Welcome! I’m Joia. I’m delighted you’re here and curious to learn more about this site and my work.
I’m a Leadership Coach for Entrepreneurs
The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them.”John Maxwell
What does it take to be a successful leader?
While there are many differing models and philosophies of leadership, they generally converge around certain key actions, skills, and attributes:
- Holding a Vision
- Influencing and Persuading Others
- Taking Up Responsibility / Ownership for Results
- Exercising Sound Judgment & Decision Making
- Understanding Human Motivation / Empathy
- Powerful Communication
- Self-Awareness & Self-Regulation
- Living Up to Core Values & Serving as a Role Model
While some may believe that certain people are just “born leaders,” research and experience show that leaders can be made. One proven powerful tool for developing leaders is: coaching.
As defined by the International Executive Coaching Summit (www.executivecoachacademy):
Executive Coaching is a facilitative one-to-one, mutually designed relationship between a professional coach and a key contributor who has a powerful position in the organization…The coaching is contracted for the benefit of a client who is accountable for highly complex decisions with wide scope of impact on the organization and industry as a whole. The focus of the coaching is usually focused on organizational performance or development, but it may also serve a personal component as well.”
In my work as a leadership coach, I focus on serving one powerful subset of “executives”: entrepreneurs.
I’m passionate about supporting Founders and Innovators, the world’s visionaries, problem solvers and change makers. I challenge, inspire, and support them in becoming empowered leaders.
My philosophy of leadership is that true leaders are committed to growing themselves while growing others. My appraoch could be summed up in this quote from Roy T. Bennett:
Great Leaders Create More Leaders
Good leaders have vision and inspire others to help them turn vision into reality. Great leaders create more leaders, not followers. Great leaders have vision, share vision, and inspire others to create their own.”
A little background about me…..
My life journey began in 1980 in a little suburban town in Connecticut, where I grew up as the small girl with the big dreams.
I eagerly pursued multiple creative activities, including singing, writing, and bringing stories to theatrical life.
Simultaneously, I was intrigued by deep philosophical and moral thinking (yes, I was the thirteen-year-old who hid thick philosophy tomes under her bed), and I was fascinated by scientific psychological studies and research.
I guess you could say I was a “polymath” long before I ever learned the word. Curiosity and a love of learning (including learning about learning) were my favorite obsessions.
In college, I ultimately decided to major in Literary Studies, as analyzing and engaging with important texts allowed me to pursue so many of my diverse interests: intellectual inquiry, artistic production, human psychology, universal philosophical themes. I decided I wanted to be a “professional intellectual.”
College was also a time when I got to spend a year traveling and studying abroad, learning first-hand about worldwide cultures.
I worked hard to get accepted into an elite graduate program and became a Ph.D. candidate in the department of English and American Literature at NYU. While developing skills in my field, I also pursued interdisciplinary interests in Philosophy, History, Psychology, and Neuroscience – I even had the opportunity to serve as a lab assistant for a project at Harvard researching mental imagery.
…in my late twenties, after a life spent accelerating in a standard straight line from achievements in high school to college to graduate school, I realized I wasn’t satisfied with the career path I was on.
Though I still wanted to be a “professional intellectual” and I definitely enjoyed teaching, I realized I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life as a college professor. In the challenging process of uncovering my deepest motivations, I discovered my deeper calling was to be “a mission-driven entrepreneur.”
So, I did something I had never done before: I quit.
I left graduate school with the infamous “ABD” (All-But-Dissertation) distinction, and I embarked in a new direction. And it turned out to be the best decision I ever made.
Though certainly not right away.
Admittedly, the next several years were difficult, especially financially. I was single, broke, renting a tiny room in a tiny shared NYC apartment, and working an assortment of odd jobs in order to get by month-to-month. But, for the first time in my life, I felt true creative freedom, and the sense that I was carving a path that was uniquely and authentically my own.
I learned to accept that managing the obstacles was going to have to be part of the process. Through more study and lots of trial and error, I did figure out how to rise above and become “a mission-driven entrepreneur.”
I began studying and earning certifications in mind-body fitness, including Pilates, Tai Chi, and Yoga. I became particularly interested in meditation and all the recent scientific research on its benefits. I began as a volunteer teacher and then started building my own business coaching clients one-on-one. I got involved in several fascinating related start-up projects, including developing a meditation and poetry program with the Arrow Institute of Meditation, leading a creative kids yoga program called Hello Sunshine Yoga, and founding a meditation and singing project, Voices in Flow.
Working with ambitious clients as their meditation and fitness coach, I began to see that these practices were fundamental but only part of a larger solution that would be necessary if my clients were to deeply transform their inner worlds, successfully create and lead ventures of their own, and sustain a joyous sense of living.
Ever the autodidact and passionate researcher, I began studying the methods of the world’s leading high performance and leadership coaches as well as the works of experts in innovation, business, and entrepreneurship. I threw myself into learning the best, most cutting-edge results that have emerged from scientific research in the Psychology of Coaching.
I became a Fellow Member of the Institute of Coaching (a Harvard affiliate program) and studied leadership training based on a model that’s come out of Harvard Business School.
Through a process of careful research, creative thinking, and methodical practice working with ambitious entrepreneurs and other creators, I developed my own signature approach to Transformational + High Performance + Leadership Coaching. I like to call what I do Human Possibilities Coaching.
And now it’s time for the next chapter: fully entering the 21st century digital revolution and bringing these ideas and practices online!
Now joyfully married and living in New Jersey – just an hour’s drive to NYC and a mile’s walk to the beach – I’m excited to get this next chapter started! I hope you will get involved and join the growing community of polymaths and entrepreneurial leaders dedicated to creating more leaders.