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Sheila Cosgrove, CMC

Sheila Cosgrove, CMC

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

I’m Sheila Cosgrove, Founder and Managing Director of Achieve and Inspire Leadership Coaching. I love working with smart and accomplished women who are building a successful career, are contributing to their community, and who want to utilize coaching to recognize, promote, and leverage their strengths.

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

Particpating in Ellevate Squads has been a significant part of my success with Ellevate. In addition to a being part of a strong local chapter, I’ve been able to connect with, learn from, and support other women through the squads that I’ve joined. I also still meet with my first squad about once a month - they are an incredible group of women as well!

How would you define your professional mission?

To help women at all stages of their career find their passion, build their confidence, recognize the impact they can make, and work with them to create a roadmap to achieve their goals.

What project have you worked on that you’re most proud of? Why?

Several years ago I had the opportunity to create a new business unit from concept to implementation. It was a career ‘stretch’ for me at the time but exponentially increased my business acumen. The most rewarding part, however, was building, mentoring, and developing a strong team that had a significant impact on the success of the company, and then watching many of them move into leadership positions of their own.

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

Constant evolution. I started working in the hotel industry in college, which sparked my passion for connecting and serving others. I took on roles of increasing responsibility over the years, and in 2012 relocated my family to take on a Global role at the parent company headquarters. Through leading, mentoring and coaching others in that and subsequent roles, I realized my purpose was to help others succeed by becoming a leadership and career coach, and in 2018 I took the leap and established my own company.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Seeing my clients succeed. There’s nothing like working with someone who has an ‘aha’ moment and watching them implement actions we created to overcome challenges and achieve their goals. It’s extremely rewarding - and the very reason I became a coach in the first place!

What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?

To pave the way for future generations of women to have all the success they want at work and at home. To do this, it’s important to change the way that women are treated in the workplace. We need to stop viewing career success and personal success as mutually exclusive, and recognize that with support and the right programs in place, we can realize the true impact of what women bring to the table.

What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?

I’ve always had a natural ability to help others reframe their challenges and work through possible solutions. Through my experiences I’ve also developed a strong environmental ‘radar’ to recognize some of the underlying elements that may be holding someone back from being successful. I also love connecting with others and celebrating their successes. Knowing I had a part in changing their lives is very impactful for me!

What is your morning ritual?

I normally take a few minutes to write in my journal, noting my energy level, reviewing my overall long term goals, then determining the small steps I can take that day to make progress. It truly helps to frame my day and set me up for success.

What does success look like to you?

Being able to do something I’m passionate about, and have the freedom to continue to learn and grow.

What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?

If you’re truly passionate about coaching, take a chance! (This is true for any goal you may have!) Don’t wait for the ‘right moment’ - there’s someone out there right now who needs your guidance. Also - take time to invest in professional development and pursue credentialing along the way. The interaction with other coaches and feedback you receive from peers is invaluable in helping to develop your own skills.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

That I need to tell people about all of the great work that I’m doing. I had a tendency to be ‘behind the scenes’ and not promote my contributions. I learned that this is something that we all have to be good at in order to get the recognition we deserve.

As we know, this tends to be difficult for women to do, but through my coaching work I help others to be confident in their abilities and ensure they are being thoughtful about how they are promoting themselves at work.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?

Make sure you’re clear about the ‘non-negotiables’ - and honor them. Earlier in my career I was traveling extensively but always made sure to let my boss know that there were times I needed to be home (birthdays, important school events and other times that I wanted to be home with my family). Doing so helped me to not miss those key times but also be ‘all-in’ at work when that was needed.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.