This is part of our "Meet the Team" series. We post these interviews periodically.
Q: Tell us about the moment you knew you wanted to be a leadership coach:
A: For me it was a series of different moments, but one that comes to mind was when I informally claimed a corporate leadership role that had been denied to me because it went beyond the scope of my department. The role I crafted for myself was to drive a highly collaborative cross-department strategic initiative. Seeing the impact of that, made me consider that a new approach was needed to leadership: one that focuses to discover, nurture and enable talent - beyond the rigid organizational structures. I knew I wanted to help cultivate that kind of leadership, one that can have an impact on many levels: mental health, organizational success and innovation, societal progress.
Q: What is one of the most memorable moments in your coaching career?
A: One of them is when one of my clients, the CEO and founder of a company realized there was a different way of thinking about her role in her business and went from wanting to "throw in the towel" to adding a major account, tripling her revenue, empowering her team and significantly improving her work satisfaction in a matter of months.
Q: What's your favorite thing about working at Henley Leadership Group?
A: First, there is the team - the level of transparency and levity on this team is unparalleled to anything I have experienced before. It points to a different way of being at work. Then, there is the leadership philosophy - the inside out approach to leadership and the focus on collaboration and innovation seem truly designed to match my own values and beliefs, as a leadership coach and human.
Q: How are you developing yourself as a leader?
A: I take a proactive and creative approach to my leadership development. At the beginning of the year I assess what is needed, set clear intentions for my growth and usually put together a development plan with training and experiences I want to have. Then it becomes an improvisational, experimental game that I truly enjoy. I bring insights from one training or learning experience to another and see what the other modality or experience has to offer.
Q: What are you reading right now?
A: I am currently reading the book Scaling Leadership, by Robert J. Anderson and William A. Adams, one of the two books that describe the underpinnings of the Leadership Circle Profile, the 360 leadership tool we use at Henley Leadership Group.
Q: What’s making you happy this week?
A: What is making me happy this week is to see my 7 and 12 year old children relatively autonomous with their home work and enjoying school. We’ve finally hit a groove, and I feel I have done my parent job well and I can feel better about my focus on doing the work that I love.
You can learn more about Maria here . . .
Photo Credit: Ingrid Pape-Sheldon