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Christine Montalvo Speaks About Balancing Work and Family Life


On Monday, April 7, a small group showed up at the Wortmann Ballroom to hear Christine M. Montalvo speak on behalf of the RC chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success. She spoke about leadership styles, characteristics, and principles.

Montalvo said leadership styles include coaching, autocratic, situational, strategic, team, and exchange. She said that in any given day she uses each style to accomplish different goals. Part of being a good leader is the ability to communicate. Not everyone is the same, so each person responds better to different styles of leadership.

The characteristics of a leader should complement the leadership styles. Montalvo said a good leader is caring, trustworthy, accountable, has integrity, works well in a team, and is a strategic thinker.

Montalvo said that good people do not always make good leaders. Today employers look for traits such as professionalism, high energy, confidence, self-monitoring, and intellectual curiosity in potential employees.  Of course, too much of anything can be harmful. Montalvo’s advice was to focus on learning everything about the position you are in. If you want to be promoted, you should focus on gaining a complete knowledge of the position you already have.

Emotional intelligence is also an extremely valuable skill to have, and one that many employers are searching for in potential employees. Emotional intelligence is the self-awareness and self-management of one’s own emotions. Montalvo said that she learned to slow down and move on. “Put a time limit on your anger,” she said. To become more emotionally intelligent, Montalvo says you need motivation, the ability to learn from your mistakes, have empathy, pay attention to those around you, and work on your social skills.

There are five different career orientations: getting ahead, getting secure, getting free, getting high, and getting balanced. Most people only have one career orientation, but a few have two or three. Accomplishing your career goals will take work. She said to do things outside of your comfort zone, be confident, ask why five times and be patient. Success does not happen overnight, though the good things you are doing now will be excellent later on.

When working toward your goals, Montalvo said there are a few guiding principles. You should be responsible and accountable. See it, own it and solve it! You should strive for excellence. When working with others it is important to trust them, but you should also verify. Work to attain alignment between work, family, and yourself. Finally you should strive to maintain your integrity.

Montalvo said finding alignment is her biggest challenge. “I’m still learning it. Work/family/me. You feel guilty. It’s a learning process; it’s not easy.” She said that when someone first asked her what she does for herself, she was stumped. She asked herself, “Where do I want to go with this? It’s okay. You’re going to get a hobby.”