Happy Birthday Lumen Strategies!

Today marks Lumen Strategies Thirteenth Birthday!

Reflection on our inception in 2011 brings a blend of nostalgia and awe at how swiftly time has passed.  Lumen Strategies has flourished, navigating and supporting a diverse set of client engagements with curiosity and courage to bring value! 

Over the past decade, my enthusiasm has been directed toward guiding CEO/Founders and their teams during pivotal growth phases. The “knee of the growth curve” is that time when prioritizing the most important things to do next is so critical to transforming a scalable and successful company.  It is at this unique phase of a company’s life that I bring the most experience, enthusiasm, and value to clients seeking to scale their businesses to the next level.

Through Lumen Strategies’ evolution, I’ve identified key principles that have been a part of growing my business, but that are universally valuable for any growing business.  And the best news is that these key principles also are key to achieving fulfilling personal lives.

The Basics:

  • Be courageous and remember that learning to believe in and trust yourself is a journey, not a destination – there will be good times and challenging times.

  • Value “your virtual team” in life, those individuals across multiple domains that comprise your personal support network.  Cherish their friendship, mentoring, and presence like it is the best investment capital you’ll ever receive, because it is!

  • Share your strengths generously. Amidst a bustling schedule, find time to energize by contributing to causes you hold dear.

Thank you to everyone who has been part of this remarkable journey. Here’s to many more years of courageous moves, cherished connections, and shared success at Lumen Strategies!

Make Courageous Moves.

Be courageous and remember that learning to believe in and trust yourself is a journey, not a destination – there will be good times and challenging times..  

Building your courage to make bold moves and to trust yourself in my experience comes from assuming a mindset that any experience – whether a wild success or disappointing failure – is a gift.  To receive the gift, you embrace it for what it is – a chance to learn something and then move forward with informed action. 

If a success, be proud of the success and recognize it, but remain humble and recognize the village that was part of your success – your supporting spouse, your understanding colleagues, your wise friends, etc. 

If a failure, resist the urge to lash out to yourself and berate yourself for things not going as you would have liked.  Don’t spend your energy on the “would’of, should’of, could’of” game that can ravage inside your head.  Simply, reflect with integrity and honest self-awareness upon what you might have done differently.  Then put the learning into action as fuel for the next opportunity.

Embrace and cherish your “team.”

Value “your virtual team” in life, those individuals across multiple domains that comprise your personal support network.  Cherish their friendship, mentoring, and presence like it is the best investment capital you’ll ever recieve because it is.

Lumen Strategies is not a large firm.  It is essentially myself and collaborators or subcontractors along the way based on the demands of the client work.  However, I know I am fortunate to have my own awesome “virtual team” of advisors, supporters, family members, advocates, and friends who are there for me and hold me accountable. 

When you have the opportunity to work at a great company in its formative days, you often forge professional friendships that last a lifetime.  I sure did. I continue to tap into the lessons that I learned working 16 years at Cisco during its explosive growth years.  But most importantly, I know that the most valuable takeaway from my years at Cisco was a chance to work with, learn from, and lead some of the smartest most amazing people.  And while it is true that over the years, many of those relationships have faded, their positive influence and impact on me remain alive and well.  There are too many to call them all out, but here are a few…

To this day, I am grateful for my former boss, friend, and first customer, (a Cisco colleague) –  Ben Gibson.  In 2011, Ben had taken the reigns as Chief Marketing Officer at Aruba Networks.  He engaged Lumen Strategies to help work on a strategy for entering a new market segment, the mid-market, inclusive of GTM and channel strategy.  He helped me launch the business that I’ve grown and nurtured over the last decade.

Pat Finn, who has been a friend from our initial meeting at Cisco New Hire training many years ago.  Pat has coached and supported me, partnered with me on engagements, and been a gracious source of leads for new opportunities.  Most importantly, he has been a trusted friend with whom I could always expect constructive and transparent coaching from a place of caring for and supporting my success.

I’m often asked what was the best job you ever had.  I have to reflect on a time when I was part of a small but feisty and effective team, referred to in the day as the “Cable Cowboys” at Cisco.  We were an integrated GTM team forging new ground to get Cisco established in the Cable Industry and launching the “triple play” (Voice, Video, and Cable) which is woven into our everyday lives today as though it has always been here.  When I’m asked why it was a great job, I am quick to share what has become increasingly crystal clear to me in hindsight:

  • We were a team that shared a common audacious purpose;
  • We were able to transparently agree and disagree with each other and meet obstacles with solutions born of tapping into open minds and the diverse talents across the team;
  • We all shared a mutual respect for the talents and perspectives that each of us brought to the team;
  • And last of all, We had fun!  (Thank you Mark Bakies for bringing us together!)

“Generosity is ROI positive” (Gary Vaynurchuck)

Share your strengths generously. Amidst a bustling schedule, find time to energize by contributing to causes you hold dear.

When you are the person that is accountable for a business, you are pretty busy.  Sometimes doing the stuff you love and other times doing the stuff that has to be done!  However, my experience has shown me that there is always a way to make time to be generous with your talents.  I have found that being generous with my time and talents intentionally has given me a return on that investment that has been both rewarding personally and for my business.  I have actively volunteered and offered my time with a variety of organizations – all diverse and unique in their cause and the ways in which I could contribute.  

For me, I’ve given my time and talents to organizations that I believe are doing good and important work for enriching the lives of individuals or our communities at large including: 

In every situation, I have learned something about myself, human nature, and the power of collaboration to make a difference.  These experiences and the people you meet do indeed give you a sometimes immeasurable return on investment that cannot be matched.

So…Happy Birthday, to this and many more!

So, Happy Birthday to Lumen Strategies, and I hope you will find the value of moving with courage, embracing those who are willing to be on your team, and reaping the rewards of investing in generosity on your journey.

Let's Discuss Ways We Can Work Together to Grow Your Business