Project Description

Leadership Philosophy

 Cultivating Potential in Others

The cardboard box floats. Once home to a brand new dryer, its new occupant, gripping a slender mailing tube, leans forward and paddles her craft to shore.

But other contraptions aren’t so seaworthy. Some decelerate, their crew’s once dry oars now saturated with water as they transform into a glob of cardboard mush. Other teams delay the inevitable, bailing out water with cupped hands.

Some sink.

Another team, expert at synchronizing every stroke, weaves in and out of these stragglers and crosses the finish line, waving their oars overhead in triumph.

It’s a rag-tag fleet. Mismatched brown and gray duct-taped boxes transformed into vessels of all shapes and sizes – kayaks, canoes, skiffs, rowboats, pontoons, surfboards, and rafts – each designed and built by teams tasked with engineering a way to use nothing but cardboard and tape to safely transport people across the lake.

The boats soon perish, but the lessons learned endure. The planning, organizing, designing, building, and racing in this non-threatening casual setting helps participants develop trust, improve communication, and gain ideas and experiences they can apply wherever they work.

It’s just one of many methods I’ve designed to help people build stronger teams and realize their leadership potential. And it’s part of my personal leadership philosophy that I’ve formulated for over two decades, leading, building, and coaching teams in business, in media, in education, and in non-profit endeavors.

The fundamental core values and principles of my leadership philosophy guide my actions, help others to better understand what I expect and illustrate how we can work together effectively. They also provide direction focused on achieving realistic goals. Sharing this philosophy sets the stage so others can hold me accountable, helping me improve and live up to these ideals.


Core Values & Principles

How We Can Work Together Effectively


Building, Leading, an Coaching Teams Across Industries


Leadership and Team Building

I’ve been building and leading teams for my entire career across different industries – in media as an editor (in journalism talk that means a manager who has subject matter expertise in writing, editing, and visual communication), as a project manager, in non-profit work, and as a founder of startups. In each situation, I’ve become skilled at using interviewing techniques to build better team dynamics, enhance motivation, and establish clearer vision.


Managing Virtual Teams

The challenges of working in a virtual environment are unique and formidable. If care isn’t taken, issues that arise in traditional work environments that seem harmless can be dramatically devastating in a virtual setting. It’s common for team members to feel isolated and to have a sense that they are the only one contributing to the cause. Ordinary misunderstandings can blow out of proportion. It can be difficult to retain employees. While working on a startup media company I used interviewing to create stronger connections between team members who had never before met in person. As a result of these interviews, I better understood the challenges faced by each team member. We instituted informal get-togethers online and found that communication improved. The team accomplished several successful projects that were favorably recognized by the press.


Recruiting the Right Team Members

Recruiting can be challenging for any company. Finding the right person that fits best with your team while also meeting the qualifications required to do the job can be daunting at best. While working as a supervisor at a small media company I was tasked with recruiting new team members. In addition to interviewing candidates and their references, I also ensured (through interviews) that the perspectives and opinions of other managers at the company were incorporated. I was later told by my supervisors that the candidates I had hired were among the best that had ever been employed by the company.


UNCHARTED: Building an Outdoor-Exploration Movement

As a founder of a startup devoted to elevating, inspiring, empowering, and uniting people through exploration, I manage various projects under tight budgetary and schedule constraints, including the development of a new website community to help outdoor recreation travelers more easily find information and resources to make their experiences better.


Pink Bunny Pajamas: Find a viable, cost-effective way to mass produce pajamas and pink slippers.

While working as the project manager for a startup devoted to helping fans of the movie, A Christmas Story, relive their childhood with Pink Bunny Pajamas I, was tasked with finding a cost-effective way to produce pajamas and pink slipper accessories. I led a team in securing a cost-effective manufacturing contract that doubled sales and delivered a product that received high customer reviews.


Bambi’s Story: A Campaign for Organ Donation

While working for a mid-sized media company, I learned firsthand how important using project management leadership and team-building skills can be in producing life-changing results. I discovered that an average of 20 people die each day waiting for life-saving organ transplants. In an effort to help an organ donation non-profit increase awareness about the need for donations, I thought showing the human side of those statistics would be an effective way to inspire change. I led a team in directing a multimedia production about Bambi Thomas, a young mother waiting for a heart transplant. I persuaded management to allocate time for the project, recruited co-workers for my team, networked with medical professionals, and negotiated a strategic alliance with an organ donation non-profit network. This led to the distribution of the production throughout North America and Europe in several languages. The project was awarded public service honors for saving lives.



Eagle Scout Project: Design and Construct a Drainage System for the United Cerebral Palsy Greenhouse

As a 15-year-old scout on summer vacation, I oversaw the design and construction of a French drainage system to eliminate wet and slippery surfaces along the parking lot and sidewalk adjacent to the United Cerebral Palsy’s greenhouse facility. The non-profit organization uses the facility to help those with developmental and acquired disabilities to enhance their everyday lives. Patients often slipped and hurt themselves because of the flooding. I consulted with plumbers, procured equipment and supplies, and brokered donations to fund the project, leading to a viable solution that eliminated the safety hazard at the facility.