The Power of Authenticity in Leadership: Insights from Amanda Riffey

In this episode of the Daring to Succeed podcast, I interview Amanda Riffey about her insights on being both introverted and extroverted, tracking energy cycles, and the importance of embracing one’s unique strengths in leadership roles.

She emphasizes the value of taking action before feeling ready to build confidence and shares her personal experience of hosting a successful women’s event.

Resources mentioned in the episode

Connect with Amanda

Episode Transcript


Hello and welcome to the Daring to Succeed podcast.

Joining me today is Amanda Riffee, an internationally certified executive coach for women. She is a thought leader and event speaker with 17 years of corporate experience.

She is also the host of the Unleashing You with Amanda Riffee podcast, happy wife and mom of two. Her mission is to help women unlock their mindset, see their worth and create a career and life they love, no burnout required.

Amanda loves traveling to new places and spending time with other powerhouse women who are passionate about personal growth and enjoying this beautiful life.

Thank you so much for joining us, Amanda.


Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here.


So I’ll start with the question I ask all of my guests, even though I know the answer to this one.

Do you consider yourself more introverted, extroverted, or a bit of both?


Definitely a bit of both, for sure. People might think that I am extroverted. And to be honest with you, I thought that for a really long time too, that I was definitely very extroverted in the fact that, you know, when I’m having conversations, I’m more outgoing.

I’m confident in my work, you know, all of those types of things, but I hate crowds. I hate crowds. I will drive right past a restaurant if I see too many cars in the parking lot. So I don’t even venture in to see what the weight is. Cause I’m like, no, that’s too many people. That’s too much going on. I’m just going to go right past it. And so I think that was kind of some of my first signals that I might have a little bit of introversion in me as well.

And then when I think about how I actually recharge my battery, I recharge my internal battery when I’m alone or with a few close people. So when I think about like major holidays or times where I’m around a bunch of people, I am that person that will sneak away and go in a room by myself for a few minutes and just kind of decompress and recharge before rejoining the party.

So that I think is definitely a little bit of both. And you know, I know you and I have talked about before even tracking your energy cycles. So I’m happy to go into that a little bit as well. But I definitely have just different phases within the month of times where I’m feeling more introverted or extroverted too.


Yeah, and I think we’ve talked about as well, there are different seasons of our lives where we feel more introverted or extroverted, which I found to be really interesting because I think some people think that you’re introverted and you’re forever introverted. And I’ve even talked to some extroverts who said that as they mature in their life and as people, they’re finding that their introverted energies are coming out a little bit more.


Yes, yes, for sure. And when I think about even it’s seasons of anything, it’s seasons of your life. It’s seasons within the year. It’s seasons within the month. When I mentioned tracking my energy cycles, women for the most part have a 28 day cycle.

And so we go through different seasons or different energy phases throughout the month. And so you can relate that to the seasons of the year where it’s winter, spring, summer, autumn, no matter where you are in the world, you know, we have kind of those different seasons and for women, we have it all in one month. So our autumn or winter time is typically our more introverted times of our cycle where we enjoy doing more things alone, especially here in the US, you think of winter time and you think of snow outside and cozy and sitting by the fire, you’re not going out and doing a bunch of things.

And so those are the times of our cycle where you might wanna shut your office door and get your to-do list done, or you might wanna cozy up with a blanket on the couch and watch your favorite show or read a book. And then there’s your spring and summer phases of your cycle, where you’re more primed to be more creative, more collaborative, being out.

Again, here in the US, you think of summer and like vacations everywhere, and your party, like you’re doing all of these things with all these people, and that’s more of your summertime energy. So I think even within the month, and I track this down to the day for myself, and like I have a Google calendar that now that I know when those cycles are for me, they repeat every four weeks.

Like I have that calendar event repeating every four weeks on my calendar. So like you could ask me to do something in September and I’ll be able to look ahead and gauge where my energy level will likely be. And I might be like, Oh, can we do it this weekend? Cause I’m looking at where my energy is going to be. And I’m probably going to be more primed to do that type of activity. Or I might say, Hey, can I get back to you when we get a little bit closer?

So I really try to honor that with both my social life and my work schedule as well. So like if I’m scheduling a big presentation, again, I’m gonna look at that calendar and say, okay, can I choose a week where I’m gonna be more primed to do that type of thing?


So interesting. And for our introverted listeners out there who are curious to set up their own calendars, because obviously you’ve done this for a while so that you’ve got these reoccurring events. What would you say are some good ways for them to figure out what type of energy they’re stepping into on a particular day or a particular week?


Yes, great question. So the first book that I read on this topic that was a game changer for me, it’s called Do Less by Kate Northrup. So I would highly recommend that. And in that book, she has a very simple activity where you can, you know, pull out a journal or a notebook and just number each line one through 28. And then for 28 days, just write down like, hey, how am I feeling today? Like, oh, work felt hard today, or I nailed that presentation, or people were getting on my nerves today.

All of those things that I even track physical symptoms in my body too of, you know, I felt tired today or bloated or had a lot of energy, whatever the thing is, and just write that down for 28 days. That then you can then the second month, first tap into yourself and like, okay, how am I feeling today? Let me think about it. Then I go back to say, okay, where, how, how did that match up with this time last month? And almost always it’s spot on.

I will say the first day of your menstrual cycle is the first day of your, of your cycle in general. So when you’re going to do one through 28, your first day of your menstrual cycle is day one. You don’t actually have to have a menstrual cycle to do that. You can, you know, just pick up where you are in, in the calendar and just kind of match it up from there. But it is crazy to me. And I work on this with my clients too, cause I work with women. So it really works out for me of just how to be able to lean into that.

And then also give yourself permission, you know, when you are laying on the couch and you’re like, oh, I feel like I should be doing something. And you’re like, you know what? This is what my body needs right now. This is what I’m craving. And it kind of takes away that guilt of like, I don’t have to be super productive every single day.


Yeah. And that’s such a good reminder for everyone, especially for us introverts, because there’s so much pressure for us to get out of our shell and just get out there and be a little bit more social that I think it’s nice to give ourselves a break once in a while and be like, you know what? I do need that quiet time. I do need a date with myself today. So I’m not going to push myself to do something that doesn’t feel right.


Yes, absolutely, absolutely. Yeah.


And I did want to get to something that I read on your website. You had a statement that really called out to me. It was almost like you were speaking to the me that just became a manager. And the quote was, you don’t have to follow the path of the leaders who came before you. Can you talk a little bit about why you’ve put that on your website, what that means to you and how introverts can relate to that?


Absolutely. So I would say the really short answer to that is, to me, it means we have the power to be who we are, both at home and at work. And I’ve, you know, I’m based in the US, so I have some US statistics, but I know there are similar cultures that follow the same, same logic. But if we think about in the 1960s, approximately 70% of US households were single income households.

So in most cases, what that meant then is that men were primed to grow a career, provide financially for their families, even if they didn’t want to or it wasn’t ideal for the whole family. Like the men were expected to work long hours, dedicate themselves solely to their careers, make those personal sacrifices to earn more money.

And that’s just how our society was built. I mean, you can watch one episode of Mad Men and that is abundantly clear. And so what that means is that our traditional view of success and what it takes to get there was also shaped by those same societal norms. And times have changed.

Like now approximately 60% of US households are dual income households and have women in leadership roles, right? Like things have really evolved and the workforce has changed with that as well. And as women in leadership, we really have the opportunity to be able to create a new definition of success for ourselves and our families.

I think the pandemic really brought that straight to the surface because men are partners in parenting. Women are in the workforce. Women might earn more than males that are in their household. It doesn’t have to be a woman-man thing in a house. I think as we think about how the workforce trends are evolving and the power that we have as women in leadership to really make a difference right now. So what I mean by that is being able to start showing up as us.

So I always say, you know, the minute I started showing up as me instead of trying to morph myself into what I thought was expected of me that’s when I actually started to really excel in my leadership. When I leaned into what I was personally good at, you know, when I leaned into my strengths, that’s when I took off as a leader.

Before that, when I was traveling a time when I had no boundaries, when I was doing all those things, I was burned out. I was completely burned out. I felt like I was failing as a mom, failing as a partner, you know, all of those things. And when I actually gained the confidence to show up as me, that was when everything changed. So when I think of leaders who are more introverted, I say, think about those things that make you unique, that make you you, because when we try to show up as someone who we aren’t, we are gonna completely drain our energy.

And it’s going to feel like more work. It is naturally going to feel like more work. So maybe your superpower is being an incredibly active listener, or maybe you have that superpower. I have someone on my team that she can see those details. She can see those potential pitfalls way far in the future. So she is the question asker. She will always ask those questions.

And the minute we got her to really lean into that and be like, hey, that’s not a bad thing. That’s your superpower. That was when everything changed and then those results come along with that. So if you’re great at setting boundaries or asking for what you need, your team is gonna learn from you on that. And those skills are incredibly valuable. So when you can really lean into them, when you can make them your superpower, that’s when you’re really going to feel successful. And that’s when you’re going to accelerate your results as well.


I love that so much, especially because something you said there about having your own strengths to bring to the team and having others learn from you, because yes, you could just emulate someone else or what you think success looks like or what you think a strength looks like.

But all of us have this unique mix of who we are and what makes us us. That’s the real secret sauce. It really is. It’s more getting comfortable with, yeah, that’s me. And this is what I have to offer. If that’s not a good fit for this situation or this team or this company, maybe that can be OK. And maybe there’s another place that really needs me that I just don’t know they’re out there.


Yes, and I think that’s the importance of having diversity within our leadership teams, within our teams in general, because when I think about my team in a corporate space, every single one of them has different, quote unquote, superpowers. And so we lean into all of those for them, and then together that makes a cohesive, incredible team.

If I hired everyone that was just like me, we’d all have the same pitfalls and blind spots. Exactly. I think it’s finding that team where your strengths are incredibly valuable and a great leader is going to be able to see that.


Yeah. Love that so much. So before we wrap, was there anything else you wanted to leave with our listeners?

I would say that the biggest thing that I hear whenever I like put out a poll or ask, you know, what’s top of mind or I’m working one along with my clients, confidence is always the thing that people feel like they are really lacking. And the easiest thing I can say around confidence is, and I say easy, not meaning that’s actually easy. Maybe I should say simple.

It’s not easy by any means, but it’s doing things before you feel ready, putting yourself out there before you feel ready. And that’s actually where the confidence comes from. I used to be that person that thought I had to know everything about a certain topic, feel totally prepped and prepared and all of that. And then I can feel confident asking for that promotion or that raise or volunteering myself for a specific project, whatever it might be, or even worse, waiting to get tapped on the shoulder for that.

And what I found is that when I actually put myself out there before I feel totally ready and doing it and actually taking the action to create whatever that thing is, that is where the confidence is built. I just this year, um, hosted my first large women’s event here in Denver and over 50 women were there and it was just incredible.

But if you would have asked me six months before that, if I was ready to host my own event, I would say, heck no, like very far in the future thing. And, but I had to put myself out there before I was ready. And guess what I learned as I went and the event turned out amazing. And if I hadn’t done that, I would still be sitting here dreaming about that. And now I feel so much more confident going into the next event because now I’ve done it.

Um, so I just think where some of us might really want to over prepare to feel confident. Sometimes the key is just taking that messy action. And that’s where the confidence is going to come.


Yeah. I love the way you position that because so often, especially as introverts, we get told to kind of step outside of our comfort zone and just do it, but the way you put it in terms of not necessarily being uncomfortable, but doing it before you think you’re ready, I think is a really great way of looking at it because it’s less about your comfort level and more about whether you personally think that you have every single skillset and detail figured out before you just do the thing.


Yes, absolutely, absolutely. And the more we do that, the confidence builds along the way. And that’s, I think sometimes the missing ingredient is, is taking some of that, some of that scary action. And I’m not saying we’re going to, you know, totally, you know, jump off a cliff and, and like do damage to our nervous system.

Like, okay, what’s the next, the next tiny scary action that I could take. And then every time we do that, we feel a little bit more confident. And then we take another action, we feel a little bit more confident and it just continues to build from there.


Yeah. Awesome. Well, Amanda, it has been so lovely to speak with you. If our listeners want to hear more from you and learn more about some of the things that you’ve talked about here today, where can they find you?


So I am prominently on Instagram, and that’s AmandaRiffee underscore coaching. And I know you’ll put the links in the show notes.

So AmandaRiffee underscore coaching, that’s where most of the fun happens. I’m also on LinkedIn as well, if you’re a LinkedIn person, and just AmandaRiffee at LinkedIn. And then my website is acrp So that’s gonna have links to all of the social platforms as well. And I would absolutely love to connect with people. Don’t be surprised if I send you a personal DM and just start a conversation because that’s who I am. And I love personally connecting with everybody that I work with.


Amazing. Yeah, well for sure make sure those are in the show notes for everyone. Well, thanks again, Amanda. It’s been a lot of fun like last time.


Yes. Thank you so much for having me. I love this conversation. I totally enjoy talking to you and I think we could do more episodes in the future.


I think so too. Okay, we’ll talk to you next time. Thanks.

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