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Expanding Capacity to Lead

My Breakthrough to Fulfillment – Every Day is One Step Forward

Last week I spoke to a Public Relations group out of New York City, and the conversation stirred a whole new level of exploring about my career and the difference I am here to make.

She began the call asking me about receiving the award as one of Silicon Valley’s 2019 Most Influential Women. She asked me, as a Speaker and Consultant why I have not spent more time and effort branding Margaret Graziano.

The question stumped me.

I remember the first thing I said was why would anyone be interested in me as a brand. What do I have to offer? I haven’t climbed Everest or survived a plane crash. I haven’t spent a year in the Serengeti or walking through India. I told her, “I am just an ordinary person who is extremely passionate about what I do and I want to share it through KeenAlignment.”

The Public Relations woman went on to ask me if I had overcome any challenges in my professional career, and about a time that I succeeded in the face of obstacles that at one time seemed insurmountable.

Her deeper questioning hit me head on.

There I was, being interviewed about an Award I am about to receive, and I saw that I was disconnected from the being behind the hard work of accomplishing.

In that moment I had an insight about my life, my career, and my still ever-present limiting beliefs and how they get in the way of me living my biggest purpose and passion.

For the next several days I pondered the Agent’s questions, the mental ping pong on the subject of Who am I, Who am I not….was exhausting. One moment my thinking was empowering me to see how I can make a big impact in the world and the people in it, especially women in or entering into leadership, and the next, the quality of my thinking was eroding the possibility of me seeing that my life could inspire others.

In all the spinning of my thinking, I realized that I had a very rigid neural pathway filled with judgment about whom I am and what I get to do with my life. I saw that for years I have been tied to my own limiting thinking about who gets to inspire others on a large scale and who does not. My thinking was tightly wrapped around a concept that to be an inspiration, one needs to accomplish extraordinary status like Oprah, Brené, Obama, or Tony Robbins.

I saw that one of my automatic perspectives is that I haven’t proved myself yet. There is still more proving to do. While this perspective keeps me in the learning game, the dirty under belly of this limiting belief is that it keeps me striving, running and in pursuit. It is a self-created, self-evolving trap, gently wrapped in a personal development bow.

The truth is, when it comes to overcoming adversity and coming out the other side, I am a pro. Much of my life has been about moving beyond obstacles and making the right choices, in the moment in time I was called to make them. And at the same time, there have many been times, more than I can count that my hyper vigilance, exaggerated sense of urgency, or pure pursuit of adventure and excitement has steered me the wrong way and led me further down the path of frustration and even fear.

When I am open and allow myself to see how my journey and my life may inspire others, I am naturally inclined to share my lessons learned and teach about the pathways to self-discovery and conscious choice that continues to make a difference for me. My life today is truly a manifestation of my highest values aligning and surrounding myself with people who bring out the best in me.

It all comes down to choices, day in and day out, and the more conscious I am of what is doing the choosing, the more powerful and effective my actions are in the here and now.

So how did KeenAlignment get into the Inc. 5000 in just 4 short years, and why was I one of the 100 accepted into the Class of 2019’s Most Influential Women In Silicon Valley? I think it has something to do with BIG Passion, Vision, Tenacity, Choices and Ability to Recover when I make mistakes.

In the spirit of Marianne Williamson’s “A Return to Love” poem:

Who am I to be honored as one of the members of the Class of 2019’s Most Influential Silicon Valley Women?

  1. I am a child who grew up in an addictive and at times abusive household, with a strong positive role model in my mother, and an innate desire to live a healthy and inspired life.

  2. I am a single mother who took a job as a 100% straight commission recruiter with no idea about the business world.

  3. I am a determined 21-year-old who took a pass on standing in line for a welfare check for the reward of placing the five young women in my candidate queue.

  4. I am a top producer in the Search and Recruiting Industry who traded in the high income and status to give back to the industry, because I had a deep calling to do so.

  5. I am a humble warrior woman who when teased with taunts such as “those who cannot do, teach”, kept my head high and continued to pursue my goals.

  6. I am one of the first recipients of Joyce Gioia and Conrad Taylor’s National Association of Personnel Services – Certified Employee Retention Specialist credentials, and I am one of the few selected to lead the program.

  7. I am a young woman in my thirties who took the advice of a crazy consultant to explore the impacts being a child of an alcoholic had on my ability to run a successful organization.

  8. I am a wise and peaceful woman in my mid-thirties who forgave my father for his unconscious, unhealthy behavior.

  9. I am a mother of three boys, seeing them with light and love and choosing to volunteer for scouts, while juggling my business obligations and making it all work.

  10. I am a highly effective Introduction and Seminar Leader for one of the most well-known brands in the human potential field.

  11. I am a 40-year-old woman courageous enough to ask for what I needed and wanted in a marriage, and sensible enough to hear the answer, even though it hurt.

  12. I am a 46-year-old tenacious woman who left a solid Recruiting and Search profession to pursue the vision of turning KeenHire’s selection process into a workflow process software in Silicon Valley.

  13. I a 48-year-old pioneer who packed up everything I had and moved to California in a 4 x 6 U-Haul with no job, no community and no guarantee.

  14. I am a 49-year-old woman frightened out of my mind that I made a mistake, jumped too quickly and compromised the integrity of the Conscious Hiring® brand and the people behind it.

  15. I am a 50-year-old woman standing for the Conscious Hiring® brand, the intention that it was intended for and fought to win the IP back from the people who took it.

  16. I am an explorer, an adventurer and heart-based entrepreneur.

  17. I am a woman who is continually growing and expanding my capacity for leading, loving and living.

  18. I am a thought leader in Workforce Alignment, Constructive Culture, Conscious Leadership and Strategic HR.

  19. I am a leader of transformational programs for organizations and the people inside to shift thinking, make better choices and produce breakthrough results.

  20. I am Margaret Graziano, I am proud of my journey and grateful for the trust my colleagues and customers have in me.

  21. I am Magi, mother of three wonderful passionate grown sons, and Gramma Magi to my delicious and adorable grandchildren.

  22. I am a highly successful and accomplished woman committed to empowering both women and men in living lives they love.

When I really look, and list it out, I see throughout my life, when I am grounded and confident, my innate wisdom tells me what to do next. When I listen, it has never done me wrong. On the other side of the coin, when I am harried, concerned or operating in fear or frustration, my internal guidance system is disintegrated and dissipates through the noise and the flurry of living my life, and I mis-step.

It is ONLY when I slow down and come back to my authentic purpose and essence that I navigate through challenges and obstacles with my highest self as my guide.

It is in the sharing of moving beyond failures and low points and coming out the other side that people get access to hope for themselves.

It is in learning how avoiding responsibility for 100% of the outcomes we create in life keep us trapped, and how accepting that we are the master of our own thinking and therefore the owner of every experience we experience in our live, is the key to freedom, peace and joy.

It is in being vulnerable and sharing the path of recovering back to our true nature that gives others grist for the mill to explore, play with and learn from.


Magi Graziano


Magi Graziano, as seen on NBC, is the CEO of Conscious Hiring® and Development, a speaker, employee recruitment and engagement expert and author of The Wealth of Talent. Through her expansive knowledge and captivating presentations, Magi provides her customers with actionable, practical ideas to maximize their effectiveness and ability to create high-performing teams. With more than 20 years’ experience as a top producer in the Recruitment and Search industry, she empowers and enables leaders to bring transformational thinking to the day-to-day operation.


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