Sometimes it takes a season of darkness to show you how to find light. CorePower CEO Niki Leondakis lost her home and her husband almost a year apart.
“In a very short period of time, I found myself without my home, without my husband and without my career,” who left her job after her husband passed away. “So all three of those things that made up my identity, in a way, were gone. I found myself wondering, who am I and where do I belong in the world?”
Leondakis found that answer in a few different ways. But the first thing she did was ask the universe when she honed in on how to manifest.
LISTEN: Niki Leondakis talks about leadership, grief, and finding a higher purpose on the How She Does It podcast with Karen Finerman.
How To Manifest Like Niki Leondakis
The first time Leondakis got offered the CEO job at CorePower, she didn’t take it. It was soon after her husband passed away, but it was also not long after she spoke it into existence.
“I started thinking about what I wanted to do that would marry my passion for wellness with my deeper need to work from a place of higher purpose,” Leondakis says. “While I always found higher purpose in my work, I was looking for a more direct connection to that higher purpose. And I actually said out loud at one point, ‘I think I’d like to be CEO of Core Power Yoga.’”
Leondakis had been doing yoga for about 30 years and at the time, practicing at CorePower. When she got the initial offer in 2019, she had gone through the entire interview process and was planning to accept. But turned it down and walked away. The second time she got an offer was early 2020.
“The first time I was like ‘wow, how did my dream job come to me two months after I said it out loud to my sister?’” she says. “How did that come to me? And what else can I wish for? If I say things out loud, it makes them happen. It boomeranged back to me a second time. And at that point, I said, ‘okay, the universe is speaking to me. I am supposed to be here.’”
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How Working Through Grief Can Become An Asset
Most people experience hardship in various forms. Not many people experience so much loss in such a short period of time. Leondakis found working through her grief helped her find her higher purpose.
“We all suffer loss and go through grief and hardship — I’m not unique.” she says. “We have to work our way through that grief. There’s no going around it. You have to be in it. You have to work through it and you have to move forward. I kind of stopped searching for the why and just moved into acceptance of these kinds of things happening to all people everywhere. And how we deal with these types of things is what defines us.”
Learning From Mistakes Can Make Us Better Leaders
Leondakis admits she doesn’t lead with her title because that’s not the type of person she is. Rather, she leads with empathy and compassion.
“I don’t identify as the CEO I identify as Nikki, you know I’m just a human,” she says. “My way of leading has never been from an authoritarian place. It’s from a place of ‘we’re all in this together.’ Let’s get to the best answer and we all have jobs to do and we all have access to different information. So let’s share information and get to the best answer. It’s more of a circular approach and I like being in the center of the circle, not at the top of the pyramid.”
The structure of her leadership also comes from how she believes in taking personal responsibility when mistakes happen. Oftentimes, leaders get to a place where they’re told the company can take the brunt of the problem.
“If something went wrong and someone got hurt, first and foremost, as humans, we need to apologize and take ownership and take responsibility that the mistake happens,” Leondakis says. “I think not taking responsibility for when there’s a problem [and] when something goes wrong is a huge mistake.”