“In the fall of 2018, I went on a pilgrimage to Guggisberg, Switzerland. My family name is Guggisberg, which translates as 'good mountain', and this small alpine village is where my ancestors are from. As I was driving through the emerald green hills leading to Guggisberg, I knew I was coming home.


Having grown up on and around farms in southern Minnesota, I noticed the smell of cows, the well-constructed, no-nonsense homes and barns, the practical layout of farms and gardens, the colorful displays of flowers in the window boxes, the warm hospitality of good local food, and the mesmerizing sound of cowbells. There is a feeling of 'the good life' in Guggisberg. People there work hard, build things to last, and close up shop for a decent lunch and conversation. 


That trip to Guggisberg pretty much sums up my values, both in how I work and live: build stuff and put it out there, figure things out through lots of practice, smile often, pause to reflect whenever you can, and always be ready to begin again.”

I am a seasoned leadership coach, consultant and strategist who creates dedicated space and brings rigor to exploring your most pressing leadership questions. Since launching my consulting practice 15 years ago, I have worked with senior leaders and teams at some of the Midwest’s most esteemed companies and organizations—helping them achieve critical business goals by aligning and unleashing their talent and teams.

My graduate degree is in higher education leadership and strategy, and I served as a college president, overseeing a 100% increase in enrollment and revenue, leading a rigorous six-year academic accreditation process, and significant expansion of a college’s physical space. After 11 years at the college, I recruited top creative talent for a high-end design firm in Silicon Valley at the height of the dot com boom, then transitioned into leadership consulting and coaching and launched my own practice 15 years ago. Today, I’m confident and committed to this work and path, and on most days I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing.

  • I believe that people and companies are always responding, reorienting and reinventing themselves. The key is to do it consciously.

  • I believe that making the first few hard decisions can make every other decision easier.

  • I believe the most powerful change comes from leaders modeling the change they want to see.

  • I believe in accountability.

  • I believe in adrenaline.

  • I believe in managing energy and finding ease. Because leadership, at its core, is about resiliency.

  • I believe that quality conversation, spoken and unspoken, is a practice that takes tremendous skill and self-awareness. It is leadership—one meeting, interaction and presentation at a time.

I believe in starting where you are. Getting clear about your current situation, no matter how insurmountable it seems, can bring relief. And create the path for a plan. 

© 2019 Sherry Essen

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