Throughout my management career at both Fortune 500, and regional companies, I encouraged direct reports and peers alike to stop deferring their dreams. Long a student of servant leadership, I always envisioned working in an organization that challenged and encouraged those who were already good to become great, so I started one.
I’ve always been troubled by the damaging effects that poor leadership, either by intent or ignorance, inflicts on hard working and well meaning professionals. I’ve witnessed their mornings, filled with enthusiasm and hope, become reduced to disillusioned husks of their former selves by afternoon, beaten-down, disheartened and despondent. In my career, I’ve experienced this from all angles. Sometimes I unwittingly subjected my own direct reports to nonsensical management whim, for which I’m still embarrassed. Other times, I was the unlucky recipient.
I’m being polite. The truth is, be it at work, at home, in politics or in the managing of self, poor leadership pisses me off. I have a visceral reaction to it, even now, as I write these words. Simultaneously, sometimes maddeningly so, poor leadership in all its many forms also inspires me to defeat it. As you may imagine, based on your own experiences in the world of which we live, this can be a stressful attitude to bear. Better perhaps, to proactively combat it through prevention, by working with likeminded people who openly question themselves in an effort to continually improve, maximize their potential, and contribute a greater piece of themselves to the world.
I’m proud that for the last five years I’ve been a candid resource for both professional women and leaders in new positions. They’ve gained clarity on their purpose, values, and goals and have acquired skills that have increased their level of confidence and reduced or eliminated their instances of indecision, fear or doubt. I operate on the assumption that people already carry the strengths they need, I just help them find the a-ha within.
Thank you to those who quietly read my words without comment, but whose positive actions speak volumes. I appreciate, too, my early clients, who helped me shape the direction of this firm and remarkably, are still the source of referrals. My newer clients invigorate me with their challenges and their determination. I’m grateful for my family, those who are here, and those who have departed, for their generous support; financial, moral, and otherwise.
Perhaps the greatest blessing has been my children, my youngest fans, who also “get” what I do. They’ve encouraged me in lean times and kept me humble, (as best as anyone can). They are a source for all manner of ideas, and provide questions that prompt me to put the foundations under the castles in the sky Thoreau has encouraged me to build. They are my heroes.
I hope in some way my business or my writing has helped you build your own castles in the sky. The last five years have been tumultuous and thrilling for me. As I embark on the next five, I find myself advancing far more confidently, and I hope you’ll join me.