"Meet Woman in Business Shana Garrett"Meet Shana Garrett, President and CEO of The Shana Garrett Group 

Tell us about your business I am best known for my authentic approach with the key premise around leading and engaging with a pure heart in order to create change in a sustainable and safe way. My approach is distinguished in its ability to assist individuals and teams achieve success in incremental stages, which support the performance while also advancing their leadership skills in a holistic manner. It is one of the most honest and challenging leadership approaches because it demands your authentic self, engaged mindfulness and honest reflection in order to perform for the greater good of the overall team.

Today, I coach and consult with senior executives to enhance their personal and organizational effectiveness, particularly in the areas of leadership development and organizational alignment as well as provides mentoring to the new talent looking to build an accelerated career path within the senior and executive level of leadership.

Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place? 

In my professional experience I saw an opportunity for a more authentic approach to developing talent and leading teams. Being a leader denotes a level of commitment, engagement, involvement, and accountability for how the path develops or stalls and this is just one approach I bring. My years of experience within the business community also contributes to her corporate savvy, expertise in cultural issues as well as being a strong role model within the women’s leadership forum.

What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?

So many people have been influential in my successes because of their dedication to honesty, hard work, and integrity. My father’s parents were farmers in West Texas and worked hard for everything but never had much other than family. My mother’s parents were entrepreneurs and shared with many within their community. One of my fondest memories of my grandfather’s approach to leadership was at a time where he had recently relocated for work. He took ownership of a declining (financially) factory that lacked resources and financial support among other challenges. Since it was a company in need, money was just not available for bonuses or even raises during the holiday season, so my grandfather took money out of his savings and personally delivered to each workers home a complete holiday meal as a sign of appreciation for their hard work. To me, even at an early age, he was leaving a legacy of treating people with a pure heart.

What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?

Most would say it’s when they got a big promotion, or finished their graduate degree but for me it’s a little more personable. For the most part, I have always had a close relationship with my teams and stay in touch with many through the years. At a recent lecture, the presenter talked about leaders who lead with their heart and invest in their teams instead of following the corporate path and old school ways. After that powerful session, every one of my seven direct reports took me aside to tell me that I did “that” (lead with heart) for them every single day and how much I meant to them. My cup runneth over (as we would say in Texas) and it solidified to me that my approach and style in coaching others is unique and powerful in an environment that needs it on a daily and intellectual level. When someone on my team tells me that I helped them make a difference, it means so much to me and motivates me to invest even deeper.

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?

Be you. Read all the books you want, invest in lectures, conferences, even find a mentor but determine your style, hone your skills, and invest in what makes you special and marketable. Especially women in leadership roles, being authentic is one of the most crucial elements in your approach and method because the number of role models out there is limited and some women chose to take on other attributes that sometimes are not authentic to who they are and what they believe so the opportunity for role crisis can be a challenge in their path. My style is unique to me and took me years to believe in.

What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?

Social Media. My experience and primary network is in higher education so how I relate to colleagues, coach and develop others, supports who I am and what I believe I can offer as mentor and leader. Sharing my style, my message, or my approach serves a greater population and audience for those who are interested in approaching leadership from a different perspective.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS/REACH: https://twitter.com/shanalgarrett

What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?

I would say that I am still learning about being a small business owner and all the variables that includes. Some lessons have been easy (initial startup, legal documents, etc.) but other lessons are a little more challenging and require more patience and research. Ask me this question in another year and I am sure I will have a “Well, I could have done that better” list.

Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?

My best advice is to ask your colleagues and associates. When it came to what attorneys to use for my legal documentation and representation, I asked my father because of his use of attorneys in his business (He is an entrepreneur and knew who would be a fit for my needs as a small business owner). For my social media, I asked a work colleague who has an impressive social media following and would know the team to help me get on the map, so to speak, etc. So it came down to asking people about their experiences and expertise. Truth is, people like to talk about themselves and what they do so it’s just a matter of culling through the information and data points.

Do you have any new projects coming up?

Next month, I have the distinct pleasure in presenting a workshop entitled “How Savvy is your Style” at Colorado Technical University’s Doctoral of Management program that will consist of an assessment of popular leadership styles and strengths analysis for authenticating leadership approaches. In addition to my speaking engagements, I have written and published several blogs specific to female leadership as well as various leadership techniques such as Managing Up. No coincidence, I am in the final stages of completing my first book dedicated to capturing popular management techniques and my unique leadership style known as the “pure heart” approach.

What do you do for fun/relaxation?

I love to travel and gain exposure to new and diverse cultures.

What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?

We are not far from our initial startup so growth and sustainability are priorities right now, but within the next year we hope to be in a position to contribute back to our community. There is a need for an authentic leadership approach, especially among women in corporate America and in the business community in general. So for the next year, I would say expansion of our mentoring assistance and coaching will be key to assisting others in order to make a positive difference not only within their organization but on a personal level as well.

You want to write a book on Women’s approach to authentic leadership…

As I mentioned above, I am in the process of completing my book within the next few months and am exited to share my experiences and stories with others because I am a believer that we can all learn vicariously through each other and that includes supporting a greater cause. I have been lucky in having exposure to several strong female leaders within my career and on some level, we all share similar experiences and challenges. In looking back, or in order to look forward, it would have been beneficial to hear more stories and examples so there could have been a shorter learning curve. We are a culmination of our experiences, perceptions and beliefs. As rich as that foundation is at times, its even more powerful when shared among like minds and souls.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

My Pure Heart approach to leadership came from the realization that most of the time, the situation wasn’t personal but more about me being a part of the solution. After several years of experience with developing teams, talent, and turnarounds, I have been recognized as an organizational leader and mentor to both new talent, those needing a change, and in elevating the talents of others. Given my experience in business and academic operations, she is a strategic and creative thinker who develops systems and processes that support the individual employee and/or team, but ultimately delivers on driving personal, profession and organizational productivity.