An Interview with Sara Connell
March 1, 2022
Pay attention to Leadership Impact. A leader’s focus and mindset can be contagious to their team or organization. All outcomes in teams and companies happen in context of relationships. So, team leaders and members should focus on being self-aware and accountable for the impact of their leadership styles.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
For almost three decades, I have worked as an advisor and guide to plan and implement transformational journeys with hundreds of business teams. Along the way, I have tested and refined ways of working that support change-savvy, purpose-driven, team-based companies. Recently, I wrote a book called ‘Navigating the Swirl: 7 Crucial Conversations for Business Transformation.’
I can trace the starting point of becoming a business advisor to a class assignment in business school in 1993. I was asked to write a business plan for a “dirt cleansing company.” The company’s purpose was to clean-up toxic oil spills from leaking underground storage tanks, aka, LUSTS, by burning dirt in portable ovens. My services were offered through a program in partnership with the Small Business Administration (SBA). It was my first “official consulting assignment.”
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
I was so excited during my “first official consulting assignment” to be working with a senior leadership team that I wrote a 150-plus page business plan that completely overwhelmed the client. They were environmental scientists who simply wanted to save the planet by burning dirt. My business lingo left them speechless. However, my professors, who admittedly were business enthusiasts like me, loved it and I won an award for that year’s best business plan. I’m still an ardent business enthusiast, but thankfully today I have the training and experience to better channel my passion and create more effective client experiences.