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Case Studies: Laura Richards

An extremely bright up-and-comer gets her spark back, breaks through difficult circumstances and takes her branch from 27th place to 9th in three months.

Laura had been working in the insurance industry for number of years and wanted to be more proactive in growing her career. She was lacking some confidence but also questioning her commitment.

In addition, she had suffered from some health problems that resulted from an accident some years earlier. She was frustrated with how long it was taking to resolve itself and it was affecting her outlook.

We began by inquiring into the desire she expressed to move forward in her career and how it seemed to be hindered in some way.
It wasn’t long before we discovered a key piece that was holding her back. It turns out that Laura was a natural tomboy in her youth. During that time she often got the message that “girls aren’t supposed to be outspoken and intelligent (like tomboys).”

As a result, every time Laura felt strong or confident about a situation, she would inadvertently squash it. After all, drive and pride are not allowed to be felt by girls. In her mind, having self-confidence and expressing it was the same as bragging, and that certainly wasn’t a good thing.

This dampening perspective was compounded by health issues that plagued her from an accident years earlier. She sincerely began to wonder if success was even possible given her circumstances. She had stopped dreaming.

Was it any wonder she wasn’t moving herself forward faster? We worked through her dampened desire to move on to bigger things and addressed all the conflicting beliefs that were holding her back.

She then experienced a dramatic shift in perspective:

The purpose of the insurance industry in which she worked was to “be there” when unfortunate things happen. Her health issues actually put her directly in her clients’ shoes – she knew exactly what they were going through. In essence, her role could be about helping people like herself. She didn’t want others to go through what she did.
This new perspective gave her role a much greater sense of purpose. It fully engaged her again.


  • In her new role as branch manager, she dramatically improved the ranking of her branch’s results. Client experience indicators moved from 27th place to 9th (out of 35) and revenue generation indicators from 19th place to 7th (out of 35). The interesting thing was she did it in a single quarter while also juggling her career with young twins.
  • She is comfortable in her own skin as a leader – acknowledging and expressing her leadership strengths.
  • Her future is no longer dictated by her previous circumstances.
  • “At the end of the day, I’ve walked away with the confidence to handle anything that may come my way and with a deeper passion for life” says Laura.

*Senior leaders in her company saw such a difference they now continually invest in Footprint’s services with others in the organization.

Next case study - Darryl Alexander. A tentative leader steps into his potential, takes a senior role in the company he works for and then starts two others.

The names in these stories are fictional but the stories are real. If you’d like to talk to the individuals themselves, please email me for their contact information.