How a Day On The Lake Sparked Thrive

Three years ago I got up early one late fall morning and went out to read a new book. I was visiting my in-laws cabin, which is located on a double plot of land backing right up to Lake of the Ozarks. They are situated in a beautifully quiet and secluded cove just a few miles off the main channel, and this particular fall October morning was unseasonably warm. Typically I like to get up before everyone else so I can get a quiet start to my morning, and this morning was no different. I grabbed my book and a cup of coffee and made my way down to the patio, just a stones throw off the lake. There was a light breeze, and the sun was just starting to peak over the horizon. The book I had in my hand was “Axioms” by Bill Hybels. I read the entire book cover to cover over that day and I learned a lot about myself. It was during this time that I decided there was a few significant things I wanted to pursue in the near future.

First, I was inspired towards furthering my education. I committed to myself that day by the lake that I would complete a masters degree, and maybe even pursue a doctorate degree as well. You should know that until this time no one would have considered school “my thing”. I would have never imagined until that day that I would be interested in more study. Yet I realized that I was incredibly fascinated with developing organizations and people, and I needed to nurture that fascination with further education. Ever since that day I have studied leadership and organizational development every single day. To officially accomplish this first part of my commitment I immediately enrolled in a program to complete my Masters in Organizational Performance. This has now been completed, and I have also been accepted to Creighton University to study for a doctorate in leadership starting in January of 2012.

The second realization I had that day was that I am a reengineering type leader that finds my greatest joy in fixing and developing things. After a lot of thought that day, and more than a few glasses of lemonade, I came to the realization that a consulting opportunity would be perfect for my personality. I love helping people, I love new challenges, and I love developing things. These are the things that bring me the most energy and the greatest sense of accomplishment. I knew that as I completed my education I would find the best fit for my talents, personality, and interests in some sort of leadership or development consulting roll.

Recently I have had more and more opportunities to serve area small business organizations. These opportunities have been energizing for me, and have confirmed for me that my personality and talents are uniquely situated to fit a consulting type of situation. As I looked around at the opportunities in the area, I quickly realized the great lack of organizational performance support that is available. There are very few companies offering services that interest me. There are some HR companies, and some IT companies, but few organizations that offer complete solutions that could help organizations truly thrive and develop in a radically changing economy.

To fill this gap, I launched Thrive Development Group in November of 2010. Though I have spent years studying leadership and organizational performance, I hardly know everything there is to know! The reason Thrive has a “group” is because I knew I would soon need the help and support of partners to accomplish my vision for this company. Thrive is not about me. Thrive is about bringing together interdisciplinary teams of partners to support organizations in development and execution of their ideas. Thrive is organized around the three big ideas that align with both my talents, and what I believe will help organizations grow and succeed in the coming years. These big ideas are lead, grow, and create.

As Thrive continues to grow and develop itself, you can keep your eyes out for some of the unique products and services I have planned. Thrive already offers services like Strategic Audits and Custom Research. Recently we have been able to provide creative services and support such as developing more creativity in your teams or providing creative support for a particular meeting or event. Products currently in development include 4WARD, a hybrid type leadership development program that includes both online and in-person training, and IGO+ which is a measurement tool to help organizations identify their greatest growth opportunities. There are a lot of great things on the horizon for Thrive Development Group!

Keep Moving Forward.

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