Leadership Insights

Julie & Tammy

How one leader’s decision changed the next 20 years of my life

Today marks 20 years since my life became vastly different than my younger self ever imagined.  I always craved bigger, bolder, and different: just how different, I wasn’t sure, but I knew I was destined to be with people and stand in a place of influence. 

While this is my personal story of how I got to where I am, this is also a story about leadership decisions. And how one strategic decision in a tiny but mighty company impacted thousands of lives.

Today is 20 years since I joined the Inscape Publishing team and started teaching Everything DiSC.  It all started with a courageous and bold decision to bring “training in-house”.  It was a very controversial move and initially was not well-received because it would result in a significant change in how we engaged with our incredible value-added partners.  Ultimately, a new training role was designed to work directly with coaches, trainers, and consultants as they began learning how to embed DiSC into their own programs and practices.  As someone who has studied leadership and people dynamics my whole life, I couldn’t wait to be with people who felt as passionate about human potential as I did. This one decision – by an incredible leadership team, would forever be the catalyst of how I saw myself come alive. 

It was here that I learned how to listen intently to understand, not to reply.  Where I learned the art of failing and failing fast.  And, how to make decisions that had a trickle-down effect on our customers, small business owners whose livelihoods depended on our choices. It was also in this work that I learned the gift of feedback. In my role, in every single training I provided (in person, teleclasses – remember when!?! –  and webinars), I was evaluated. I received hundreds of thousands of pieces of feedback, and I am forever grateful to have received it from some of the best facilitators in the world! What an unexpected bonus to my work! 

I witnessed transition and resilience as I saw firsthand how new coaches, trainers, and facilitators transitioned from being a part of a team internally to being a team of one.  Growing up on a farm, I was familiar with seeing success and challenges across the table, and I felt at home with the driven and ambitious partners while together we navigated all kinds of life’s changes.  We shared their successes and hardships during the recession when they needed to be creative about demonstrating the ROI of training and development when all eyes were on the bottom line and survival. We also celebrated their outstanding accomplishments and the number of people they impacted every single year – to help leaders and teams gain greater self-awareness that directly changed their relationships at work, at home and throughout their life. 

Today, I’m writing this from my office, of the company I started 12 years ago. We are a global leader in providing Everything DiSC solutions and facilitation training.  At the time, I had no idea that I could take my experience and work all those years, and make it my own path. Not a week goes by that someone doesn’t ask me how I got to where I am today. Every time I tell my story, I need to pause to catch my breath at the part where I was lucky enough to be the Director of Training at Inscape, working with thousands of coaches, trainers and consultants. It is not lost on me that I found my path early in my career. 

I’m even more passionate today about the work our world and workplaces need so desperately – the need to connect at a more human level – to be seen, known and know that each person matters.  I am reminded every day that when your passion aligns with your gifts, and the opportunity to bring them together presents itself, anything is possible.  

A very special THANK YOU  to Jeffrey Sugerman, Julie Straw, Barry Davis, Don Hudson and Scott Wilhelmsen for allowing me to thrive and find my way as we created training programs to support our amazing network of partners. My life has been forever changed by saying yes to join Inscape! 

I’m incredibly grateful to my fellow Wiley Partners.  Thank you for allowing me to be your trainer, your coach and your peer.  You inspire me and challenge me every day. I am so very blessed to be in your company as we will forever be life-long learners! 

To my former teammates who are the brains behind the innovation and products we launched and I still use today. I wish you could be with me to see the breakthroughs and insights we observe in leaders and teams in each workshop and coaching session.  And, to my amazing co-facilitators over these 20 years – thank you for allowing me to be vulnerable and dance with whatever shows up!

Call to action for today: 

  1. What decisions are you making that will impact those around you and provide opportunities well beyond your initial decision?   
  2. Who can you thank that made your work, your role, your life so much better than you even imagined? 

Reach out today to thank them!  And, consider how the power of your decision can change the world.