Tag Archives: leadership


By Scott Ormerod & Chuck McPherson





A couple of years ago, Alice was identified as a potential leader as part of the nonprofit succession plan. Alice was a program coordinator for the agency serving families. Besides knowing the job very well, Alice always volunteered for additional projects such as the strategic planning committee, the parent committee, or the development of a new program funded by the State. She demonstrated enthusiasm, was a learner, and was driven to serve the organization. When the Program Director, Linda, spoke with Alice about her personal development plan, she discovered that Alice had a lot of ambition and a desire to grow into a leadership role within the agency. What Linda discovered was that the organization had not developed or implemented a leadership development program. Succession planning was even new to the organization. They called Leap Solutions and asked for our help to identify the best practice options for a leadership development program.


As a business management consulting firm, we engage with clients about leadership, what it is, how it shows up within an organization’s culture, and how it is developed. Simply put, leadership is the action of leading a group of people or an organization. Leadership can also be defined by the ability of an individual or a group of people to influence and guide followers or members of an organization, society, or team. Leadership is an attribute tied to a person’s title, seniority, or ranking in a hierarchy (either perceived or real). But do these descriptors really identify what it really is? Absolutely not. How does one even get to be called a leader? Perhaps the perception is that he/she is “a natural born leader” or they develop into becoming a leader, one with high potential. Either way, leadership development is ongoing. Let’s explore these two concepts.



A natural-born leader emerges by seizing opportunities to develop and strengthen their leadership capabilities through challenges, experience, and learning as they engage, explore, and develop their leadership traits. They naturally have leadership capabilities, which they strengthen along their continuous journey. A high-potential, emerging leader builds their capabilities by seizing opportunities focused on self-learning, mentoring, coaching, and experiential leadership tools. While not naturally showing leadership capabilities, their journey continuously builds skills through knowledge, experience, and a willingness to make and learn from their mistakes.


If you desire to build and grow natural-born and high-potential leaders, what is available for this journey? First, identify the desired leadership skills and competencies within the organization and match the needs with identified natural or high-potential emerging leaders. Leadership growth can be achieved formally through training and specific development tools or informally through experiences such as project assignments that stretch their skills.



One of our clients engaged with us to create and implement a leadership development program. Together, we created a multi-year leadership program with an annual cohort of new leaders to participate in a program of coaching and leadership development. Their strategy is developing a deep field of both natural and high-potential emerging leaders. Participants benefit from past program participants while the whole organization benefits from a succession of leadership learners applying their skills. Essentially, the participants are earning their MBA in Leadership internally. The program results impact not only leadership but the bottom line through stronger client relationships, new business opportunities, and a growing network of potential clients. In reality, a small investment is yielding significant results.


To create a strong leadership program, participants benefit from formal and informal training and development activities achieved through various tools and experiences such as:

Mentorship – Internal mentors are critical for all team members as well as creating a leadership development environment. This allows for a multi-level approach to identify mentors at all levels of the organization. The mentor/mentee relationship can be formalized to ensure a meaningful and transformational experience. It supports learning from one another by understanding needed skills, core attributes, and experiences for planned growth. When focused on leadership development, the relationship can evolve around the type of leader the mentee aspires to emulate and what attributes they possess that makes them a leader to admire and understand.

Coaching – Formalizing the development process into a coaching relationship moves the experience from learning from others through relationships and observation to learning of one’s self and identifying development goals. Working with a coach to understand themselves, leads to real-life experiences and learning with a strong balance of introspection. Digging deep allows the coachee to grow and gain leadership skills. The key is setting development goals and holding the coachee accountable for reaching their goals.

Planning and Executing – Being conscious of development opportunities through planning creates the platform for executing. You have to know where you want to head in order to create a plan to get there. Making a conscious effort to plan, set goals, hold yourself accountable, and achieve plan execution sets the path for leadership development and success. A planning leader is able to clearly state the direction he/she is heading and bring others along to achieve the plan.

Leadership Assessments – The world is full of leadership assessments that identify behavioral traits (the foundation of leadership skill identification and utilization), profile strengths (and opportunities), and leadership potential. Pick one or a few to paint the leadership picture. The assessments are valuable as a foundation of what exists and point out the potential and opportunities for leadership development. The more a leader understands themselves, the stronger they will understand others. If you can explore what it might be like to walk in another leader’s shoes, the greater opportunity to understand their profile and what you might want to incorporate or develop within your skill set.

Values and Attributes – Leadership values are anchors or foundations of what makes a leader tick. They create the platform that keeps the leader on point for what is important to them. Along with their key leadership attributes, team members actively understand how they show up, what they can count on, and how they will respond when problems need solutions. Their words and actions are in harmony, and the walk is the talk. Alignment provides consistency of leadership and the ability for others to follow.

Education – The formal aspect of learning has many paths for the developing leader. Masters programs in leadership, certification programs, seminars, and leadership development programs are all potential learning paths.

Informal leadership development happens each day in a growing, learning organization that fosters active participation in skills development through individual experience and experimental learning. A culture that supports informal leadership development encourages taking risks, learning from mistakes, and taking the initiative to grow. In other words, the culture embraces initiative and provides opportunities to match enthusiasm with potential.


We once had a team member who thanked us for allowing them to earn their MBA on the job. We created an environment of formal and informal leadership development that allowed the team member to identify their potential and attain their goal of strengthening their knowledge and actively applying it while serving our clients. It was a win-win strategy of leadership development.


The world is changing, but it still needs great leadership to survive and thrive. Each organization has its own inherent opportunities and can set the culture it desires to develop its leaders. If you are wondering if you have a culture of leadership development, reach out to us and let’s have a conversation.




Are You Ready to Leap?




Leap Solutions is a diverse group of highly skilled management, organizational development, and human resources, and executive search and recruitment professionals who have spent decades doing what we feel passionate about helping you feel passionate about what you do. Our HR specialists can help you get a handle on the ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines, programs, and legislation that may impact you and your employees. We are available to work with you to develop practical solutions and smart planning decisions for your organization’s immediate, near, and long-term needs.

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Attracting, Retaining and Promoting Diverse Talent

By Tammy Ramos, J.D.


Note to our Readers:

Leap Solutions is pleased to have guest writer, Tammy Ramos, J.D., once again write on a timely topic about diverse talent in our DEI article series. Tammy partners with Leap Solutions to provide DEI consultation to our clients.


In this issue of our newsletter:

  • Generational Considerations
  • Recruitment Strategy
  • Retention Strategy
  • Promotion Strategy


The lack of diversity in the leadership roles in Fortune 500 companies is a persisting challenge and a disappointment for professionals of color. Although the murder of George Floyd in 2020 brought enormous attention to the disparity of racial and ethnic diversity in leadership roles, the initiatives for DEI has brought very little change. According to the Route to the Top 2022 report by Heidrick & Struggles, it found that diversity among CEOs has only grown a mere 2% from 22% in 2021 to 24% in 2022. These numbers are despite 93% of executives surveyed for the Heidrick & Struggles reporting that they supported diversity, equity and inclusion and agreed doing so was a business strategy. Black CEOs still account for less than 2% and Hispanics less than 4%. This article will not attempt to address all the reasons for the disparities but will instead endeavor to provide real solutions and strategies to increase diverse representation through solid recruitment processes, effective retention practices and comprehensive leadership development for professionals of color.



Generational Considerations

The objective in this article is to increase the representation of diverse talent in leadership roles. To do that, it is imperative to have a basic understanding of the five generations that currently make up the workforce, as each brings a different mindset and expectation of their employers. More specifically, there are some additional nuances of racially diverse talent that should be considered when assessing recruitment, retention, and promotion strategies.

Today, there are five very different and distinct generations in the workforce.

Traditionalist (76 to 99 years old)

Baby Boomer (57 to 75 years old)

Generation X (41 to 56 years old)

Generation Y, also known as the Millennials (26 to 40 years old)

Generation Z (25 years old and younger)

Each generation has been shaped by the history in which it grew up. Traditionalists and Baby Boomers are loyal, have a strong work ethic, value job security, and respect hierarchy. Generation X are entrepreneurial, autonomous, value independence, and prefer monetary rewards while also enjoying work/life balance. Whereas the mindset and values of Millennials and Generation Z is quite different from the older generations. Millennials are technologically savvy, results oriented, value feedback, and prefer relaxed work environments. Generation Z have a high need for authenticity, value diversity, expect inclusive cultures, and want their employers to be involved in social responsibility.

For purposes of focusing on the future of Fortune 500 companies, it’s necessary to thoroughly understand the two youngest generations currently in the workforce, the Millennials and Gen Z respectively. In the context of history and culture, they’ve never known a time without cell phones, the internet, or cable television. They have had immediate access to information about global warming, wars, famines, political upheaval, and in most recent times the reminder of the persistent, unwavering racism in the United States as they watched George Floyd be killed by police. In addition, they’ve lived through a worldwide pandemic, COVID-19, which makes them ever so aware of the fragility of life.

Consequently, these two youngest generations are not willing to sacrifice their personal lives or values in exchange for more money or greater prestige. They are moved by feelings of “belonging” and “inclusion”. They seek meaning, and they want to work for employers who align with their values. Creating a sense of belonging is critical for employers who want to better accommodate and prepare for this [younger] generation.

A deeper look at the racial diversity of the two youngest generations will provide even more specific intel as to what drives young professionals of color.




As this table indicates, based on the Pew Research Center, 39% of Millennials and 48% of Gen Zer’s respectively are racially and ethnically diverse. They are also leaders within ideologies of sexuality, religion, and gender diversity. These two generations are dominating and transforming the workplace landscape. With that being said, unfortunately, a closer look at the black and Latinos within these generations reveal that they are still struggling to find their power in the workplace. In the Coqual report “Being Black in Corporate America” it was found that 31% of black Millennials say they spend a great deal of energy to be authentic at work. And 25% reported feeling like they bear the burden of being the entire representation of their race or ethnicity.







Additionally, although Latinos today are the second fastest growing demographic in the workforce and are projected to be nearly 21% of the labor force by 2028, Korn Ferry reported that “Latinos face a paradox in the United States of being both ubiquitous and invisible.”

Despite accounting for almost 20% of the U.S. population, as we saw earlier, Latinos only represent 4% of senior-level positions. Consequently, it is no wonder that Latinos feel invisible. They are not fairly represented in leadership roles.

Given these dismal statistics, it’s no surprise and is also encouraging to note that Millennials and Gen Z-ers are driving change. They expect to see diversity at the top. In Deloitte’s 2018 Millennial Survey Report, they found that “Millennials are twice as likely to stay with a company beyond five years if that organization has a diverse workforce that represents their values of diversity, equity and inclusion.” Also, in a recent Monster survey, 83% of Gen Z candidates said that a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is important when choosing an employer and 26% said they want to see diversity in leadership. Consequently, it is crucial for the future of industries across the board that there be a thoughtful and clear strategy around recruitment, retention, and promotion that will attract diverse Millennial and Gen Z talent.










Recruitment Strategy

  1. Create inclusive recruiting practices – First, reach out to schools that have a more diverse student body and post internships, host job fairs, and offer networking opportunities. Second, engage recruiters who specialize in identifying racial minorities and connecting them to job opportunities. Third, connect with diverse associations like the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Women of Color in Engineering Collaborative, and so many others. And last, access resources to stay abreast of best practices for recruiting professionals of color.
  2. Develop fair interviewing processes – Bias in interviewing is an insidious obstacle for professionals of color. Paulette Brown, the first woman of color to be president of the American Bar Association explains that bias is a mental reflex that affects decision making. Bias is “an inherent cause for poor candidate selection” in large part due to affinity bias which is “. . . having a more favorable opinion of someone like [you].” Interviewers can unconsciously exclude candidates who are not like them because they don’t “feel” a connection and/or chemistry. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid bias and minimize its negative impact. First, create standardized questions, guides, and/or rubrics to ensure objective criteria are being considered in the selection process. Second, ensure interviewing panels and hiring committees have diverse individuals conducting the interviews and making hiring decisions. This simple step has been shown to improve diversity hiring; for example, at Intel, diversity among new hires increased from 31% to 45% after the company required diverse interview panels. Third, require that the candidate pool of interviewers represents diversity because increasing the number of diverse candidates in a pool from one person to two people increases the likelihood of a diverse hire by almost 80%.
  3. Design attractive compensation packages – First, understand what young diverse professionals value. Money alone is not sufficient. In “Making Their Mark” nearly 30% of employees would prefer time off over money, and 89% said they would trade off benefits, like flexibility, over a pay raise, and “62% say they’re more productive when working remotely.” Consequently, in addition to offering competitive salaries, include options for work/life balance, flexible working hours, job sharing, and/or working from home. It is time to be creative and think outside the box. Third, ensure that monetary compensation is transparent and equitable. Be aware that according to LinkedIn’s latest Workforce Confidence Index, about 81% of Generation Z workers believe sharing information about pay and salary will lead to more equitable pay in the workplace and about 75% of millennials also believe sharing information on pay can lead to pay transparency.




Retention Strategy

  1. Foster a culture of inclusion – True diversity and inclusion requires more than just creating policies and programs. Companies need to consciously and intentionally foster diversity and inclusion through active strategies like branding, discussion, and setting measurable goals for diversity. Tracking and following up on goals is key to shifting D&I from a moral to a business issue. As mentioned earlier, both Millennials and Gen Z-ers want a workplace culture that is diverse and inclusive; a place where they feel like they belong. Being able to recruit them is one thing, being able to retain them is an entirely separate challenge. Make DEI a priority in deeds and not just words. Hire a DEI expert who can drive all DEI goals that permeate every aspect of the business so that it is not a silo. Empower the DEI leader with financial resources, a support team, and decision-making power. Making this investment will demonstrate a genuine commitment to increasing diverse representation.
  2. Develop an effective onboarding program. Many professionals of color may be the first in their families to have a college degree and a professional career. A first-generation professional is the “First” in his/her immediate family to obtain a 4-year college degree and/or to obtain a higher-level professional position than what was held by either parent. Historically, without additional support, these individuals tend to face more challenges adapting to career and professional life. Being a “first-generationer” can even be considered another dimension of diversity. With no one to turn to at home, first-generation diverse employees need guidance. Help them to understand what the unspoken rules are. Inform them on whom to seek out with questions. Provide a realistic time frame for them to learn. Consider pairing them with another more senior leader who can support them for the first 30 days. Have a 30-60-90-day follow-up to check in on their progress and adjustment into their new role. This will facilitate setting them up for success.
  3. Encourage wellness in the workplace.  65% of Generation Z and 60% of Millennial workers say it’s “very important” for their employers to provide mental wellness benefits and 73% of Generation Z employees and 74% of Millennial employees have utilized mental health benefits offered by their employers.  No longer is mental illness taboo. The younger generations value mental wellness, self-care, and work/life balance. They are looking for employers who provide access to resources that support their wellness. It’s vital that employers begin to incorporate these values and cultivate healthy workplace cultures effectively.



Promotion Strategy

  1. Develop clear career pathways. Are the steps for advancement clear in your organization? Are they consistent across functions, departments and consistently implemented by leaders? Does everyone know what those steps are? Is there a way to ensure that all employees have equitable assess to these steps? Bias can be an obstacle. For example, the halo effect is a type of implicit bias that occurs when you attribute certain abilities to someone simply because of an accomplishment, such as graduating from a top caliber college or having an impressive job title. You may assume that the person has abilities that he or she does not or give the individual more credit than he or she deserves. It’s important to remember that Millennials and Gen Z-ers are not willing to stay in jobs for a lifetime and retire with the gold watch. They are a generation that has enjoyed instant gratification. According to Deloitte’s 2022 survey, four in 10 Gen Z-ers plan to quit their jobs within two years, and over a third would do so even without another job in place. However, if they have a clear career pathway for upward mobility and career success, they will be much more likely to stay and take those steps for advancement.
  2. Create a mentorship and sponsorship program. In addition to social pressure to demonstrate commitment to DEI, young professionals of color expect to see diversity at the top. Given that most Fortune 500 organizations do not have proportionate representation in leadership, it becomes even more crucial to develop formal mentorship and sponsorship programs that are intended to promote diverse talent. Mentors can add enormous value to professionals of color. However, mentorship alone is not enough. To promote diverse talent, there must be sponsorship for that talent. Sponsorship is not mentorship. Sponsors serve as champions for an individual; they take co-ownership of protégés’ career development and are willing to go out on a limb to advance the careers of their protégés. They show diverse employees that the organization believes in their potential and is invested in their success. Ballard Spahr LLC is leading the way with its Sponsorship Program called INVEST which was launched in 2020. The program lays out clear guidelines for roles, responsibilities, and criteria for participation, along with accountability for the desired outcomes for the sponsorship relationship.
  3. Require leadership accountability. Achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion goals cannot be achieved without leadership commitment and more importantly, accountability. This requires a call to action. Implement an accountability policy. One example can be borrowed from the legal profession. It is called the Mansfield Rule and asks “law firms to consider at least 30% historically underrepresented lawyers for 60% or more of the leadership roles and activities” and offers certification for law firms and corporate legal departments who adopt it. The goal of the Mansfield Rule is “to boost the representation of diverse lawyers in law firm leadership by broadening the pool of candidates considered for opportunities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions.” A new version was created and launched for legal departments that requires 50% consideration of all historically underrepresented lawyers for internal leadership and outside counsel roles. Applying the Mansfield Rule is, working at its intended purpose to diversify leadership to drive systemic change in leadership.



In conclusion, it cannot be minimized that managing a multi-generational workforce is hard work, but it cannot be overemphasized that it is important work. With more generations than ever working side by side, employers are positioned to create strong, innovative teams rich with diverse thought, experience, and expertise. Additionally, those organizations committed to embracing the multi-cultural dimensions of professionals of color and creating intentional talent lifecycles intended to advance the multi-faceted of diverse talent, will enjoy a competitive advantage, more innovation and creativity, better employee morale, higher profits, and more satisfied clients and customers.




Are You Ready to Leap?




Leap Solutions is a diverse group of highly skilled management, organizational development, and human resources, and executive search and recruitment professionals who have spent decades doing what we feel passionate about helping you feel passionate about what you do. Our HR specialists can help you get a handle on the ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines, programs, and legislation that may impact you and your employees. We are available to work with you to develop practical solutions and smart planning decisions for your organization’s immediate, near, and long-term needs.

To print this article, Click Here

By Jonna Dye

Every family business leader should have a planned exit strategy or a plan to ensure their business survives and prospers beyond their leadership. A family business succession plan is designed to do just that.



In this issue of our newsletter:

  • Introduction

  • Get Help with the Process

  • Start Early with the Planning

  • Be Thorough in the Transition


I have always felt a love for family businesses. I not only “grew up” in a family business but also worked for family businesses for most of my career and then launched a family business of my own with the hope it would be a legacy for future generations. Most of us have been involved in, or at least observed, leadership changes in businesses and the challenges those transitions cause for organizations. In a family business, compound those challenging transitions with family dynamics, including childhood relationships which may have been rocky, and taboo topics such as parental aging, death, and personal finances, and voilà, I present to you family business succession planning.

Considering these challenges and how painful this sounds, why would anyone attempt succession planning in a family business?  It’s because it is difficult to suppress the entrepreneurial spirit that inspires someone to be their own boss and create a family-based business. However, every family business leader should have either a planned exit strategy or a plan to ensure their business survives and prospers beyond their leadership, either due to retirement or some other circumstance. A family business succession plan is designed to do just that.

Succession planning in a family business is not a one-time activity; it is a process and a very long one. Family business leaders often subconsciously begin laying the groundwork for succession (or lack thereof) while the next generation is still young. This is done by how they talk about the business at home. I vividly remember my parents’ business conversations at the kitchen table. They ran the family cattle ranch, a business that had been in our family since the land was homesteaded by my great-grandmother. I recall their concern as they discussed unforeseen expenses and unfavorable market conditions. However, my parents were in business for the love of it, both the joys and the challenges. My point is that making a conscious effort to present a balanced perspective on the business will enable the next generation to better understand and appreciate business ownership and leadership.

I believe most family business owners hope their children want to follow in their footsteps and join the family business. However, in navigating the sometimes-stressful process of family succession, many founders take on too much by themselves or put undue pressure on family members to join the business. Others don’t start early enough to identify and prepare the right people for future roles. With so much at stake emotionally and financially, the key is to get help, start early, and be thorough.

When you consider the facts about family businesses, you realize the uphill road a family must travel to beat the odds. Cornell University has provided interesting stats on family businesses here.

So, what are some of the best practices for family business succession?


Get Help with the Process

My father used to tell us that wisdom is found in the council of many. To this point, an advisory board or council is of great value to the family business. It should include your lawyer, accountant, an organizational specialist, and colleague(s) from your industry whom you respect. Many families face the same complex issues (business valuation, founder involvement following succession, sudden loss of a critical family member, etc.). Because many of these are common challenges, joining a family business forum can be helpful. You can see how other people resolve these challenges, and you will also be able to add value to other family businesses by sharing your experiences and perspectives.



Start Early with the Planning

Start the conversation with the next generation early to understand their interest in the business and affirm that no matter what they choose to do with their life, the family will be there to cheer them on. Even if they are young, let them know that you find family business rewarding and fulfilling. You can also reassure them the family business is not the only way to make a living. It’s one of many options available for them to explore.

Encourage family members to get work experience outside the family business. Outside work experience will provide them with different perspectives, increase their self-confidence, and give them the opportunity to bring back knowledge and best practices from outside the family business.

When the next generation joins the family business, hire them into an existing, well-defined job with measurable goals. It is best to have them report to a nonfamily member. Carefully choose who this will be and set the reporting relationship up for success by clearly communicating expectations.  These expectations should include guiding, mentoring, and developing the family member. Nonfamily employees may perceive family members as having less responsibility or accountability. Having the family member complete their education and successful outside work experience can help alleviate nonfamily employees’ concerns in this area.



Be Thorough in the Transition

Succession transitions are complex and challenging processes. Many founders fear a loss of identity, loss of self-worth, or loss of purpose associated with transitioning out of their leadership role and handing the reins to the next generation. And, if a founder is tied financially to the business, these complexities can feel like impossibilities. One of the goals of the business, estate, and succession plan is to create financial security which is not dependent on continued involvement in the business. A founder dependent on the company for their ongoing salary will find it almost impossible to transition. Planning carefully with an advisory board or council helps support this transition and the succession of the newly appointed family member.

It is also helpful to document “why” it is important to you as the founder that the business continues. During the transition process, when things get particularly difficult, and you begin to question the process, you can refer to your “why” statement and re-focus on the importance of a successful transition.

At the end of the succession process, you should be ready to hand your business over to the next generation. It is important that you are fully committed to the plan you have developed, that your staff is aware of the plan, and that your successor can depend on you to follow through with it.

Fortunately, there are resources to assist you on your journey. Leap Solutions Group is ready to help you plan, provide the needed resources, and guide you through a successful transfer to the next generation. Reach out, and let’s discuss your plan.




Are You Ready to Leap?



Leap Solutions is a diverse group of highly skilled management professionals serving our clients with their organizational development, human resources, and executive search and recruitment needs. We have spent decades doing what we feel passionate about helping you feel passionate about what you do. With the ever-changing COVID-19 response, our HR specialists can help you get a handle on the guidelines, programs, and legislation that may impact you and your employees. Through all of our services, we are available to work with you to develop practical solutions and smart planning decisions for your organization’s immediate, near, and long-term needs.

To print this article, Click Here

A team that encourages continuous learning is one where learning is the common goal. In a learning organization personal commitment and dedication to personal learning is important as it fits with the organizational-wide learning objectives.



Learning is part of growing both professionally and personally. We learn new skills, new ways of communicating, and new ways to accomplish our work every day. We do so because we often care deeply about our work and want to exceed expectations and produce high quality work products.

At Leap Solutions Group, we take learning very seriously. We believe it is part of our culture and the thread that holds us together as a team. We define ourselves as a learning organization.



What is a Learning Organization?

Learning organizations, according to the systems scientist Peter Senge, are described as organizations “where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together.” Senge popularized the concept of the learning organization in 1990 in his book The Fifth Discipline.

There are five components he describes:

1. Collaborative Culture: Where every individual is treated with respect and as a critical component of the overall vision of the organization. Every voice matters and is heard in a learning organization.
2. Learning Mindset: Every individual agrees that there is always room for growth and grasps a lifelong learning perspective. In a learning organization personal commitment and dedication to personal learning is important as it fits with the organizational-wide learning objectives.
3. Innovation: There is room for innovation and continued improvement. In a learning organization, employees are encouraged to try out new things and are in fact challenged to do so.
4. Leadership: In a learning organization, leadership is committed to providing opportunities for collaboration, learning, and innovation.
5. Shared knowledge: In a learning organization everyone learns from each other.


What Does it Mean to be a Learning Team?

A team that encourages continuous learning is one where learning is the common goal and people bring data, evidence, logic, and solid arguments to the team discussions. A strong team acknowledges the fact that there is always room to grow and learn.

You can ask your team the following questions to inspire reflection and action:

Think about your team right now. What ideal characteristics of a team from your perspective are showing up within your team?

What is the overall purpose of your team?

What core activities show up within the culture that best show the team as a learning and growing team?

What should show up but is not currently in the team culture to support a learning team?



How Do You Learn as a Team?

Okay, so we have shared why a learning organization is imperative and how to take a step forward and be a learning team. But what does that look like? Here is an example from our Leap team.

Coaches that Lunch:
Once a month, the coaching team at Leap Solutions meets for lunch. It serves multiple purposes; we connect, debrief, and most importantly learn from each other. Our topics of discussions vary. Sometimes it is to share a coaching challenge or victory, sometimes we do the exercises we ask our coachees to do, and sometimes we discuss a new coaching technique. We are committed to the growth of the team and the growth of each individual coach. We know we each play a part in the overall mission of Leap Solutions coaching.



What are the Benefits of Learning as a Team?

The benefits are many:
• Solve problems more effectively and be more productive
• Increase your capacity for innovation, creativity, and to learn from your failures
• Become happier and stronger as a team, producing high-quality work and preventing burn out


For more information:


Are You Ready to Leap?



Leap Solutions is a diverse group of highly skilled management professionals serving our clients with their organizational development, human resources, and executive search and recruitment needs. We have spent decades doing what we feel passionate about helping you feel passionate about what you do. With the ever-changing COVID-19 response, our HR specialists can help you get a handle on the guidelines, programs, and legislation that may impact you and your employees. Through all of our services, we are available to work with you to develop practical solutions and smart planning decisions for your organization’s immediate, near, and long-term needs.

To print this article, Click Here

At Leap Solutions, we see your limitless potential, and we know you can achieve the kind of leadership growth that directly translates to business success. But we won’t just tell you how; we’ll partner with you, empower you, and guide you through an executive coaching program that’s entirely tailored to you.

You’ll come away from your Leap coaching experience with vital tools for identifying and overcoming barriers, proven methods for meeting and exceeding meaningful objectives, and new and powerful interpersonal and management skills that will make your leadership more impactful and rewarding than ever before.


Coaching in Action

We’ll start with a thorough evaluation to gain a deep understanding of you as an individual and of your role within the organization. We’ll learn about your personality type and core behavioral traits, your leadership competencies, the particular demands of your position, and the culture and dynamics of your workplace. We’ll then ask probing questions that elicit invaluable introspection and self discovery, help you distinguish your perception of yourself as a leader from reality, and allow you to develop an exciting new vision for what’s possible as a leader.

Together with your coach, you’ll determine and address the root causes of specific problems or performance challenges; weigh options and walk through decisions; role play difficult situations and challenging employee relations; and translate your own life experiences to the workplace so you can manage from a place of authenticity and strength. We’ll set meaningful goals and put into place a realistic, workable action plan for reaching and surpassing them. We’ll tap into your driving personal motivations, equip you with all the knowledge, skills, tools and resources you need, and hold you accountable for the outcomes you want to achieve.

Your Leap coach serves as your confidante and cheerleader throughout the process, continually supporting, encouraging and strengthening you into the leader you aim to be while never losing sight of the direction and mission of your organization.


The Client-Coach Fit

Coaching is for new and seasoned leaders. It’s for anyone experiencing transition or facing a juncture or precipice. It’s for professionals looking to manifest their inner leaders or push themselves and their boundaries. It’s for everyone trying to flourish while balancing career, family, relationships and more.

What matters is that you’re open to progress and willing to work for it.

The ideal coach will inspire, inform and transform your leadership. Personality and style matter! Look for a coach who is engaging and insightful and who energizes you personally and professionally. You’ll want an expert you can trust with confidentiality concerns and with whom you’ll feel at ease opening up and exploring strengths as well as opportunities for improvement and growth. Your coach should be compassionate but direct, someone who connects with you but also challenges you and holds you accountable.


The Faces of Coaching at Leap

Leap Solutions coaches have decades of leadership development experience, but we each bring unique perspectives and strengths to the coaching process.


Judy Coffey, RN, MBA, Senior Consultant, Leadership Coach and Mentor

Over the past 25 years as a healthcare professional, Judy has coached and mentored experienced and emerging leaders across Northern California to enhance their skills in employee engagement, department management, effective communication, emotional intelligence and more. Judy is an exceptionally good listener and collaborator known for her ability to create a non-judgmental, safe and comfortable space for clients to expand their thinking, build on their confidence and explore and develop their own unique leadership style and approach. Responsive, flexible, fair and frank, Judy is genuinely interested and invested in the growth and advancing potential of each and every coaching client.


Chuck McPherson, Partner

For decades, Chuck has transformed teams of all sizes through organizational effectiveness, change management, strategic planning and professional development initiatives. He cultivates leaders through nontraditional planning processes, managing relationships, improving organizational behavior and driving organizational results. As an executive coach, Chuck is intuitive, direct and steadfast in his focus on what’s best for the individual and the business as a whole. Clients can count on Chuck to motivate them, support them and hold them accountable to making significant improvement and seeing immeasurable growth and success.


Scott Ormerod, Partner

Scott has more than 30 years of experience in people management, coaching, organizational development and human resources in a wide variety of industries including his passion for community service. His diverse background in business, healthcare, education and nonprofits makes him especially well suited for coaching executive leaders . He skillfully guides clients through obstacles and toward a leadership potential they never thought possible. Scott is committed to delivering on his clients’ return on investment by ensuring that his leadership development programs are fully transparent and that every executive coaching experience is wholly worthwhile and truly valuable to both the participant and the sponsoring organization.


Susana M. Morales, Organizational Development Consultant

Susana is a facilitator, evaluator and researcher and has worked extensively with nonprofits, state and local governmental agencies and universities in the Bay Area and beyond. A first-generation American, woman of color and native Spanish speaker, Susana coaches in both English and Spanish. She asks the right questions and provides effective tools and methods for coaching the whole person—who you are at work, at home and even when you are alone. Known for her energy and enthusiasm, patience and positivity, Susana helps develop clients into the highly capable, creative, resourceful leaders they are meant to be.



Whomever you choose as your partner, you can count on your Leap coach to build trust quickly and show you how to establish powerful, career-long strategies and systems for becoming your best leader.


What Are You Waiting For?

Leap Solutions believes wholeheartedly in the career-enhancing, life-changing value of coaching. We’ve coached countless leaders to find the clarity, skills and confidence to strengthen their roles and performance in their companies, achieve their highest goals and experience exponential growth in every aspect of their lives. Let us do the same for you!

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Organizations use retreats to accomplish all sorts of vital work, including team building, business development, strategic planning, visioning and problem solving. But have you ever considered a retreat devoted specifically to leadership development?

You count on your leaders to develop people and drive results, so why not equip and empower them with opportunities, skills and tools to do so as effectively as possible? Leadership retreats can be an exceptionally impactful way to drive leadership performance.

Meeting Your Leaders Where They’re At

When you commit to carving out time for a leadership retreat, you’ll want to make the very most of it. First up, you’ll want to assess the current state of your leadership team. Are your leaders:

  • Experiencing change? As leaders move on or retire, and as your company grows, your leadership team is likely to include employees new to the company or new to their particular roles. These times of transition are prime for focusing on leadership development in order to establish trust, cultivate relationships, tackle changing demands and more.
  • Struggling? Perhaps your leadership team is falling short of objectives, lacking consistency or feeling some sort of disconnect; a leadership retreat can afford them the time and space to recognize, identify and address environmental problems (which can be nearly impossible to do during day-to-day operations).
  • Looking for growth? Sometimes a leadership team is thriving but ripe for growth and motivated to become even stronger and more proactive. Leadership development allows leaders to create opportunities for themselves, for one another and for their companies.


Any time is a great time to actively develop your leaders—but you’ll want to do so with intention and planning. When you partner with Leap Solutions, we’ll help you thoroughly examine the dynamics, characteristics and personalities at play in your organization and the complexities, challenges and opportunities you’re currently facing. To that end, we might recommend a number of pre-retreat activities, including:

  • Internal and/or external community surveys. We’ll solicit candid feedback about what’s working and what isn’t, individual commitment levels and so forth.
  • In-person interviews. We can ask key players about what challenges they encounter, what they hope to accomplish, etc.
  • Individual behavioral profiles. Our programs provide invaluable information about each team members’ attributes, competencies and temperament, ideal workflows, communication tendencies and preferences, decision-making approaches, leadership and management styles and more.
  • Team assessments. Our assessment tools such as 360-degree evaluations can identify team dynamics and group traits, examine the effects of particular management styles, offer a composite view of what’s successful, and identify areas for enhanced communications.


Armed with a deep understanding of your leaders and what’s possible for them, we’ll work together to determine your leadership retreat goals and priorities and craft the perfect agenda for achieving your desired outcomes. We’ll also determine a timeframe and location that’s within budget and gives your leaders the chance to step out of everyday work and away from outside influences and distractions so that your retreat will be as focused and productive as possible.

Improvement Tools

The retreat facilitators at Leap Solutions have decades of leadership development and coaching experience, and we bring to your retreat seasoned insight, objectivity and efficiency as well as effective tools and approaches for dramatically strengthening your team. We’re known for our ability to get all retreat participants to engage, open up and readily contribute to a purpose-driven dialog around shared issues, challenges, objectives and vision.


Leadership retreat participants can expect:

  • Forget about those wacky, uncomfortable, time-intensive icebreakers everyone dreads; Leap facilitators use well-designed, deliberate icebreakers to establish connections and build trust.
  • Team-building exercises. We draw on team assessment results to guide group formation and activities, and we show leaders how to recognize threads between team members and link systems and processes for a more bonded, cohesive and productive group dynamic.
  • Deeper-level interactions. We guide leaders in using behavioral profile results to capitalize on one another’s natural strengths and contributions, bridge communication styles, and promote mutual understanding, empathy and appreciation.
  • Skill-building activities. Leap facilitators help participants build tangible leadership skill sets, broaden and nurture strengths, develop interpersonal and management styles, and establish more collaborative and efficient workfl
  • New systems and strategies. We share proven tools and techniques for overcoming barriers and resolving conflict, solving institutional problems, setting and achieving worthwhile goals and objectives, driving change and more.


Ultimately, everything we do together is meant to bring meaning and purpose to your workplace. Your leadership team is sure to come away with better communication, greater efficiency, enhanced productivity and markedly improved performance.


The Impact

Your well planned, well organized and well executed Leap retreat is a priceless investment in the outcome of your organization. Stronger leadership teams are more motivated, more accountable to one another, and more likely to impact others and inspire creativity and innovation. When you drive leadership performance with a dedicated leadership retreat, you equip your leadership team to lead your people and your organization to next-level success.


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