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Harness the Power!

The CFO is often the first to recognize the high cost of chaos. It does not appear as a line item in the financial statements. But, a CFO recognizes the warning signs. Performance, productivity, and profit fall below expectations. Rick McPartlin, co-founder and CEO of The Revenue Game, believes the cost of chaos runs as high as 30 percent of gross revenue in many organizations.  That means that if you are a $50 million company, you are wasting $15 million year after year.

Chaos means confusion: both individual confusion about what we are trying to accomplish, and team-wide disasters when people are confused about how we will accomplish it.

A CFO brought me into an organization where chaos reigned. The shareholders were happy with the return on their investments because revenue grew year over year. The company enjoyed a steady supply of new customers. By all appearances this was a very successful company.

However, the CFO was able to detect those early indicators that are always present but rarely captured. He saw that their method of driving new customer growth was unsustainable. He saw that the leadership was aging-out without new leaders being developed from within. He saw that, while they were successful, the chaos, the pace and intensity for this level of success was also not sustainable. He worried that key leaders would burnout or die before building a more sustainable business model. Their success was coming at a very high cost and he knew this model was unsustainable.

The Halpin Companies team started working with this leadership team to gather information and identify alternative approaches.

Fairly quickly, using our methods, we identified a potential future CEO from within the ranks. At first, the current leadership team was disdainful of our recommendation but this candidate did emerge over time as the key player with the greatest leadership capacity. He currently serves successfully in that CEO role.

More importantly, we were able to work with the two top layers of leaders and, based on our recommendations, build a more inclusive and transparent approach to driving new customer relationships.

Through mentoring by the senior leaders and using this more inclusive approach the former #1 sales person was able to build a dozen sales executives with his same level of success.

Using our processes he was first able to articulate his values – he cared deeply about their customers. He then started to articulate his sales approach – he was an extraordinary listener. We then helped him document and communicate his organic sales approach in meaningful and easy to understand ways. Over time, in one-on-one mentoring sessions, he trained each of his key people to replicate his success.

Not everyone had the same capacity but 14 or his 22 colleagues were able to step up. As a result the company grew by 300% in a few short years because of this velocity.

The CFO was thrilled, the shareholders were thrilled and more importantly, this construction-related company was able to sustain the economic downturn and continues to thrive today.

Six of the other colleagues self-selected out of this company with their dignity intact. Why did the go away? They saw that they could not be successful in the new business model. Two other leaders came to the leadership team and asked to take a step sideways or even backwards. They knew intuitively that they could not be successful in the new business model, given their own strengths.

When you harness the power you already have within your organization, the results will be extraordinary. Often our clients experience growth in shareholder value in amounts that were never imagined or forecasted. Building alignment, inclusiveness, and transparency drive success.

 

The Halpin Companies has been facilitating transitions in organizations of all sizes and levels of complexity since 1995. Our proven methods create work environments and corporate cultures where shareholder value grows consistently. Learn more about our methods at www.HalpinCompany.com

For a complimentary consultation, contact Katharine Halpin at 602-266-1961 or [email protected]

 

 

 

 

Happy Father’s Day Jack!

John F Halpin 01.10.1929.03.30.1984We lost our Dad 31 years ago on March 30. I joke about him and even mention him in my ‘speaker intro’. It says that I have 45+ years of work experience and the first 13 years were in his office, John F. Halpin, CPA, where he was my first people problem.

 

That’s all true!

 

Today, Father’s Day, I want to celebrate him and all the many gifts he gave his children.

 

But first, let me share a few things that did not translate well between the generations in our family.

 

A love of fishing was not one of the gifts he gave us. He loved to fish from the pier off Bonelli Road at Eagle Lake and we did that often (often for him was maybe once every year or so). We caught catfish big enough to eat once. For some reason, none of his five children ever go fishing….

 

He took us camping, and none of us are campers as adults either. He only bought a camper when we got so big that the entire family of seven could not sleep in one Holiday Inn room. He bought a pop-up camper when I was in the fifth or sixth grade. I can remember taking my best friend, Kelly, with us on a camping trip to a Mississippi State Park. The camper slept eight, so why not take eight people, right?

 

Momma had to drive our big Dodge Station Wagon with the newly installed trailer hitch pulling our pop-up camper. Dad wasn’t a good driver around town because he was always focused more on keeping his pipe lit than watching the road. They seemed to have some secret agreement that she did all highway driving.

 

Of course, she could not back up our station wagon with the camper attached. That was not a significant issue during our treks. We didn’t make a lot of stops en route and when we did, for instance at an IHOP for breakfast after she had driven all night, she would find a way to pull into a parking lot next door to the IHOP where she could park without backing up during either our ingress or our egress.

 

When we would finally arrive at our destination, often at dusk during the on-site campground manager’s supper, Momma would insist we be assigned to a spot positioned at the end of a triangle so she could ‘pull through’. When that option was not available – which was often – she would then insist that the campground manager drive our station wagon and back our camper into our assigned spot, even if he was in the midst of eating his supper.

 

This is when my Dad would disappear to entertain the other campers.

 

As soon as we arrived at the state park or KOA Camp Grounds, he got out of the car wearing his usual leisure attire: shorts with a dress shirt (no worries – he only wore short sleeved dress shirts), black socks, and black dress shoes. He would then go from campsite to campsite looking for people he could meet and entertain with his stories about Vicksburg, MS.

 

The rest of us were left to set up our own campsite.

 

Setting up a campsite was fairly simple except for one important task: leveling the camper. With a pop-up camper, it’s critical that the camper be level, because four people were sleeping on the beds that ‘popped out’ after popping up the entire camper. If the camper were not level, one side could tilt and those two sleepers could have easily been injured as they slipped through the canvas sides.

 

I don’t recall much discussion about this at home. I imagine our Uncle Bubba came over to check out the camper and most likely would have pointed out the importance of this task. I imagine my baby brother, Willie Boy, was probably taking note. Regardless of whether or not any of that happened, I do remember vividly how we got our camper level once we arrived at our destination.

 

If I was in the sixth grade, that would have put Willie in the second. I can remember this as if it were yesterday. At this point Willie was just a little fellow. But he would go from corner to corner of the camper adjusting and re-adjusting each bar that, as I recall, dropped down from the underneath of the camper and could be adjusted based on the ground and sand where we were parked.

 

He worked meticulously, as if he were an engineering genius. He never failed to get the entire contraption level. Willie would later demonstrate this engineering genius in lots of ways but in the second grade that had not yet emerged.

 

But here’s what my Dad did give me that remains with me every day.

 

He gave me an example of living by faith. He was never much of a church-goer, but our friend, Marian Alvarado, badgered him incessantly until he attended a Charismatic Prayer Meeting with her. These were held at the Carmelite Monastery on Terry Road in Jackson, Mississippi. He only had to go once to experience a full conversion and a peace that he had never known. He then went about sharing this experience with anyone who would listen. Momma and I attended those prayer meetings with him. We all loved that faith community, the music and the experiences. What an amazing thing to be able to experience with your parents when you are still in your formative years.

 

He gave me a love of people. He loved connecting with people and swapping stories. He loved meeting people and then reporting to his friends about the interesting people he had met. He was curious about everyone and, with his photographic memory, would remember details most everyone else forgot immediately.

 

Jack loved his friends. He loved having high-balls with them. He loved competing to be the center of attention with the funniest stories with the most outlandish characters.

 

Dad gave me a love of storytelling and he taught me the power of telling stories. I remember so many of his stories he shared with me in his office on Saturday mornings. He told me stories about his clients and their businesses.

 

He also gave me a love of business. How revenue was generated, where customers came from, what were the driving forces in the success of his clients. He talked with reverence about each person because he loved and respected everyone.  He considered everyone a good friend; from the elevator operator to the bank president.  He never met a stranger.

 

He instilled a love of community. He volunteered for over 35 years as the Board Chair of the Warren County Welfare Board. He served as a founding Board Member of the federally funded Children and Youth Clinic.  He worked to build community and ensure everyone had access to basic human rights regardless of race or financial ability.

 

He loved being from Vicksburg, Mississippi and loved that his great grandfather had been the first Mayor of Vicksburg after the Civil War, during reconstruction. He spoke with authority about those who did harbor prejudices based on race. He explained to me that if people are insecure, they need someone, a group of people, or even an entire race, to look down upon.

 

He loved that so many people remembered his own father, who was killed when he was eight years old. He relished in the introductions that those people made for him when he returned after college and established his CPA practice.

 

Because he did take me to work with him on Saturday mornings he gave me a love of all of these things – business, storytelling, and community – though it might not have been the best way to raise a child! These experiences did cause me to hurl my way into my own CPA career with a lot of unproductive baggage. However, I’m grateful every day for Jack and for all the gifts he gave me. My love of business, people, story telling and my own faith are my critical success factors today in my life and in my own small business.

 

Even in Mississippi it’s not a good idea to put an eight-year-old child to work on the family farm or in the family CPA firm. But it’s all good!

 

Happy Father’s Day Jack!

 

 

 

 

Why Some Executive Demonstrate Bad Behavior

Brian Evje had a recent piece in Inc. Magazine titled, “Why Executives Are So Bad At The Behavioral Side of Management”.

After a 40-year career, I certainly do not believe that all execs are bad at the ‘soft’ skill issues (which we all know are really the hard issues to address).

Mr. Evje states that “In reality, there is nothing ‘soft’ about the skills need to relate to people well enough to lead them.  True leadership involves both hard skills and harder skills”.  I love this quote.

He summarizes that there are ultimately 3 things leaders have to do to be more effective:

1) Admit that inter-personal skills are important.  He even posits that we must be able to lead ourselves.  I call this self-management.  Being able to bring the required perspective to every situation and to do this ‘in the moment’ requires presence, discipline, thoughtfulness and a feeling of being grounded.  Humans don’t gain this ability without getting exercise, getting out in nature, taking think time, and having a variety of reserves of time in place every day..

2) Rethink your definitions of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills.  He’s got great questions to ask yourself.  See the full article here:  http://www.businessinsider.com/successful-leadership-skills-2012-11

3) Get some help.  As a Leadership Strategist for almost 18 years, I, of course, love this idea.  Just like in sports, we don’t know what we don’t know about our levels of effectiveness. An outsider can help you raise your awareness and ultimately, make different choices.

When I re-tweeted this article yesterday, one of my Facebook friends added a comment that most execs put their self-interest over the interest of their employees, companies, communities.  Again, I don’t agree with the broad generalization.  I have seen more execs do this than I’d like to admit. However, the key here is to only hire values-based people and people who share your values.  If you value transparency, figure out what questions to ask in the interview to assess the applicant’s perspective on transparency.  If you value integrity, ask them to share an experience when they’ve been asked to compromise their integrity.  The interview might  be very short based on their response to this question.

If you enjoy these posts, you probably would enjoy our free report, 7 Secrets to Making More While Working Less at www.teamalignmentstrategies.com

 

 

 

Gratitude Week – Be Thankful for Real Rejuvenation

Thanksgiving week is ending and we have the benefit of moving from 2-3 days of Holidays into a weekend . For me, I am on Day 3 of 5 of my Holiday Weekend .

Today I am grateful for this time away from my normal routines and obligations . I am grateful for time to be in nature and for a beautiful mountain setting. I am grateful for my health and mobility that allows me to move and breath in the mountain air.

How much time have you given yourself this holiday weekend for real rejuvenation ? How much time could you carve out today ? What would have to happen to allow you to give yourself this gift?

The more we can create an experience of real rejuvenation during our time ‘off’, the more likely we will be to build this into our regular routines .

This week I have been writing about other aspects of gratitude that are important and useful for us all. I hope you will read all my posts this week.

If you are enjoying these posts, I’m confident you would enjoy one of our free webinars on Total Team Alignment.  These webinars are filled with useful, practical and easy to implement solutions that produce record results right away.  I hope you’ll join us for one.  Here’s the link to register:

www.HalpinCompany.com/webinars

Please have a wonderful holiday season filled with lots of love, laughter and real rejuvenation!

Gratitude Week – A Powerful Example of Using Gratitude to Control Our Own Destiny – Karen Perry’s journey from loss to gratitude

In an effort to not offend my friends and colleagues who chose not to celebrate Thanksgiving, but focus on celebrating with their loved ones a Fall Harvest Celebration, I hesitate to say, “Happy Thanksgiving”!

I am with family and friends in the mountains of Northern Arizona with amazing weather and time for real rejuvenation.

This week I have been writing about aspects of gratitude that are important and useful for us all. In yesterday’s AZ Republic, Pulitzer prize-winning, columnist, Laurie Roberts, shared the amazing story of Karen Perry. Karen is the mother from Mesa, AZ that lost all 3 of her young children last Thanksgiving eve.

Her story is a powerful testimony to resiliency, gratitude and moving forward powerfully. She really is controlling her own destiny after devastating losses.

Please take the time this holiday weekend to read the full article at www.azcentral.com to read Laurie Robert’s 11/21/12 column on Karen Perry.

A search for Laurie Roberts will bring up yesterday’s column. Give your self the gift of this inspiring account.

If you are enjoying these posts, I’m confident you would enjoy one of our free webinars on Total Team Alignment.  These webinars are filled with useful, practical and easy to implement solutions that produce record results right away.  I hope you’ll join us for one.  Here’s the link to register:

www.HalpinCompany.com/webinars

Please have a wonderful holiday season filled with lots of love, laughter and real rejuvenation!

Gratitude Week – Are we controlling our own destiny?

Sometimes life is hard.  Our loved ones become ill or even transition on.  We have health challenges ourselves.  People we care about lose their jobs and their homes, often for no fault of their own.

Sometimes, we just can’t sleep or relax.

Whatever we are faced with we still retain the opportunity to look for the silver lining.  While hokey, this is really our only productive approach.

When we adopt the victim mindset, we give control of our destiny over to someone else.  When we maintain a productive mindset and look for the growth opportunities and even the blessings, we remain effective and we move forward.

This week I’ll be writing about other aspects of gratitude that are important and useful for us all.

If you are enjoying these posts, I’m confident you would enjoy one of our free webinars on Total Team Alignment.  These webinars are filled with useful, practical and easy to implement solutions that produce record results right away.  I hope you’ll join us for one.  Here’s the link to register:

www.HalpinCompany.com/webinars

Please have a wonderful holiday season filled with lots of love, laughter and real rejuvenation!

Gratitude Week – Be Grateful for the Little Things!

My older sister and I received a text on Sunday from our baby sister who was attending a bi-annual Women’s Retreat.  She acknowledged us for the ways we had contributed to her life when she was a child and now as an adult.

The text meant a  tremendous amount to me.  I believe we all have a basic human need to feel valued and appreciated.

Further, I believe that need is so great that it is just above food, shelter and safety.

Who in your world could benefit from an expression of gratitude and acknowledgment?

How might you provide that acknowledgment?  For me, the key is to first put pen to paper and to make a list of all the aspects that I can be grateful for.

From this, I typically find a theme. With or without this level of ‘think time’ and preparation, I am confident that your connection with this person will be strengthened.

More importantly, you will be helping this person get this basic human need met in a powerful and effective manner.

This is a powerful way to experience the full power of gratitude.

This week I’ll be writing about other aspects of gratitude that are important and useful for us all.

If you are enjoying these posts, I’m confident you would enjoy one of our free webinars on Total Team Alignment.  These webinars are filled with useful, practical and easy to implement solutions that produce record results right away.  I hope you’ll join us for one.  Here’s the link to register:

www.HalpinCompany.com/webinars

Please have a wonderful holiday season filled with lots of love, laughter and real rejuvenation!

Gratitude Week – Try Post-it Note Coaching this week!

In an effort to not offend my friends and colleagues who chose not to celebrate Thanksgiving, but focus on celebrating with their loved ones a Fall Harvest Celebration, I hesitate to say, “Happy Thanksgiving”!

However, regardless of our beliefs and traditions, we can all benefit from more gratitude in our lives .  Gratitude is the single most powerful tool according to experts like Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman in the new field of Positive Psychology.

I know that when I have been feeling anger and intensity and literally feeling the adrenaline pumping through my veins, gratitude washes away those feelings in an instant.

I call it my Post-it Note Coaching Program.  If you know me, you know that I say my job is to work myself out of a job.  I believe that because I want my clients and their teams to coach themselves and each other.  This Post-it Note Coaching moves people in that direction with velocity.

Think of a situation where you are NOT getting the results you need or want.  Think about the people who have become obstacles to those results.  Think about the circumstances that have allowed this situation to fester.

Now, take a Post-it Note and write down 3 learnings for yourself from this experience. Think of mistakes you’ve made that you will absolutely not make again.  Think of things you’ve learned about yourself, your colleagues, and the situation.

This exercise only takes about 10 nano-seconds.  Once you’ve written down the learnings or gifts, the frustration will melt away nano-seconds later.  This is a powerful way to experience the full power of gratitude.

This week I’ll be writing about other aspects of gratitude that are important and useful for us all.

If you are enjoying these posts, I’m confident you would enjoy one of our free webinars on Total Team Alignment.  These webinars are filled with useful, practical and easy to implement solutions that produce record results right away.  I hope you’ll join us for one.  Here’s the link to register:

www.HalpinCompany.com/webinars

Please have a wonderful holiday season filled with lots of love, laughter and real rejuvenation!

Hilton Worldwide’s President & CEO of Simple Philosophy

If you know me, you know I love the NY Times’ Corner Office in the Sunday Business section. Since my definition of R&D is to ‘rob and duplicate’, I always love to steal the best ideas from successful leaders.  This weekly column by Adam Bryant is always full of great ideas.

On Sunday, October 14, the CEO of Hilton Worldwide, Christoper J. Nassetta, shared some real gems.  He articulated the appropriate role of a CEO succinctly and eloquently.  He said he has one simple philosophy…keep steady hands on the wheel.  I so love this.

To read the full interview click here:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/business/christopher-nassetta-of-hilton-on-focusing-its-values.html

Think about your organization for a moment.  Are you driving results with such velocity that your colleagues feel intimidated or overwhelmed? Are you so innovative that they don’t know how to strategically capture all the potential opportunities for your company?  Or, if you’re like me, they all may have a warm fuzzy feeling about you and your company but they may not be clear about their Top 3 Strategic Initiatives for this quarter.

Whatever the opportunity, give yourself the give of ‘think time’ and see how you might, today, keep the steady hands on the wheel.  This way, you’ll be the strategic leader who is developing other strategic leaders.

Total Team Alignment Daily Question

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be offering a Daily Question.  In my opinion, the person asking the questions is the person being the Strategic Leader.  I hope you enjoy these questions.

If “Bob” is not meeting our expectations, what structures are missing?

Perhaps a better opportunity to gain full understanding of our expectations?

Additional Resources or Guidance?

If you find this question and your  subsequent ponderings valuable, you might want to participate in one of our complimentary public Webinars on Total Team Alignment.

Here’s the link to find the schedule.

http://halpincompany.com/webinars/

This link provides the opportunity to register and the opportunity to be interviewed during one of these Webinars.  Please feel free to share these links with your colleagues, team members, and leadership team.

Honoring Our Elders

In some spiritual and religious traditions, today is All Soul’s Day.  While I no longer subscribe to those belief systems espoused by these traditions, I do love the rich heritage and rituals associated with days like today.

As someone whose life as been heavily influenced by my Dad, I can’t help but think of him today.  He died at the age of 56 in 1984.

He looked around the breakfast table one Saturday morning when I was about 8 or 9 years old and saw me among my siblings and said, “why don’t you come into the office with me this morning?”.  He owned a sole-practitioner CPA firm, John F. Halpin, CPA, in Vicksburg, Mississippi.  The firm had about a half-dozen ‘girls in the office’ and I became one of them that day.

I started my career that day by operating the microfiche machine to maintain permanent records of his client’s bank statements.

I continued to work with him after school and on week-ends through college.  He’s why I became a CPA.  It took me 20 years to determine I was not well suited for that work.

I can’t help but think of Melody Beattie’s quote today as I think of my Dad and am grateful for all the bad things he taught me workaholicsm, putting the clients’ needs ahead of my own and being a hard worker.  He taught me many good things too.  I learned how to laugh and tell a funny story from my Dad. More importnatly, I learned how to engage people in a way that makes them want to be forthright about their deepest concerns.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”                                                                   Melody Beattie

 

Achieving Results through Personal Connection

Today we present a recent interview with Katharine Halpin conducted by Dr. Lois Zachary of Leadership Development Services. Click on the hyperlinks under each interview question to listen to the live response to each question.

Dr. Lois Zachary: Why are personal connections in the workplace so important?

Katharine Halpin: I believe that people can foster close personal connections with each other by having mutual respect, trust, the ability to speak authentically, honestly and forthrightly. If we have those kinds of connections, then whatever business challenges arise – and the business challenges will inevitably arise every day – we’ll be able to work through those challenges productively and effectively and in a very timely manner.

Listen to Question 1 Podcast

Dr. Lois Zachary: How can you go about doing that effectively?

Katharine Halpin: We have to remember that every interaction either builds trust or tears down trust. And so we have to prepare for every interaction – whether it means that we send an email, meet one on one, or meet in a small group. Even if we’re going to bump into somebody in the hall, we need to be prepared so that we can give those people the right context and most importantly so that we can be coming from the right perspective. If you’re going to send an email, it’s important to think about how that email’s going to be received by that other person. You have be able to put yourself in the other person’s shoes as you write the email to ensure that it’s going to be received in the most productive manner.

Listen to Question 2 Podcast

Dr. Lois Zachary: So preparation is important but you also write a lot about and talk a lot about authenticity. How does authenticity get played out in connections, and to what degree is it important in the workplace?

Katharine Halpin: My definition of authenticity means the degree to which you are willing to be vulnerable. Vulnerability means being willing to take personal responsibility for the results regardless of the outcome – not just when they’re successful, but most importantly, when they’re not. And, then you need to be willing to admit to your own opportunities for growth. I don’t like to think in terms of weaknesses, but we all have opportunities for growth. So when we can own those and share those freely, and really make light of them – for example “Oh, I just had the volume turned up too high on my gift of enthusiasm, perhaps…”

Listen to Question 3 Podcast

Dr. Lois Zachary: In the workplace, there’s a risk in being vulnerable. How do we bridge that gap?

Katharine Halpin: I think it begins first with connections. It’s almost like a chicken and egg: which comes first? We have to have the connections, the trust, and the mutual respect, to enable us to feel safe enough to be vulnerable. Without the connections, our colleagues won’t feel safe with us.

Listen to Question 4 Podcast

Dr. Lois Zachary: How do you see context enhancing connection and communication in the workplace today?

Katharine Halpin: What I do  is help leaders them look at things from a bigger context. They often have a context such as “Joe is an idiot.” Or, “Bob is an idiot.” And I try to help them think about Bob’s history and Joe’s history. I ask them “what’s the bigger game that we’re playing here?” I try to get them outside the myopic, small-minded/small perspective and get into a mindset or context of playing a bigger game. What are we most committed to here? What is the big game that we’re trying to create around this organization or this team? And that often helps people get out of their own way and get out of the blame game. When they start to see how they can take responsibility for the role that they’ve played they can begin the process of creating much more effective results.

Listen to Question 5 Podcast

Dr. Lois Zachary: As you know, connection is a really important piece of mentoring. Some of these same attributes you are talking about – authenticity, connection, vulnerability, and context – play out in mentoring relationships. Why do you think they might be so important?

Katharine Halpin: I’ve been in a variety of mentoring relationships over my almost-40-year career, and I see that the ones that were the richest, the ones that were the most powerful and most productive of course for both mentor and mentee, were those where we had all those things. If I was simply assigned a mentor in an organization, or if I took on a mentor for myself and we didn’t spend that time building that connection, then the mentoring was often flat. It was out of context. It was not nearly as useful as it could have been if we had taken time to build those connections.

Listen to Question 6 Podcast

Dr. Lois Zachary: It’s often hard for a mentee to find a voice, to feel safe, to be able to be vulnerable, and also to find a voice in order to move into that bigger picture future. Do you have any thoughts about how both a mentor and mentee might work at that?

Katharine Halpin: I think that’s a function of time, – both time together and then time to prepare. Once you have time together, you can start to build that connection where you’ll have the safety. And then, when you take the time to prepare. Say you’re going to have a 45-minute mentoring session later this week or early next week. I would want to take time over a period of days – 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 20 minutes − to start to formulate my objectives for that mentoring situation, that opportunity, the things that I’m trying to get a better grasp on right now, and start to formulate the questions. I don’t think any of us can find our voice easily in the moment. And the more mindful we can be when we go into those situations the better. When we’ve taken the time to prepare then I think the more easily we can find our voice and express our own needs and our own goals and our own objectives. And have that give and take. You want a mentoring relationship to have a give and take. “Well, that doesn’t resonate for me, but this would resonate with me.” Or, “This approach would work more effectively for me. I can’t see myself trying that, but I can see myself trying this.”

Listen to Question 7 Podcast

Dr. Lois Zachary: A final question for you. What’s the best piece of mentoring advice you’ve ever received?

Katharine Halpin: The best piece was early in my career when I was still an accountant, before I was a CPA. I was mentored by a partner, at that time, one of the big eight accounting firms. He said to me, “Katharine, you’re not really an accountant. You’re really a social worker.” And I wasn’t in a space where I was able to hear that. But he was right on the money. It took me another twenty years of struggling as a CPA and as a management consultant to really find my voice and to be able to do this kind of work that’s more intimate and more focused as a facilitator and as a coach.

Listen to Question 8 Podcast