The first time I connected with Linda Samuels was online through her oh-so-thoughtful blog posts. She’s kind, caring, uber compassionate and is a leading inspiration for those helping to organize the world’s most chronically disorganized people. Linda spent the last two years as President of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD). She has spent the last eight years as an ICD program mentor. I could go on an on about her volunteerism in ICD and the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO).
I finally met Linda at NAPO Conference and it was just like greeting an old but new friend! She’s always warm and always smiling! So now I would love to introduce you to my friend Linda Samuels, CPO-CD, and Immediate Past President of ICD.
Interview with Linda Samuels
- What was your favorite thing about being ICD President?
I loved leading a team of remarkable people doing extraordinary things.
- What is the legacy you hope you left behind at ICD?
My hope was to create a strong, functional team that worked hard and had fun, while strengthening relationships with each other, our volunteers, members, and potential members. In addition, I created the President’s Brain Trust, which is comprised of the past ICD presidents. This generous group of leaders gathered periodically to share their wisdom, insight, passion, leadership, humor, understanding and experiences about ICD with me on relevant topics. My hope is that the Trust will continue to be a positive resource for future ICD presidents.
- What are your future plans for your business?
Future plans include continued hands-on organizing, writing, speaking, teaching, coaching, possible product development, and further professional development around chronic disorganization, psychology, and marketing.
- What are your future plans for writing?
One of the things I’ve discovered in the last several years is how much I enjoy writing, encouraging a dialogue, and inspiring and motivating others. My plan is to keep doing that through my blog, theothersideoforganized.com and other writing opportunities. Is there another book in my future? The jury’s still out.
- What’s your favorite way to motivate others?
My favorite way to motivate others is through modeling positive actions and behaviors and holding up the “you can do it” notion so that they believe that change or action is possible and doable.
- What is your philosophy toward your work?
Our parents raised us to believe that if we did work that we loved, we’d never work a day in our lives. They exemplified that in their own career choices, which inspired me to pursue that path with passion. I’m grateful and honored to be part of the professional organizing industry…one of compassion and service. I offer support to my clients that have organizing challenges and work side by side with them as they overcome overwhelm, make changes, and work towards their goals.
- How do you handle criticism?
I don’t think any of us like to be criticized. However, receiving criticism or feedback, is part of being human. Since I know that being criticized can shut me right down, the first thing I focus on is relaxing my mind instead of getting defensive. Deep breathing helps too. This way I can listen to the other person and really hear them. I take it in the best I can without making excuses or being defensive. Then I work on choosing the parts that are valid, letting go of the pieces that aren’t and using the feedback for learning and growing opportunities. There are times when more understanding is needed, so I’ll check in with a trusted friend to help me view alternate perspectives.
- What was the last gift you gave someone?
The last gift I gave was a collection of adult coloring books, coloring pencils, pencil sharpener and eraser to my aunt who is going through chemo. During a recent conversation, she mentioned that during the treatments she doesn’t feel like doing much of anything. She noticed that another patient was coloring and thought that looked like a stress-free, satisfying activity.
- What is the funniest thing that’s happened to you recently?
While washing the dishes and using the sink spritzer, somehow my hand slipped and I accidentally squirted my face, neck and chest with water. The unexpected surprise made me burst out laughing.
- If you were 80 years old what would you tell your children?
It would be the same message our daughters have received, seen, and lived since they were young. Laugh more. Love more. Be grateful. Engage in work that you’re passionate about. Surround yourself with people you love and that love you. Balance alone time and sharing time with others. Find joy in the moments because life goes by all too quickly.