Today is the launch day for Jaymie Scotto Cutaia’s co-authored book entitled, The X Factor: The Spiritual Secrets Behind Successful Executives & Entrepreneurs. Each chapter is written by a leader in his/her respective field, from all around the world, who shares his/her journey of connecting into his/her spirituality that has enabled him/her to be mindful, innovative and successful.
This book defines a new level of leadership– particularly during this post-pandemic reality– one in which we as leaders embrace our own presence, connection and love, and then externally, cultivate trust, courage and joy in the workplace and beyond.
Here’s the transcription of our sit-down with Jaymie.
Q: What drove you to write this?
Jaymie: One of my board members introduced me to Kayleigh O’Keefe, our publisher. She’s the embodiment of spiritual leadership and inspiration. As she was sharing details of this project, it soon became clear to me that there’s a new leadership movement happening, particularly post pandemic, where we are all experiencing profound change. We are restructuring our personal and professional boundaries and priorities, and applying these new-found connections to our work and personal lives. For example, we are working from home more. We are connecting, collaborating and producing virtually. We are trying to find inspiration and purpose during a time of great confusion and nervousness. We are placing a new priority on the health of our family and of ourselves, and openly discussing mental health issues, as well as sexual and racist harassment and biases, topics that were traditionally considered taboo to openly recognize, not to mention address. We are calling for more inclusion and diversity. We are more environmentally minded. We are redefining our corporate values with our spiritual intentions. We are asking for the ‘bigger whys’, the ‘spiritual whys’. And we are applying this all to our ability to lead during these times of great conflict.
Within all this chaos and yet clarity, this push and pull, and right as my company was pivoting quickly and scaling to meet our clients’ demands during these difficult times, my husband and I were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. Our little miracle. After 17 years together, and after too many doctors telling us it was nearly impossible, Ava Capri came into our lives during the height of the pandemic. I knew at that moment that I changed. Beyond being a new mom, I saw a new purpose for life and a new purpose for leadership.
So it is an honor to tell my story in this book– and to be part of this group of authors- -across many different countries, cultures and backgrounds– who all share the common goal of leading with intention and integrity.
Q: The structure of your chapter was very unique– a letter format to your 1-year-old daughter Ava. As a writer, did this letter format help you?
Jaymie: It felt easier. By focusing on what I would like to say to her, I could shut out the world and not consider the many other people reading my words.
Additionally, as an older parent considering the very real possibility that I might not be there when Ava needs me the most, I wanted to leave her some guidance, some words for her to consider, to help her through these times. I wanted to impress upon her the beauty of living a meaningful life. A life with spirituality, love and integrity. A life that can inspire change, help others, and impact communities.
Q: This is a chapter in a book with other co-authors, leaders and entrepreneurs in their respective fields, and from around the world. You are each defining your own ‘X-Factor’ in leading with spirituality. How do you define your ‘X-Factor’?
Jaymie: My X-factor is my family. My family is my legacy, my peace, and even the source of my courage. When I think of my work, my spiritual why, (by which I mean– why do I want to impact change, help the environment, lead a better life)– I think of what type of world I want to gift my child.
Q:When and/or how did you realize your X-Factor?
Jaymie: During the pandemic, I birthed Ava in my bathtub. As the contractions intensified, I prayed to the matriarchs of my family, my mother’s mothers, to help me bring this little girl safely into the world. It was a beautiful, elevated moment- the best moment of my life. My husband had spa music piped in. My mantras were printed on paper, taped on my walls and whispered on my lips. After my last push, my husband caught our little baby, raised her into the air to take her first breath, and placed her on my chest- her eyes wide, wild and beautiful. Ava’s healthy sweet cry was the most amazing sound– the sound of prayers answered. I knew at that moment that I truly believed in God. I knew I believed in miracles. I knew there was a greater purpose for living, for giving and for peace. I knew I would never be the same person from this point forward, and I was better for it. This was my X-moment.
Q:Why is this book important for you to share? Why now?
Jaymie: It’s an incredible time right now, particularly for the human psyche. We are going through an insane amount of change: our physical locations are changing; our ability to rely on previously available resources and previously accepted mindsets are changing; our definition of connectedness – both virtually and actually – are changing. This calls for a new era of leadership. I don’t think there’s enough discussion right now on the strategy and real-life tactics of leading in this new era of change. This book provides multiple viewpoints, multiple road maps, to leading with intention and spirituality through these crazy times.
Q:Was the writing process difficult?
Jaymie: No. Once I committed to my structure, my letter to Ava, my words to help her if I’m not able to be there for her one day, it became cathartic to write. Plus I was able to shut out ‘the others’, the critics, even my own inner critical voice, as it was personal– just a letter to my one-year-old daughter.
Q: What was your favorite part about writing this book with a group of authors?
It’s amazing to me to hear and read the beautiful, unique narratives from this diverse group of leaders. We were all asked the same questions– to define our X-Factors– to share how we lead with spirituality. Our responses are so singular, so personal, yet together weave a new narrative, a new leadership movement. There’s power in the singular, but there’s also so much power in the plural– and hearing my co-authors’ stories really amplifies this call to action– to dig in, connect with your inner self, ask yourself your spiritual why, and then lead with love and light and mindfulness. If we each do this, we can change the world quickly, definitively, and stunningly.
Q: What’s next for you? Any new books in your future?
Jaymie: Yes, I’d like to do another co-authored book where we focus on environmental sustainability. We share best practices and technologies, and together educate and inspire change and ultimately the reduction of our carbon footprint.
Q: Where can we go to read your X-Factor chapter?
Jaymie: Please download the digital book today on Amazon. The proceeds of our book launch today goes to an extraordinary cause– the student-led organization THON, that raises money to support children with cancer and their families. So download today (not tomorrow!) – as every 99 cent download counts towards this worthy cause.