Does your strategy energize or drain you?

Chris spent 10 years doing international consulting across more than 30 countries, where he worked on numerous humanitarian and for-profit projects with top tier management consulting firms like Booz Allen, Accenture, Cap Gemini, and McKinsey.  But despite challenging work on meaningful projects—he sensed something essential was missing.  His work left him feeling drained.  With health deteriorating, and burn-out approaching from the long work weeks, he took a six month sabbatical with the goal of traveling the world and reflecting on what was most important.

Then, in a Thai restaurant in London, one conversation with a business coach changed his life. This coach asked him simply: “What is most important to you? Really. What is the next most important thing to you? And the next?” He then challenged Chris to re-evaluate his priorities and build a life aligned with his values. For Chris, this exercise was like a breath of fresh air—it sparked a realization that improving the humanitarian industry was indeed a worthy pursuit, but not the one he most valued.

This conversation inspired Chris to re-explore writings and research on leadership, business, psychology and spirituality from a different perspective. He reflected on the methods he learned in graduate study while earning a Master’s degree, summa cum laude, in Organizational Psychology and Program Evaluation from Claremont Graduate University. He contemplated the various approaches from across disciplines, and began to see common themes in how people grow, both personally and professionally. The result of this thinking was a simple framework that Chris uses to guide his clients in the areas that matter most to them:

  • 1. VALUES drive what is most important to us, and when prioritized, motivate key actions/decisions
  • 2. STRENGTHS drive our performance and give us energy to grow, while SPOILERS or unacknowledged fears derail and frustrate growth efforts
  • 3. FEEDBACK from the right people to keep growing in the right direction

Encouraged by close friends that benefited from his style of coaching, Chris established a consulting firm to spark success in all dimensions of life, based on how each leader is wired. He set up a process for leaders and organizations to grow by prioritizing what matters most (Values), knowing what they love and structuring efforts so they do what they love (Strengths/Spoilers), and seeking advice on how to do it better (Feedback Loops).

Now Chris is on the other end of the table, sparking life-changing conversations and encouraging others to productively live out their values. He coaches executives in a variety of industries, and guides the next wave of leaders in MBA programs in developing a self-awareness based approach to productivity. His work schedule allows him to pursue his passions for world travel and photography. Most critically, he wakes up every morning knowing what he loves, doing what he loves, and doing it well.