During the past 31 years, I've transformed myself from a business person into an educator and leadership coach focused on performance improvement. I've held a variety of leadership roles in Fortune 500 corporations, a Big 4 accounting and consulting firm and two major research universities. I'm now a full-time clinical professor in the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, a leadership coach and a large-group speaker.
My management experience and leadership development work spans a variety of industries including accounting, advertising, automotive, chemical, consulting, energy, higher education, household goods, pharmaceutical, publishing and telecommunications. I've helped build global brands including Alka-Seltzer, Chevrolet, Deloitte & Touche and Whirlpool. As an educator at Kellogg and Northwestern, I've taught, coached and advised CEOs, physicians, deans, vice presidents, directors, managers, department chairs, research center leaders, MBA candidates and undergraduates. As an entrepreneur, I founded Optimus Coaching LLC through which I provide individual coaching, workshop facilitation and large-group speaking for leaders, teams and professional associations.
I hold a doctorate in higher education (with a focus on executive education) from Indiana University, an MBA in marketing from the University of Notre Dame and a BA in advertising from Michigan State University. I'm a certified Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coach. My preferred 360-degree feedback assessment is the Korn Ferry Hay Group "Emotional and Social Competency Inventory" (ESCI). My book – The Wisdom of Walk-Ons: 7 Winning Strategies for College, Business and Life – suggests ALL leaders are walk-ons at some point in life, and we all can attain and sustain the success we seek by thinking and acting like underdogs.