Photo by Jean-Phillipe Defaut ©2019

Elevating Leadership at Carpenter Consulting Partners

Maïa Cybelle Carpenter

More than a year has passed since Carpenter Consulting Partners, Inc. (CCP, Inc.) launched with its opening article “Elevate the Executive: Evolve the Executive Assistant”. I’m proud to share that over thirty thousand (!) people have read it across various online platforms. I am also humbled by the personal notes I’ve received from CEOs to Executive Assistants and Chiefs of Staff; it clearly resonated with people. Many confirmed how helpful it was within their organizations to create clear and defined support roles, to amplify employee and leadership success and increase compensation. This article has also led to invitations beyond my network in the SF Bay Area and expanded my consultancy across a variety of interesting sectors. It has been a huge growth opportunity for me to work beyond tech, private equity, and venture capital.

I’ve also noted the shift away from using the word “Assistant” to describe the role that executive support personnel has in the operations and administration of businesses. When I started my consultancy I could only find one individual with the job title and description of Executive Operations. There are now many. Increasingly, Executive Business Partner is also becoming a popular role title. And then there is the Chief of Staff role: Varied that it is across sectors and the C-Suite, that too has seen a rise in use.

This signals to us that our vision of evolving support roles to be aligned with present and future business priorities is catching on. We commend the adaptive and transformational leaders that have realized this.

To the leaders that are curious about the potential of leveraging support roles but aren’t sure where to start — CCP, Inc. is here to help you. You can expand your leadership to benefit yourself and your business beyond what you thought might be possible.

The past months have highlighted some interesting trends which we will continue to focus on in the coming year; we will write about our experiences and share what we’ve learned in case studies.

1. The evolution of support role teams within companies. We’re currently working with several companies that have hired us to help them innovate the structure of administrative and operations roles. Some are more focused on team governance and some are more focused on pooled or shared support team models.

2. Shifts in the ‘talent rules’: recruiting, hiring, retaining and developing individuals in support roles. One shift that is incredibly positive is that support roles are increasingly being seen as a resource to build talent from within a company. With exposure to all facets of a company, support roles are poised to provide development opportunities for many individual contributors.

‘In Conversation’ series

In Conversation began in September 2018 with a lofty goal — to have multiple interviews and portraits with C-suite executives and their support personnel. With these interviews, we want to model successful, diverse working relationships so that current and future leaders have examples to learn from. We ambitiously thought it would be possible to do this in a year, maybe two. It turns out that when you have a very small team and are running a business, it’s difficult to find the time. We’ve also realized that scheduling time with busy CEOs and their “extenders” is a challenge. Because this is deeply personal work for us, we do not want to outsource it. We now humbly proceed with the goal of getting a few more interviews published in the following year. We have many exciting ones in the pipeline. We would also love to hear from you if you are interested in participating.

If you haven’t read these interviews, please take a look. There are lots of interesting insights for both leaders and support roles to glean from the following companies:

Which brings me to share a thoughtful and inspiring thank you note we received recently:

“I remember a few years back, when I was President, I appointed my first Chief of Staff. At the time, we had never had a Chief of Staff, and although the role was gaining ground in the tech space, I had to do a lot of work — in conjunction with my Executive Coach — in researching the role, crafting a job description, and internally socializing what a CoS is with my Exec Team.
When my Executive Assistant brought your article “Elevate the Executive: Evolve the Executive Assistant” to me late last year, we found that the research had already been done — and that your description of the Executive Business Partner role fit what my EA was already doing. We used the article to explain the role to our CEO (then my boss, now the Chairman) and to justify a significant compensation increase for my EBP, which to be honest was well overdue and much deserved. I discussed her promotion over dinner, and walked away with my boss’s approval.
We then used a summary of the article in a presentation to the Executive Team at our recent offsite, when I announced her promotion. The entire team got it, and no one questioned when she took a seat at the Executive table. So thank you for your insights; it made my job a lot easier!” - CEO, global public company

The journey to leadership

I am now a certified Leadership and Executive Coach! The road was long but the journey was worth it. It took a year of hard work from 2018–2019; being in school at the Co-Active Training Institute, hundreds of hours of coaching, whilst running a new consulting business was challenging. I had to learn to say ‘no’, scale down my work to priorities and really focus on the end goal. One of the wonderful parts of being in the oldest and most respected global coaching certification programs is that I got to experience diverse and international perspectives. Some of my classes were online and I was joined by other coaches in places such as Dubai, Kuwait City, Shanghai, Istanbul, Beijing and Australia, nevermind different cities across the US and Canada. I had the privilege of learning many different perspectives in coaching and cultural nuances across human interactions. I am so grateful for this and it influences my desire to continue to work not just locally, but globally.

Coaching: partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. ICF

By early summer this year, I was certified by ICF (International Coaching Federation) and by CTI (Co-Active Training Institute). Although I’ve always offered coaching as a service within my consultancy the certifications (ACC, CPCC) will help companies stay compliant. With my certification, I abide by ICF’s global standard of Code of Ethics.

If you’re curious about Executive and Leadership Coaching I refer you to “Where are you now and where do you want to be?” which I wrote to share a bit about coaching and how it’s different than mentoring and therapy. Please connect to schedule a free introductory coaching call. No matter where you are on your leadership journey, I’m here to support, challenge and champion you through coaching.

A recent podcast I’ve really enjoyed about the benefits of coaching comes from Tim Ferriss and Eric Schmidt (Google/Alphabet) discussing the impact of Silicon Valley coach, Bill Campbell.

Diverse coaching testimonials

“My coaching with Maïa was a transformative experience. As a career freelance journalist I was being offered bigger public speaking work, which I was apprehensive about. With a light touch Maïa gave me the courage to make the leap into this career move with confidence, and helped me thrive in this new challenge. She always approached our sessions with enthusiasm, warmth, compassion and kindness, and no matter how apprehensive I felt about talking about myself, she gave me the courage to be honest, and to believe in myself, and to consequently push myself to bigger challenges. I came away from our sessions with a clear idea of my core values and life purpose, which help guide me confidently through difficult decisions. The outcome is I am moving forward with my career in a way I couldn’t have imagined before. “ — Journalist and Public Speaker, UK
“Over 7 months of coaching with Maïa, my team went from barely performing to high-performing, engaged employees. They immediately noticed the changes in my leadership and communication skills and responded enthusiastically. Without coaching, I would have failed as a manager and leader. My ROI was significant. That said, I had to be willing to be accountable to myself and do the work. I now recommend coaching to anyone who is interested in being a better leader for themselves, others and the massive impact it can have. As an added bonus, my new self awareness changed many of my personal relationships as well!” — Chief Product Officer, UK
“Every conversation with Maïa was purposeful, engaging, and personally challenging. As a veteran educator, whose life’s passion is guiding, mentoring, and supporting students, I was more inspired and better able to articulate my leadership skills with Maïa’s coaching. Maïa amplified my Jiminy Cricket voice, whose advice and counsel were muffled by life’s distractions. Maïa’s approach to coaching helped me clear away some noise, so that I could continue to be my own guide.” — PhD, Humanities Lecturer and College Education Operations professional, USA

As we move into Fall, I look forward to connecting with you and your team to explore ways to elevate your leadership now and in the new year.

Connect with me through the form on my website or via LinkedIn to discuss Executive and Leadership Coaching, Executive Operations and Administrative Infrastructure consulting services.

Thank you.

— Maïa C. Carpenter, Founder and CEO, Carpenter Consulting Partners, Inc.

Maïa Cybelle Carpenter

CEO, Carpenter Consulting Partners, Inc.

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