I grew up in Canada, the oldest of 3. My father immigrated from Finland, my mother loved languages, and we spoke multiple languages and had many accents in our house. My mother was a teacher, who created a safe environment for her students to thrive and be seen. I would listen to her tell stories about her students and their successes. My father started a construction business with his two brothers. From the age of 7, I would go to work with him and was fascinated by all aspects of what I saw; from how people talked to each other, what they talked about, listening to conversations about the finances, all the building “toys” and machines, to watching how respectfully my father treated his employees.
I saw my father build a successful business, but I also saw how poorly he was treated because of his strong accent, and because he was different based on being an immigrant. I was a quiet kid and felt helpless when I saw him being treated poorly. It had a deep impact on me and sparked a passion to foster inclusion, compassion, and seeing others beyond the story they present to the outside world. I took this passion to my career in the corporate world, working in large technology organizations. Whether leading in sales, operations, or consulting, I, unfortunately, too often saw the same behaviors I saw when I was growing up. Employees were often not seen for who they really were and for all of the talents that they brought. It was frustrating; I saw potential beyond what was fostered and valued. While driving business results, I always tapped into a different dimension of others across the organization, to help my colleagues fulfill their potential and be seen.
Ten years ago, I experienced a profound loss when one of the most talented people I had worked with, passed away unexpectedly. It made me realize that my deepest purpose was to help others be seen and supporting others in fulfilling their purpose needed to be my primary focus, instead of a secondary one. And so began my coaching journey and my desire to share these skills.
Today, I combine my over 20 years of experience as a business leader with my unique ability to see others beyond the story they present on the surface, to help them see themselves and unleash their passion and true potential. I love partnering with EQuipt because true listening is the first step for all of us to be seen. We must listen to ourselves, each other, and as leaders, to create true success, both business and personal.