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7 Questions with Eileen Rose Mendel
7 Questions with Eileen Rose Mendel
Name: Eileen Rose Mendel
Current title: CEO
Current organisation: The Balanced Millionaire
My story, my why, encompasses a dream that I had as a child to advance medicine, help people live an easier life, and stamp out poverty and hunger. Raised in a small town on the East Coast by strict controlling parents, I was constantly punished for saying or doing things that were not in line with my family’s beliefs. They were traditional and conservative while my thinking was much more liberal. I studied hard and graduated as Salutatorian of my high school class. I attended leading higher institutions—Vassar College, Wesleyan University, the University of Rochester, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I hold a B.A. in Biology and a Master’s Degree in Business. I am a published research scientist and a businesswoman with expertise in business strategy, business development, and marketing.
My first experience with running my own business was operating a consulting firm that grew to 10 employees and numerous clients, both Fortune 500 firms and rapidly growing mid-sized and small firms. I also worked extensively with Venture Capitalists. There were many challenges but after awhile, the long hours and miles of flying and driving all over the country wore me down. My health was affected by my drive to work long hours seven days a week. I lived and breathed my business. After seven years, I decided to pursue something else as tension grew between my partner and I as we differed on the model of what we envisioned for the business.
This led to my pursuit of something entirely new. So I moved to Santa Fe, NM with the idea of developing myself while working in a position that permitted creativity. I worked as a Marketing and Sales executive for two young high tech start-up firms, followed by becoming a Financial Wealth Advisor for Morgan Stanley. During this time period I began to hear about and study the works of seminal thought leaders including the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, and others. I attended lectures and workshops that opened my mind to a non-traditional way of thinking. I began to change my way of thinking and I was surprised when unanticipated things began to happen. There were many synchronicities. Events transpired in odd ways that fulfilled my desires. The more I put the techniques into practice, the faster things would happen. Some things were not what I would consider good but in retrospect the turn of events resulted in something even better than I could ever imagine.
I began to teach these techniques to my friends and acquaintances and they became inspired as their lives changed. Hence, I discovered my passion and purpose was to help other people to use these same practices to improve their businesses and life. I then entered the world of coaching and soon discovered that Mary Morrissey was teaching programs like mine and had refined them with over 40 years of experience. As a certified Life Mastery Consultant, I now teach Mary’s programs with the addition of my own expertise in business strategy and growth.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
In this world of mistrust and uncertainty, it has been more difficult to open people's hearts and minds to transform and grow themselves. There is a certain comfort in staying where you are at rather than moving to a new level.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Please see my bio. I have done more inner work than most people to understand my own beliefs, habits, thinking. I have broken through many layers to arrive at where I am today with more wisdom about myself and others. This includes retreats, workshops, conferences, and thousands of hours of meditation and self-awareness work.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I used to short change myself in the sleep department. As you get older, sleep becomes more important so that you allow yourself to be your best. I use my calendar to schedule everything as well as "to do" lists. Everyday I review what I need to accomplish that day and make sure it gets done and plan for the day ahead. I set some short and long term goals for myself. I also make time to meditate at least twice a day--mostly first thing in the morning and before I go to bed. Every morning I go outside into my backyard and get connected to nature as an inspiration. I make room for regular exercise--whether it be walking my dog, yoga, or working with a personal trainer. Keeping up my health is of high importance. I also make sure I have time to eat at least 2 healthy meals a day--one at mid-morning and the other at dinner with some healthy snacks for energy during my work breaks.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Leadership is not just a title. You have to earn it and be diligent about it. You need to understand your people, have a clear vision that resonates with your team, stay connected to your values, and much more. It is always a work in progress because new situations present opportunities to advance your skills.
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?
I have read so many books on leadership and each one has given me new perspectives. Last year I read "Uncommon Friends" by James Newton about the lives of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel, and Charles Lindbergh. It was very enlightening with regard to how they became leaders and influenced human history.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
Leadership starts with trust. You must, first of all, trust and be confident in yourself and your abilities to make the right decisions. Secondly, you must be grounded in your values. Next, is your vision and goals must be aligned with the organization so that you can motivate and inspire others to work towards a common mission.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
I think that setting up boundaries is very important. I have had "Mutiny on the Bounty" and one bad seed was able to talk a few others into quitting after he was fired. Then I had a situation to deal with to get morale back up and get back to business due to this setback.