Take A Look Inside The Mind of Christina E. Foxwell: Established Author and CEO Helping Leaders Worldwide
Devoting her life to guiding and uplifting others, Christina has made it her mission to help people find and follow their passions.
Christina E. Foxwell is the founder of Ignite Purpose where, over the past decade, she has supported leaders in navigating their teams and helped people find their purpose and flow. This has led to her supporting them in their own life-changing journeys to follow their passions, transform their lives, and grow into the people they were always meant to be. The modalities she uses in her work are: CBT, ACT, Mental Fitness, Performance Science, Behavioral Profiling, and Positive Intelligence.
With over 20 years of experience in HR, recruitment, consulting, training, coaching, and executive leadership, Foxwell has been on two global executive teams and led a sales consulting team in Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Now, after realizing there was a missed opportunity in people and organizations, and the gap between people and performance, she coaches executive teams, CEOs, leaders, and their team to develop their growth and impact their cultures and performance.
Foxwell is the author of four books. Her first two works are children’s books on emotional intelligence, The Adventures of Oscar the Pufferfish: Owning my “pop” and The Story of Astra the Unicorn Finding Her Belonging. Grow Me is a guide to growth. Her latest book, The Glass Angel, is a powerful look into transformation change and perseverance.
We had the opportunity to gain insight into Ignite Purpose’s start, her aspirations for the business, and the inspiration behind her latest book, The Glass Angel.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I have devoted my life to helping others find and follow their passions, transform their lives and grow into the people they were always meant to be. The road to where I am now was paved with hardships and turmoil. I experienced domestic violence, PTSD, and divorce before I found a path to healing and building a life of gratitude, forgiveness, and love.
Currently, I live in Sydney, Australia and am CEO of a Global practice called Ignite Purpose, where with my team, I have the privilege of guiding others on their life-changing journeys. I am an author, speaker, coach, facilitator and leader. In addition to my work, I also have many other passions. They include painting, writing, teaching, coaching, and spending time with my family. My most important roles are wife, mother, daughter, and grandmother of one.
Where are you from originally?
I was born in South Africa, the daughter of a Pentecostal Minister. I grew up learning about love and service and also facing many challenges because of our faith and also because of my olive skin. You see, I suffered racism and judgment, and today I must stay, I have found great joy in being me and accepting my skin color and my story.
What was the inspiration for the development of Ignite Purpose?
I have always loved people; When I was 17, I asked my dad if I could become a minister; I really wanted to help people and make a difference in their lives. My dad reminded me that “Girls don’t do that”. I recognized from early on in my career that leadership and organizational culture were defiantly important and that to get the best outcomes, people needed to feel that they were valued and that they had a purpose. My career has been in researched learning and development, and Performance. I found that we would often train organizations, yet the change was hard to achieve.
Coaching and integration work is key to the transformation, and I needed to find a way to integrate this into the work. I also realize that people must be led into growth and choose it for themselves. I felt inspired, and I believe we can do things differently to help transform people to impact organizational success. As a leader, years before, I had also experienced leading a team of people who were considered a failure, and through purpose, focus, and deep connection, I saw them blossom into the highest-performing team in our Global Franchise. Today many of these people are in executive leadership roles across the world. I knew I needed to be a change-maker, and I have seen my vision and belief come to life well beyond what I thought possible in my client organizations and mostly in the people I have had the opportunity to coach, engage and support.How do you think people and the economy will benefit from this?I have seen so many people go to work and not know how to bring what they have and actually LOVE what they do. I have also seen so many organizations struggling to create profitable and agile organizations and how to engage their people to deliver the vision.
Through our work, we have seen people be more focused, better connected with each other, and have more courage to use their voice and ask for what they need and check on what they understand. I have also seen leaders have the courage to LEAD, connect and unlock people’s potential. Two years ago, I created a metaphor around our work and called it the HIVE. Helping organizations unlock people and performance, like in a Bee Hive, where when people find a deeper connection with themselves and others, are clear on their roles, and are focused on the purpose and measures of success, can create an organization that delivers profitable outcomes.
The benefit for people is learning how to transform into their best selves, use their talents and navigate their focus and challenges in a way that allows connection and teaming. Leaders will enjoy leadership more and be able to engage in performance. We have seen a reduction in workplace drama and increased focus and people engagement. Economically we know that healthy organizations create more jobs, pay taxes and support an echo system of partnership revenge. Can you imagine what we can achieve by focusing on PEOPLE being better together?
What is a current challenge for you regarding your business, and how would you approach it?
We have had a growth challenge; I have spent the last three years first working through COVID and now recognizing the importance of growth through others. So the question is, how do we make our work available to people in different regions and countries? How do we expand our research and reach and our message? Our work has the ability to impact many lives and organizations. In response to this, we have decided to appoint partners who believe in our ethos and are willing to work in transforming people and organizations.
We are about to double in size and will continue to expand, with the US as our next focus. Our vision is to impact the world for the better through engaging in a TOGETHER IS BETTER bespoke culture program. The final challenge we face is to walk the talk, and while we are growing, make sure we keep our CULTURE HIVE at the heart of our work.
What was one thing you did that exceeded your expectations when you began developing Ignite Purpose?
One thing that exceeded my expectations was my perseverance. I never realized just how much I had in me and how much it would take to get past my first three years. Firstly I dreamt about the practice, then I planned the practice and dug really deep into my personal WHY and what I wanted to do that would make a difference. I linked that all with my talents and gifts. When I started my practice, I was hard; it was one rejection after the next. It took courage to get up again and again. Also, the perseverance to continually transform both in myself and the practice.
What inspired you to write your latest book, The Glass Angel?
Starting Ignite Purpose was the first step to my healing; I was about to work my heart out to prove that I could and was good enough. In the process, I was struggling with fear, anxiety, and worry. I was also trying to outrun my fear from my past TRAUMA, which was starting to compound. It was robbed of being the best leader, mother, and coach.
When I was diagnosed with PTSD in a family counseling session 4-5 years ago, I was forced to stop running and start healing. As I healed, my healing flowed into my practice and into my life. I decided to share my story to inspire others to use their voice, release their shame and fear and start living a fulfilled life. You see, the more I transformed, the more my business and my family transformed. I realized that we are all glass angels at times, and we feel that our story holds us back, or we might not even know we are holding ourselves back from a deeper connection with others and ourselves. I wrote this book and believe it will impact many lives because we don’t share our story, and it’s time to be free, transform and live a life of purpose.
Can you share some of your favorite insights from the book with our readers?
This book is partly an analogy of being broken and yet perfect. Part my own story of shame, fear, and hurt and how I have healed, with tools to help others heal, and finally part self-guided tool kit.
Here are a few quotes from my book which will inspire your readers in their lives.
“I am the author of my story! I was never broken; I was and am on a journey of alchemy and transformation. My life is a gift!
“She was picking up broken trust, dreams, courage, gentleness, kindness, acceptance, joy, and love. She thought she was picking up the best parts of her, broken forever.”
“Love is something we all have. Love is the source that feeds acceptance, belonging, forgiveness, kindness, honesty, hope, togetherness, and peace.”
“I no longer need to fight for worthiness, acceptance, and love. I realize it comes from me; it was hidden in me all along!”
“Acceptance and Self-love allow us to honor ourselves and embrace our story with forgiveness and compassion. Only then do we become free!”
“It takes courage to put down Shame and to set yourself free! You are worthy of love and connection. You are good enough and deserve all the beautiful things in life.”
What does success mean to you? What are your rules for success?
Success means living my best life today (love my family, love my team, love my work, love my clients). Dream big, connect with others deeply, and be present and kind. I used to think success was about what I needed to be. I have learned that success is being able to embrace who I am, unlock the best of me today and focus on bringing to life my dream and vision for the future!
I used to get very protective and felt anxious, but now I recognize that comparison is connected to judgment, and if I focus on that, I will never bring to life the elements that set my organization and work apart. So I don’t get caught in judgment and comparison. I focus on what I do well and what we can do for our clients.
What is one way you continue to distinguish Ignite Purpose and stand apart?
We have a holistic approach to growth and success in organizations. We are learners of our work. We use best practices and continue to transform and grow our work focusing on the transformation of self and our environment. We don’t just know the work; we are the work.
What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I am a musician. I love playing the piano, singing, and creating music that touches my heart.
The Fox Magazine is all about inspiration, what/who inspires you the most?
My children inspire me. They had taught me to persevere when all I wanted to do was give up. They have loved me without conditions, which has taught me how to have a deep love for others. They have challenged me to grow and to be present. They have given me purpose.
What is your favorite or original motto, quote, or words to live by?
Maya Angelou’s quote is my favorite.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
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