Real Stories

Real Results. Real People. Real Stories.

It's a Frenzied World - Renee's Story

Renee here, Chief Catalyst at LCA, and this is my story.

I entered the workforce in the IT field as one of few women in a completely male-dominated industry. When I first got started, we’d have 5 years to complete a big systems project.  Only a couple years later, we were only given 1 year to complete a similar project.  Our time frames were shrinking mostly driven by the “dot-com” era pressure from investors who were scrambling to have the next tech IPO.

After a few years of managing teams I got good at adapting the team processes to stay ahead of the shrinking go-to-market strategies.  After all, I was responsible for completing the product going to market.  So, I got clever.  I created more fluid methods for my managers, got my teams to be more reliable in their deliveries, reduced the amount of re-work, and ensured we met the requirements the first time.

Ultimately, I got a reputation for getting my project done on schedule, on budget, and on target. Something was working.

Several years later, I took over a tech company that was way behind on multiple products and a bit confused about what the market really needed.  By then, I had refined my methods and expanded them to shore up the customer experience and improve how employees treated each other (which wasn’t pretty).  In about 18 months, we were in great shape and sold to a multi-billion dollar healthcare IT company.

Given I was shortly transitioned to something else, I reflected on how well these methods worked over the last 10 years, that I decided to start a company to help others adapt the methods to their own cultures.  Roll forward 10 years of consulting and training, and I had another epiphany!  What used to be effective was not as effective as it could be. 

The accelerated pace of change was affecting our clients faster than ever before – they had less time than ever! It was time for us to adapt again.

So, we gathered all the methods that worked and thew out the things that no longer mattered.  We adapted the delivery to a “hands-on” online approach and made it available for those who wanted to excel at being a great manager, who were able to adapt to what’s thrown at them, and become a resilient coach for others.  

Change the way you learn – Change the way you think – Change the way you work!

Bias Alive and Well - Betsy's Story

I’m Betsy, Chief Go-Getter and accomplished sales professional, here to share a piece of my story….

I have spent the majority of my career listening to the needs of customers and identifying solutions to these issues and concerns.  In today’s work environment, the elements of change are greater than ever before.  By using a very consultative approach to problem solving, I draw upon many years of experience working in diverse industries to drive desired results inside and outside of the workplace.  Recognizing the need for change and inspiring others to move forward with that change clearly defines the corporate mission.

As a mother of four millennials and one post millennial, I not only “parent”, but have skillfully adapted to the needs and styles of working with this growing population in our businesses today.  Identifying the complexities associated with this new generation of workers and guiding them to understand how the more established workers “think” and function is a vital part of reaching this audience.  As a certified leadership and career coach, I assist them and others with bridging the gap as they enter and transition from college to the workplace.

As an avid entrepreneur having run several small businesses of my own, I identify with and have a clear appreciation of the intense competitive pressures that exist today.  I find success relies on being in tune to the pace of change while finding creativity, innovation, and awareness to succeed and grow.  I enjoy helping others overcome these pressures, address the changes, and watch them come out stronger as a result of our work together.

Downsizing Dilemma - Lisa's Story

Lisa led a project on a Government Contract and had three other staff members.  Unfortunately, the contract would be coming to an end in four months, and the entire team was at risk for layoff.  Lisa was faced with the challenge of keeping staff motivated, motivating herself to look for a job, and finding time to support some overhead projects assigned to her by the President.

Lisa’s manager, Joe, was extremely insecure knowing not only this contract, but also others he managed would be coming to an end. He would fly off the handle, make irrational claims about others, and yell at his staff.  Lisa felt like she had to walk on egg shells around him, never knowing how he would react or what might set him off.  He seemed particularly sensitive to her working directly with the President, and would grill her about their discussions and activities, as though accusing her of something. 

Lisa worked hard to learn the PACE® Model and apply the techniques.  She tuned into what motivated Joe and sought out behaviors that calmed his aggression.  For example, she found out he was extremely concerned about being in a good position so that he could retire in the next 18-24 months, so she stepped up her efforts to explore alternate contract opportunities with her client.

She worked to align her activities to ensure they advanced the company and helped elevate Joe’s contribution.  On her special project, she set up meetings with Joe and the President so they all could discuss the project together.

Although she ultimately did lose her job, they kept her on overhead for 3 additional months, which gave her time to look for a new job.  Now that she’s out of the environment, she is relieved.  They’ve asked if she would return, and she has decided that she’s ready for a new adventure. We supported her in finding that next, best position. 

Lisa says that PACE gave her the confidence she needed when she needed it the most.

Under Estimated, Taken for Granted - Brian's Story

Working for a Government Contractor, Brian used to think “sales” was a dirty word until he realized that the ability to influence was at the heart of all he does.  He leveraged the PACE® Model to be more effective on his client projects.  As a result, Brian grew his contracts by delivering more successful and valued outcomes. He has become the trusted adviser for his client and is building a practice area highly valued by his organization.

“Using these techniques, I created two new programs. Through these techniques, I turned discussions with the client into organic growth by uncovering my client’s vision that amounted to 15% growth for the year.  I also opened a new customer base by driving value for the customer with an 87% time-savings. These opportunities have turned into value add projects that are driving client’s programs forward and proven how we can add value to help them avoid hurdles along the way.”

What’s interesting is Brian used to work for another Contractor. He worked hard developing his technique for business development.  Brian was never seen as a key player to bring work to the firm – they really under estimated his loyalty and ability to succeed. Brian could see he was really making progress and getting good at finding new projects with existing clients. It didn’t take long before he had the confidence to take his skills to a new position, where he is now admired and appreciated.

Manager Mess - Alison's Story

Alison was responsible for training in a call center and was also a member of the management team.  Her peers, managers for different functions in the call center, worked together and were quite collaborative.  It was a lot of fun … most of the time, until they got a new leader, Sam.   

Sam didn’t have call center experience, but knew the people they served very well. His management style was top-down command and control.  This was inconsistent with the cooperative nature of the team.  In fact, he discouraged collaboration and called it a “waste of time” evidenced by “how much fun they had.”

Alison would leave the building frustrated and concerned about the direction of the team, their ability to retain staff, and being isolated from those she respected and admired.  She had nowhere to turn because Sam’s boss was aloof and unapproachable.

Alison embraced the PACE ® Model in search of maintaining her sanity, knowing that the new directive-style was ruining the team’s effort to be productive.  She took control of the situation by understanding more about Sam’s background, motivations, and hot-spots. This helped her build better rapport and gain some independence.

She coached her peers so they too could work to align their activities with his personal preferences.  Together they improved their abilities to report out and be crystal clear on what their commitments were, and their ability to meet those commitments. This gave Sam confidence that he no longer needed to micromanage individual efforts.

Today, she’s proud of her ability to help herself, her team, and ultimately her company. The team is getting more done than ever before!

From Peer to Parent - Sally's Story

Sally has been with her organization for 8 years.  She became the manager of a customer support team responsible for answering questions and advising all of the stakeholders until the order is complete.  Recently promoted to manager, Sally had little experience directly managing others.  One day she was a peer on the team, and the next she was their manger.

She was faced with handling a few situations on the team:

  • Staff not showing up on time or staying all day.
  • Team members snipping at internal customers and being rude.
  • Staff criticizing each other because team members handled situations and projects differently than he/she would.

Sally struggled with giving feedback and driving the behaviors that her manager demanded.  She felt stuck in the middle and not well equipped. Management wanted her to “manage” and staff wanted her to leave them alone, as they felt they were all very good at their jobs.

Working the concepts in the PACE® Model, Sally worked with each member to help them change their behaviors without using punitive measures. To do that, she had to surface what they wanted and were willing to do.  She had a whole new way of listening and providing direction.

Today, Sally’s team is thriving and welcoming new members.  They enjoy helping each other out and providing top-notch customer service.  In fact, Sally has been promoted yet again, and looks forward to her team growing. 

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