THE “CHARLENE IGNITES” STORY
If you look at my usual professional profile, like the one on LinkedIn, you'll see all the cool business stuff I’ve done (and am still doing). I’ve led global teams and developed innovative growth strategies. I've personally brought millions of dollars in revenue to amazing companies like Gartner, Bright Horizons, and the Institute for Corporate Productivity. I started a multimillion-dollar company from a concept, employed hundreds of individuals, helped several Fortune500 companies with their biggest growth challenges, and worked through two acquisitions. I'm a trusted advisor to leaders and enterprises all over the world.
Still, even my own husband once asked me, "Why would someone hire you over, say, the white-haired ex-CEO consultant guy or the Boston marathon bombing victim?" That man just loves to play devil's advocate.
Simply stated, my energy is unique and I'm not afraid to break the rules. While my professional track record proves my business acumen, I may give you a different answer than what you've heard from other "experts." You're unique too, and I honor that.
Connecting with and inspiring people is what really makes me come alive -- whether it's a 1:1 meeting, a conference room, or a convention hall. I've been cracking jokes at the dinner table and singing in public since I was old enough to speak. When I have a conversation with someone, I have an innate ability to see something in them that perhaps they don't see. (My grandmother was a psychic who used to help find "missing persons." Maybe it's genetic?)
Some of what makes me unique has been learned through a maze of personal and professional challenges:
At Gartner, I booked the first ever $1M+ deal and created a strategy to scale that growth across multiple clients. I became a trailblazer who also knew how to navigate strict corporate mantras. During my decade at that company, I went through a divorce and got married (forever) again.
Somewhere in Watertown, MA remains traces of the blood, sweat, and tears (in small, medium, and large quantities respectively) that it took to create and lead an industry-changing HR technology company. This is also where I was at the kick-off meeting with my largest client (26,000 employees) when I got pulled from the table to find out that my father, my hero, was dying.
I got my MBA degree while working full-time and navigating the infertility process that blessedly led to the birth of two children whose needs trumped everything else. I lost 60+ lbs of baby weight. Twice. I can appreciate wanting to "do it all" and be good at it.
Throughout the years, I've overcome crazy business climates, economic difficulties, and unmotivated employees. I know what it takes to keep the HI-POs (high-potentials) from becoming PO-POs (passed over & pissed off).
I share all of these things with you, not to brag or whine, but to prove that what life throws at us does not limit our capacity for success. In fact, we learn things during all of these experiences that simply can't be gleaned any other way. A list of moments that look like “successes” or “failures” from the outside doesn't nearly do justice to the valuable accumulation of strategies, observations, and a-ha moments.
This is what I have to share with you. While my energy is completely unique, I can relate to your quest. Not only do I practice what I preach, I am uniquely qualified to be both brutally honest and authentically empathic.
I will inspire you, light a fire under your butt if you need it, and shine the path forward towards sustainable success.