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We Are Designed To Be Unique ‒ Exclusive Interview With Sara Sheehan

Sara Sheehan, PCC, is a consultant and Executive Coach who works with C-Level executive leaders designing organizations, developing business strategies, managing change, optimizing talent and leadership development, and solving complex human performance problems. Through executive coaching, Sara helps leaders sprint their way up the corporate ladder and increase their performance.

Sara Sheehan, Executive Coach and Change Consultant

Introduce yourself! Please tell us about you and your life, so we can get to know you better.

My name is Sara Sheehan. I am a native Texan that grew up in Arkansas and moved back to Texas at my first opportunity. All four members of my family have at least one degree from the University of Arkansas and three of us have two degrees. Interestingly, my Mom earned both a Master’s and a Doctorate. It's also a fun, common bond that all four members of my family have their names on the sidewalk on the University of Arkansas campus. I’m happily married to my husband Jeff. In January, we’ll celebrate our 24th anniversary. We have two cats, Joy and Brett. We love to exercise, travel, spend time with friends and family, and entertain, and when the world tries to get us down, we often make it a point to share the joy with others.

What is your business name and how do you help your clients?

My business is Sara Sheehan Consulting, LLC. I help leaders, teams, and organizations adopt change and transform through consulting, executive coaching, published writing, and speaking. I have over 27 years of experience helping clients through big business transformations by working through human performance challenges with change management, leadership development, organization design, and executive coaching.

What kind of audience do you target your business towards?

My ideal client company for consulting or executive coaching is 100 million dollars in revenue all the way up to a couple of billion dollars in revenue across industries. I’m not trying to compete with my former consulting firms as I am interested in connecting with clients that are growing their businesses and have reached a stage where they need systems and processes in place to scale beyond where they are today. Based on a couple of clients that I have worked with at this size, they have plenty of human capital challenges that trigger the need for an expert with my skills.

What are your current goals for your business?

I’d like to grow the business beyond myself, so that means I am interested in having an organization and people that replace me. I am launching a publishing house to share stories of how other business leaders have achieved results and transformation, as well as insight into how they accomplished their goals. I am also launching a podcast with a similar focus titled Transformational Thinkers with Sara Sheehan. The podcast will include a blend of me sharing my expertise along with interviews with interesting business leaders and former clients.

What would you like to achieve for yourself and your business in the future?

My aspirations for my personal and professional life are admittedly substantial! Thankfully, my drive and motivation are well-matched with my big, bold goals! I foresee expanding my business beyond consulting and executive coaching with clients, establishing a publishing house, and adding speaking engagements to my repertoire. I don’t have any preconceived notions about how this is supposed to unfold, rather I am setting tangible goals and actions on a weekly basis to put my plan in place.

Who inspires you to be the best that you can be?

I have an innate drive and motivation to grow that is stronger than I could put words. So for me, it is not a person that inspires me. My design and purpose are to be an original leader for which there is no example, and I am comfortable being myself in this light.

What is your work inspired by?

In terms of inspiration, there are plenty of modern-day and historical smart thinkers, writers, researchers, and experts whose work grounds mine based on their first-of-a-kind findings. I aim to take these inspirational findings and shed new light on them while respecting the context in which discovery and their own light bulb moments occurred. We all can stand to take a moment to be awestruck by the inspiration to ask a great, original research question that passes the “so what and who cares” test and has far-reaching implications on our lives, communities, businesses, and our world.

Tell us about your greatest career achievement so far.

Although it is truly notable that I have worked for so many years with large consulting firms like Accenture which provided an outstanding foundation to learn my craft, and IBM where I was given wonderful opportunities to lead large, global teams, and KPMG where I refined generating client conversations, account development, and uncovering new business opportunities to delivering the engagement. With all that said, my greatest achievements are still in the future…

If you could change one thing about your industry, what would it be and why?

The consulting industry expects people to fit into a mold of its own widget-like design. Not everyone can fit into the mold. We are designed to be unique. Why can’t we create organizations that not only respect the gifts each individual brings to the table, but also personalizes design that may touch a client's heart in a way that has never been done before? What if a team member has an idea for a new solution that ends up creating a highly profitable new line of business? In the old way of working, the line of business may never be uncovered. This way of operating is not attractive or sustainable for me any longer. I need to be able to innovate and create on demand; To be an out-of-the-box thinker and creator. As a collaborator, I want people to want to work with me and with others.

Tell us about a pivotal moment in your life that brought you to where you are today.

After finding myself at a crossroads where I was searching for what was next, I was fully prepared to create my next best chapter in life. This was when I realized that the only way for me to really move forward was for me to create my own firm. Making the decision to create my company and practice my craft on my own terms unleashed tremendous creativity and innovative thinking. I would never be able to share so much of myself if I were still operating within the confines of and expectations of my former firms. Although I feel like I am just getting started, I know that I’ve accomplished a lot in my marketing over the past two years. Operating on my own I will be able to increase my impact and my reach exponentially.

Follow me on LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!



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