Therese M. Williams, M.A.

President

Therese has lead Pinnacle Group since its inception in 2006. She has more than 30 years’ experience providing expertise to organizations in strategic planning, management effectiveness, leadership development, training, coaching, and organization development. Assisting organizations in diagnosing areas that impact employee productivity and management effectiveness and converting challenges into opportunities is where Therese excels and best serves her clients.

Therese holds a Bachelor and Master of Arts degree in Education from Villanova University. She is a scholar graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10KSB Entrepreneur Program and is pursuing her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at the American College of Education.  Pursuing the terminal degree has been a lifelong goal for Therese and the ability to apply current and relevant research to client projects has been the sole focus of the academic journey.

Therese founded the non-profit Tailgates Tackle Hunger, and organization designed to increase awareness among tailgating enthusiasts to reduce waste and repurpose extra food from a great tailgating event.  When not working, studying, or tailgating, you will find Therese hanging out at the beach.

Team Development

For me, the arrival of summer provides so many opportunities for gathering with our family, friends and colleagues. Graduations, Father’s Day, pool parties, beach bumming, Independence Day to name a few. For some of us, our work schedules allow for a little more flexibility and ease. It is a great time of year to reconnect with others.

This past week we held our 1st Annual Pinnacle Golf Classic. We selected a 9 hole/3-par course that we thought would be manageable for the light golfer and not too insulting for the real golfer. I went into the event with some trepidation and unsure how the event would turn out. Truth be told, I wondered if my co-workers who haven’t used their golf clubs in a few years would be comfortable on the course. Or worse yet, if they would drag the game for the more serious-minded golfer – the ones who came with golf shoes!

We agreed on playing ‘best ball’ which was perfect. If you haven’t played, this way of playing allows the team to choose the teammates shot that is best of all the individual strokes. Instead of working as an individual, best ball allows you to work as team by averaging shots and having one score as a team.

Like many things, there are so many surprises to be enjoyed. The camaraderie we experienced goes without saying. Each team member wanted to help its team succeed by getting a few great shots. So true effort was applied by all. One person’s strength helped to make up for another’s limitation – i.e. putting vs. driving the ball. We all scored the same on each hole so we couldn’t focus on individual success but rather team success. Yet, each stroke mattered because each individual always had the chance to excel for the team. We rallied for one another and we appreciated the support and encouragement we were given.

Although some team members enjoyed the ride in the golf cart, while others basked in the competitiveness of the sport everyone left with a feeling of accomplishment. On the course we succeeded by doing the best we could, off the course we had solidified our bond that will no doubt help us as teammates in our day-to-day work. Regardless of the final score the real win for all of us was a renewed sense of the value of teamwork.

 

 

 

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Planning Your Path

As the saying by Alan Lakein goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail” a motto I have lived by since the beginning of my career. From my beginning days as an entry level employee to owning my own business I have believed that if you plan you, will achieve. However the key to a good plan is learning how to be flexible. In every well thought-out plan there must be room to move and change so that we achieve the success we planned for.

In this fast paced world we live in, we must always be able to handle the challenges that come our way, and overcome the roadblocks we encounter. Planning is not about creating a clear cut path to success but creating multiple paths we are willing to take to accomplish our goal. Each road holds adversity and struggle, but the key is to never lose sight of our final destination. Some days the travel time is easy and the plan seems foolproof while at other times, it is difficult to even imagine the end result. As business people we must never lose sight of the journey we have taken to get to where we needed to be. We constantly remain flexible, open-minded and driven to stay on course no matter how difficult. Some days we will face these struggles with great strength and determination, and other days the struggles weigh us down and attempt to hold us back. When we reach our destination it is not the struggles that we remember but rather the feeling of accomplishment. No matter where your path to success leads you, never forget that although adversity is a given, success is a must.

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A Place Of Yes

As I continue to reflect, and think of ways to make myself and my business more successful I cannot help but think of my team. As the saying goes “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” While I would like to count my cherished four-legged family member as one of my five, it reminds me of how important it is to be surrounded by good people. In business this is no different. Much of my success is a credit to the team I lead. My colleagues are extremely hard working, investing as much in my business as I do. However, I am continually reminded just how important my job as a leader is. In a recent conversation I had with a young woman trying to find her place in the business world I was asked how I have progressed to where I am today. Although I know this question is complex, my answer is always the same; I have great people working with me.

She urged me further to give her some additional advice and, while I wanted to give a profound answer I knew the answer was simple, one word – only three letters. “Yes.” Success comes from learning to say yes. My team in fully aware that when we believe that we can solve the problem; answer the need; bring value to our clients and one another, we are a stronger organization as a whole.

For us it is about having confidence in whom and what we are as a company and believing in our skills as a team. We value our clients and know that when they are satisfied with our services we have truly succeeded. By having faith in those you work with and being a leader unafraid to say “yes”, the possibilities are endless.

 

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Managing Your Day

“I am definitely going to take a course on time management… just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.” – Louis E. Boone (Author)

As a business owner I am often asked how I can accomplish everything I need to get done in one day. While it took me years to find the key to doing this, my advice now is simple, “manage your day so it doesn’t manage you.” Some days it seems nearly impossible to get anything done, let alone everything. We ask so much of ourselves and are relied on by many. The decisions I make impact a lot of people, which doesn’t allow me much room for mistakes. Instead of allowing the pressure to get to me I have learned how to manage my day so that there is enough room for everyone, myself included.

In my earlier years the thought of waking up before an alarm clock seemed impossible. Today, I feel as though my mind is constantly in overdrive. I have learned to harness my thoughts and turn them into actions. The early morning hours have become my center. It is in the hours before the rest of the world is pouring their coffee that I begin my day. The noise that occurs in every business day is not yet heard and clear thinking is possible. I begin reflecting, preparing, and aligning my day before a single email is sent out. I have the opportunity to be at peace with the actions of yesterday and tame the anticipation of the day ahead of me. As my early morning comes to an end I am mentally prepared for the work day ahead of me.

As I enter the office the second part of my day begins. With the flutter of emails, phone calls, and meetings the silence of the morning seems like a distant memory. My role as the “boss” is put on the side and I am simply a team member. My work is put on hold as I work hand in hand with others trying to assist my team in any way possible. The decisions that are made during this part of the day are made quickly and it would appear as if the day is flying by. I am spending this part of my day engaged, informed and pressing forward in a positive direction. While the chaos of the day can become overwhelming the center I have found in the morning remains with me, and helps me and my team reach our goals.

At around 5 o’clock the buzz of the day begins to simmer and my team is wrapping up for the day. Again I am given an opportunity to take a step back and reflect upon my day. I spend the final part of my work day going over what worked and what didn’t and always reflecting on what I can do better tomorrow. As the office is quiet again, I allow myself the gift of a few moments of serenity before I wake up to do it all over again.

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Staying Connected To Your Strategic Direction

As a business leader, I spend most of my time trying to keep up in a fast-paced, always changing world. I know we all feel the same way. While my main focus is to develop and deliver products and services that address my clients real business needs, I find it especially difficult to keep staff engaged and committed to the pursuit.

Additionally, volatile economic conditions, ever evolving political and geographical landscapes and shifts in what employees want from their work makes this seem impossible. I am exhausted, are you? Yet I remain as passionate and focused as ever.

What I have become preoccupied with is keeping my team informed on what my strategic vision is for 2014 in the midst of this constant movement. Starting every staff meeting with a quick tag back to our Vision/Mission/Values has been an easy but important way of bringing this to the forefront. In our discussion, each person shares one aspect that they will focus on for the upcoming month. These focal points become a constant reminder of what we are focusing on and stand for and seem to work for my team. How do you keep your strategy ‘top of mind’ in your business?

Join me in the pursuit to recognize and address the key issues that we all face in keeping our staff in the game. Share your ideas that might just make a difference in our organizations and our world so that we all can be our best.

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