Tell us about how you chose your career/business and what your responsibilities include?
I’ve always been interested how people work. In college, I thought I wanted to be counselor. So during my sophomore year of college, I scored an internship working with severely emotionally disturbed adolescents. I went home every day crying—I just wasn’t built for it. But luckily, I didn’t have to leave the field of psychology. Coming from a long line of entrepreneurs, I discovered something called organizational psychology—the science of people at work, and how people can make businesses successful. It was literally the intersection of everything that I found interesting! I chose my career towards the end of college, and never looked back. I truly believe it’s what I was put on this earth to do. I spent time teaching at a university as I was earning my PhD, and also consulted with small businesses. Then I spent about 5 years in the Fortune 500 world, working internally with an engineering company, and then for the CEO of a hospital. About three years ago, I decided to take the leap and start my own business. Now, The Eurich Group is thriving—we help organizations succeed through unleashing the potential of their leaders and teams. I do a lot of coaching and consulting, and recently, I’ve begun speaking and writing. My book, Bankable Leadership: Happy People, Bottom-Line Results and the Power to Deliver Both comes out on October 1st and it on track to be a best-seller!
Tell us about the company you work for or own?
The Eurich Group works with organizations of all sizes– from the Fortune 500 to start-ups, the public sector to non-profits, to help their leaders and teams be more effective. Through we pride ourselves solving each client’s unique problems, we specialize in leadership training, executive coaching, team development, strategic planning, and solutions to support the people side of mergers and acquisitions. I typically work with the top levels of organizations– the way senior executives lead sets the entire direction and culture of the organization, and if that’s not working, it never bodes well for the rest of the organization! I also do a lot of speaking on the topic of leadership to organizations and associations around the world.
What are some of the most fulfilling projects you have been involved with so far (include your non-profit/volunteer work here)?
In my line of work, it’s hard to pick out projects that are more fulfilling than others—they all are. Whether it’s an “aha” moment with a coaching client that changes the way they lead, a successful team development session where a group of executives achieves a breakthrough in solving a business challenge, or delivering a training session that is personally impactful to participants, it’s all a gift. If I had to choose, it would probably be anytime a client tells me “this problem is unfixable,” but then together, we fix it. Sometimes, I’m as surprised as they are, because people-related challenges in organizations can often feel impossible at the beginning. But they’re almost always fixable with the right approach.
Are there any people in your field you would like to meet and/or work with and have not yet had the opportunity?
I’ve had the great honor of knowing many of the greatest thinkers in my field: Marshall Goldsmith, Chip Heath, Tony Schwartz, Tommy Spaulding, Scott Halford, and many more. I’ve always been greatly humbled by the generosity they’ve shown me. Right now, someone that I find especially fascinating (whom I haven’t yet met) is Dr. Adam Grant. He’s a professor at Wharton who wrote a game-changing book on generosity. The way he sees the world is very similar to how I see it—this is reflected in my book, Bankable Leadership—great leaders are generous. The true impact of generosity is something that many people underestimate.
What are some of your favorite ways to network?
I’ve never been a fan of going to huge networking events and seeing how many business cards I can collect. I typically find that, with networking, quality trumps quantity. The most effective method I’ve found is to ask people I already know for personal introductions. For example, about a year ago when I started writing my book, I realize that I had no idea what I was doing. So I asked three or four of my close colleagues if they could introduce me to any successful authors they knew. After they made the introduction, I’d reach out and find the easiest way (for them) for me to pick their brains and thank them profusely. I also believe in the principle of giving first—that is, before I ask anything big from a new person I’ve just met, I try to help them first.
Do you have a mentor – if so how did you choose one another? If not, is this something you think would benefit your career and is there anyone you would like to have as a mentor?
I believe in the “Personal Board of Directors” approach to mentoring, where a person will get the most benefit by having a group of mentors, rather than counting on one person to do everything for you. I do have one mentor who I try to meet with every month or so. The way I was introduced to him was interesting—my mentor was the former boss of my boss’s boss! The first time we chatted, I knew that he could challenge my thinking in a way few people have. I treasure this and recommend finding mentors who challenge you. The worst thing I can imagine is for a person’s mentor to just agree with them all the time. What a missed opportunity to learn!
What have you learned from your mentor? What do you hope to learn?
In addition to constantly challenging the way I see the world—and myself—my mentor has taught me that it’s okay to be wildly ambitious. Female entrepreneurs can often feel torn between wanting to succeed and conforming to the role that society expects for them—to be compliant rather than determined, self-effacing rather than self-promoting. This is a balance I will probably always struggle with, but he’s taught me that to have a successful business and a successful brand, you have to put yourself out there—and be totally unapologetic about it!
What’s been the most surprising thing that has happened to you so far in your career?
I remember a few years ago, I was at a networking event. The speaker asked us to tell the person next to us our biggest, boldest career goal. I turned to the person beside me, and before I knew what happened, I told her, “I want to write a best-selling leadership book.” I was as stunned as she was. For me, this dream had always felt very far away—maybe something I might be able to do when I was in my late 40s, after I’d had my business for 10 or 15 years. But through a series of events that still can’t wrap my head around, my book came out on October 1, 2013. I was signed by the first publisher I met with and wrote the book in less than a year. It debuted as a best-seller on both the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. This was, by far, the most aggressive goal I’ve ever set for myself. It was also the hardest I have ever worked to accomplish anything. There were a lot of times I thought to myself, “You’re crazy! What did you get yourself into!” But it all worked out.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I am notoriously bad at relaxing. Part of the problem with loving what you do is that you’re in danger of letting your work define who you are. The research is clear on this: we can’t work 60, 70, 80 hour weeks for sustained periods of time without it catching up with us. One study I talk about in Bankable Leadership found that people who worked more than 50 hours per week actually got stupider. Really. So, I’m trying to be better. I love to cycle, especially the annual MS150 bikeride to raise funds to fight Multiple Sclerosis to honor my stepdad. I also adore travelling—I will get on a plane anytime and go anywhere. The more far flung the destination, the better. In the past few months, I’ve travelled to Turkey, the Republic of Georgia, Uganda and Rwanda. But perhaps the best form of relaxation I know of are my three dogs, who show me unconditional love that melts my heart… and lower my blood pressure!
Any parting advice for someone who would like to follow in your footsteps?
First, get your head examined. Just kidding. I think first and foremost, you have to learn to just begin, even if you have no idea what you’re doing. I didn’t know how to start a business. I didn’t know how to get a book deal. I didn’t know how to break into the speaking business. But I found that if I just started, I was able to stumble into the right answer. Very often, it required trial and error, lots of hard work, and a deep determination, but I did it. One of my favorite quotes of all time is by Goethe: “Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
What’s the best way for our readers to connect with you?
www.tashaeurich.com – My speaking website
www.theeurichgroup.com – The Eurich Group website
https://twitter.com/tashaeurich – Twitter
www.linkedin.com/tashaeurich – LinkedIn