Small Business Spotlight – July 2022: Marlene Chism Consulting
Company Name: Marlene Chism Consulting
Person in Charge (and title): Marlene Chism, President
Year founded: 2000
Tell us about the history of your business: The business has evolved over the years. The business started as professional speaking, such as keynote and breakout presentations. That led to opportunities for on-site leadership training, then to consulting and advising—putting together strategic goals for building good leaders within the organization.
The business evolved as I started seeing that a primary problem in most businesses comes from a lack of leadership development. Leaders are promoted due to seniority or performance but they don’t get the leadership skills training they need to be effective. As a result, they avoid difficult conversations, fail to set appropriate boundaries and struggle to create cultures of accountability. Almost every problem I have encountered, especially those that lead to lawsuits, are rooted in one problem: A conversation that needed to happen but didn’t. That led to my video training on LinkedIn Learning where I have a global audience of learners, gaining skills on conflict management, and initiating difficult conversations.
Consulting includes many services, from advising, coaching, to leadership development. In a nutshell, we work with leaders who want to build drama-free cultures that drive growth and reduce costly mistakes.
Describe the services your organization provides and what makes you unique:
Consulting and advising senior leaders, leadership development, keynote speaking, customized training and development.
Tell us something people might not know about your organization:
Before I started my business, I was a blue-collar factory worker for over 20 years. I also have four commercially published books, including my latest book, From Conflict to Courage published by Berrett-Koehler publishers.
What is the biggest challenge facing your organization now, and how are you working to overcome that challenge?
Staying on top of learning technology, and staying organized with digital communications.
What is the best business advice you’ve ever been given?
Opportunity is not the same as alignment. If the opportunity in front of you compromises your values or integrity then it’s not a real opportunity.