We had the good fortune of connecting with Barbara Swinney and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Barbara, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
In 2016 I experienced my own, personal pandemic. I was tapped on my shoulder by my supervisor and was told that your services are no longer needed in this position; “You’re being reassigned”. Three months later, I learned that my marriage was up against long-term infidelity, and the world as I knew it changed forever. The two things with which I most readily identified were no longer recognizable. My identity had become so enmeshed with my career and my marriage to the extent that I did not know who I was without them. Barbara was somewhere in the middle, but I didn’t know who she was, but I knew enough about her that I was determined to get to know her even if I had to depend on who other people told me she was. So, I start with my mind and everything that I thought or believed about myself. I had my first glimpse of this as I read the book, “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen. The very first paragraph changed my life: “…A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.” This prompted me to begin examining everything that I thought I was that was no longer. This book helped me to end the toxic relations I had developed with my career, my ex-husband, food, other entities, ideas, etc. Understanding and applying the principles detailed in the book has truly helped me to gain clarity of identity and purpose, confidence, and the courage I need to lead for the results I want.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Dr. Barbara Swinney, Leader in Education for more than 25 years, Life and Holistic Leadership Coach, Coach Trainer, Author, Speaker, Creator of The DEEPER Women™ Brand, Founder, and CEO of the DEEPER Leader Institute for Personal and Professional Development-an Accredited Coaching Certification Institute where we help leaders expand their capacity by increasing their influence, their impact, and increase their income. In a period of six months, I got a divorce, accepted a reassignment from one leadership position to a lesser role, bought a house, sold the marital home, sent a child off to college, and started a life and leadership coaching business to help women in leadership transition through life-changing events. …All of this in the middle of experiencing the roller coaster ride of my own healing process, and fastening the seat belts of my two daughters as they navigated their new reality. Nobody could help me. I trusted no one to give me the grace that I needed should my performance fall below the level of excellence to which I had become accustomed. So I suffered in silence…I powered through. When I started my journey to wholeness and healing, I heard story after story from women in leadership; stories that could have unlocked my alabaster box at least 15 years ago; but nobody could get over themselves long enough to free me. This is why I tell my story…because nobody would tell me theirs. My story is the story of many women in leadership. Instead of having a place to process our personal problems, we stuff them; we put on our Ruby Woo Lipstick, our finest suits, and stylish heels, paint a smile on our faces…and we walk—confidently insecure—bound by the expectations of others, paralyzed by self-judgment, and completely afraid to give any indication that we’re not OK. This…is my WHY! This is why I became vigilant about helping women, like me, transition through life-changing events, while managing the demands of their roles as leaders; this is why I wrote the books, “It’s Always DEEPER”, “Leading the DEEPER Way”. “Living the DEEPER Life”, and “DEEPER Women Teach”. This is why I created The DEEPER Women™ Brand; hosted the DEEPER Women™️ Speak and DEEPER Women™ Lead; all to provide a platform for women in leadership to share their stories and to empower other women to go after their healing, to go after their dreams, to lead the DEEPER Life, and become DEEPER Women™️!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We must, must indulge ourselves in a day of shopping at Avolon Alpharetta. I won’t allow her to leave town before we enjoy dining and dancing at the Roof Top Atlanta. I just love the Friday Nights at the High Museum and maybe we can squeeze in the Civil Rights Museum. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
As a leader of education for more than 25 years and operating a Life and Leadership Coaching and Coach Trainer Business as well as being the Founder and CEO of The DEEPER Leader Institute for Personal and Professional Development, Author, and Speaker; there is absolutely no way that I can do what I do alone. I have learned to ask and seek the help I need at every stage. I can’t begin to name all of those that have helped me along the way, but I have to name a few! I am a member of the Like-Minded Sister Circle-a group of dynamic women who share the common goal of business ownership. Additionally, I have an amazing Mentor, Karla Beedles of KBeedles Consulting who holds me accountable and helps me to stay focused on my goals. I am the youngest of 10 siblings who support me whole-heartedly and are largely responsible for who I am and what I’ve been able to accomplish. Last, but certainly not least, my two daughters, Jharde (21 years old) and Jemiah (16 years old) both remind me of my purpose and why I do what I do!
Professional Photos: Captures by Jo