To the words of my long-time colleague and good friend, I want to add: Leigh takes an effective perspective. Effective perspective is a strategic approach that frames a leader's obstacles and long long-term goals within a bigger picture.
For instance, the picture of Half Dome is framed alone in an image at Cs-to-Be™ page. Above, Half Dome is seen at a distance in context of the topography of one of the most beautiful locations on earth, Yosemite Valley in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Soaring to a height of over 4,700 feet above the national park's valley floor, Half Dome is seen as just one of many mountains that attract and challenge climbers to ascend the peak.
“You may be able to walk on water, Leigh, but your staff needs to take the bridge,” a management consultant observed in 1986. As president of a small public relations agency in Boston, Leigh was an inspiration to her employees and the backbone of the business she worked 24/7 to build. However, her own playing field was not level. Leigh’s leadership didn’t produce tangible results, her style wasn’t effective with developing staff, and her emotional intelligence left room for improvement.
In April 1987, Leigh made a dramatic shift. She decided to give up her business and relocate to New York City. While taking a time out from leading, Leigh worked as a temporary secretary. Ego issues aside, she felt, how better to learn what effective leadership was really about! Leigh’s temp assignments landed her positions working with (and learning from) former U.S. cabinet members, esteemed global financiers, and senior executives at the investment bank Lazard Freres & Co., Hertz Rent-A-Car, and other industry leaders.
Each assignment became a ‘training room’ for her. She studied the cultural geography of varied environments and learned about leaders’ workplace behaviors, operating polices, and decision-making criteria, etc. The astute student did her own 360° assessments on leaders’ effectiveness by interacting with a broad range of their colleagues, direct reports, ancillary staff, and family members.
One thing she learned clearly when temping and working with high-profile leaders: she wanted to translate her background in education, her experiences, and her expertise to understand what makes a good leader into teaching leaders how to be more effective.
After a series of well-received consulting and training assignments, Leigh started her company Leadership Training Room in 2000. Leigh and Jane Cranston trained as executive coaches together, developed coaching programs as partners, and facilitated seminars for division teams. Here's the full quote from Leigh's colleague and good friend.
I have known and worked with Leigh Henderson, as an executive coaching partner, referral source and colleague for more than a decade. Leigh brings to every assignment intelligence, her strong business sense, fairness and high standards. You can always count on Leigh to give more than expected and deliver a top quality product whether it is 1x1 coaching, team coaching, teaching or training. I would recommend her to any person or organization looking for a top notch, highly professional coach or educator. Leigh's other accomplishments including her writing and speaking engagements bring but another dimension to the multi-faceted woman.
Below you can read how Leigh helps other leaders level their playing field so that they, too, can realize their leadership potential.
Leigh Henderson, Managing Director, Leadership Training Room, LLC, helps leaders level the playing field of obstacles blocking optimum performance and career advancement
Her method of assisting leaders improve their workplace intelligence is straightforward: structure learning in resonance with each individual’s background and experiences in order to maximize retention of knowledge and adaptations to cultural shifts.
A natural educator, she coaches leaders on the nuances of effective leadership and is a mentor coach for those in the early phases of their careers. Executives and entrepreneurs retain Leigh on their own in order to achieve greater effectiveness in their current positions, to fulfill long-held ambitions, or to make plans for expanding current projects. Her clarity and on-point advice addressing complex organizational and individual change efforts are exceptional and have earned her praise as a trusted and wise adviser.
Leigh is also an Adjunct Instructor teaching "A Management Approach to Organizational Behavior" and "Employee Training & Development" in the Management Department at the Zicklin School of Business within Baruch College, the nation's most ethnically diverse campus which is part of the City University of New York.
In addition to student groups such as the American Language Program at Columbia University, audiences for her keynote presentations and seminars on the changing culture of the workplace include the United Nations 50th Commission on the Status of Women/International Federation of Business & Professional Women, the American Association of University Women, the New York City Chapter of Employees Assistance Professional Association, and the Society for Marketing Professional Services. She also spoke for the Newman School of Business Chapter of the National Association of Women MBAs at Tulane University in New Orleans, a city she’s visited three times since Hurricane Katrina to volunteer her training and coaching services.
Her essays, articles, and interviews have appeared in global, national, and local publications including Shattered Magazine for women who break the glass ceiling, PINK Magazine for professional women, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, New York Law Journal, etc.
To speak with Leigh about how she can be of service to you or your organization, please call her at 646-373-4321 or e-mail her at Leigh@ltr-nyc.com
Curious about me and my life outside the Leadership Training Room? My clients like to know so I decided to share some of what I do here.
During my seminars, I'm often asked, "Can I have it all?" "Yes," I answer. "Just not all at once."
Work/life balance is an ongoing challenge, one we all face in a super-connected, high-tech world---especially my world that is based in New York City.
How do I center myself and find life balance from the work I love of coaching, presenting, teaching, and writing?
One way I find balance is doing Pilates on a regular basis. Joseph Pilates designed this physical fitness program of postures and exercises to teach awareness of our breath, alignment of the spine, and how to strengthen core muscles. In addition to feeling refreshed and energized doing and after Pilates, I am exposed to terrific instructors while working out in the company of wonderful Pilates Pals in our hour long classes. After proposing a Peer Pilates class at my gym one summer, I co-lead classes and have gone on to sub when an instructor can't make a class. Training to be an instructor and offering my own classes is my next challenge!
Reading is also a way I find balance. Currently, I'm reading 1776 by David McCullough which a client suggested I read. Turning the pages, my memory is being refreshed about the years I lived near Concord and Lexington in Boston while learning more about the story of General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence. After finishing Undaunted Courage: The Lewis & Clark Expedition, I recommended that this same client pick up a copy. My client agreed with me that there are a lot of leadership lessons in these very well-written volumes of American history.
Balance is also found by being around wonderful friends, of which I'm pleased to say I have many. In addition to sharing the culture of Manhattan with friends, connecting on Facebook, I have a chance to share our mutual interests in music, theatre, travel, the arts, and families.
My thirteen nieces and nephews (and their children) are always teaching me how to be a 'great' aunt. I love them and all that they bring to my life, including silliness, football games, shopping trips, cooking, photography, and play time away from work.
Traveling to new places such as Greece or revisiting favorite spots such as New Orleans relaxes and refreshes my soul. One of my nieces lives near Yosemite National Park in Northern California (now you know why I used my pictures of Yosemite on this and the Cs-to-Be pages). I was first introduced to Yosemite when I was about ten-years-old. My older sister Betty went with her friends and was so thrilled she wanted to share the experience with her three sisters, Alice, Peggy, and me. The four girls (as we were referred to by our five brothers), made many trips to Yosemite and other national parks throughout the United States. Once I got to college, I started going to Yosemite with my friends and then husband. Over the years, I've continued to travel to Yosemite, a beautiful place any time of the year.
How do you create a work/life balance that will bring you in line with your core needs and wants? Think about it. It's worth the think time to design a life that will bring you what you want professionally and personally. I know, because I'm always working to be in balance.
Lead with your best,