Ryan O'Donnell: Extraordinary Leader

Updated: Aug 16

Ryan O'Donnell is a business executive and completed his leadership program in December 2018. Ryan was our first coaching client and became the template for our program success. His abilities are extraordinary to inspire, communicate, lead and shape meaningful outcomes. Ryan has been responsible for managing programs, building relationships, and creating mission-driven value on behalf of organizations for over a decade now. Meeting new people and engaging in new experiences are two of his favorite things in life.

What is Empathic Leadership?

To me, empathic leadership a true "two-way street" approach. It's a more engaging form of leadership from the bottom up as opposed to the top down. Being an empathic leader means you can view the organization from the perspective of the team members, as opposed to solely viewing your team members from the organization's point of view. An empathic leader ensures team members feel heard and valued, and makes plans with them in mind rather than making plans and hoping they don't mind!


What skills or competencies did you enhance through the coaching process?

By gaining a better self-understanding of my communication style and how to allow my strengths and weaknesses to more effectively integrate with my team, I've found myself to be a better listener and designate responsibilities in way that's more beneficial for everyone.


Share an example of a goal that you have realized as a result of coaching.

Coaching helped me realize the true value of feedback. I never viewed receiving feedback as something that was important to my professional life however since completing my Coaching program I now set goals for myself to ensure I'm making time to "check-in" for quick feedback from colleagues each week. I use long-term feedback goals from my supervisors and manager and establish a more thorough meeting based solely on reviewing my performance.


What do professionals need to start anticipating as the change needed to be a strong leader?

Strong leaders attract more attention from those looking to them with direction. I would say it's important to anticipate that the time and attention you're able to give to each team member will be reduced, so it is important that when you do commit time to your colleagues or employees to: 1) be clear and realistic on the amount of time you are able to offer & 2) be as present and attentive as possible when you are providing your already limited time.


Describe Michael Sgro as a professional coach.

Michael is authentic and dependable. Coaching can be both exciting when progress is made and uncomfortable when challenges arise, but Michael is always really good at matching your energy level and pace as needed.

Our mission is to coach extraordinary leaders and to develop empathy as a core competency. We work with business owners, nonprofit organizations, professionals, universities and community members who are facing challenges in their personal and professional effectiveness or want to reach their full capacity as a leader.​

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