Lisa Ames, an east Cobb resident and owner of Catalyst Consulting Group, aims for the positive and helps others do the same. As a Gallup certified professional strengths coach, Ames helps her clients achieve greater success in their lives, careers and businesses. Ames utilizes the StrengthsFinder Assessment produced by Gallup, an industry leader that has studied human behavior for over 50 years.
According to Ames, the StrengthsFinder Assessment translates a person’s natural patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviors into a language of talent. Identifying and developing talent is essential to build towering strengths that bring exceptional performance.
More than 9 million people have taken StrengthsFinder. Ames is one of only a hand-full of Gallup certified coaches in the Southeast, so business is good. “Although many people and businesses have used StrengthsFinder, the problem for many is knowing how to bring their results to life,” said Ames, who is trained to help each individual get the most from their results and put their strengths into action.
Organizations wanting to improve their business outcomes, as well as the wellbeing of their people, often turn to Ames. For organizations, “Gallup has found the strongest path to employee engagement is to invest in strengths development. When managers develop the strengths of their teams, employee engagement goes up and drives increases in productivity, profitability, sales and employee retention,” Ames said.
It’s not only organizations that benefit from a strengths focus, but individuals as well. “When a person starts doing more of what they do best, it creates optimism, confidence, and provides a sense of direction — it can lead to great things,” Ames explained.
Ames was introduced to StrengthsFinder in 2003 at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, where she worked as a sales director and implemented what she learned with many of her sales teams. “StrengthsFinder really changed me as a leader and how I led our team. It had profound impact. Performance soared as our culture strengthened in trust, teamwork and appreciation for each other,” she said.
Ames is so passionate about her strengths work that, after 16 years at Pfizer, she founded Catalyst Consulting Group. “I really wanted to give my best to help others. (This work) taught me to be the best leader I could be. It’s transformative, it’s empowering, and I want others to benefit from my experiences,” said Ames, who said she had her “Aha” moment when she heard a past teammate that she strengths coached speak at his father’s funeral.
“In his eulogy, he beautifully spoke about his personal strengths (in StrengthsFinder terms) and shared how those particular strengths came from his father. It was powerful. It was moving. In paying homage to his father, he chose to frame his message with insight from our StrengthsFinder coaching. I couldn’t believe our coaching time years prior continued to have meaning for him, especially at that level,” she explained.
“That was when I knew that strengths coaching was in my future. I’ve started a new chapter in my life and I’m excited. I believe in this,” Ames said.
With her daughter, Emily, entering Walton High School this year, Ames learned about Gallup StrengthsQuest, a tool similar to StrengthsFinder, but in a context specifically designed for young adults in high school and college. Word has been getting out about Ames’ work with StrengthsQuest and requests keep coming in. “Our offerings are certainly not inexpensive, and it is amazing to see the dedication parents have to help their college-bound children excel,” Ames added.