Even accomplished leaders, surrounded by many people, may have no one to confidentially share their challenges, doubts and aspirations. The simultaneous distance and closeness of a trusted advisor can fill such a need.
"The best way to help someone at their crossroads is to listen well so they can hear themself."
Courtney Brown Snyder, MD/Holistic Psychiatrist
"I am an entrepreneur having started several businesses in my career. My latest venture is a web based business serving retirement advisors around the country. Marty and I get together once a month to talk about the strategic issues I face in areas such as personnel, sales, and succession. What I like best about his style is that it is non-judgmental. He is an excellent listener and basically leads you to the answers you are seeking without any pre-conceived notion of where things should be headed. I value his insights into my business and his ability to focus on the really important strategic issues."
Martin H. Ruby, FSA CEO, Stonewood Financial
There also are individuals who, unknowingly, have deeper leadership potential that can be awakened.
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."
John Quincy Adams
“An advisor is a person with... cross functional and multidisciplinary expertise. An adviser's role
is that of a mentor or guide and differs categorically from that of a task specific consultant.”
During my career in business, international trade and law, I've have had the privilege of working with clients, entrepreneurs, investors, startups, established businesses, major corporations, suppliers/vendors, bankers, SBA, economic development authorities, governments at all levels, insurance adjustors, forensic accountants, regulators, taxing authorities, court systems, plaintiff and defense counsel, mediators/arbitrators, foreign business partners, international companies, U.S. Export-Import Bank, domestic and foreign trade associations and exhibitions, building projects, architects and contractors, and many nonprofits.
I share my experience and insights, good and bad, in dealing with a client's critical strategic issues (funding, revamping services and fees, strategic alliances) as well as to the daily challenges of business (operations, key hires, vendor relations, administration, morale).
If we desire to act with integrity and live in congruence, our business goals must align with our deeper personal goals and universal challenges. How we find purpose in our lives, the way we interact, and even our attempts to manage stress impact our functioning in all areas of life - including our businesses.
A purpose-driven life enhances the impact of leaders in and outside their organizations. It leapfrogs them and their companies beyond expected business goals (which require our utmost attention). No amount of mission/vision statements, slogans or hype can better seal the bond with one’s own organization, clients and vendors than a leader working toward a higher good for all involved.
"We engaged Marty to help us with some team cohesiveness issues involving our executive leaders. Marty's services really helped us define the underlying issues and develop approaches to resolve them. He also provided strategies to help us continue to build cohesiveness. Through our time with Marty, we made tremendous strides which has greatly benefited the organization. Marty has tremendous insight as far as what impacts people's behaviors, and a wealth of strategies to help address any difficulties. We would use Marty again for these type of sensitive issues, and I highly recommend Marty to help your organization."
Mike Norman, Chief Business Officer, Kentucky Science Center
"It is not generally appreciated that an effective adviser does not just give you the answers, but helps you discover the way. Over the past months I have had the good fortune to receive Marty's guidance. He has helped me deliberate through some complex and varied business strategies and astutely led me to examine the options and reach decisions. Marty draws from the wealth of knowledge and experience that he has harvested during his multifarious and fascinating life to deliver pearls of wisdom in a calm and engaging manner that is naturally Marty. For me the outcome was transformative both professionally and personally." Peyman Kiaras-Attarei, President and CEO AISA Holding LLC
An element often missing from business education, training and actual leadership: Awareness of the psychological underpinnings of our personal and business lives and decision-making.
Dynamics at play with individuals are mirrored in organizations: leadership or politics, cooperation or toxicity, clarity or nonsense, ego or service, function or dysfunction, etc. No surprise to anyone working in groups... Yet, such critical factors often are pushed aside as "soft" not "real business" issues. Some leaders, businesses and institutions have squandered their success or failed their mission by ignoring such consequential matters.
We need to be alert to the short and long term implications of such dynamics. In taking a holistic approach (evaluating the whole situation; identifying the root cause), we can tackle difficult challenges that may not be raised by compartmentalized or formulaic approaches.
"It is not so important with whom you do business, but it is
exceedingly important with whom you don't do business."
Jean-Pierre Levy, one of my mentors