field, I spent my career building my identity and value around my work ethic. Having built a customer success team in a startup from the ground up, I was the all-in, 60 to 80-hour-work week executive who would always "do whatever it takes" to get the job done.
This mindset presented serious challenges when I became a mom. Being a perfectionist, I brought my all-or-nothing approach to parenting too. I believed my baby deserved a mom who was always fully present with her, and I still expected myself to give 100% to my job. My "do whatever it takes" attitude meant I was working around the clock to meet the needs of my baby and my company, completely at the expense of myself. This was obviously not sustainable and I started feeling like I was failing at everything. But I was absolutely not okay with lowering my expectations of myself -- how would I still feel good about myself and my contributions?
I knew something needed to change. I knew I needed to change, but I didn't know how. So I began a journey of self discovery and started spending some time in coaching, therapy, journaling, and reflecting. And at the end of 2020, I made the decision to step away from my company and focus full time on my two year old so I could be the best version of myself for my daughter. But as we all learn when we change our circumstances without changing our thinking, I just increased my expectations of myself as a mom and believed I was failing even more. I realized I still had a lot of work to do!
Taking this space allowed me to live in a more values-aligned way, and it also allowed me to take my self discovery practice deeper to really unpack the reasons why the way I'd approached work my entire life completely broke down when I transitioned to motherhood. In addition to recognizing the many ways our culture holds women to unattainable ideals, I realized my mindset needed a major shift, so I set to work on creating a new reality for myself.
In 2023, I re-launched my coaching business. In all of my various roles throughout my career, I've found the coaching, mentoring, and training aspects most fulfilling, so during a career transition in 2017, I had become certified as an Executive & Life Coach. Back then I worked mainly with business leaders and folks in career transition, and today, I am focused solely on high achieving, ambitious women, especially executive moms. I've learned so much from coaching these women in both one-on-one and group settings, but what stands out is that my experience is not unique. So many of us have these mindsets and high expectations for ourselves that seem to be "working" because we do meet our achievement goals, but at some point the system breaks down -- either when we have kids or something makes us realize we aren’t loving the way we’re living our lives.
This is where I come in. I love helping women break free of the inertia of their lives and the weight of other people’s expectations. Together, we explore possibilities and reimagine how you want to live *your* life. We work so hard for everybody else, and I believe we all deserve to enjoy this one and only precious life we’ve been given, and I’m here to help you figure out how to make that a reality for yourself. Bring a little more balance and joy, or whatever else you desire, into your life today. What are you waiting for?
You can hear more details about my story on The Executive Coach for Moms Podcast.
As far as "official" credentials go, I've earned a B.A. from West Virginia Wesleyan College in psychology and mathematics, and an M.A. from San Jose State University in educational administration & supervision, and I like to think I earned an on-the-job MBA while building multiple tech startups. I’ve also earned Certificates in both Leadership & Entrepreneurship from SMU Cox School of Business. I hold the credentials of Associate Certified Coach (ACC) through the International Coach Federation (ICF) and Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC) through the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PARW/CC).
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What My Clients Say
"While I initially started working with Leanna around a career change, our time together has resulted in more personal and professional insights/breakthroughs than I could have imagined. In many ways, I feel like I'm reimagining my life/career to be more meaningful and sustainable, which I couldn't have done without Leanna's help."