AdvantEdge Leadership: Elevating Leadership, Empowering Excellence

AdvantEdge Leadership: Leadership Development Solutions for Organizational Excellence

I am excited to share with you an exclusive interview that was originally published in Brainz Magazine December 2023 edition. In this exclusive conversation, I had the honor of being interviewed about my journey, experiences and the driving force behind AdvantEdge Leadership, a consultancy firm that has been at the forefront of leadership development and organizational transformation.

As the founder of AdvantEdge Leadership, my life's work revolves around helping organizations unlock their full potential through effective leadership and transformative strategies. This interview offers a unique opportunity to revisit the conversation and dive into the principles, experiences, and expertise that have shaped my journey.

Whether you're revisiting this interview or discovering it for the first time, I hope you find inspiration and valuable insights within these pages. Join me as we explore the world of visionary leadership, the innovative programs offered at AdvantEdge Leadership, and the pivotal role of emotional intelligence in driving lasting success.

Anna, you've earned recognition as one of the Top 15 Coaches in Phoenix in 2023, and your remarkable track record in leadership excellence includes roles as a Leadership Instructor at MIT, a Fellow at McLean/Harvard Medical School and a Forbes Contributor. Could you share with our readers what motivated you to establish AdvantEdge Leadership and how your journey has evolved over time?

Thank you for having me. AdvantEdge Leadership was born from my passion for continuous improvement and growth. Initially, we offered Lean Six Sigma consulting services to organizations seeking performance optimization. However, I soon realized that effective leadership is the linchpin for successful organizational change. This realization led us to shift our focus towards executive coaching and leadership development, helping leaders unlock their full potential and drive lasting organizational impact.

AdvantEdge Leadership specializes in transformative executive and leadership development solutions. Could you elaborate on the specific challenges organizations face today that your services aim to address, and how your approach sets you apart in this field?

Certainly, in today's dynamic business landscape, organizations face a multitude of challenges, from adapting to rapidly evolving technologies to fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration. Our tailored solutions address these challenges by focusing on executive development, bridging the gap between leaders’ aspirations and capabilities, cultivating high-performance teams, and revitalizing employee engagement and retention.

What sets us apart is our commitment to a human-centered design thinking approach, which allows us to understand and cater to the unique needs of our clients' teams. We don't believe in one-size-fits-all solutions. Instead, we work closely with organizations to create strategies aligned with their vision and goals. Our success stories and data-driven approach demonstrate our ability to deliver measurable outcomes and lasting impact, positioning us as a trusted partner for transformative change.

Could you share a success story or example of how your coaching and development programs have made a significant impact on an organization's leadership and overall performance?ample Section Header with Title Bar

Certainly. One of our clients, a technology company facing challenges in adapting to rapid changes in their industry, sought our assistance. Through our coaching and development programs, we empowered their leadership team to embrace change, foster innovation, and build high-performance teams. As a result, the organization experienced a significant increase in productivity, collaboration, and employee engagement. Their leaders became catalysts for innovation, and the company positioned itself as an industry leader in adapting to digital transformation.

That's a fascinating transformation. Could you elaborate on the significance of effective leadership in today's dynamic business landscape?

Certainly, effective leadership is the cornerstone of success in the modern business environment. It's not just about occupying a position; it's about inspiring positive change and nurturing a thriving organizational culture. Leadership transitions, for instance, can either enhance or hinder an organization's trajectory. Research consistently shows that organizations prioritizing seamless leadership transitions outperform their peers in terms of employee satisfaction, productivity, and profitability.

That's a compelling point. Can you tell us more about AdvantEdge Leadership's Leader Assimilation program and how it empowers new leaders?

Our Leader Assimilation program is a strategic imperative designed to empower new leaders from day one. We start by assessing individual strengths and weaknesses, setting clear objectives for their roles. Drawing inspiration from Patrick Lencioni's framework, we emphasize organizational health as the foundation for leadership success. Psychometric assessments and 360-degree feedback mechanisms provide data-driven insights, and we offer customized training and strategic executive coaching. Our program is a transformative journey, aiming to empower leaders to catalyze positive change within their organizations.

Your Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Programs seem to have a strong emphasis on emotional intelligence. How does emotional intelligence contribute to effective leadership, and how do you incorporate it into your coaching approach?

Emotional intelligence is a critical component of effective leadership. Research from Harvard University and the Stanford Research Institute shows that 85% of job success is attributed to an individual's people skills, while only 15% is based on technical knowledge and competence. Strong emotional intelligence enables leaders to recognize their own emotions, understand their impact on others, manage their emotions, and make choices that positively influence the emotional climate of their teams. In leadership, EQ plays a significant role in fostering engagement, reducing turnover, and promoting innovation. Leaders with high EQ are better equipped to connect with their teams on a personal and emotional level, inspiring loyalty and commitment. They create environments where new ideas are encouraged and valued, which is essential for driving innovation.

In our coaching approach, we integrate scientific principles and evidence-based methodologies, including emotional intelligence assessments and training. We also draw from practices such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and Non-Violent Communication (NVC). Staying up to date with the latest research in positive psychology, emotional intelligence, and neuroplasticity ensures that our leadership development engagements deliver impactful and lasting results.

Cultivating high-performance teams is essential in today's business landscape. How do your programs empower organizations to foster collaboration and excellence within their teams?

Cultivating high-performance teams is at the core of our approach. We provide organizations with proven methodologies and techniques that empower their teams to work cohesively, leveraging their diverse strengths and talents. Through targeted interventions, skill-building workshops, and ongoing support, we enable teams to exceed expectations, deliver exceptional results, and achieve breakthrough performance. It's all about creating a culture of collaboration, innovation, and excellence.

Your approach to leadership and team development is comprehensive and innovative. What advice would you offer to organizations looking to enhance their leadership and team dynamics in today's ever-evolving business landscape?

I would advise organizations to prioritize leadership and team development as a strategic imperative. In today's dynamic business environment, the ability to adapt, innovate, and collaborate is paramount. Investing in leadership development empowers leaders to navigate change successfully, inspire their teams, and drive innovation even in the face of uncertainty.

Additionally, fostering high-performance teams that embrace diversity and inclusion is crucial. Teams that communicate openly, embrace healthy conflict, and share a commitment to collective goals are better positioned to thrive in the modern workplace.

Lastly, organizations should consider partnering with consultancy firms that offer evidence-based solutions tailored to their unique needs. Look for partners who are committed to continuous improvement, as success in the new digital era requires a proactive and growth-focused approach.

As we conclude our interview, Anna, what message would you like to share with executives and organizations considering your services? What differentiates AdvantEdge Leadership in your field, and what can they expect when partnering with you?

I'd like to convey that partnering with AdvantEdge Leadership means unlocking the full potential of your leaders and your organization. What sets us apart is our commitment to a human-centered approach, evidence-based methodologies, and a proven track record of delivering measurable outcomes.

When you choose us, you can expect a transformative journey towards becoming authentic, inspirational, and emotionally intelligent leaders who drive remarkable success. We are dedicated to fostering cultures of innovation, trust, collaboration, and excellence within organizations. Our goal is to empower you to shape the future and achieve lasting impact. Thank you for this opportunity to share our vision and expertise. We look forward to the privilege of partnering with executives and organizations on their journey to greatness.

"Anna is a wonderful executive coach. Regardless of the goals I set out, and the pivots that I needed to make, she was continuously able to steer me in the right direction so I could get past the hurdles in front of me. She has been quick to understand the root causes of roadblocks and ready with guidance on how to approach and overcome these obstacles. She is very patient and caring and always had a positive attitude when working with me. I..."

Felicia S.

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"From the beginning, I have found Anna to be an insightful and caring coach with a natural intuition about how to tackle issues that otherwise were not apparent to me personally. Anna has patiently worked with me to think through ways to improve my outlook and actions and has not hesitated to bluntly remind me of when I have not followed through with the plans we have developed. Anna is both supportive and demanding, the best combination I..."

Casey L.

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"Working with Anna, there was no doubt she was completely invested in my success. She takes a highly personalized approach to coaching and is a terrific listener—always helping me to uncover those lightbulb moments for me. I came to her to work on professional development, and I finished with having a clearer understanding of myself, which benefitted me beyond just my career. She is a trusted partner who is motivating, patient and asks the..."

Ariana F.

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"Anna is a thoughtful, brilliant coach. Anna helped me shape my own authentic leadership style rooted in my values and supported by the best practices in the leadership field. I’ve worked with Anna on a wide range of topics including leadership, team management, talent development and managing my anxiety. Anna has given me very concrete ideas that I’ve been implementing daily at work - and she tailors her coaching to me, my leadership style..."

Baira D.

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"Anna is a phenomenal coach. I have worked with a couple of coaches in my professional life. I felt her approach was more insightful and non-judgmental. She gave me time and space to speak out what I am trying to resolve or work towards. She listened carefully and pointed out what the overarching message she was hearing. I felt like she helped me self reflect and self resolve many issues. I resonated better with the outcomes or decisions..."

Navneet Sachdeva

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"Anna is hands down the best coach I've worked with. She's intuitive but doesn't make assumptions, so her style is one of guiding versus directing. This allows plenty of room for self-exploration, which has enabled me to grow professionally (and personally) in a short space of time. I highly recommend working with Anna."


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"I’m a professional and creative who typically considers herself to be a highly motivated go-getter. However, at the stage I met Anna, I was lost, angry and stuck. I wanted to blame anyone and everything but myself for my “being off my game”. Under all the layers of shame, guilt and procrastination lived the truth – I was 100% responsible for healing myself. Anna helped me uncover this reality. It felt as if her light gave me the..."

Michelle H.

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"Anna is wonderful! She helped me pick myself up during a difficult time. She gives you the tools to help yourself. I was numb just going through the motions. Anna helped me figure out what I needed to be happy. I finally feel like I am the person I am supposed to be. I highly recommend her. My life has completely changed for the best! "

Becky McGregor

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"I cannot recommend Anna Barnhill highly enough. As my coach, I can always count on Anna to actively listen and provide meaningful input during our sessions. She has thoughtful responses and makes it a point to ask if there is something she can help with. The tools she has provided me with, will help me for a lifetime to come. I am grateful for finding Anna, and all the progress we have made together! "

Christian G.

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"Anna is an excellent coach, that is extremely results-focused. She has a strong ability to create awareness of what is holding you back, as well as a plan for moving forward. She asks powerful questions that help to create amazing discoveries and helps to build you up to be able to pursue your big dreams in life. She is calm, professional, and committed to your success. As a result of her coaching, I was able to take significant steps in my..."

Chris A.

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"Anna was a great coach to work with! She listens really well and asks pointed questions to get to the bottom of an issue. She makes me feel challenged … and inspires me to think in different ways. Her mental traps framework is very effective in helping me catching and labeling self-sabotaging thoughts as they occur, and I like the perspective switching to ask myself "what would I say/do to my best friend" to cultivate self-compassion. Thanks..."


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"Anna has been the single most helpful voice in my coaching journey. Within only a few sessions she provided me with spot-on good insights. This advice would stick to me, as powerful helpful reminders throughout the weeks to come helping me deal with anxiety. From day one she had an accurate and deep understanding of my concerns, and from there, we outlined action plans that were straightforward and effective. After our sessions, I always feel..."

Laura N.

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"Anna has been great to work with. Her knowledge on the material and how our brain works has been extremely helpful. She has coached me and gave me tools to develop and help me when I run into problems. We have talked about multiple topics and she has found ways to help. How she is different from others is she will make you think and give your homework. She will make sure you are challenged and practice your tools to help develop your skills..."

Mike D.

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"Anna has been an amazing coach. She has given me the necessary tools to allow me to be mentally aware and be as present as possible in order to navigate any situation at hand. Her guidance in how to use these tools and how to navigate mental traps has been fundamental and have helped me reduce stress, approach life with a much simpler outlook, and balance my time in ways I was not able to do before. - Thank you so much, Anna. I was able to..."

Daniela M.

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"Anna is absolutely amazing at what she does. She has helped me to overcome some very difficult things in my life such as being my worst critic, help manage my anxiety/stress, and giving myself self love. I couldn’t be more grateful for my sessions with her. Dealing with such raw emotions and not having the tools to know how to handle them have been extremely difficult for me. She has changed my outlook on life, I would recommend her to..."

Alyssa K

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"Initially my goal was to improve Executive Presence under Pressure and I am really thankful that I got in touch with Anna. We have spoken at length at Thinking Traps, Opposite Reaction, Breathing techniques etc. etc. that have really helped me be more mindful, calm & composed. Anna is a great listener and asks very good questions which at-times makes me really & deeply think about the Why! Thank you Anna for your support on helping me improve..."

Siddharth S.

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""Anna was a wonderful coach - she provided me with tools that helped get my anxiety under control, manage my stress better, and practice mindfulness. Anna has a very thoughtful and caring approach and I found it very easy to communicate with her. She helped me realize that I was frequently falling into the catastrophizing "mental trap" and I am now better equipped to challenge that thinking trap and stop myself from catastrophizing, which has..."

Daniel S.

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"Anna is an incredible coach and has helped me tremendously on my wellness journey. She’s been able to help me work through my issues on a large and small scale by identifying the root cause and offering concrete solutions. I understand myself in a way I didn’t before, and I am eternally grateful for Anna because of it. I highly recommend working with her!"


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"Anna has been instrumental in providing me new tools to increase the effectiveness and impact of my communication both professionally and in my marriage. Anna coached me through various techniques to improve my perception of information presented to me while also improving my approach to connecting and delivering my message with maximum efficiency. All of Anna’s coaching has been backed with supplemental materials and role play scenarios..."

Matt H.

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"I have greatly appreciated my time with Anna! She exuded an amazing balance between care and constructive guidance. She met me right where I was at every point in time and did so without judgement or critique. She offered thoughtful advice founded in both personal experience and knowledge. Anna always made sure to communicate prior to our meetings what specifically I wanted to cover, which I always appreciated. "

Luke R.

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"Working with Anna has been so beneficial to my career development and personal life. Her approach to coaching, identification of areas that need to be worked on, and finding solutions to life's challenges is incredibly motivating to me. In addition, she is always sharing helpful resources that I can easily follow through. Her kindness and honesty during our sessions made our conversations feel very comfortable. Thank you, Anna! "

Patricia S.

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"I absolutely recommend Anna as a coach. She is gentle, intuitive, and intelligent. She debriefed my ELI assessment and did an amazing job understanding where I come from and helping me be go through my blocks with compassion. If you are looking to understand you fears and the things that are stopping you to do better at work and life in general, she is the right person! Her work is amazing! Thank you, Anna! "

Katherine M

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"Anna is an amazing coach. She is a great listener and provides useful feedback regarding my career struggles. She is also providing me with effective frameworks that I haven't used before. Which is key to my momentum. I'm making significant progress personally and professionally with Anna as my coach."


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