Bringing the Whole Self to Work


Today we’d like to introduce you to David Samuels.

Hi David, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I am from London, England but have now lived in Pasadena longer than I lived in my place of birth. I met a woman from Pasadena in London and moved here with her in 1991. I eventually found my way back to a corporate technology job and within a year of that found myself in my first leadership role. I held several leadership roles until deciding in 2013 to leave the corporate world and become an entrepreneur and start my executive coaching practice.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Most definitely not! When I started the business, I didn’t have a client. I had created my LLC and a website but did not find a client until several months later. Fortunately, I didn’t have any overhead and my first client gave me enough work in the first year that I was mostly able to stay afloat with just one client. It can always be a struggle because client’s needs change and you always have to balance working with clients and having time for business development.

As you know, we’re big fans of DLS Partners LLC. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
DLS Partners LLC, a consulting practice specializing in strategic advisory and leadership development coaching. DLS Partner’s ability to move individuals and teams to mutually beneficial positions has become their defining skills. They deeply believe in the innate value of every individual and coach from this perspective, allowing their clients to gain an objective assessment of the leadership strengths and challenges. Our coaching philosophy and methods incorporate facets of emotional intelligence, adaptive leadership, strength-based leadership and organizational culture and health assessments. We approach each client much based on what we discover as we talk with the individual leader or members of the leadership team. Our brand is all about authenticity and psychological safety. Establishing this immediately with a client is not something every coaching practice can bring to the table. We provide leadership development, executive coaching, diversity equity and inclusion training and advisory, and mediation coaching for individuals experiencing workplace conflict.

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
When I formed my executive coaching practice in 2013, the mission was to address what I and many felt was lacking in the workplace; authenticity and empathy. My exposure to the science of emotional intelligence in the late ‘90s changed how I viewed people and organizations. It has been my experience personally and now, after conducting hundreds of hours of coaching and interviews that most employees are disengaged because organizations do not foster empathy, authenticity, inclusivity or belonging. Most if not all of my clients understand this almost intuitively or come to realize during the coaching process that much more effort is needed in this area. Unfortunately, many organizational leaders have forgotten that people are humans first and creating an environment where everyone can “bring their whole self to work” is a significant driver in creating engagement and inclusion.

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