Laura Boyd was distracted. Her son was becoming a full-fledged member of his faith, and watching him participate in his Confirmation ceremony filled her heart with joy. But as she observed the group of eighth graders at the front of the church, she became fixated on how they were behaving. The boys muddled their way through the ceremony, joking and elbowing one another. The girls were well-prepared and eloquently gave their testimonies. As her son and his friends played rock-paper-scissors to see who would go next, Laura realized it was the exact opposite of what she’d observed with a group of recent female college graduates. She’d been meeting with them to discuss their future plans as a favor to their parents and noticed that many young women struggled with their confidence while young men the same age were beginning to lead with theirs.
Laura had always been intrigued by human behavior. As a kid, she navigated a difficult upbringing with a father who struggled with addiction. Her family moved 18 times before she was 12 years old. In the process, Laura learned how to master change. She learned to adapt to new surroundings. She developed resiliency. And when she got older, Laura realized her path could go one of two ways: She could become a stereotype and repeat her father’s cycle of dysfunction, or she could live by her mother’s incredible example of strength and endurance and make a better life for herself. Laura chose the latter, and in the process she also developed a passion for helping others whose own stories could be holding them back from achieving their full potential.
She majored in psychology in college and as she entered the workforce became interested in what traits make great leaders. Laura went on to earn a master’s degree in organizational leadership in the late 1990s. She had a successful career in marketing and worked in high-level leadership positions. She began mentoring young women at the companies where she worked. She saw firsthand that organizational growth and transformation started with effective leadership. In 2006, she became a shareholder for a Minneapolis, Minnesota-based marketing and communications firm. It was in her role as president of the firm that Laura realized the true power of coaching teams and capitalizing on individual strengths.
But at church that day, Laura finally understood her true calling: to empower emerging leaders—not just as part of her job, but as her whole job. She realized she could have an even greater impact devoting 100 percent of her focus to coaching emerging and growing leaders, especially female leaders. She knew corporations invested heavily in developing internal talent and considered whether she would join the HR team at a big company. Ultimately, Laura decided she could have more influence as an outside agency providing a fresh perspective on organizational challenges. That’s when Leadership Delta was born.
Leadership Delta is a leadership consulting firm that works with organizations just beginning or in the midst of what Laura calls a “change event.” Whether it’s the succession or onboarding of a CEO or other leadership, the transition of key team members, a company merger or acquisition, a rebrand or major communication shift—Leadership Delta works with leaders and teams to navigate the changes. Laura and her team start by assessing the organization’s or team’s current reality and mapping out a plan for achieving their desired outcomes. They then work to help leaders shift from their current mindset to the mentality of a high-performing leader, which enables them to clearly articulate their vision and provide much-needed inspiration and guidance for their teams.
Laura’s area of specialty is supporting female leaders. She’s worked hard to understand the factors that cause women to doubt themselves and their abilities. She coaches them on overcoming imposter syndrome, shifting their mindset and the stories they tell themselves, and ultimately becoming more confident leaders. She launched Emerging Leader Forums, initially just for women within the organizations she works with, to create an empowered space for them to develop leadership skills with a cohort of other women. When one of the companies she worked with didn’t have enough women for a cohort, the CEO suggested Laura open the group up to the public. Though it began as a way to meet a client need, the forums are now open to women from a variety of organizations and industries and have become the part of her work Laura finds most fulfilling.
Laura is confident that the leap to entrepreneurship was the right path for her to fully combine her purpose and her profession. She has also developed a passion for supporting others who are pursuing their purpose and plans to spread the word by sharing her experiences and expertise as a public speaker.
To learn more about Laura’s business, visit LeadershipDelta.com.
Photo: Leadership Delta
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