Exeleon Magazine

Amy Sanchez: “I Swim Against the Current”

Amy Sanchez Exeleon Magazine

For Amy Sanchez, it has always been about persistence; persistence that has enabled her to Swim Against the Current and build a name for herself as a transformational leader.

The entrepreneur today guides corporate leaders and executives with her unique strategies and empowering attitude. With Swim Against the Current, Amy is helping individuals and businesses improve productivity, efficiency, and make a greater impact.

In this Exclusive Interview, Amy Sanchez talks about her journey, her persistence, and her business venture.

What according to you makes one a transformational leader? How do you integrate the same thought into your leadership?

A transformational leader is one who is operating with a positive mission at the forefront of their decision making. They lead from a place of trust and motivate their people through encouragement and coaching, while keeping the mission of the organization front and center.

Many times, corporate leaders will come to me for coaching when they feel burnt out, disengaged, or just generally seeking more fulfillment. One of the ways I help them realign and rediscover an inspiring path forward is by helping them identify and connect with their values, their purpose, and an inspiring vision of how they want to show up as a leader. When they go through this work, they are more able to open themselves up to the potential of transformational leadership.

Talk to us about your growing up years. What is your earliest memory as a leader/entrepreneur that you remember?

My first job out of college, I applied to become a pharmaceutical sales rep and didn’t get the job. Determined to reapply once I had some tangible results, I took a role doing inside sales, matching travel nurses to short-term hospital opportunities. It involved a lot of cold calling.

We had a “power hour” of cold calling daily. A lot of my peers dreaded this hour, but I loved it. I had already done a fair amount of travel at that time and, instead of selling the job or hospital, I would leave a message painting the image of the travel experience and excitement of change. My peers would largely leave a canned message on an answering machine (I’m dating myself here). I ended up becoming the top sales rep- I learned early to connect to the emotion and experience instead of focusing on the product. I also learned I love helping people create change for the better.

What prompted you to become a coach and help corporate leaders and executives?

The insight I gained about my passion for helping others was reinforced when I eventually did get a role as a pharmaceutical sales rep. From there, I got my MBA and transitioned into marketing because I’m a big-picture person and enjoy strategic thinking. My last role before becoming a coach was working for a company who was thin on employees but growing like gang busters. I put everything I had into that job, worked long hours and was on an airplane almost every other week.

When I announced I was pregnant, they told me in order to keep my job, I had to move to the home office and pay out of pocket. That experience forced me to reexamine how I was spending my days and I had a hunch that if I was experiencing the dark side of corporate, others were too. But I knew there was a different/better way to treat people. So I decided to lean into what I loved and was intuitively good at- helping others create positive change in their lives to increase the level of fulfillment- and impact- for themselves and others. I work with executives because I thrive when I’m working with smart, motivated people who have the ability to create large amounts of positive change, both through the people they influence and through their company’s efforts. I see every client engagement as an opportunity to spread more positivity throughout the corporate space and help propel leaders to be able to solve big problems that will improve the planet.

What was the idea that led to the formation of Swim Against the Current? What was the idea behind its name?

I wanted a name that embodied what I do, how I do it, and felt personal. As it relates to what I do and how I do it – Swim Against the Current is about finding your authenticity so you can be reinspired and empowered to find your path forward- even if it looks different than everyone else’s and the path you were previously on.

I also work with companies and the purpose of my work with them is increase the vibration of leaders and the corporate workspace so they can improve productivity, efficiency, and make a greater impact.

From a personal standpoint, water is very healing for me- it’s where I go when the world gets to be too much. (Healing and time and space to acknowledge where one is is the first step towards change). I’m also a Pisces so the fish analogy fit well.

Being the Founder and CEO, what role do you play in the day-to-day proceedings of the company?

Everything. I make every decision for the company. I do have incredible support people who are an important part of allowing me to focus on the work I enjoy the most (an admin, a marketing agency, a lawyer, and a website support person).

Looking back at your journey, what would you have done different when starting out?

This one is hard because I believe everything happens for a reason. Perhaps I would have been less harsh on myself to figure it out and grow quickly but that’s a theme throughout my life that I continuously work on.

What would be your advice for aspiring and emerging leaders and executives in today’s work environment?

Take time to really understand yourself, what makes you tick, what you need to operate at your peak, and what your core values are. When you have a solid sense of self and recognize/give yourself credit for what you bring to the table, you have a greater capacity to serve others. This will also enable you to navigate your career with more intention.

Also, the corporate structure is largely set up to incentivize reaching company revenue goals. However, the way in which we do that is often overlooked, both from an incentive and training standpoint. Focusing on task completion solely will only get you so far.

To really thrive as a leader and as a person, pay attention to how you treat yourself and others. That is the true measure of the value of a person. And when you love and respect yourself, you will have more capacity to focus on the bigger picture and a greater ability to trust others (which is at the crux of good leadership and ability to influence).

Finally, what does the future look like for you and Swim Against the Current?

There are many exciting things brewing! Over the past couple of years, as I’ve successfully helped leaders transition into new roles, they’ve brought me back to do executive coaching and team building workshops, so that arm of my business continues to grow, along with the executive career coaching.

I know I will continue to support corporate leaders but the way in which I do that continues to expand as more success stories come from Swim Against the Current (as of now, I’ve helped over 200 corporate leaders successfully make positive career changes and transitions from companies like Johnson and Johnson, Pinterest, Samsung, Google, Pfizer, and the list goes on…) I know that the key to my future is continuing to stay connected to my purpose and serving my clients to my full ability. That won’t change!

Read Digital Version.

Visit Swim Against the Current website

Connect Amy Sanchez on LinkedIn.

 

Transformational-Business-Leaders-of-the-Year

Read Previous

ExitLag: Say No to Lags!

Read Next

Graeme M. Keith III: An Icon of Transformational Leadership