Sometimes the path we start out on veers sharply in another direction because of circumstances beyond our control. Such is the case with Lisa, who started her career in elementary education in the mid-90s. But by 1998, not having much luck finding her dream teaching job, she joined her father at Superior Consulting Services as a PC support person.
By then she’d also gotten married and had a baby. “I think my dad was worried we wouldn’t be able to pay the bills,” Lisa recalls. Little did he realize he had actually just hired one of his successors.
Lisa soon realized that you get to wear LOTS of hats in a smaller firm. As she gravitated over to the administrative side of the business, she discovered she had a knack for systems and processes. With no background in HR, Finance, Marketing, Purchasing, or any of her other many roles, the former teacher learned how to teach herself.
The path eventually led to an ownership stake in the business followed by a full buy-out with two other partners (Paul and Brian) in 2014. Reflecting on her intended career, she thought that if she could teach kids to play nice in a sandbox, she could do the same in a business.
As the company’s only female executive in a predominantly male industry, Lisa says she has had to work harder to prove herself. “It’s definitely better than it was, but I still see people addressing the men at the table. But these challenges just made me bolder and more determined to be heard.”
(As someone who has known Lisa for a while, I can attest to this!)
She is quick to add that her partners are fabulous to work with and very supportive of her in her current role as Integrator. In the world of the Entrepreneurial Operating System®, that’s a big dang deal because they are the orchestrator that makes all the moving parts of a business play in harmony.
“I love Traction (EOS). It has helped us come together as a Leadership Team and as a company with one clear direction.” (And it helps to have a terrific coach. Wink, wink.)
Lisa’s advice to other women comes from Vanilla Beane, a 100-year-old hat maker in Washington DC: “Love many, trust few, learn to paddle your own canoe.”
Love it. Keep paddling, Lisa!