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Case Studies: Lisa Everest

A self-proclaimed perfectionist gives herself permission to take chances and starts a line of business that has grown to over $10 million in profit.

Lisa had extremely high standards was particularly self-analytical and terribly hard on herself as a result. She’d demonstrated great leadership in the technical aspect of her role and was a well-respected accountant in the large organization she worked for.

She was charged with “breaking the mould” in order to grow a fledgling new line of the business. She also had a very young family, was the primary wage earner and felt she couldn’t afford to make a mistake in case she’d lose her job.

At first, Lisa wasn’t thrilled about the opportunity to grow the business. A big part of the reason: she felt she needed to become someone completely different to make it happen. The first thing we did was to get a clear idea of what would really excite her about the opportunity to grow the business.

She then attended the training component of our leadership development program. She shared this with me soon after it: “Since I attended the program, I’ve never driven SO FAST in my life! I feel happier and more energized than I have forever. I can’t stop smiling!”

In the program she discovered she can just be herself in her role. Her leadership style did indeed have tremendous strengths. Sure, there were weaknesses that needed to be managed, but her focus on them didn’t allow her to fully appreciate what she did bring to the table as a leader.

Next, we uncovered the reason that drove her high standards. It turns out she held a belief that, “If I’m not the best, then I’ve failed.” This black-and-white attitude (the best or nothing) really hurt her ability to innovate and take chances. When she took a closer conscious look at the notion, she saw how limiting it was.

Disarming this belief had wonderful implications. Instead of either “being perfect” or not trying at all, the insight (combined with other work we did) gave her permission to play full-out and accept the result no matter what it happened to be. What more could she do than her best?


  • In the first six weeks of us working together, she asked for and got a $15k raise.
  • She became more genuine in her leadership. She spent far less energy (and time) trying to be what she thought everyone wanted her to be as a leader.
  • She was completely energized by her work and her life again.
  • People noticed a greater sense of calm about her. Lisa reclaimed the calmness that allowed her to see other options and opportunities others couldn’t see.
  • She started a line of business from almost nothing and today it has grown to over $10MM in profit.

Next case study - Tony Goodale. Learn how an assertive, decisive leader rebuilds a relationship that helps create a sales increase of over $250 million.

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.