Kathryn has over twenty-five years of experience working in business and education. She brings to her role as Principal an extensive background in human capital strategy and planning, talent management, culture and change, and learning and organization development. Her passion is working with individuals and teams to deliver high impact results. Kathryn’s focus at Kotter is coaching, mentoring, counseling, and guiding leaders to lead differently and become the best versions of themselves in service to bringing out the best in others.
Kathryn is based out of Atlanta, GA.
What is the biggest impact you’ve seen take place at a client?
I’ve seen so many, but one that stands out is the story of a young mid-level manager who found his courage and his voice to challenge the “way things are done around here” at the risk of losing his position. It paid off. He was actually promoted into a new role BECAUSE of his willingness to disrupt the status quo. Due to his participation in the urgency movement, he is finding like-minded colleagues and together they are truly transforming an entire culture of fear into one of empowerment.
If you weren’t working at Kotter, what would you be doing instead?
I would be hiking the Appalachians and writing a book.
Who is your favorite leader?
Throughout the many years I have been in Leadership Development roles, I often refer to the work of Don Miquel Ruiz and his book The Four Agreements. Ruiz’s work is based on Toltec tribal knowledge and the wisdom passed down throughout generations. Many of the lessons highlighted in Ruiz’s book are about how to become the best version of yourself and thereby have the best relationships possible with others. The four agreements that he suggests we should all strive to live by are: be impeccable with your word, don’t take things personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best. I continually come back to these four pillars in my work with clients, leaders, and myself as I attempt to continue learning and growing in my work.
What’s got you thinking right now?
There’s a book I’ve been into lately called Thank You For Being Late by Thomas Freedman that is focused on the need to be present and focused in your everyday life. I am a yoga instructor as well, so I really enjoy the mind, body, soul connection that is at the center of Freedman’s book. He challenges us to pause and reflect now on the epic experience we are going through – the accelerated transformation of our planet and our society. He invites us to think about how to reengage, reinvent, and reimagine the way we show up in the world and the difference we can make.
Share something about you that would most surprise people.
My dad was a judge in Birmingham, AL during the height of Civil Rights movement. He worked tirelessly and courageously against extreme hate groups, working to bring an end to police brutality and illegal arrests and improve the judicial system to advance desegregation in Birmingham. My proudest memory of him is that in spite of intense political pressure and personal threat, he issued the arrest warrant for the men responsible for the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church — the infamous church bombing that killed four innocent young girls attending Sunday School. Though the arrests for the KKK members responsible were overturned and the men went free for years, the event was a turning point in the movement and seminal in helping pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.