Guest Blog by Haley Grayless, Consultant at Perspective Consulting I have always had a passion for people. Seriously. When I was in my middle school youth group at church, my friends would tease me about how social I was and how sometimes I would even exclaim, “I love PEOPLE!” Knowing this about me and how I’m a Maverick on The Predictive Index, it makes sense that I would start a business helping people work together more effectively. “Mavericks are visionaries who want to achieve what’s never been achieved before. Though they do connect with and value people, they are undaunted by risk or failure. Mavericks tend to be innovative, influential, daring, and direct–with a remarkably high tolerance for taking chances.” Never would I have never guessed that I’d go back to school for another degree after graduating from Mizzou ( University of Missouri) ten years ago this month, but here we are. I knew that the only way I would ever want to go get a master’s degree would be if I found something I was incredibly passionate about and wanted to change the world with it. I found it. Or rather, it found me. Through my working experience at various non-profits and with volunteer boards, I continued to find that many times the teams I was working on could communicate more effectively, be more cohesive in working toward goals, understanding each other better, and generating better results. I’ve always had an eye for improving processes and managing organizations well, so I was interested in learning the official processes for this type of work. This is when I met with an acquaintance and asked how she became certified to lead workshops and team building sessions. She told me that she went to Avila University and got a master’s degree in Organizational Development; something I hadn’t heard of before. After we spoke, I kept thinking, There is no way I’m going back to school. I love not doing homework and having tons of free time on my hands to do whatever I want. However, this quote kept coming up in my mind, “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” -Earl Nightingale.
I decided to go for it. I applied for the Masters of Science in Organizational Development Psychology (MSOD) program at Avila
University and was accepted! Throughout my two years in the program, there were many late nights and weekend days stuck indoors working on papers and projects — but all of that time spent learning the organizational development process, change management, leadership coaching skills, leadership competencies, and team development was worth it. I have managed people in my former roles and helped the Executive Directors of some children’s shelter homes in India with team building and overall organizational development, and now this degree experience would give me the tools to help me become an expert in this field of organizational development and executive leadership. Now, I am Haley Grayless, MSOD. I graduated this month and was awarded Graduate Student of the Year. I run my own business doing leadership development, team building, and workplace culture consulting for companies that want to have stronger teams and empowered leaders. Amy Leslie has been a joy to work with through our partnership using The Predictive Index (I’m a Maverick – look it up!).