Since you've made it this far - thank you - you probably want to know more about my work and how I started down this road. The honest answer is - I really don't know. All I can share is that in November of 1997, sitting in an auditorium at Columbia University, listening to the welcome speech from the Dean of the Graduate School of Business, I was filled with an overwhelming desire to know the answer to a simple question. When it was time for Q&A, I raised my hand and asked: "In what class will we learn how to work well with each other?"
As the old expression goes, 'that's all she wrote.' I was 100% captivated by that question. And from that moment to now, it's been my sole focus. My mentoring practice is the result of that focus. It has led me to the understanding that our personalities and our internal operating systems, aka our minds, are the two biggest factors contributing to our ability to work well in groups or teams. And no one talks about it, in the work setting! The psychologists do - they formulate assessments, like the MBTI or the DiSC, and offer them to companies as a placebo for training and development. Even excellent behavioral scientists like Daniel Goleman who offer brilliant insights about emotional intelligence, still fall short of providing a way for an employee to actually become emotionally intelligent.
Added to that, the process of change - a constant in business - is very much discussed in contemporary literature, both business and social psychology, but little of that discussion focuses on the inner realm of the individual's process of change and how swiftly it can impact the external world of change and evolution that we call 'our work' or 'our life.' Jeannie Daniel Duck took the first step in her book, The Change Monster, when she described change through the lens of the leaders going through it. In some cases, she observed how the individual stepped up, showed courage, and energetically took on the challenge. In others, well, in her words, "the wheels came off the bus" or what social psychologists refer to as 'leader derailment.'
The observation I came to is that we've so severely separated and compartmentalized our various bodies of knowledge and wisdom, we can't see the obvious gaps and we've lost the ability to turn any of what we do know into practical useful instruction. So, that's what I do, for individuals and for organizations. My biggest contribution to this endeavor so far is the creation of the Organizational Mentoring Program, a direct-to-employee development pathway that assists the individual with crucial micro-adjustments in how they might choose to think, feel, and behave. Often these suggestions, delivered in the exact moment they are needed and are useful, are game-changing for the individual, and in turn, for the organization.
For the last two decades I've suspected that we are missing a key role in our organizational structure. I even began a PhD. program in an effort to research this role and bring it to light. One of the hardest decisions I've made was to withdraw from that program, choosing instead to 'just do it!' (Thank you, Nike!) The 'new' focus on human sustainability in the workplace provides a fertile platform for exploring this new role, which I call the Organizational Mentor. The focal point of the role is to build work environments that acknowledge the human-environment-mission alignment. The scope of the work ranges from facilitating leadership team meetings and departmental meetings using assessments like the Enneagram and the Strengthsfinder to offering regular 'office hours' for in-the-moment mentoring. What's even better, this idea is influenced by the brilliant research of Doug McGregor, Peter Senge, Chris Argyris, and Edgar Schein, to name just a few.
Last year, 2017, I was able to put this into practice. One client hired me because a customer died on the premises, and several employees tried to save the person's life, without success. The trauma this created for everyone involved not only shutdown productivity but almost caused two key employees to resign. As an organizational mentor, I was able to apply a best practice called, Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, normally used in life and death situations with first responders, to help these employees express their feelings and integrate their experience. Another client - a closely-held partnership - engaged me to help with their merger. Bringing together two very different cultures and groups of individuals has a well-known, exceptionally high failure rate. By helping to shift the discussion from the functional aspects of the merger, the typical who, what, when and where, to the personal aspects by using the Enneagram assessment to create a new common language for the whole group, the newly merged organization now has a strong foundation of commonality and values on which to move forward together, successfully.
The point here is things happen at work; things that have little to do with the service or product being sold, but have everything to do with the people providing or selling that service or product. Human beings are brilliant and creative and messy and challenging. When they come together in an organization, they bring it all with them. An organization's response can now be fundamentally different than the one-size-fits-all development pathway that's permeated business since Henry Ford first commented: "How come every time I need a pair of hands a whole person shows up?"
Okay, that's enough. I could talk about this all day. In fact, I'd love to do that, in person or over the phone. So here's my ask of you: do connect with me. My contact information is on the Contact page. Let me know if you're interested in the organizational mentor role or personal mentoring and would like more information.
And, please do continue to be brilliant and messy! Not only is it our true nature, it produces extraordinary results!
14 yrs mentoring, teaching, and speaking
20 yrs serving Senior Executives across industries in strategy & finance
19 countries Speaking & Conducting Workshops
10 yrs Wall Street, Banking & Finance
Certificate, East West Psychology, CIIS, California
MS, Johns Hopkins University
MBA, Columbia University
BBA, St. Mary's College of Notre Dame
Emotional Intelligence in Action
Certified Public Accountant