Keeping Small Businesses Competitive through Sharing Best Practices of Global Leaders

SHERYL TUCHMAN’S BIO

Sheryl Tuchman

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, is the founder and CEO of Tools 2 Succeed, a training and development company focused on improving performance, developing leaders, and engaging employees.  Tools 2 Succeed creates high-performance organizations in which every employee feels and acts like a partner in the business and is excited to contribute to its success.  She coaches people to reach their goals and dreams.  Her wide variety of business and technical experience includes more than 25 years working for major corporations and managing large IT teams and budgets. During her corporate career, Sheryl designed and implemented planning and governance processes for the IT departments of multi-billion dollar corporations, including Baxter Healthcare, Global Crossing, J. Walter Thompson Advertising, and Transamerica Financial Services. She provided leadership for IT in the areas of Organizational Development, Program Management, Process Improvement, Governance, and Mergers and Acquisitions.  She designed and built the worldwide internal IT infrastructure of Global Crossing and Transamerica Financial Services. Sheryl has managed large international IT teams, including employees in Australia, Asia, Latin America and Europe. Midway through her corporate career, like so many others, Sheryl suddenly found herself moving from a hands-on technical position to managing people.  She says that she learned the “hard way” how to hire, fire, motivate and empower her team.  In her corporate positions, leadership training was either not offered at all or was given at most once per year.  A short time after the training, it would be forgotten.   This experience led Sheryl to launch “The Compass Series”, a 12-month workshop series designed to teach managers and supervisors to lead, empower and motivate their employees. Each month, Sheryl and her trainers reinforce the skills learned last month.  Participants keep in touch throughout the series and help coach each other.

Sheryl holds a B.A. cum laude in Linguistics and Psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles and a State of California Multiple Subjects lifetime teaching credential.  She has been certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Human Resources Certification Institute.  She is a Certified Professional Coach and a Registered Career Coach.  Her technical certifications include Novell Certified Network Engineer (CNE) and Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP).  Sheryl was awarded the Competent Communicator designation by Toastmaster’s International. Sheryl is the Webmaster and Communications Chair for PIHRA District 9 and Director of Career Services for the NHRA Ventura County. She was named the PIHRA District 9 “Member of the Year” for 2011.  Sheryl is a volunteer for Junior Achievement of Southern California, inspiring young people to succeed in life.

Tools 2 Succeed provides business training, consulting, and coaching services to facilitate organizational growth and change. With more than 25 years of global business and technical experience in multiple industries, Tools 2 Succeed can provide you with the right tools to help your business to succeed.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW

1. Please share with us how you got started with Tools 2 Succeed?

Sheryl: After 25 years in the corporate world, I was laid off one too many times! As Director of IT for several major corporations, I realized that over the years, I had learned so much about supervision and leadership and wanted to share my skills with others who had also been promoted from a staff level position to management. As I had previously taught elementary school and hold a lifetime State of California Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential, teaching comes naturally to me.

 

2. There is no typical day in the life of an entrepreneur. Please share with us a sample of your day, start to finish.

Sheryl: My most exciting days are those that I spend teaching. As an example, I am currently facilitating a leadership workshop series for the management team of a hospital in Los Angeles. Once a month, I leave my house at 6:15 AM, arrive at the hospital at approximately 7:45 AM, and prepare to facilitate the morning workshop from 8:30 AM to noon for 16 managers. Our sessions are fun and interactive, with lots of laughter, exercises, games, role-play, as well as serious discussions on how to apply the topic to the workplace every day.  At the end of each workshop, participants write performance plans, pick “accountability partners”, and are given a homework assignment to be completed by the next workshop. At the next workshop the following month, we review the homework assignments, topics are reinforced and the concept of “a high-performance team” is discussed at each workshop. When we review the homework assignment, I feel a sense of pride in the accomplishments of the participants.  When the morning workshop ends at noon, I straighten up the room, set out the materials for the next workshop, take a quick lunch break, then repeat the workshop for another group of 16 managers from 1 PM to 4:30 PM.  Although it has been a long day, I am excited to have shared my knowledge and watched the changes in the participants.  After straightening up the room, I drive home in the LA traffic, thinking about next month’s workshop.

 

3. What are your ‘can’t live without’ Smartphone or desktop applications?

Sheryl: I use Dragon Naturally Speaking for hands-free dictation which helps relieve my sore hands after 25 years in IT!

4. What are your tricks for time management?

Sheryl: I constantly ask myself, “What is the best use of my time right now?” I make sure to schedule time for those things that are most important to me in the long run, as well as those things that must be done to keep my clients happy every day.

 

5. What was the best advice you received when you started your career?

Sheryl: I was advised to spend time on “high–payoff activities” every day — those activities that would lead to new business.

 

6. Given the current economic climate, what has been your strategy for building awareness of Tools 2 Succeed for short term and long term growth?

Sheryl: Targeted advertising, exhibiting at conferences, SEO strategies, consistent branding, and lots of networking have helped to build awareness of Tools 2 Succeed.

 

7. What is your proudest achievement as an accomplished entrepreneur?

Sheryl: Hearing about the positive changes taking place in an organization after a series of Tools 2 Succeed workshops makes me proud and keeps me passionate about my work.

 

8. How do you achieve balance in your life?

Sheryl: I am still working on the balance, but it is getting better!  My husband helps by encouraging me to plan fun activities and vacations well in advance.

 

9. Your top 3 book recommendations?

Sheryl:

  • [amazon_link id=”0066620996″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Good to Great[/amazon_link] by Jim Collins
  • [amazon_link id=”0385504357″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Managing for the Short Term: The New Rules for Running A Business In A Day To Day World[/amazon_link] by Chuck Martin
  • [amazon_link id=”B003D7JTI6″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Middle Class Millionaire: The Rise of the New Rich and How They Are Changing America[/amazon_link] by Russ Allen Price and Lewis Schiff

 

10. What are your most rewarding charitable involvements?

Sheryl: I serve on the Board of Directors for several Human Resources associations and use a lot of what I teach to help the leadership of these organizations.

 

11. Who has influenced your career the most?

Sheryl: I can’t say that a single person has significantly influenced my career. Over the years, I have learned so much as an employee, as a manager, and as an observer in many organizations. I ask for feedback and use it to learn and improve.

 

12. What is your advice for someone interested in entrepreneurship?

Sheryl: Learn as much as you can by talking to others in your desired field.  Write a detailed business plan, but realize that things may turn out quite differently than you originally planned. When something doesn’t work, analyze the situation and figure out whether you need to stop it completely or change it to make it work.

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