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7 Questions on Leadership with Tiffany Grandchamp Melnik

Name: Tiffany Grandchamp Melnik

Title: Founder/CEO

Organisation: Women Lifting Women

Tiffany Grandchamp is the Founder and CEO of Women Lifting Women, a company on a mission to close the gender gap in leadership roles, advance gender parity, and to empower women as leaders. Tiffany is also the President of Grandchamp Consulting as the President, offering executive coaching, leadership development, business consulting, and anaytics services.

Tiffany has a diverse background in the health and human services industry that spans across clinical work, business operations, regulatory & compliance, performance improvement, and non-profit finance. In her 20-year tenure, she has held senior executive roles for multiple companies, led strategic planning for large healthcare systems, and overseen multimillion dollar budgets. In addition to her own leadership work, she enjoys supporting other executives in integrating equity work into their strategic efforts.

Tiffany has a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership with a concentration in global studies, and a master’s degree in strategic leadership with a specialization in crisis management. She studied Industrial Organizational Psychology and Public Health at the University of Liverpool. Additionally, Tiffany holds multiple certifications across various analytical and process methodologies.

At her core, Tiffany is a problem solver. Three of her top strengths that continue to drive her life’s work and behaviors are: Input, Ideation, and Learner. Tiffany tackles life and work in a similar manner. She loves to learn as much as possible from every process. It is the learner quality that has kept moving Tiffany forward in life. And it is where she draws much of her energy from.

Tiffany loves volunteering and traveling. If she is not planning her next international trip, then she is volunteering with an international organization.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Tiffany's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

As a natural problem solver, my biggest challenge as a leader has been knowing when not to solve problems for teams.

I’ve been practicing Guided Autonomy- the practice of giving teams critical information, making myself available, and trusting them to navigate autonomously. The challenge is to let myself be pulled in to help, rather than push in to solve problems.

Empowering people means leaving opportunities open for the power to remain with them.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I’ve always had informal leadership roles, in my family and in work life. I think it came from a natural desire to help others. Over the years, I channeled the desire to help others into more refined skills that would yield better results.

My educational background is in leadership studies as well. Once I decided I wanted to lead others, I knew I wanted to do it well. After 20 plus years in healthcare, in various roles and leadership capacities, I entered community health and that’s when it really kicked in.

Leading teams who fought for a social cause spoke to me. We were all centered on an important mission. It is also what drove me to start my own company focused on a social cause.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I wake up between 6-6:30 every morning. I have teenagers with various school schedules. So I spend the first hour in the morning getting my work routine set up, answering some emails, and setting the day.

Then I break for an hour and see my kids off to school. I then continue to dig into my work. No two days look the same, as I work between both companies in any given day.

I break at 4:00 for an hour to greet my kids, then finish around 6pm every night.

My weekdays can be long, but I save weekends for families. I’ve held this schedule for three and a half years and it’s been the most productive years of my career.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

When I first launched Women Lifting Women, the team and I struggled to identify how (and if) we include men in our vision.

I initially didn’t think it was a great idea. I was so narrow focused on closing the gender gap that I didn’t see a huge opportunity to engage men as allies.

Luckily, team members and some mentors of mine shared the importance of including men in our cause. I was pleasantly surprised with how many men have signed up to be involved.

I learned that one person cannot tackle big problems alone. And being the CEO doesn’t mean you need to have all the answers.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

There’s so many! I could list a lot of books that many who read interviews with other leaders probably already have on their bookshelf. Authors like Kouzes and Posner, Simon Sinek, Patrick Lencioni. They’re all favorites of mine.

But there one HBR article I referred to frequently as a COO during challenging times.

Iggy’s Bread of the World is a case study I read years ago in my Master’s program and it stuck with me. It’s about a small bread company that grew to a size much larger than it dreamed of, requiring restructuring and a melding of its original socially conscious mission, with a new leadership structure.

I keep a printout on my bookshelf with books from the authors above.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Listen to your people.

There will be times where you will have to make tough decisions. Or you can’t solve problems. Or you don’t know where to start. But listen to the people in the company. You will find more answers by listening. You will build more trust. And you will have the understanding when tough decisions have to be made.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

I remember my first week as a new COO. I set up meetings with all my direct reports. It was November. One direct report told me he was leaving by the end of the year. He had been with the company more than 20 years, but had suffered through too many changes and just couldn’t stay.

I told him I understood. He didn’t know me, and we were starting at zero trust. All I could ask from him was nothing, but to show up until he was ready to leave. And I would show up too.

I listened to him share his ideas (great ones) and frustrations. We made a plan to tackle what we could while he stayed.

He ended up staying four more years with the company. And was promoted. He was my top performer.

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