The SPERO Rapport

From Gridlock to Growth

May 19, 2021​​

“Within us is the capacity to grow, even transform, if we’re able to summon the courage
to endure the heat rather than escape it as quickly as we can.” -Anne Harbison.

You may have noticed that this month’s email is coming to you late.  I’ve struggled to put words to a topic that seems complicated these days.  Maybe you’ve been experiencing it too – gridlock.  It is not hard to find examples all around us:  politically, racially, and socially.  I’ve had periods of discouragement wondering how or if we, as a collective society, will come to the other side.    

In my yearning for solutions, I decided to take a deeper look at examples of others who’ve gone there before us:  Rwanda and their story of restoration after genocide, the 1920’s in the U.S., South Africa and end of Apartheid, the polio epidemic, and more.  In each of these examples, through great trial and hardship of the people and their cultures, growth emerged.  When I took a step back I noticed something:  these cultures were facing transition.

Have you considered that the gridlock happening around us now may be a part of our culture transitioning toward new growth?  As I dug into the historical examples mentioned above, I noticed a common pattern that led each group to not only get on the other side of gridlock but to experience growth. The people had to let go of old perspectives that were no longer beneficial, find a willingness to engage with and face the realities of the hardship before them, and move toward new ideas with a willingness to learn.

We are seeing the signs of new beginnings and growth emerging, and we feel encouraged. Businesses are innovating with new ideas to meet the changing needs of our transforming world, people are forming groups focused on bringing together differing perspectives to listen and learn from one another, individuals are stepping away from the life work they’ve always known to focus on coaching others, and on and on…. 

Do you see it too?  What signs of cultural growth have you noticed?  What can you do to take one step toward growth this month?         

Navigating alongside you,       




P.S. Congratulations to Anne Harbison on the launch of her book, Never Waste a Crisis.  Anne’s story, expertise, and wisdom will inspire you toward growth. Check it out – we highly recommend it!

A Story of Transition

Anne Harbison and JourneyLEAD

“I’ve run a leadership consulting practice, JourneyLEAD Consulting, for over ten years and have always loved executive coaching, team sessions, and retreat facilitation.  In the middle of 2019, however, I realized that I also wanted to write a book and increase my public speaking.  With that, I needed to build a better support infrastructure that would allow JourneyLEAD to serve clients with excellence, while personally redirecting my focus to writing.  

Like a lot of entrepreneurs, I had been part of every aspect of my business but was now becoming a bottleneck for both growth and excellence in client service.  I was doing less of what I was good at and becoming drained and resentful about having to work on the mechanics of my business.  I knew that to expand my reach and impact I would need to change my business model. 

I began working with Spero because I needed a partner that knew operations, process, finance – but also understood how the human and operational dimensions of transition work together.  As we mapped out the evolution of my business, I had under-appreciated how significant milestones in my personal life shaped my business and the gifts I had to give.  This process helped me synthesize those experiences, and develop a path forward for JourneyLEAD.  

We expanded our strategy to include online coaching and facilitation offerings.  COVID hit, and the implementation of these offerings could not have come at a better time.  COVID also propelled me toward the importance of sharing my message of “Never Waste a Crisis”.  A year later, I published my first book, Never Waste A Crisis, (which was at the top of my bucket list!) and am able to reach far more people with my story.” 

Dr. Anne Harbison is an executive leadership educator known for her work with some of the world’s greatest organizations and thought leaders.  Anne began her career in Health Care Brand Management at Procter and Gamble and then served as a management consultant specializing in organizational change and learning.  Anne was a Principal Strategic Consultant in Gallup’s executive leadership practice, working domestically and internationally.  She received her doctorate from Harvard University researching and teaching on best practices for leadership success.  She has spoken to audiences around the world.” 

Things We’re Reading, Listening To, and Learning From:

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