INSPIRED IMPACT™ is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to social entrepreneurs and leaders of purpose-driven organizations who are making an impact in their communities, industries, and around the world.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am the CEO of a purpose-based organizational improvement firm. We help executive leaders and their teams get lasting results in multiple ways. We support leaders as they uncover new possibilities and provide guidance in the forms of meeting facilitation, strategy and visioning sessions, and executive coaching.
WHY DO YOU DO IT?
I moved from Motorola to Coachville in 2002 after realizing I was limited in how I could help people in the organization by the organization itself. I also realized it didn’t matter how good of an engineer I was, I would be limited if leadership and strength of teams at companies I worked with suffered.
During my time at Motorola, I often found people lining up outside my office hoping to work through problems and people would say to me, “I just know when I talk to you, I’m going to have clarity on what to do next.” This was one of my first ‘a-ha’ moments in realizing that I want to do this work with multiple organizations. When I got laid off after the team of 2,000 plummeted to just 20 people over the course of two years, I began to think about how to support organizations, leaders, and teams to be the kind of place where everyone can thrive and succeed together.
It has been almost 20 years since I made the transition. I love helping people come up with their own creative solutions to unique team problems. And I love to work with caring leaders who are willing to work on themselves and get alignment with their teams about where they are going next to do amazing things together.
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
I’m proud of having created a business that supports five families, enables our employees to have relationships with clients that help everyone involved, and is making a fair dent in the universe around effective leadership and teams. I’m also proud of – with a lot of help from my team – writing a book which helps leaders work on improving the impact of their leadership.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
We believe everyone deserves to be happy at work and at the same time very few people get the opportunity to utilize their strengths in their positions. Many teams are functioning well and can still turn dials to make significant improvements for their employees, their customers and stakeholders. It’s really rewarding to work with teams that move into roles where they can use their strengths to move the dial forward and make huge improvements for people and the planet in positive ways.
WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
Our team discusses this on a fairly regular basis – and every time we do I get a bit more clarity. We’re going to grow to 10-12 people, continuing to fully tap everyone’s unique strengths in service of our clients around the U.S. and world. Our clients feel our involvement with them was both vital for success, and also enabled them to perform at a much higher level together. Our reputation for helping other purpose-driven companies become successful in all aspects of the success they desire enables us to help transform the way organizations work.
WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?
Our most important currency is the trust our clients have in our relationship and ability to support their improvement and achievements. We’re revamping our website to feature some videos where our clients get to tell how our work together has helped transform their organizations, teams, and themselves. As long as we can get and increase the referrals and introductions from people we’ve worked with to people we haven’t yet helped, we have all the resources we need to be successful. Oh, a few more hours in each day would be handy.
WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Surfacing enough work to enable everyone in the company to be fully engaged in all the work they love while also easily providing salaries and benefits everyone truly deserves.
At this point in the company’s history, we know our model is working and believe we can make a bigger dent in the universe. We are balancing the intention of growing our small team with one or two more people while also being realistic about remaining profitable. Another challenge we face is how to grow people who have an entrepreneurial spirit and have them stay with the organization. We’re hard at work, building a vision that employees can commit to long term and simultaneously creating an avenue to employee ownership in the company.
For a more personal issue that is still impacting us even though it happened four years ago: Walking down the street one day in 2015, my vision in my right eye vanished. After a series of surgeries to try to repair a detached retina, I lost most of the sight in my dominant eye. I can share hard-learned lessons around empowering teams through personal uncertainty and loss.
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
Knowing yourself is a great place to start. Do you know your strengths and your weaknesses and your leadership style? If you are unsure of how you show up in the workplace, it can be really difficult to know how your actions and decisions are influencing others. Start by doing the hard work of learning about yourself, and then we can continue the conversation about how to lead and influence your teams.
HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
Encouraging leaders of organizations to get support can be a bit like telling your friend they should consider seeing a diet coach. It’s awkward and often met with resistance. However, without strong leadership, organizations fail to meet their potential. If you think you or your executive leadership could benefit from an outside perspective, we’d love to uncover possibilities with you. Folks can also sign up for the Trebuchet Group newsletter, listen to the Ripple podcast, or implement DIY suggestions found on the Trebuchet Group blog. Visit our website to learn more.
Orapin Marketing + Public Relations is an award-winning agency that drives awareness, engagement, and, ultimately, support for purpose-driven organizations. We amplify their voice and reach so they can grow, scale, and increase their impact. If you would like to be featured on INSPIRED IMPACT™, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.