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A Simple Lesson That My Mother Taught Me

Sassi Ochoa, a CIJ Clarity Catalyst and transformational trainer, embraces her purpose of service-driven living. Through various roles as a blogger, coach, runner and wanderlust enthusiast, she embodies diverse forms of leadership, inspiring others to explore their own paths of empowerment.

Executive Contributor Sassi Ochoa

Seeking to enhance leadership skills often leads us to inquire about where to learn them. Are there colleges or universities that offer courses in leadership? Such questions are common as we search for the best sources to acquire the knowledge or skills we aspire to possess. However, amidst this quest, it's crucial to reflect on the underlying motivation behind our desire.

A mother and daughter holding a book.

We should ask ourselves: Why do I do what I do? Sometimes, our actions are driven by unconscious motives that we may not fully comprehend.

My mother frequently imparted a profound saying: "Those who do not live to serve are not truly living." This lesson, deeply ingrained in me, reflects her unwavering commitment to serving others. My mother used to be a literature teacher, she not only shared anecdotes from her students but also invited me to witness her teaching firsthand.

My mother worked in both private and government schools for over two decades, she encountered the harsh reality that many teenagers face. In our country, economic hardships often force students to juggle work and studies simultaneously, leading to high dropout rates. In such instances, my mother's role transcended that of a mere educator; she became a beacon of support, akin to a social worker. Nowadays, the situation is worse due to the increase in violence in our society Ecuador has become a school of violence.

In my pre-adolescence years, I grew intimately familiar with my mother's profession, gradually absorbing the invaluable life lessons she imparted. Her profound dedication extended far beyond her career, encompassing a profound belief in the transformative power of education. Upon retiring from teaching, she seamlessly transitioned into a role within a non-profit foundation, where she devoted her time to providing free classes to children and teenagers. Twice a week, she selflessly poured her knowledge, time, and love into these individuals, driven not by a desire to stave off boredom, but by a deep-rooted commitment to their well-being.

Interestingly, I once balked at following in my mother's footsteps, viewing teaching as an arduous sacrifice. Yet, as I reflect on my path, I realize I have gravitated towards a form of education centered on emotional growth. I believe my mother inspired me to become a coach; indeed, I learned with her that the best life lessons involve not only academic processes but practical experiences. Sometimes I work voluntarily on projects or trainings to support people in their personal growth, just for the privilege of giving as my mom.

Today I’m deeply connected with the possibility that my Latin community has the opportunity to get educational programs or workshops in our native language, some of which you can find on my website like The Clarity Catalyst program or the Leadership workshop I have created.

Leadership and service are profoundly connected

If you're passionate about leading teams like me and making an authentic impact, perhaps focusing on human-centered leadership is the key. When we prioritize the well-being and growth of individuals within our teams, we not only drive success but also nurture a culture of empathy, collaboration, and meaningful change.

This is not a magic formula to save the world or you become the master of leadership, instead, I can guarantee that your results will change dramatically, it doesn’t matter if your organization is a monster or a small startup. The feeling of leading in that way is simply out of this world.

Let’s explore some distinctions


True leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders. If you support your collaborators in improving their skills, they’re going to be what makes things happen, and they’re going to be your allies in any process. For sure they’ll want to replicate this model of growth.


 If you are truly committed to the sustainability of your organization, be sure to ask yourself constantly:

  • What is the purpose of our organization? 

  • What is my purpose as a leader in the organization? 

  • Do I know what matters for my team? 

  • What conversation do we need to have to move forward?

The purpose itself doesn’t belong to the intellect when people and organizations connect with their purpose, they automatically know where and how to apply it because it is a call to action from the heart’s bottom.


Create value with your team. Give clear, appropriate, and concise directions. Be a safe space to have uncomfortable conversations and invite them to use the feedback to get insights and evolve in the organization. 

Become a master in active listening and powerful questioning. Questions that emerge from themselves have the power to switch the game.


True leaders don’t create separation; a true leader brings people together. The only way to transcend is teamwork. To gain confidence, always tell them the truth and value accountability. Accountability is the friend of top performers.


It means to inspire our teams to take action on lasting imprint in the Community, we can consider that our generation as leaders is successful. People are connected with their fulfilled lives.


Don’t forget you are not a robot. The learning and growing processes in organizations require breakdowns to get breakthroughs. Allow your collaborators and yourself the opportunity to fail. If you work to encourage your people to be the best apprentices, eventually you’ll be part of an impactful organization.

Read more from Sassi Ochoa


Sassi Ochoa, Mindfulness & Transformational Coach

Sassi Ochoa combines 15 years of successful experience in the insurance sales industry with 5 years of holistic leadership experience, spanning both professional and personal domains.

Committed to providing Latin people with the same transformative educational opportunities she has experienced translated Stanford University's prestigious CIJ Clarity Catalyst program into Spanish during the 2020 pandemic, facilitating it in her community's mother language since then. Additionally, she created the virtual worshop "Leadership is written with H", designed to connect managers and collaborators with their commitment, emotional competences, and the significance of teamwork.



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