Message From Our Founder

Message From Our Founder

Welcome to the 103rd issue of CEE News!


For the past few weeks, everything around us has been changing. The days are getting longer. Birds are building their nests. Flowers are bursting with new blooms. There’s no denying that winter is over and spring is here. As humans, we’ve learned to adapt to the inevitability of seasonal changes. When it comes to organizational change, however, we often resist being open to new ways of thinking and behaving.

If you’re engaged in the effort to set a new direction, orchestrate innovation, or mold a culture, here are six universal truths that can guide you along the way.

  1. People don’t resist change. They resist being changed. As management guru Peter Senge suggests, resistance is greatest when change is inflicted on people. If you can give people a chance to offer their input, change is more likely to be met with enthusiasm and commitment.
  2. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Big goals can seem overwhelming and cause us to freeze. This simple truth, attributed to Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, is a reminder to get moving. Take the first step, however small it may seem, and the journey is underway.
  3. If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. Many change efforts fall short because of confusion over the end goal. In the Lewis Carroll classic, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice asks the Cheshire cat which road she should take. The cat’s response reminds us to focus on the destination first, then choose the best path.
  4. Change is a process, not a decision. It happens all too often. Senior executives make pronouncements about change, and then launch programs that lose steam. Lasting change requires an ongoing commitment to the process reinforced by constant communication, tools, and rewards.
  5. Do not declare victory prematurely. In his book, The Heart of Change Field Guide, author Dan Cohen suggests that short-term wins do not necessarily equal long-term success. Cohen writes, “keep urgency up and a feeling of false pride down.”
  6. Be the change you wish to see in the world. These famous words attributed to Gandhi remind us all — executives with associates, political leaders with followers, or parents with children — that one of our most important tasks is to exemplify the best of what the change is all about.

Any form of change requires an adjustment period, and some take longer than others. While seasonal changes are predictable and tend to go over smoothly, organizational changes tend to be met with resistance and confusion. If you’re trying to implement changes in the workplace, consider which of these truisms might help you get unstuck and achieve the results you’re looking for.

Sheri Nasim | President & CEO

Message From Our Founder

Message From Our Founder

Welcome to the 102nd issue of CEE News!


If there had been Three Wise Women instead of Three Wise Men, they would have:
– Asked for directions
– Arrived on time
– Helped deliver the baby
– Cleaned the stable
– Made a casserole
– Brought practical gifts

That’s a joke shared by Susan Packard, Cofounder of HGTV, in her 2015 book, New Rules of the Game:10 Strategies for Women in the Workplace. I picked up Packard’s book when I attended the San Diego Women’s Week annual Leadership Conference in recognition of Women’s History Month that year. This year, I had the honor of speaking at the conference as a panelist to discuss the topic of Mastering the Art of Building and Leading Teams.

Since I’ve been in the management consulting industry for nearly twelve years, I chose to approach the subject wearing my consultant’s cap. One of my favorite ways to help teams achieve peak performance is to use an assessment developed by The Table Group to complement Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

I’ve used the assessment with several teams at Yale University, a senior leadership team with a communications manufacturing company in Salt Lake City, and a team at the Port of Long Beach. Each team member responds to a set of questions that measures collective performance in five key areas: Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability, and Results. The resulting report displays the team’s aggregated responses in the shape of a pyramid, where each of the five areas are shown in a red/yellow/green schema. The results for Trust is at the base of the pyramid for an important reason.

As Lencioni explains, “trust is the willingness of team members to be vulnerable with one another, to admit their mistakes, weaknesses, and fears, and to rely on one another for support and guidance.”  Teams that take the time to build vulnerability-based trust with one another are more likely to engage in constructive conflict, focus on their commitment to collective goals, hold themselves and one another accountable, and achieve results.

In the competitive, power-based, often cutthroat world of business, admitting mistakes, weaknesses, and fears, and relying on others for support and guidance are not common behavioral styles. Entire organizations are more typically led by senior leadership teams where bravado, politics, and power-grabbing are the norm. In turn, the workforce finds itself struggling with gaslighting, mental health issues, and imposter syndrome.

Three Wise Women would have asked for directions. It’s not hard to imagine that they would have used their collective resources to show up on time, quickly assess the situation, and provide valuable support.

Women’s History Month is an opportunity to study, observe, and celebrate the vital role of women in American history. It’s also a time to reflect on what leadership styles are more likely to result in predictive team success, and what styles are about as useful as myrrh was to Mary.

Sheri Nasim | President & CEO

Message From Our Founder

Message From Our Founder

Welcome to the 101st issue of CEE News!


“What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?” If you were a fan of “Inside the Actor’s Studio” hosted by the late James Lipton, you’ll recognize that as one of the ten questions taken from the Proust Questionnaire that Lipton asked his guests at the end of each show. Both Cate Blanchett and Dave Chappelle, “Architect.” Michael J. Fox and Eddie Murphy would have liked to have been teachers.

If I could choose any other vocation, I would want to be the Librarian of Congress. Reading, writing, and sharing stories have always been a large part of my personal and professional life. Some of my most treasured childhood memories were of loading my arms with piles of free books from our local library. I loved the adventures, marveled at the prose, and empathized with the protagonists – the antics of Pippi Longstocking, the determination of Francie Nolan’s, Jo March’s bravery.

Since September 2016, the role of Librarian of Congress has been held by Dr. Carla Hayden. Dr. Hayden is the 14th person to be named to the position, and notably the first woman and first African American to lead the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts in its collections.

Her remarkable journey was captured in this October 2023 interview at Mount Vernon. In it, Dr. Hayden shares how, as the Director of Baltimore’ Enoch Pratt Free Library in 2015, she made the decision to keep the library open following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. Although the streets of Baltimore roiled in protest, the Pratt Library kept its doors open and served as a respite. While the streets burned and protestors marched, the library offered food distribution, restrooms, and internet service for all – with Dr. Hayden standing front and center.

In celebration of Black History Month, we’re recognizing notable Black Americans – both historic and contemporary. In addition to this story of one of my personal idols, Dr. Carla Hayden, we’re sharing an infographic about Black explorers, scientists, and activists like Pauli Murray and Matthew Henson.

I invite you to take the opportunity to be especially mindful of the lived experiences and influence that Black Americans have had in the world – this month and beyond. If there is a Black American who you especially admire, take a moment to share the impact they have made on American culture and the influence they have had on you personally. 

Sheri Nasim | President & CEO

Navigating Budget Season During Uncertain Times: 5 Questions Budget Managers Should Ask

Navigating Budget Season During Uncertain Times: 5 Questions Budget Managers Should Ask


It’s budget season for organizations on a calendar-based fiscal year. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or first-time budget manager, submitting a budget for approval during times of economic uncertainty can be a confidence shaker. Being a budget manager isn’t just about creating a wish list and bracing for a 30% cut. It’s about being a strategic thinker and a persuasive communicator. These five questions will help you win the hearts of senior leaders and get your budget approved, even when times are fiscally fickle.

1.     What are the organization’s strategic goals? Before diving into the nitty-gritty of spreadsheets and numbers, take a step back and grasp the bigger picture. Understand the organization’s strategic goals and how your budget aligns with them. When you can clearly articulate how your financial plans contribute to the overall success of the company, you’ll earn the respect and support of senior leaders.

2.     Who are the key decision makers? Knowing the lay of the land is crucial. Identify the key decision-makers in your organization, especially those with the final say on budget approvals. Take the time to understand their priorities and tailor your budget proposal to address their needs, where possible. Winning hearts can be just as important as crunching numbers.

3.     What are the major cost drivers? As a budget manager, you’re not just a number cruncher. You’re also a detective. Dive into the data to identify the major cost drivers in your organization. Understanding where the money is going will help you make informed decisions and justify your budget allocations to senior leaders. It’s all about making your case with solid evidence.

4.     Where can we save money? Let’s face it – everyone loves cost-saving superheroes. Channel your inner superhero and negotiate with vendors and suppliers for better pricing on products and services. This can result in significant savings over time and demonstrate your dedication to saving the organization’s resources.

5.     What’s Plan B? Life is unpredictable, and budgets are no exception. Senior leaders appreciate budget managers who are prepared for unforeseen circumstances. So, create a Plan B – a contingency plan that outlines how you’ll handle unexpected challenges or changes in the financial landscape. Having a backup strategy shows your ability to think ahead and adapt to any situation.

By asking these five questions and incorporating the answers into your budget proposal, you’ll improve the odds of getting the resources you need and help your organization meet the challenges of the coming year.

Question: What are some of the budgeting tips in your management toolkit?

Message From Our Founder

Message From Our Founder

Welcome to the one hundredth issue of CEE News!


We are thrilled to mark the occasion of wrapping our 10-year anniversary celebration this month and coincidentally releasing the 100th edition of our monthly newsletter, CEE News! It’s been an honor to celebrate a decade of commitment to our mission – Taking you from what is to what is possible – and making an impact on hundreds of organizations and their teams. As we toast to this double celebration – 100 consecutive newsletters and 10 years of making a difference – we want to express our profound gratitude for your support.

100 Editions of Insightful Contributions
CEE News has been more than just a newsletter. It’s been a journey of growth, learning, and community building. From the very first edition to the 100th, CEE News has evolved into a trusted resource for emerging and seasoned leaders alike, offering solutions to everyday challenges and highlighting stories that inspire.

In addition to the customary “Message From Our Founder,” CEE News has been your companion through thick and thin, providing valuable sections such as “Sticky Solutions” to tackle your everyday business hurdles, a “Business in Focus” segment  spotlighting people-centric organizations, and a “Resources” section brimming with free content, including our contributions to Forbes™, infographics, white papers, and webinars with thought leaders who have shared their insights on pressing issues of the day.

The 10×100 Campaign: 10 Months of Giving Back
In honor of our 10th anniversary, we launched the 10×100 Campaign, a heartfelt initiative designed to give back to a world that has given so much to us. We pledged to donate $100, each, to 10 deserving nonprofits and share Q&A’s with their Executive Directors to spread their message of impact. What a joy it’s been to visit five San Diego-based nonprofits while also donating to five nonprofits that our followers chose through a survey.

This campaign has been our small way of saying ‘thank you’ for the support and trust you’ve bestowed upon us over the years. Together, we’re contributing to the betterment of the world, one donation at a time.

10×100 Campaign kickoff with Ashley Blanc, Executive Director of Girls Rising in March


Dropped in on Gary Weitzman, President of San Diego Humane Society and goodest girl Missy in April


Toured the San Diego Food Bank with CEO Casey Castillo in May


Enjoyed our time with Michael Halterman, Vice President of Operations of The Honor Foundation in June


Caught up with Cheryl Kilmer, Founder & CEO of TERI, Campus of Life, in July


What Lies Ahead
As we embark on the next 100 editions of CEE News and beyond, our commitment to providing you with valuable insights, actionable solutions, and stories that inspire remains unwavering. We are excited about the journey ahead and look forward to continuing to empower you on your leadership and organizational growth journey.

Thank you for being a part of the CEE News family. Your support has been the driving force behind our success, and we’re excited to see what the future holds as we continue to learn, grow, and celebrate together. Cheers to the next 100 editions and another decade of making a difference! 


Sheri Nasim | President & CEO