WiRL Founder & Creative Force, Mitch Shepard
I started my leadership journey as a wilderness expedition leader, guiding senior executive teams through high-risk environments, to unite and push them past their perceived limitations. After starting a family, I traded in tents for boardrooms and created my own consulting business Loomis Consulting, Inc. in 2001. I have worked with a diverse set of clients for the past 14 years, including Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo, LinkedIn, FedEx, BDO, Avis, Medtronic, Biogen Idec and Boeing, to name a few. I’ve earned a reputation as a trusted advisor and coach to some of the world’s top executives.
WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO
In 2008, just after I had my daughter Adi, I set a “great expectation” for myself: to have a powerful and positive impact on the wider world through working with women; helping women be more confident, competent, involved, valued, and respected in the world of business, community and family. The irony: at the time I wrote this I had worked primarily with men throughout my life (in the wilderness and in business).
I saw first-hand the misperceptions and unconscious bias that held women back and held leaders back from promoting and advancing a more diverse set of leaders in their companies. As I learned more about the link between women in leadership and improved business performance, I knew I needed to be part of the solution.
WiRL, began as a month-long online leadership summit for professional women. Today, it has grown to be a robust professional development series for mid-level rising star women and the leaders who will eventually promote them. We curate the best and brightest thought leaders, blending online learning with group facilitation, to bring insights to action.
I continue to be motivated by TWO primary things:
- Helping businesses succeed through figuring out how to “Crack the code” on getting more women in leadership. Why? So their businesses can continue to innovate, attract the best talent, and improve bottom line business results.
- Helping women be valued, fully engaged and empowered to bring their full selves, best selves, and authentic leadership traits to the table in business.
I am a person who needs to be part of the solution. I am a leader, a mother, a wife, a caring human being, and a feisty & out-of-the-box business person. My clients know me for my candor, humor, energy, and realism…so they say.
Our Values & Our Culture:
Real-ness—we show up as genuine people. We tell each other the truth. We laugh together. We cry together. We celebrate together. We are professionals (articulate, smart, prepared, organized, leaderly in the way we work with clients) and we also know how to relax and just be real. Clients appreciate our candor, our care, our levity/humor, our experience, and realism.
Positive impact for customers—Always looking for ways to have the MOST positive impact for clients. We go above and beyond. We find ways to say yes to them. We listen to what they want and we find a way to deliver. We choose the BEST speakers, authors and experts to help them learn…and we always have our radar our for new content that will have an impact!
Curious & responsive—We are exceptional listeners and we respond to the needs of our clients. We ask great questions that help our clients get value from every interaction with us. We have EXCELLENT customer service skills and clients notice. Adventure & learning: We have a spirit of adventure. We do not always know what will happen or how it will happen and we consider this to be part of the thrill. We are in a business that is redefining itself rapidly…We know how to learn from our successes and our failures. We do not expect perfection of ourselves or anyone else, just continuous learning. We know how to roll with the punches and keep a positive attitude.
Generosity—we believe in being generous with everyone that contributes to WiRL. Our clients: surprise and delight them. Give them even more that they thought they would get. Our speakers: We make it easy to work with us. Help them feel at ease with technology. Take the time to say thank you in the most genuine way. And share the good things they are doing with our audience. Our employees: Say thanks. Share profits. Notice when people go above and beyond. Give gifts big and small. Give extra time off. Be sure they have the time to have a life they LOVE.
Simplicity— We strive for simplicity in our service offerings, our website, our communications, our curated content. Our audience is made up of busy professionals, therefore our job is to simplify the learning experience rather than overwhelm them. Our learning model is based on the philosophy that learning is a process, not an event. We make the process simple.
Follow what’s FUN—if it feels like a massive energy drain it might not be what we are supposed to be doing…or it might mean that we need someone to do it who LOVES it. We will always have parts of our job that is less fun, that’s life. BUT, the majority of our time should be spent on energy-giving things that we like.
We matter—our lives, personal and professional, matter. We keep this front and center when we make plans and strategize the business. When we make business decisions, we consider how these decisions will affect the quality of our product and the quality of our lives. We matter. Our health matters. Every person who works for WiRL is dedicated to living their best life, personally and professionally.