For as long as I can recall, I have had the gift of profoundly understanding people and their relationships, including what causes them to thrive and what limits their potential. My intuition and insight have made me a discerning employment attorney, a trusted HR professional, and a transformational leader of people. Today, my work focuses on the following themes:
- Harnessing the power of compassionate and humble leadership
- Uncovering and leveraging collective team wisdom
- Building strong and engaged communities among remote or co-located workers
- Co-creating a clear and compelling vision for long term impact
- Promoting employee perseverance and grit
- Developing cultural norms that honor employees and generate success
I define myself chiefly as a humanist, a futurist, and a fearless leader.
I believe in the potential of people – all of them – to transcend their limitations and achieve the unexpected. I am preoccupied with large and intractable issues that restrict the ability of people to reach their potential, including lack of access to education, environmental degradation, and the systematic exploitation of women and children. In work, I express my humanism as a unique brand of passionate servant leadership. Nothing thrills me more than finding a nexus between an employee’s innate gifts and talents and the priorities of an organization. I believe that organizations benefit from honoring each employee’s personal contributions – however idiosyncratic.
I love thinking about and predicting the future. Professional futurist Jane McGonigal encourages us to collect signals from the future that might give us a glimpse into what we may have in store and then to decide whether this is the future we actually want. I am entranced by the idea that we are not subject to determinism but that we can decide for ourselves – with intelligence, insight, and clear vision – what we would like the future to hold.
I once attended a talk in which Ari Weinzweig, co-founder of Zingerman’s Deli, asserted that courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the willingness to take risks despite the presence of fear. I would like to think of myself as a “courageous leader” – the type who is willing to be vulnerable and authentic; admit mistakes; and speak up against what is wrong, silly, or mean even if it could potentially irritate or inconvenience people with greater authority or power. Yet, several members of my team at Strayer University took to referring to me as their “fearless leader” and I now embrace the term as a testament of their trust in my courage and integrity.