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Leadership Lesson #1: Front Line Employees Must Be the Best

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At IMPACT Group, we have been blessed with hiring over 500 coaches in the past twenty-six years. We now have them in sixty-six countries and they are all certified coaches. Collectively, they speak many different languages, and receive regular coaching from our training department on everything imaginable from how to most effectively use the latest social media platforms to all forms of technology.

While most of our coaches have a Masters degree or Ph.D. in counseling or a related field, Mary’s role as a single mother of twelve made her the go-to person for helping relocating single moms. Many of our largest clients relocate their employees, every three years as they move up the corporate ladder. One of our relocating clients from Johnson & Johnson insisted, “I won’t move unless Mary moves me.” She handled all six moves for that one family in her twenty-year career with us. Mary was able to grow her skills over the years and continued to excel.

As we do with many of our employees, over the years we shared the stories of Mary’s life. IMPACT Group is founded on stories – our own, the families we relocate, and certainly the stories of our employees. It would be impossible not to become entrenched in those stories. When Mary went through the tragic death of one of her sons in an automobile crash, we went through it with her. After the funeral one of her adult children told us, “We don’t know what our mom would do without the friends and love of IMPACT Group.” In an age when people move from company to company Mary’s empathic style, her loyalty and passion for helping others was a perfect fit for both of us.

Mary walked in on her 65th birthday with tears in her eyes, “ Do I have to retire?” I asked her, “ Are you ill?”

She quietly said, “ No, I just thought I’d have to retire at 65.”

I asked her if she wanted to retire and she shouted out “NO!”

I then told her, “As long as you love what you do and you can do it well, then you have to come to me and tell me you want to retire.”

That day came when she turned seventy-two.

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