About Grace

Grace Judson

I’m a leadership geek

When I look back on my career and my life, it’s all there. When I look at the many things I’m interested in and have studied, it all comes together in this thing called leadership. And when I look at where I serve my clients best, there it is: leadership.

It all started when I was two

When I was a toddler, I turned my parents’ faces toward each other.

I wanted them to see each other – and stop arguing.

That was the beginning of my lifelong quest to understand why people do what they do and say what they say. Since then, I’ve studied everything from neuroscience to meditation (which I sometimes mis-spell “mediation,” another area of study), and from linguistics to the techniques used by FBI hostage negotiators. I follow inspiring leaders in their books, on podcasts, and read their articles.

What does it take?

We spend more waking hours at work than anywhere else. Why aren’t we doing better at making that time enjoyable?

In my 20s and even 30s, I remember crying – sobbing, even – as I got ready to go to work. I remember dreading walking in the office door, having to face managers who didn’t know how to manage, much less lead.

I couldn’t bear the thought that this was going to be my experience for the rest of my work life. I had no clue how to create a career that I would enjoy. I had no clue how to be intentional about what I wanted to do, or how to set professional goals and take the steps to achieve them. No. Clue.

I have a vision of something very different

I have a vision of a world where people wake up looking forward to their workday because their jobs are meaningful, interesting, challenging, and even exciting.

I’m on a mission to make corporate life more fun. Not just livable; not just bearable: fun. Work shouldn’t suck. The corporate life shouldn’t be a rat race.

Sixty percent of new leaders shouldn’t fail in their first year.

It starts with the first-line manager

These are the people who impact the vast majority of employees at any organization. These are the people who are pitched into management with little or no support; who are expected to “just know” how to communicate with the individuals who, moments ago, were their peers; who are expected to “just know” how to think strategically after a career lifetime of executing on tactics; who are expected to “just know” how to motivate, inspire, give corrective feedback, delegate, prioritize, and handle the incessant subjective decisions that fly at them every day.

These are the people who cause employees to come to work with a spring in their step … or with tear tracks on their faces.

The first-line manager needs to learn to manage and to lead.

Their employers need to take responsibility for supporting them in the transition from team member and individual contributor, to manager and leader.

And they need to take responsibility for finding support – especially when their companies don’t offer it. If they want to be happy, productive, and successful, they need to own their career path, including getting the training and support required (it’s not just a “nice to have”) to become a good, and even great, leader.

Let’s make a difference!

Ready for the next step? That would be my free online workshop The Leadership Launch Pad: making the leap from team member to team playerClick the link to learn more and register!

Education, training, certifications, memberships, affiliations …

For more on my professional background, please see my LinkedIn profile.

  • 25 years in the corporate world, including:
    • Director and senior-staff executive at EMC Document Sciences; led the Professional Services and Knowledge Management departments, marketing, selling, and managing six- and seven-figure client projects
    • Director and corporate officer at Munich Re America
    • External Knowledge Management consultant for Hewlett-Packard, coordinating global KM process initiatives
  • Graduate of the SCPI program from the Center for Understanding in Conflict, New York and California
  • Foundations of Communities of Practice Graduate Seminar, CPSquare
  • Certified Print® Coach
  • Coaching Mastery™ Program, Coachville
  • Fully-certified Realization Process teacher (meditation, subtle self-work, and embodiment)
  • BA with Honors, Writing (Ancient History minor), Bard College, New York
  • Association for Talent Development, San Diego: past Board member; past Chapter President
  • Association for Talent Development, Northwest Arkansas: member and speaker
  • Instructor, University of Arkansas Global Campus, Rogers, Arkansas
  • Past Instructor, University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Extension, Career & Life Stages Seminars; Mira Costa Community College Outreach Program
  • Author of The Five Deadly Shoulds of Office Politics (available on Amazon).
  • Clan Leslie Society International: lineal (direct descent) member.
  • 2002 Fastest Knitter in America; appeared on Good Morning America to compete for the World Title.