Leadership Breakfast: High-performance Teams

Leadership Breakfast: High-performance Teams

“High performance teams have great chemistry that is reflected in operational relationships, actions, decisions and outcomes. It requires individuals to continuously stretch and grow beyond what they thought possible.” — Tim Allard

Effective teamwork is critical to the success of any organization, and fostering an environment of collaboration and communication can be complex. CityU’s School of Applied Leadership will examine these topics at our Leadership Breakfast, High-performance Teams: Building cohesion. Empowering innovation. Driving results.

Through debate and deep exploration, eight dynamic speakers from diverse industries will share specific ways to build cohesion, empower innovation and drive results.

Roundtable Discussions:

Matt Iseri, President, TokuSaku Consulting, www.TokuSaku.com


Description: In the 21st century the word “team” has taken on a new definition. Coworkers no longer sit next to each other in a cubicle, or discuss current events at the water cooler. In the past these environments spurred conversation and innovation and enabled organizations to grow and cohere as a dynamic unit. Today dialogue is no longer limited to the confines of brick and mortar buildings; instead channels of communication exist in multiple venues. From phone and video conferencing to social media, the landscape of collaboration has changed in ways never considered in the 20th century. Within this new landscape, leaders need to identify ways to foster an innovative, creative, and cohesive environment for employees and organizations to be successful



Bio: Matt Iseri has over 18 years experience in the process and project management industry and is the founder and President of TokuSaku Consulting. He has worked in multiple disciplines and industries, including technology, financial services and healthcare. In 2007 Matt founded TokuSaku, a management consulting firm whose goal is to deliver value to customers by putting relationships first, both with its clients and employees. In addition, TokuSaku provides a creative framework for solving problems instead of prescribing a predefined method or technology.


Matt is active within the Puget Sound community. He serves on multiple boards and mentors at two local universities. Matt and TokuSaku have won numerous awards, including the King County Executive’s 2013 Minority Small Business of the Year award; the 2013 Puget Sound Journal’s 100 Private Fastest Growing Companies, #55; the 2013 Puget Sound Journal’s Fastest-Growing Minority-Owned Business, #8; and the 2014 Puget Sound Journal’s Forty under Forty recognition.

Amy Frazier, Consultant, Writer, Educator, www.stagesofpresence.com


Description: What happens when your team loves to generate ideas, but lacks the energy to develop or implement them? What if your team is not interested in clarifying the problem in the first place? These are situations where creative diversity is lacking. Many organizations see the value of diversity in high-performing teams, yet this awareness seldom extends to creative thinking.


To empower innovation, we need to understand how thinking preferences operate, how to identify them, and how to strengthen the weak spots. This roundtable discussion will shed light on the four main creative thinking preferences, share information on research and methods of assessing creative preference, and discuss strategies for building creative diversity into high performing teams.



Bio: Amy Frazier, MS works in the field of applied creativity and leadership development. Her company, Stages of Presence, aims to improve organizational health and human effectiveness though a multi-disciplinary approach to creativity, as a foundation for successful innovation and engagement.


Amy holds a Master of Science from International Center for Studies in Creativity, the world’s first and leading program for applied creativity and innovation. She is the author of a chapter on creativity and leadership in Big Questions in Creativity 2013, published by the ICSC Press.


Clients include non-profit associations, technology and consumer goods firms, management consulting and experience design firms, and government organizations, as well as individual coaching clients. Her teaching work includes courses in creativity and innovation, creative communication, and programs targeted to student veterans.

Arron Grow, Author, Speaker, Educator


Description: According to a Gallup survey (2013), 70 percent of American workers are “not engaged” or are “actively disengaged” with their work. Though leadership trainings continually recommend engagement strategies, disengagement levels have not improved for many years. This roundtable asks participants to go beyond common recommendations to generate ideas that may have greater impact at work.



Bio: Dr. Arron Grow is an Associate Program Director in the School of Applied Leadership at City University of Seattle. He has worked domestically and overseas for small, medium, and large organizations in technology, the food industry, and higher education fields. He is a former International Program Manager at Microsoft, and served as the first Organizational Development Manager and Social Responsibility Liaison on the West Coast (U.S.) for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR).


His current research involves the identification and dissemination of what it takes to create gratifying, highly-productive, and sustainable workplace environments. His most current research has resulted in two books, How to Not Suck as a Manager, and Change or Go: How to Stop Non Team Player Behavior at Work. His next book, Stop Pretending You’re Being Heard, is scheduled for release in the Fall of 2015. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Adult Education and Training.

Lisa Bradley, Business Coach, Speaker, Lisa K. Bradley Coaching & Consulting


Description: Who are you, and what do you stand for? As leaders we have the opportunity to make a difference in more than the bottom line of our organizations. We have the possibility of positively impacting the lives of those we lead, our customers, and the world while building powerful and profitable businesses.


By standing for something, living our values, and using our voice we make our difference in and through our organizations. We are engaged and passionate. Engaged leaders create empowered and engaged teams of individuals that speak up, think for themselves, are creative, and work together for the greater good – the good of the team, the organization, and the world. What could you do through your position and your organization, and how do you do it?


Objectives: By answering three pertinent questions, we can start the conversation about who we are and what we stand for.

Bio: Lisa K. Bradley, CPC, is a business coach, consultant and speaker. For over 13 years she has worked internationally with entrepreneurs, leaders and teams, helping them find their calling and build powerful businesses that make a difference in the world. Her coaching, consulting and workshops are designed to empower you to dream bigger and give you tools to attain that dream. Helping you increase the impact and profit of your business while expanding your personal fulfillment. Lisa has the ability to expand your thinking of what’s possible and get you to go for it. With warmth and wit she challenges and inspires, while fostering an environment that builds community and individual empowerment.

Greg Price, Speaker, Publisher, Educator, https://www.cityu.edu


Description: Teams are an important functional business tool used to solve problems, and as business becomes more globalized, virtual teams are becoming the norm. Today, between 50 – 80% of all U.S organizations incorporate the use of virtual teams (Germain, 2011). This shift has created a need to build more effective contributors to the virtual team environment (Gilson, Maynard, & Bergiel, 2013). With all teams, trust has proven to be an effective motivator and this is even truer with virtual teams (Anson & Goodman, 2013). Teams that take time to become effective and team members who have worked together will usually produce the highest caliber results.


For leaders to support newly developed teams, they are to follow a prescribed mechanical process for this to happen. Researchers have explored strategies that address accountability and have found that setting team goals, objectives, developing member responsibilities, setting operating mechanisms, and determining the criteria for team evaluation all support the protocol that drives trust.



Bio: Greg is an Associate Program Director in the School of Applied Leadership at City University of Seattle and oversees the Master of Arts in Leadership program. For more than 20 years, Greg has been the owner of Price Media Incorporated, a company that publishes OutdoorsNW, NW Cycles and SNOW GUIDE magazine. Prior to his work in publishing, Greg organized a language and culture training program in Tokyo, Japan. He has also worked in the fishing industry in the Bering Sea, and in the construction industry in the Hawaiian Islands.


Greg is a regular speaker in the QuickStart Business Lunch program in Shoreline and has volunteered for the City of Shoreline’s Economic Development Advisory Committee. Greg has a BA in Economics from the University of Washington, an MBA from University of Phoenix, and is currently working on an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership at CityU. His dissertation focus is Entrepreneurial Leadership.

Lisa Copeland, Speaker, Trainer, www.lisacopelandcommunications.com


Description: Presentations that end with a standing ovation all have patterns. Whether you are in a board room meeting, presenting to your peers, or delivering a keynote, strong and impactful messages can empower your company to take action.


Acquiring or improving skills that personalize your presentation, engage the audience and build trust enables you to deliver your message with confidence. Audiences operate on an emotional level, and with enhanced communication skills you will succeed in presenting memorable and impactful messages that drive results.



Bio: Lisa Copeland unites teams with generational and cultural communication differences by utilizing customized techniques to bridge the gap created by a varied workforce. Additionally, Lisa specializes in communication delivery coaching. Her corporate dental healthcare speaking career under marketing, sales and education spans over 25 years.


Lisa is a committed member of the National Speakers Association, which promotes the highest standards of professional speaking partnered with lifelong learning. Her dynamic presentation style motivates her audience to take action. After working in Singapore for five years, Lisa relocated to the Pacific NW.

Ron Rael, Founder High Road Institute


Description: Organizations must have certain structures embedded in the company’s DNA to become high performing. Trust is one component that leads to a strong foundation.


Objectives: Through discussion and debate, to answer four thought-provoking questions that relate to an organization’s structure.

Bio: Ron Rael, CPA, is the CEO of the High Road Institute, an organization dedicated to optimizing human potential in the workplace, in its leadership, and in its culture. “We encourage leaders to take the path less traveled, which requires tremendous professionalism, courage, and dedication.”


Through HRI services and products, clients experience higher levels of accountability, actualized commitments to ethical practices, enhanced governance and transparency and dedicated, service-oriented employees throughout their organizations.

Barbara Krauss & Carolyn Isaacs, Y5 Ventures


Description: We live and work in a time which calls for a new consciousness and a new collective leadership capacity to meet challenges in a more intentional and strategic way. The development of this capacity: blending active listening skills, attention, and awareness, will allow us to create a future of greater possibility and prosperity. Innovative practices that drive results include building common intent, observation, connecting to the source of inspiration, and prototyping and embodying the new, all of which facilitate seeing and acting from the whole.



Bio: Barbara Krauss is the Founder and CEO of Y5 Ventures, a leading change management consulting company whose primary focus is working & living from WHY. As a Certified Creativity Coach/Practitioner and Strategic Engineer, Barbara pivoted Y5 Ventures in 2011 to change the paradigm of leadership management and team cohesion through utilizing an innovative method to uncover the deepest levels of company vision, which she calls the Ultimate Yes!™


Prior to Y5 Ventures, Barbara spent more than 20 years engineering internal and external development of strategic alliances and collaborations. She has been associated with Nordstrom, Microsoft, Accenture, The Boeing Company, Deloitte Touche, Jones Soda, Honeywell and Physio-Control.


Barbara co-authored Crazy Impact with growth experts, Rick Justus, and Tom Ziglar, son of Zig. Barbara earned her BA in Fine Art and Psychology with a specialization in American Sign Language.


Bio: Carolyn Isaacs joined Y5 Ventures in 2014 and focuses on day-to-day operations and international expansion efforts across industry verticals. A “conscious capitalist” and transformist at heart, Carolyn thrives at the intersection of great entrepreneurs and big markets. Carolyn co-leads Y5’s large-scale engagements and is responsible for moving the firm’s clients rapidly into revenue.


Before joining Y5 Ventures, Carolyn was a certified trainer and consultant with Ann Marie Houghtailing, providing business development training and coaching to individuals and organizations across the nation and worldwide. Prior to this, Carolyn spent 20 years as a top producing sales consultant, where she sourced and implemented sales strategies for professional service firms.


Carolyn launched and served as president of an Express Network of the American Business Women’s Association and was awarded for building a strong community of 50+ members within a six-month period.


In addition to working with the world’s best entrepreneurs, Carolyn is passionate about empowering women through leadership, education and networking support. Carolyn earned her B.A. in psychology from Utah State University.

Attendees will be invited to respond to thought-provoking questions geared toward an individual examination of beliefs. Each speaker is highly trained and will graciously share their insights to help build your own high performing team, propelling you to the next level of personal and professional achievement.

Published April 7, 2015



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