How I Got Here: My Leadership, Coaching, Team, and Organization Development Career Story
How did I get to where I am now in Leadership, Coaching, Team, and Organization Development?
I am asked this question almost daily, when I meet people at events, speak at conferences, or am coaching executives.
Here is the quick summary in Infographics format:
Background: My Early Days - Age 17-18
When I was in high school in Falmouth, MA, we had the opportunity to participate in Project Adventure as part of our physical education program. We had a high ropes course and low team challenge activities. We learned about trust, communication, and built confidence as we worked through high and low challenges. Falmouth High had one of the largest zip lines on the East Coast!
This was an wonderful opportunity! As a 17-18 year old student, I thought it would be awesome to lead these type of programs for my career. I wanted to focus on corporate team and leadership development, and I started researching colleges to see if any had programs focused on Facilitation, Recreation, and Team building.
I came across Green Mountain College, which at the time, had a Bachelors of Science Program in Adventure Recreation. My parents also thought it would be smart to study Business, and felt it was essential if they were going to help fund my education! We agreed that I would double major in both Adventure Recreation and Business Management. In my Junior and Senior years, I was a Teaching Assistant for the Adventure Recreation classes. See pics:
College: Age 18-22
During the summer of my Junior year of college, I did an internship at the Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center located in North Conway, New Hampshire. This organization is owned by the Mount Washington Auto Road company, and provides year-round opportunities in corporate team-building, mountain biking, and Nordic skiing. I was responsible for all of the design and facilitation for corporate team-building experiences. Clients included oil and gas companies, media companies, and TV networks.
Steps in the Real World : 2002 - 2004: Teaching Adventure Education
After graduating from Green Mountain College, I took a position teaching Adventure Education at Aurora University in their Outdoor Wisconsin Leadership School located on Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. I facilitated corporate teams around leadership and development programs using experiential methods. I was also responsible for training staff on technical skills and experiential methods. I gained a lot of experience in the art and science of facilitation.
2004-2007: Corporate World job in Learning and Development
After 2 years with the University, I took a position in Kohler, Wisconsin working in the financial world at a credit union. For three years, I worked in Learning and Development focusing on leadership, new hire training, compliance, and security. This provided an excellent opportunity for me to be immersed in the corporate world!
2007-2011: Led the Kohler Experiential Learning Center business
From the credit union, I was hired by the Kohler Company to run the profit-and-loss business, the Kohler Experiential Learning Center. This was a dream job that allowed me the opportunity to run a Consulting business and manage 9 direct reports. I led sales and capital projects, and facilitated leadership and organizational programs for Fortune 50 clients. I also facilitated customized solutions in leadership development, including assessments like Myers-Briggs, FIRO-B, Social Styles, StrengthsFinder, DISC, and Emergenetics. This opportunity was key in my development for running my consulting firm today! I had a wonderful mentor while at Kohler, Steve Proudman. I also earned a Master's Degree in Adult Education and Organization Development at Alverno College during this time.
2011-2012: Moved to New England - OD Consulting role at Hypertherm, Inc.
After 10 years in the Midwest, and four years with Kohler Company, I decided to return back to New England to be closer to my family. I took a position in New Hampshire as a Senior Organization Development Consultant with Hypertherm; an employee-owned company that designs and manufactures cutting systems using plasma, water, and laser. This position gave me the opportunity to build and manage the Global Leadership Development program to strengthen the pipeline and build competencies for leaders in Europe, Asia, South America, and North America. I also managed the North American Leadership Programs for over 400 Front-line and Mid-level leaders, as well as Leadership Immersion for new hires. I became certified as a facilitator for Situational Leadership II and was Captain of Team Hypertherm for The Prouty, an event that raises money for Cancer research.
2012 - Now: Sarah Scala Consulting
After a year-and-a-half with Hypertherm, I felt ready to launch my own Consulting practice! In 2012, I launched Sarah Scala Consulting, now headquartered in Boston and on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. I am grateful to have had clients in 10 US states and in 4 countries so far! Through my business, I've had the opportunity to design human capital strategies such as succession. I build leadership development programs for c-suite, mid-level, and front-line leaders. I lead enterprise wide change and organizational transformation projects. I provide Executive coaching to CEOs and leaders along with their teams, and am requested for public speaking engagements on topics such as Optimism, Resilience, and Grit, Mentoring for High ROI, and Neuro Coaching.
My business is now 7 years old!
I have such gratitude for my clients, mentors, family, and friends. Thank You!
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