Margaret Alabi is a busy Pharmacist by day but spends her free time coaching others to reach their full potential as leaders through her agency, The Pivot Consulting Group. In this week’s episode, Margaret and I talk about how she balances her professional life with her passion for helping others grow through sustainable productivity.
Growing into your potential via sustainable productivity
Margaret Alabi is an industry pharmacist and leadership coach who serves as the CEO and co-founder of The Pivot Consulting Group (TPCG). In addition to coaching, speaking, and training for TPCG, she currently serves as the Director for US Immunology Patient Advocacy at UCB Inc where she partners with patient advocates and her colleagues to create innovative healthcare solutions that improve the lives of patients living with severe conditions. Margaret hails from Atlanta, Georgia, where she enjoys singing, roller skating, and posing with her standard poodle puppies, Belle and Beau!
Margaret says that although she is a pharmacist by training, she’s never actually dispensed any medications. She learned early in life what she valued and knew what her strengths were, which is what brought her into the industry. Margaret wanted to focus on her strengths and learn to be productive on a different level. In this kind of industry, she has encountered some stumbling blocks along the way but has no regrets.
A typical day
For Margaret’s average day, one half of it is typical and the other half is unpredictable. She said this is good, though, because she’s learned to be malleable and flexible.
With that being said, Margaret starts her day at about 5:00 in the morning and immediately does a 30-minute meditation. This meditation time is essential to give her mind some “mental space and flexibility” right at the start of the day, rather than crowding her mind with things she has to do.
While meditating, she likes to focus on the type of day she wants to have. What emotions does she want to feel (or not feel)? What does she want to accomplish?
After her meditation, she gets on her Peloton bike for a 60-75 minute ride. Margaret says that without this vigorous workout, she does not have the stamina to make it through her day. In addition to the much-needed energy the ride provides, completing a strenuous workout also gives Margaret a huge sense of accomplishment that kicks off her day right.
Her workout completed, Margaret gets dressed and begins her workday in her living room. She is now working from home like most of us. Margaret spends the majority of the workday in front of her computer but blocks out two one-hour periods of time, at 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm, where she will step away from work to play with her dogs, take a walk, or simply be away from her workspace. She doesn’t take a typical lunch because she tends to snack throughout the day. Having dedicated time away from her work throughout the day has really helped her to cope with sheltering in place.
Due to the nature of Margaret’s job, she doesn’t have a specific time that she stops working. However, she tries to balance her job with other things she may be doing in the evening, such as spending time with family, coaching her clients, or watching a favorite television show. She is currently enjoying The Undoing on HBO Max.
Biggest productivity challenges
When it comes to managing her life, Margaret’s biggest challenge centers around knowing when to ask for help. She is a “recovering Type A” personality and doesn’t always know when to release control. She has learned to trust others to help her along the way instead of trying to do it all herself. Margaret has developed a simple technique for herself to recognize when to ask for help-is she still having fun? If she is no longer having fun, she knows it’s time to ask for help. What is not fun for Margaret may be fun for someone else.
When it comes to resources and tools, Margaret likes to use Nozbe, an app that helps her manage and complete her tasks. Margaret still likes to write her tasks and goals down on paper but having them in the app allows her to easily share them with others.
She also likes to use Canva to create graphics to share her thoughts with her audience and explore her creative side.
Margaret uses a digital calendar to keep track of appointments, such as Google Calendar, Outlook, and the Apple calendar on her phone. She used to use a paper planner but finds that since being at home so much, a digital calendar makes more sense for her. She uses three or four calendars at a time and finds this works best for her.
Consulting and leadership coaching
In addition to her full-time job as a pharmacist, Margaret also does leadership coaching through The Pivot Consulting Group (TPCG). In 2011 Margaret started a post-doc fellowship with a pharmaceutical company known for its work in diabetes research. She was working in a corporate affairs role and began getting calls from soon-to-be pharmaceutical graduates who wanted to know how to get into the industry and into a role like Margaret’s. Margaret found out pretty quickly by talking to these graduates that there was a gap in the way that minorities were presenting themselves during the interview process and this was something she wanted to help them with. It was then, along with encouragement from her brother, that Margaret co-founded the Pivot Consulting group, with a strong focus on interviewing, coaching, and presenting yourself in the best way possible. By talking with and connecting to others, Margaret discovered two things:
- How you do one thing is how you do everything. Once you get your dream job, what’s next?
- Who says you need a title to be a leader? You are already a leader in your community and home.
Margaret puts a lot of emphasis and value on sustainable productivity, which impacts how you lead and live. Her focus is on helping people become more intimate with themselves and their potential. Each person who consults with Margaret will take an assessment that helps her show them ways to pivot themselves within their careers, relationships, and lives in general, in a sustainable way. Pivot Consulting Group likes to use the Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment and the Energy Leadership Index Assessment. Margaret says that these two assessments together allow you to create a success formula that really up-levels everything in your life.
What do you do to get back on track on a day when everything gets away from you?
When Margaret has a day like this, she will often call her mom and ask her to come over for a hug. She only lives about 20 minutes from her mom, and getting a hug and good conversation with her mom really allows her to de-stress. She knows she is free from judgment and can express herself freely.
She will also completely step away from work and do something that has nothing to do with what is stressing her out. Margaret thinks it’s important to identify ways to “get out of your head” when your feeling stressed and overwhelmed and do something that makes you feel good.
“Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional”
When you are growing, there are growing pains, and sometimes that is what your stress is-growing pains from taking steps towards improving yourself. Suffering comes when we feel bad about our pain. But don’t feel bad about feeling pain, allow yourself to feel it because it’s a part of being human.
Margaret’s last words for the listener
The time is always now. When you choose to show up, you’re always on time
Connect with Margaret
Resources and Links
- Google Calendar
- Outlook Calendar
- Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment
- Energy Leadership Index Assessment
What do you think? Questions? Comments?
Do you have questions for Margaret or me? Please share them in the comments section below or in The Productive Woman Community Facebook group, or send me an email.
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