The Women’s Catalyst Network (WCN) is proudly what I have considered the pinnacle of my coaching career. We are an incubator for mid-career women with high career expectations who are driven to achieve their dreams. We combine skill building with ‘thinktank’ insight to support one another in making real-life, measurable progress in our careers, and we hold each other to it. The WCN is for any professional women looking for proven results, long-lasting relationships, and career support.
Why did you choose to participate in the Women’s Catalyst Network?
I chose to participate because I knew I wanted a sounding board with other women in various industries, roles, and points of view as I continued to push my career. I had lots of experience working with Julie in both women’s leadership groups, as well as benefitting from her 1:1 coaching and behavioral and cultural assessments, so it was an easy decision to sign up for WCN.
Since joining the Women’s Catalyst Network I have:
- Joined the Board of Directors for Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center;
- Transitioned and navigated well through a corporate workforce reduction;
- Connected with several women who have gone through various transitions, successes, challenges of their own; and
- Stayed true to my goal of doing work of choice and in environments that — and with people who — are innovative and allow for connecting the dots to form unlikely partnerships.’
What surprised you most about the WCN?
I was most surprised that having Evan Roth co-lead the ‘Women’s Catalyst Network’ with Julie would provide such value-added views, as a male business expert, and as importantly, as a male who is truly interested in the male/female dynamic in the workplace, in communication, and in relationships.
What is your current career? Is this always where you pictured yourself?
I am a business strategy advisor and lead organizations through process transformation to meet and exceed customer expectations. There are a lot of common pain points among businesses that surface when you ask questions and connect the dots between people, processes, and systems.
It is at this intersection of thought where I began to thrive. The connectivity points are areas of friction and change for clients —walking through those areas with organizations and helping them emerge a more effective and successful outcome-oriented team is energizing to me.
My ‘current career’ has definitely course-corrected over the past few years. My path includes understanding corporate culture when working with organizations, applying what it means to lead from the heart, and incorporating concepts such as innovation, disruption, environmental impact, and where education intersects for our future leaders. Whether it’s following a company like Barry Wehmiller, where they foster a ‘…culture of care, compassion and human connection…’, or Patagonia, where Yvon Chouinard applies what they have learned in their first 40 years to actually be a ‘Responsible Company’, or Tommy Spaulding’s company, and one of his best-selling books, The Heart-Led Leader and his leadership programs provide stories and examples of how we interact with others has a direct impact on the bottom line of an organization and its people.
Knowing what you know now, what is advice you’d give yourself 5 years ago?
- Research and find resources of support and varying points of view with whom to collaborate on how to navigate relationships and business engagements. Working with Julie and with the Women’s Catalyst Network at various points on my own career roadmap has provided tangible exercises, rewarding feedback, challenging conversations, and insightful views, all of which has moved the needle in a positive direction for me.
- Not let a title define what you do or the leader you are.
- Give myself permission to say no; if a group, program, team, job, etc., doesn’t feel right, listen to that voice.
- Continue to foster my long-time belief that cultivating relationships should remain the North Star.
Holly Hall-Perry received a BA in English at Birmingham Southern College. She has been everything from an assistant director at an outdoor summer camp in Brevard, NC, a salesperson for an outdoor outfitter in Colorado, a teacher, and a technology trainer. And just for a little more variety, sprinkled a volunteer firefighter/EMT into the mix. She discovered she was passionate about the business side of school districts, where she learned all about Human Capital Management (HCM) while liasoning with finance organizations. Holly joined a consulting firm in 2001 and found her next move: Helping organizations solve for business and technology challenges and develop strategic solutions.