Motivated by the Best (and the Worst)

This week, we continue our Q&A series. ILI partner consultant Patt Hardie is in the spotlight. She is a trusted advisor/coach with over 30 years of experience in talent, leadership, and organizational development. Patt has held senior leadership and consulting positions at Battelle Memorial Institute, Scotts Miracle-Gro, Ashland Inc., American Electric Power, OhioHealth, and the Public Service Company of Oklahoma. She shares insights garnered from her extensive experience:

1. What is the most common issue you see clients facing when you start working with them?  

Often clients know what isn’t working, and that they need help, yet don’t know how to move forward. They often ‘don’t know what they don’t know’, so what they are asking for may not be what they need. Providing them with what they ask for without discovering what is driving that request may lead us to deliver the wrong solution. Being a good listener, building a trusting partnership, and uncovering what they truly need is the key.

2. What do you enjoy most about the consulting process? 

I love the initial ambiguity and uniqueness of each engagement. One can’t be an effective consultant by using the same approach in every situation, nor can you start from scratch. There are many influencing factors in organizations that contribute to the ambiguity I referenced: the culture, strategy, relationships, history, current issues, integrated systems, size of organization, and others that impact how to best support them. I love the discovery process of learning, drawing conclusions, telling the story, and influencing to the best solutions. I also love working with great team members, great clients, and building long-term relationships. I am always learning from them!

3. Did you have any difficult experiences in your career that motivated you to help improve leadership/HR? 

Unfortunately, I’ve had my share of ineffective leaders with whom I’ve learned more of what NOT to do. I’ve also seen people promoted into leadership roles who did more damage than good, mostly unintentionally, yet have also experienced intentionally bad behavior — period. As we all know, it’s not fun and has a lasting impact on individuals.

4. How did you get into leadership consulting?  

Early on in my career, I had the opportunity to report to excellent leaders and the ‘not-so-excellent,’ and learned quickly that they made all the difference in how people felt about their work and the value of their contributions. When I experienced the impact (the good/bad/ugly) they had on my motivation, commitment, and performance, I wanted to become a leader to influence others positively. While following that journey, I also began coaching managers and supervisors in other parts of the organization and found fulfillment in watching them grow and succeed.

5. What was the most difficult moment you faced in your career?  

The time I got laid off from an internal role after having multiple successful roles. It was a hard blow personally at first, yet didn’t take long to recover with the support I received. I learned a lot, realized it was a business decision, and quickly moved onto something that was just as, or more, fulfilling.

6. What was the brightest moment? 

When I launched my consulting practice and quickly started seeing successes!

7. In your current consulting life, what makes you feel the most fulfilled? 

Plain and simple: Helping others grow and succeed. It’s what drives me every day!


Learn more about Patt on our website.

What questions do you have for Patt? Who would you like us to interview in the future? Let us know in the comments!

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