3Plus Women Who Inspire Series – Interview with Lisa Schenk

by Dec 5, 2014

3Plus Women Who Inspire Series – Interview with Lisa Schenk

A series of interviews with women who inspire talking to Dorothy Dalton

Lisa Schenk

Lisa Schenk


Lisa Schenk has over 20 years experience helping companies and individuals develop strategies for success, build high performing teams, and develop world-class communication.

Five years at McKinsey & Company provided Lisa with the opportunity to work with Fortune 500 companies in a variety of industries to improve performance as part of major strategic initiatives. Lisa has supported clients around the world through strategic planning and major change efforts.  With particular expertise in improving interpersonal dynamics, Lisa brings a strong humanistic approach to her work along with a bias toward bottom line impact.

A comprehensive approach to building teams has made Lisa a sought after coach and facilitator.  She has supported hundreds of teams as they ramped up to high performance. Her approach to team building involves kicking off for accelerated performance, evaluating and enhancing team alignment against goals, and building the interpersonal skills that enable teams to succeed.

Lisa has built a thriving practice coaching executives seeking enhanced ability to succeed through others, increased impact on company goals,  and greater satisfaction and engagement with their own work. Her workshops and one-on-one coaching sessions are designed to incorporate 360 degree and live feedback as well self assessments and self refection to paint a complete picture of both current and desired states. With four degrees in communication and a PhD, developing and facilitating communication skill building training and workshops remains a large part of Lisa’s work.  Her clients are international renown names and brands.

Despite all of this going on she still found time to share her views and insights with 3Plus

How did you choose your career path?

Well, I’d love to say that I always knew I wanted to do this, but…I think it would be more accurate to say that I kept doing things that were interesting to me, and one day I woke up and noticed that I had built exactly the career I always wanted.

What are your greatest challenges?

Like many of us these days, I struggle with the downside of abundance. There are so many interesting projects to get involved it, people to get to know, places to experience that it is hard to stay focused on the few things that matter most.  Add, being a mom and you get another level of complexity.

 “How to be the best parent at the same time as being my best self. “]

I think most mothers feel this tension, but I do remind myself that there is not one right answer to this puzzle.

Tell us about one special success story.

I am still enjoying the glow of a success from just last week. I had a tough challenge in front of me – how to introduce new Core Values to a company without the leadership standing up and delivering a power point presentation. I realized right away that the Values did not belong to the leadership, they belonged to the employees and designed an event that enabled the employees to communicate the values in a bunch of different and creative ways. I took a huge risk, trusted some very junior people, engaged a highly effective team, and we knocked it out of the park. The event served as a reminder to myself (and to the 300 people present) that you can’t get a big win without taking some risks.

What are the challenges  facing  women in your industry today?

I am an HR executive and a leadership consultant and I see almost everyday the results of the confidence gap that has been much in the press these days.  Women are more likely to take disagreement personally, feel bullied by strong (usually, but not always, male) leaders, and defer to decisions they don’t agree with.  I love the work Katty Kay and Claire Shipman have done (The Confidence Code) to try to move the dial on this challenge.

Has any one person influenced you and how?

I have been influenced by so many people. I am constantly seeking new ways and ideas, so it’s hard to pick just one! Most recently, I have been inspired by Brene Brown who reminds us that our vulnerability is a secret weapon. We are more able to reach our full potential when we are open to our own vulnerability.

If you could give one piece of advice to any woman about their professional choices what would it be?

Funny that the best advice is often the simplest and most obvious.

 “Be yourself. Be your BEST BOLD self. “

Everything you want is there for you, but you do need to believe in yourself and take action in the direction of your dreams.

Which profession would you have hated to go into?

I have often joked that my career would have been easier if I had been something with clear boundaries, like an accountant.  But, I am not a detail person, and even looking at a spread sheet makes me anxious!

Which song would you choose as your anthem?

Would it be trite to say that the theme song from Frozen?  I love that moment… “The cold never bothered me anyway!”

Who would you nominate for the 3Plus  Women Who Inspire Series?

I nominate Cate Wilson and Kim Simon – both are inspirational women


If you are inspired then contact 3Plus today to find out more about our Career Booster Coaching Services.

Dorothy Dalton Administrator
Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she supports organizations to achieve business success via gender balance, diversity and inclusion. She is CIPD qualified, and a certified coach and trainer including digital learning.
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