For as long as I can remember, I have always been passionate about solving problems and disrupting the status quo. Even as a young child, I often found myself asking, “Why?” and “Why not?” I was chronically curious and eternally chatty (I used to follow my siblings around the house telling stories. I later learned they were trying to get away from me. I just thought they were really busy!).
My first exposure to formal leadership development came as a camp director and ropes course facilitator. There I was, leading groups of executives through the woods, exploring communication and team building, and thinking to myself, “How can I help people build these skills for a living?” Keep in mind, I was a 19 year old theatre major at the time, so the idea of working in an office setting had never even entered my imagination!
After completing my degree in theatre performance and theatre education, I accepted my first job in insurance… mostly so I could have my nights free for rehearsals. In fact, the first time I interviewed for an office job, the hiring manager asked, “Do you think you could even sit still in a cubicle?” to which I eagerly responded, “I don’t know, let’s find out!”
I trained new hires for many years and then managed teams consisting of first-time employees as well as mid-career (go Team Awesomeness!). At this time, I went back to school for my master’s degree in leadership development at Drake University. This is where I truly fell in love with leadership studies and understanding the profound impact leaders have on the lives around them.
The rest is history. I continue to push my own leadership practices and deepen my learning through research, certifications, experiences, books, classes, conferences, and an inspiring network of people. So now you know the journey (at least the abridged version) of how this little chatty, curious girl found her voice on the stage and her calling in the cubicles. What’s your story?
When it comes to my most strongly held values, these ideals embody the work I do every day: