Today on Community Voices with Carly Alyssa Thorne we Interview Susan Neustrom where we discuss “Leading into Action”.
For as far back as I can remember, I volunteered my time to work at numerous nonprofits assisting people who have experienced hardship, obstacles, and limitations and career changes. I worked with domestic violence, teen pregnancy, homelessness, unemployment, seniors, transitional housing, and a variety of other life challenges. After spending 22 years in banking holding leadership positions, I longed to follow my passion of empowering people to break down limitations and reach their full potential. I really wanted to lead an organization that shared my values but my long held fear of failure coupled with my fear, or should I say embarrassment, of divulging that I was a high school dropout held me back from pursuing my dream. With each passing year, the desire to change became stronger than my fears and I knew to begin the change process I must take the first step.
In spite of my fears, at age 48 I completed my GED. That first action led to a journey of discovery of my purpose, my passion, and endless possibilities. Now I had a clear vision, an educational strategy, and a plan of action, I spent the next ten years pursuing my education. Between 2000 and 2010 I went from dropout to doctorate. I hold two associate degrees, business management and retail marketing from College of DuPage, Bachelor of Science(BS) in Management from National Louis University, Master of Arts(MA) in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in Training and Development from Lewis University, and Doctorate in Education(Ed.D) in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University.
As a result of my educational pursuit my vision became a reality in 2006 when I transitioned from leadership in banking to leadership in nonprofit. Consequently, the transition gave me an opportunity to work with multiple populations in various roles as Director of Day Programs, Director of Human Resource, and Executive Director leading organizational change, and managing people, process, and performance for high impact, efficiency, and effectiveness.
Furthermore, I continue to work with adult and traditional student as an adjunct professor of business at Benedictine University, National Louis University, and Argosy University as well as a professional speaker on overcoming fear, change, and transformation to audiences at conferences, universities, and nonprofit and for profit organizations.
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Leading to Action–Transforming a cause to a solution
Susan Neustrom, Ed.D Bio:
A word from Susan Neustrom, Ed.D. – For as far back as I can remember, I volunteered my time to work at numerous nonprofits assisting people who experienced domestic violence, teen pregnancy, homelessness, unemployment, and a variety of other issues. After spending 22 years in banking holding a variety of leadership roles, I longed to follow my passion of helping people overcome obstacles and lead an organization that shared my values but my fear of failure and fear of divulging that I was a high school dropout held me back from pursuing my dream. So, at age 48 I faced my fear and finally found the courage to complete my GED. That first step led to a journey of true self-discovery and authentic leadership. With a clear vision and a plan of action, I spent the next ten years pursuing my education and earned two associate degrees, business management and retail marketing, from College of DuPage, a Bachelor of Science in Management from National Louis University a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in Training and Development from Lewis University and a Doctorate in Education in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University.
In 2006, my dream came true and I transitioned from leadership in banking to leadership in nonprofit providing me an opportunity to work with multiple populations in various roles as Director of Day Programs, Director of Human Resource, and Executive Director leading organizational change, effective capacity building, and creating a vision of sustainability and continuous learning. While I am an Idealist (INFJ), a visionary, and a continuous seeker of knowledge, my greatest strength is creativity, allowing me to act upon ideas, develop unique approaches to achieving a goal, and be on an endless quest for innovation. What I see when faced with a problem are endless possibilities despite obstacles, harmony where there is conflict, organization in the midst of chaos, and solutions despite the complexity of the issue. My intuitive sense is keenly attuned with my moral compass and a “gut feeling” has dominated my life journey. I have spent much, 25+ years, of my career leading people, teams, and organizations. But the most interesting leadership role was and continues to be, leading myself by understanding my motivations, my leadership approach and style, and my vision for the future. My story has been featured in College of DuPage Impact, Daily Herald, and National Louis Alumni magazine, 30 over 30.
Presently, I am an adjunct professor of business at Benedictine University, National Louis University, and Argosy University and a speaker on leadership, change, and motivation at conferences, universities, and organizations. In 2013, I developed my company, Leading to Action for the purpose of developing leaders who want to change the world. With this in mind, my leadership philosophy is to lead by creating a clear vision, removing obstacles that limit performance, and empowering others to reach their greatest potential. My personal and profession mission is to commit 100% of my energy to every activity that I chose to engage and work aggressively toward positive outcomes. This is how I approach consulting, leadership coaching, and training because authentic leadership begins with developing complete self-awareness and high emotional intelligence for impact, influence, and action that produce successful results.
Interviewer,Producer: Carly Alyssa Thorne www.CarlyAlyssaThorne.com
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