My Professional Journey - LisastromLLC

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My Professional Journey

I started my career as a pediatric nurse working with families in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. I saw how much stress a family experiences when faced with a seriously ill child and realized I was really meant to nurse the entire family. I began my career as a coach – helping families to learn to be confident in their ability to care for their child and live life to the fullest.
It was not long before I was asked to assume leadership roles of progressive responsibility and by the early 1990’s was holding executive positions. Not much was offered in the way of true leadership development. Then, one day, my boss asked me to join him at a week-long training called “Leading in the Learning Organization” taught by Peter Senge and his team. I experienced what it meant to have a leader committed to my success and growth.
Over time I was developing a growing uneasiness and sensed I wanted to make a broader and impactful change. Surrounded by burned out professionals, poor progress on the quality/safety front and the ongoing polarizing debate over government intervention I began to sort it all out.

The Convergent Zone – where it all came together:
• Around this time had an opportunity to work with an amazing leadership coach for the first time in my career and truly felt my path turn.
• At the same time I was 3 years into learning to lead in a Lean system under Pascal Dennis – the dots began to connect. I had embraced the role of “leader as coach” and realized dramatic improvements. 
If I could coach people to solve their own problems through examination of their environment, relationships and self-awareness to achieve a better state, might the system become healthier one person at a time? If we could work with their teams, might that shift happen even faster? To take it further, using the healthcare example, imaging working across diverse teams with perceived competing agendas?
To sum it up: I want to improve how people experience leadership so they can realize their full potential, achieve their goals and feel fulfilled.

Where I am and what is next?
I now understand the issues that led me on the path to coaching are not unique to healthcare! I have had the opportunity to coach people outside of healthcare and see similar patterns, just different settings. I have found that I don’t need to be the expert in an industry and ask really good leadership questions because I don’t presume to know their work.

I continue to believe Lean Business Systems and in particular, leadership principles, are designed and tested to bring out the best in people and organizations. (link to that page) I will greatly enjoy working with organizations that have chosen that path. For those who have not, coaching is every bit as valuable. The goal of coaching is to develop highly customized plans for adult learners that address the issues they are actually facing at the time.
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