for the opportunity to have worked with some incredible human beings.
Here's what they have to say about the experience.
Here's what they have to say about the experience.
Words will never do justice to my gratitude. This has been life work for me. We went deeper than I've ever gone before, leaning into so many difficult, honest conversations. I do a lot of public speaking, and in my recent talks, what was so different in all of them was I felt like I was showing up as me, not just as "CEO" or "the girl that went to Harvard." For the first time, I was able to admit that I was fired before to a room of graduate students. What felt true about it was I was being me and fully able to share who I am, instead of trying to fit into other people's expectations. I want people to connect with my experiences and values, not my titles or the things I've achieved. This is what real freedom is. That's been the paradigm shift.
I feel like you really saw me, loved me, and wanted the best for me. You called me out at places when I would revert to being overly self-critical or not hard enough. I always push myself a lot, but our relationship built a confidence which allowed me to move forward in a way with integrity and my truth as a focus point. You also championed me a lot, and gave me the push to really jump into my authentic self and be in that place always.
The insights and growth I experienced in the three months that we worked together were more significant than years of leadership courses, therapy and journaling combined.
You have an incredible gift for this work, but more importantly, you are an incredible human - it's your humanity that shines through, your genuine love and empathy, and your care. Thank you for everything.
CEO, Ventures, High Resolves
Venture Partner, NextGen Venture Partners
Gleitsman Leadership Fellow and Social Enterprise Fellow, Harvard's Center for Public Leadership
Leland’s coaching ability is a reflection of his own life: healthy, positive, conscientious and successful.
The conversations we've had about life, relationships, work, etc have been incredibly meaningful and fulfilling for me. I think the feedback you’ve given me over the course of those conversations was invaluable, and a testament to your ability to listen, absorb, and help surface meaningful insights.
Ultimately you’ve had a very positive impact on my life as someone who not only deeply cares about me and my team but understands how to be successful, not just with work, but with all of the important things. You're a great human being and I've valued our relationship from the start.
Chief Technology Officer, MarcoPolo Learning
Before I met you, I was stuck, trying to muscle my way through some tough business issues.
Over the last few months working together, I've been having more open conversations - being more transparent and willing to say "I don't know" - what I'm realizing is I don't have to have all the answers. It allows my executive team to figure this out together.
What's more, the team is far more focused and I'm seeing a lot of progress on their end as a result of us having a better working relationship. I look forward to my management meetings now. And I've been able to create this kind of safe, collaborative, honest space with my executive team.
You have a very supportive, inquisitive, and enthusiastic style. I rely on you to brainstorm and call me out if I'm not being genuine. I look forward to it every week.
I feel like I've grown as a manager and executive in the company beyond what I'd been able to in the 10 years prior. I've learned a lot about myself and I feel like I'm better at what I do. It is an investment that my company makes and gets a big ROI. The value to cost is huge. My company truly benefits from our work together.
Founder and CEO, Clockwork Recruiting
What's changed most for me in our work is my attitude. Before I would see things more black and white, e.g. a weakness is a weakness. You helped me realize that a perceived weakness can be a strength depending on the situation. Also that not every weakness needs addressing - that I was making an implied connection between a perception and determined corrective action.
I put up my own barriers on what I allowed myself to explore. I judged myself for doing certain things. Now, I am giving myself permission to experiment, to not know, to fail. Now I realize that giving is my way of connecting: investing time in being thoughtful and vulnerable with others.
Working with you feels effortless. You have a way of conversing and drawing out themes, asking the next probing question and pushing back on assumptions in a just-talking-to-a-friend way, except you're trained to truly listen for cues and expertly tie them together. I love the balance you bring between thoughtful structure based on inputs from me, as well as going with the flow to have more open discussions. It allows me to think freely yet with a goal in mind.
You are such a positive and kind soul. The way that you care for your clients really comes through in the amount of thought and energy you put into each discussion. I don't think I've said it enough times... thank you.
Chief of Staff, Product Operations at Google
Leland always helps me to bring clarity and focus. He provides a safe yet creative space to allow my thoughts to deepen and expand. Leland has a genuine interest in helping people be their best and it comes through in his coaching. So grateful for these experiences!
Dawn DeFrancesco, PhD
Director, Learning Strategy and Design at SAP
2020 was one of the hardest years yet and the self-learning that came out of our time together truly helped build a narrative of gratitude instead of regret or despair. You helped uncover a deeper sense of purpose in who I bring to the world day-to-day and what I'd like to accomplish professionally.
There have been significant shifts in the way I think about myself and how I react to things around me - I give myself more space to react slowly and am more mindful of negative patterns. I felt so supported and valued in our time together. With a healthy level of self-criticism (which you helped identify), this created space to quickly jump into meaty topics with candor. Your approach to co-creating ideas through synthesizing and reflecting my thoughts was really effective at gaining my buy-in on next steps.
Love that your approach is holistic to the whole human - as personal and professional lives can be so weaved together, it was energizing to be able to cover such a broad range of topics. You are incredibly present and connected - talking to you, I feel deeply seen, unlocking amazing moments of discovery.
Head of Technical Recruiting, Lime
It is mind-blowing at how much has happened in a couple of months.
I co-founded the Lua Non scholarship. I am so happy that I can help students in Vietnam to attend a school. Receiving their scholarship applications, learning about their struggles, and knowing that I can help has been incredibly empowering.
The biggest change for me has been switching my state of mind to, "I CAN do it". Even if I don't have prior knowledge/credentials/experience, I know I can figure out how to accomplish a goal, complete the project given that I am passionate about it. I have more confidence in pursuing and leading new projects going forward.
Leland helps me see the good in myself. He always invokes higher appreciation for myself, reminds me of what is important to me, what I am good at, and that simply, I'm worthy. Leland is understanding, compassionate, non-judgmental, and gives me hope on the days that I don't have it. It feels good to be around someone who believes in you regardless of what you are going through.
No matter what your dream is, no matter what challenge you want to take on, Leland will help you move one step closer and grow your confidence in doing the impossible.
Luba Le Xuan
Co-founder, Lúa Non Foundation Scholarship for Vietnamese students
Engineering Resiliency Lead at Clever, K-12 Education Technology
Something deep down within me knew he would be a great coach, at a time where I really needed it. Other than his already impressive achievements, it was his attitude and mindset that always inspired me to know that I can always do better as a person. Most of all, Leland’s superpower is that he really (really!) cares.
It was this spirit and zest for life that made me think the rewards completely outweighed the risks of having him as my coach.
Working with Leland has sparked that same attitude and zest within me. I can truly say all aspects of my life: family, career, mental and physical health, have been positively affected by our partnership. This has been one of the best decisions of my life.
Data Scientist, Tigum
Partner, Nice Company HK
Your coaching pushed me to access a powerful strong vision for my future and the impact that I can make in the world.
You helped me realize that I will act as a strong advocate for diversity among underserved communities in parallel to building my new business. I'm feeling more confident than ever that I will succeed!
Product Design Leader at Facebook
When we met, the pandemic and lockdown hit. My current field of work was shut down.
Working with Leland has been very valuable - an opportunity to see things differently and take an active role in transforming my future. He's very articulate and able to quickly phrase what he observes about me from what I say.
He is reflective (able to capture qualities about me and reflect back), supportive (of my capabilities and value of experiences) and mind-bending (thinking differently).
It's been hard to use the word "thrilled" this year. But my conversations with Leland have changed my perspective from what I had to do to fit in to dreaming of what I wanted.
Founder & Designer, Bella Boot Company
Costume Designer, The Sopranos and Law and Order SVU
Two years ago my career hit a complete dead end. I needed to make a radical change, but I was paralyzed with indecision. I was toying with the idea of teaching myself to code but struggling to make progress. Then I had a conversation with Leland.
I explained my predicament: I needed a place to start where I could devote my whole effort and know it was in the right direction. Because learning to code is difficult, I wanted to be confident the struggle was worth the knowledge earned.
I was just venting my frustration to a confidant, but Leland heard the unasked request. I needed a mentor. One week later, Leland introduced me to a friend of his named John. John agreed to mentor me, based solely on the strength of Leland’s recommendation.
Is this real life? Who does that?
Armed with John’s help, I spent the next 15 months coding every day. I got accepted to the #1 coding bootcamp in the US and, shortly after graduation, landed my dream job as a Solutions Engineer.
Did I struggle in those 15 months? Damn right I did. I struggled every single day to master new skills and push myself to learn more, faster. But the day Leland introduced me to John, I let go of all the second guessing. Some time later, I finally let go of my own self doubt. I trusted John, and he believed I could do it… and there was no way I was going to break his faith in me.
So you see, it really isn’t about Leland. Except it absolutely is. That’s his magic.
Solutions Engineer at Vidado
Former Senior Product Manager, FRDM (mission: mitigate child labor in global supply chains)
Before I met Leland, I was just beginning to get out of largest, darkest hole I've ever been in. I was not thriving, but surviving. I was crushed by life. My boy had a rough start to this world that resulted in a host of acronyms and a severe brain injury. It left me devastated. A year after his birth his health became more stable. I prayed he would be able to express himself and I got so much more. I then prayed for him to continue to behave miraculously- to lead me to the miraculous. I became overwhelmed with gratitude, a sensation I haven't let myself feel in its entirety maybe ever. Something clicked for me, and I could no longer ask so much of him without expecting the same from myself. With my son as my greatest teacher, I devoted my life to helping him heal and overcome his injury, and help myself overcome my weaknesses, fears and shortcomings. I was fortunate enough to learn of Leland all as this was going down.
I'm slowly becoming more aligned with my heart and head. Resistance can be exhausting, but I'm reminded I can do hard things, even dream big. I'm proud that I'm putting in good work and seeing change. I'm falling in love with the process of personal growth and development. I like thinking of myself as a capable, courageous learner. I took a leap and started my own company.
Working with Leland has been extraordinary for me. Turns out I'm powerful, courageous, and led by a why greater than myself. Leland hears me, holds me accountable to my own wishes, and celebrates me. He has been helping me seek what I wish for, practice doing hard things and shed the garbage that no longer serves me. For that - I'm overwhelmingly grateful.
If you are ready to change, Leland will help guide you in the direction you want, give you opportunities to do hard things, and celebrate your victories along the way.
Kelly Manning, AIA
Founder, Kelly Manning Architecture
Former Senior Interior Architect at Nicole Hollis Interiors
2x All-American First Team, Kodak/Woman's Basketball Coaches Association
4x All-UAA First Team, University Athletic Association
2x Most Valuable Player, University Athletic Association
We met at a perfect, and very challenging, time of my life. I had been struggling with the COVID environment, jumping to worst case scenarios and at times pre-occupied with worry. I wasn't anywhere near as positive as I wanted to be. I recognised that I needed to change my mindset, and wanted to.
This was a powerful experience for me and was the first time that I had engaged in anything like it. I was challenged, motivated, and more reflective than I have ever been. Both the process and relationship have made me far more aware of how positive, confident and present I am throughout the day. You made me really think about how to pull together my experiences and desired approach (long view) and couple them with my career to date.
I think I've really benefited from opening up about challenges that I face and then actively thinking about my mindset (and capacity to change it). There is power in being able to do this openly and in a trusting environment. We reframed how I think about anxiety, mistakes, setbacks, and overcoming procrastination.
Working with Leland was a wonderful experience from our very first meeting; it's made a huge difference for me at a very important time. Leland is natural, insightful, and authentic; he clearly is motivated by wanting the very best for you and it comes through in everything that he does.
Leland will very quickly become 'in tune' with you, understanding how you will most benefit from your work together (even if you may not at the time!). He's far more than a coach, he's a partner.
Senior Policy Advisor, Transport Workers Union of Australia
Overall my life was significantly different when we were introduced.
Our partnership has been a great outlet to discuss my life and career aspirations in a place where I don’t find myself needing to filter. I like our cadence and assignments as they force me to pause and reflect with accountability to another thought partner. I find that when I try to do these things on my own I am either too abstract or never prioritize consistent time and energy toward self-assessment and reflection.
One of the most significant areas of growth has been increasing my emotional vulnerability with family, colleagues, and friends; building more of a compulsion to share and push my boundaries with those around me in this sphere. Has been tough and messy, but I like the early results.
I'm proud of the work we did to articulate frameworks for prioritizing how I want to spend my time and energy — something I’ve attempted a number of times on my own (but it never stuck) and has been in the back of my mind for a long time to keep at it prior to working together. Balancing conscious choice along with the things in life that happen to come across my plate.
I've also become better at articulating some things to work on over the next year (career, writing, creativity, searching for concrete ways to build new community, etc). Our discussions have helped me name some aspirations / goals to consider in the coming years.
I underestimated how having a thought partner who is open to discussing all parts of life and provides feedback and an outside perspective can be beneficial to mental health, pushing boundaries, and general accountability. The process of having someone who is caring, thoughtful, and persistent in my corner has been a big change and has helped me more productively examine my life in a holistic manner.
Your curiosity, push for clarity, and acknowledgement (of both the good, bad, etc) have all been key in making our relationship beneficial and supporting. It keeps me thinking throughout the week about our future and past discussions and my mind is engaged in both high and low-level reflection more often.
Working with you is like talking with a more calm, open-minded, measured, and kind version of myself.
Daniel Tse, MD
Product Manager, Google Health and Google Brain
Former Medical Director of Watsi, Y-Combinator's first non-profit
You know the feeling of spanning too many rungs of the ladder? How about spanning several ladders at once? Being the founder of a nonprofit startup feels like doing both. At the same time.
When it came time for us to develop our first real strategic plan, I knew that I had to get myself out of the way. We were assembling a new ladder and I couldn’t be the squirrel drawing everyone's attention. Enter Leland. We had met him in the course of our research on improvised leadership in COVID-19 and were impressed by his insightfulness, leadership acumen, empathy, and sense of humor.
I was delighted when he agreed to facilitate our strategic planning meeting. Little did I know that he would do so much more than facilitate. He coached me through the planning process, herding me to clarity on meeting goals, and nudging — Leland doesn’t push — me to hold 1:1s with each team member to help set the tone and context. That attention to planning, along with Leland’s tactful facilitation, created the collaborative and interactive conversation space that I sought.
Not only did he keep us focused and on time, he contributed to the joy of the session, and offered key observations that helped us to focus. We came away with shared understanding and agreement on three strategic focus areas and three crosscutting organizational learning goals. As we develop tactical plans, I can feel that I am able to ease my grip on several rungs.
Thank you, Leland, for doing a fabulous job of helping us assemble the right pieces for a ladder, and for holding it steady so we could all jump around together!
Susanne Jul, PhD
Founder and Executive Director, Creative Crisis Leadership
Chair, Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management Advisory Council
Leland challenges you to live your life as authentically as possible. He truly cares about helping you succeed, even if you don't quite know what success looks like. He knows when to hold up a mirror to your actions and when it's more important to listen with empathy.
It is an absolute privilege to work with you, Leland!
Group Product Manager at Guild Education
Leland has been my best ally this past year. His holistic approach to coaching helped me refocus on my professional goals and clarify my next steps with benevolence and a true understanding of who I am as a person. I started this partnership in a state of self-doubt and every conversation brought me closer to the best version of myself. I now feel able to take on and achieve new professional challenges like I never have before.
Each conversation was really customized to my personality and my needs. I felt fully understood and supported which encouraged me to work even more on myself. This partnership helped me realize that I am allowed to try. And to fail. And that this is okay. It gave me some reassurance that I can grow without being perfect and overachieve all the time.
Working with you helped me become a better version of my professional self; more confident, more peaceful, ready to take on new challenges and excited about them.
I do feel more ready to face all my new challenges (l have decided to call them "adventures" from now on) and I have you to thank for that. So a huge THANK YOU for everything you have done for me! I can't express how grateful I am for your time, expertise and kindness.
Founder & CEO @ Le Bélier Consulting
Former Director, Creative & Visual Merchandising, Make Up For Ever (LVMH)