Tell us about your background.
I am an independent management consultant specializing in mergers & acquisitions, including post-merger integration, operations excellence, business transformation, and talent management. Up until just over two years ago, I was an executive with Deloitte Consulting, traveling 100 percent of the time and living nowhere. Then I decided I wanted to live in one place and truly be a part of a city where I could invest myself in be- coming a part of the community. So I left that life, took a long- term project with one of my clients, and moved to Boston. I love it here and plan to stay. I’m currently living in West Roxbury and I’m a newlywed—I married my wonderful husband, Ingolfur Agustsson, in October. In the community, I have taken a role on the Board of Directors of JVS—a hard-working and impactful Boston organization that I admire—and I’ve become very involved in CJP and the organizations and causes it supports.
What are you enjoying most about your role as a PresenTense Coach?
I most enjoy that I can be a material part of the creation of a valuable social venture that will have an impact on Jewish non-profits. The one-on-one time spent with the fellow I coach allows me to dig my hands in and help build this venture.
How is it going so far? Is there something about your fellow and his venture that you are particularly excited about?
The fellow I work with is Brian Fox, CEO and Founder of On Both Feet. I am very excited about this venture because it provides high-value consulting services that address the pervasive organizational issues affected by communi- cation and leadership skills. I love that Brian is using both improv and Jewish wisdom as the vehicles for delivering value.
Do you have any tips for future PresenTense coaches?
I have some advice for future coaches. I believe there are two critical things to provide a fellow. The first piece of advice concerns templates and examples. Before each task, we meet to talk about the best way to approach the thinking and the deliverable. I share examples of similar deliverables that are outputs of my consulting work and we talk through them. We speak about what’s involved in the business decisions in that part of the process and start the strategic thinking. Then, together, we decide what the culminating deliverable should look like and I provide templates and materials that support its creation.
My other advice is that a coach should be willing to critically assess a fellow’s venture. Nothing is more valuable to a fellow than someone who can give him the straight story. Get to the root of the issues and give advice on what will work and what will not. Have the difficult discussions about how much effort it might take to make the venture work and whether the effort of building the venture will pay off, and be real about the level of success the fellow should expect.
Would you recommend that others get involved as a coach? Why?
Absolutely! Being a PresenTense coach is a very interesting and rewarding experience. It is a fabulous opportunity to contribute on many levels—to give one-on-one assistance to an individual entrepreneur, to help build an innovative and valuable program like PresenTense, and to ultimately take part in building a venture that makes an impact in the community. PT