My Story

I am a former college basketball coach and fitness professional who had to pivot my career path when my time in athletics ended. I was getting my PhD in Leadership at the time, and I adjusted my research and academic direction to focus on women and leadership, group dynamics, and non-traditional approaches to leadership training and development. Somewhere deep inside I believed that there had to be another approach to leadership other than the historical hierarchical and oppressive model that seemed to be so dominant in our organizations.

I discovered Adaptive Leadership, based on the work of Ron Heiftez and Terri Monroe, and Dare to Lead™, based on the work of Brené Brown. I discovered group relations theory that believes that our behavior is based not only on our traits, but by our need to conform to social demands and expectations. This was it! These models viewed leadership not as position you held but as something you did. These models acknowledged the intense impact of the groups in our lives. These models acknowledge that leadership is a set of skills, but it’s not superficial or learned from list of best practices. It’s nuanced, complex, messy, and hard. Yet, people can teach it, and we can learn it.

As I dug in to unique and innovative methods of facilitating group learning and holding people accountable while they still feel supportive, I noticed there are a lot of similarities between the work on the (basketball) court and the work in the conference room, classroom, or corner office.

With the help of amazing mentors and getting the chance to learn from the top experts in the field I was moving into, I was able to take the elements of sport coaching that I loved the most: push people to work hard by motivating them with an inner drive and fire, and work with people to bring out their best.

I definitely have an affinity towards work that encourages self-awareness and curiosity, rewards bravery and authenticity, and doesn’t shy away from the messy and the hard that go with meaningful work. This is one reason why I love the Dare to Lead™ framework.
I like to tell stories. I often tell stories of my coaching days or how I’m in constant pursuit of my parenting process. I have four kids and they are certainly my most difficult and my most rewarding leadership experience.
I am on my own journey or self-awareness and feel like I’ve really worked hard to embrace what I call my ‘powerfully androgynous’ self. I am comfortable with both the masculine and the feminine and I think that balance has not only brought me inner freedom, but also worked to my advantage as I connect with people in my work.

I still believe I’m an athlete and a coach, and if I’m not working, I’m probably coaching my kiddos, trying to find time to read, or getting a workout in.

For the technical stuff – My BA is from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in English and Women’s Studies,, My MA is in Sports Psychology from San Diego State University, and I have a PhD in Leadership from the University of San Diego. I am a certified leadership coach, certified to administer the MBTI and the Leadership Circle Profile 360°, and a certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator based on the research of Brené Brown.
I’m a Southern Californian, often told I have an East Coast flavor (although I’m not totally sure where that came from), and I can promise you, I’ll bring my full self to our work.

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