I’ve been an independent consultant since 1991.
Why? I get a real kick out of helping groups get on with what they’re good at and excited about. I call that combination of good and excited “Noble Selfishness.” I love it when I hear people at the end of a session say, “Wow, WE kicked butt today” (or something similar).
My facilitative training is designed to help participants individually and collectively get pumped up about what they do. And that creates a situation where they will all add even more value to the organization.
Here are a few milestones that explain my professional journey.
After growing up in Boulder, Colo., I went to Colorado State University in Fort Collins and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
You read that right. I have a journalism degree.
I became a reporter in Nebraska and Colorado. I honed my interviewing and writing skills, winning awards in both states. My popular column titled “If the shoe fits …” were installments about many first-hand experiences, such as being a movie actor for a day, a lead singer in a country-western band for 2 songs, a Denver Bronco wide receiver for 3 hours, and a rodeo bull rider for 3 seconds.
What I learned and applied as a journalist is key to my success and longevity as a consultant. How so?
I WANT to learn about other people and groups. Journalists learn to be observant, ask thought-provoking questions, and act fast under pressure.
All of those skills are extremely important to my consulting work. I learned the value of creativity combined with assertiveness. If one door is closed, you figure out another way to get in.
Because of my awards and notoriety as a local journalist in Loveland, Colo. (where my wife and I continue to reside), I was recruited to be the PR manager for a large Hewlett-Packard facility. For a decade I observed many work groups within the site’s 3,200 employees.
I learned how great leaders communicated, collaborated, and produced great results. I saw how great leaders lead. On the other hand, I also observed mediocre groups and leaders.
Despite working for a great company, my real dream was to become a self-employed consultant. Through some creativity and assertiveness (sound familiar?) I got onto a voluntary-severance list and was able to leave HP with start-up funds for my new business.
Since I started my business I have consulted for approximately
- 50 municipalities in 3 states
- 80 high-tech leadership teams and departments
- 40 miscellaneous private business leadership teams and departments
- 40 non-profit boards and staffs
- 5 law enforcement/fire safety departments
- 5 school staffs
- 3 statewide electric-coop associations
- various groups at 3 military bases.
I have also conducted personal coaching for about 100 leaders, emerging leaders, and individual contributors (along with a handful of problem performers).
I’ve presented workshops and keynotes at many conferences around the country on the topics of leadership, conflict resolution, and personal growth.
I’m currently working on a second book to be published. Much of that book is and will be written in my home office, standing at a table, adorned with paint smudges and razor cuts, my artist father (now deceased) used in his studio. I will also work on the book at our mountain cabin near Grand Lake, Colo., where we spend much of our summers.
My longtime professional credo is to have a career that enhances my quality of life.
A journalistic mindset and skills combined with some craziness and persistence led to this wonderful career. I’m having too much fun helping groups get on with what they’re good at and excited about to stop anytime soon.