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Meet Mitchell Simon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mitchell Simon.

Mitchell, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
There I was, Director of Strategic Planning, in the boardroom of a multi-national company, with a gut feeling that things weren’t going as well as they seem.

The company I was working with was headed for extinction, I knew it, I screamed it. The company, on the verge of extinction today, didn’t listen.

I had hired an incredible team, a team that was suffering under the weight of bureaucracy, hubris, seriousness, and inauthenticity, and for some reason, I knew that I could give them something better.

So, I took it upon myself to lead my team on a team retreat. I had never been on a team retreat, I had never met a coach, but I had listened to a tape set from Tony Robbins.

I decided we were going to engage in a life-changing adventure…climb Mt. San Jacinto…the hard way.

Our climb was grueling. My goal was to climb for an hour, have transformational conversations for a few minutes, and climb again.

The trail was brutal. Our route included climbing for five minutes, conversing for an hour, and then climbing again.

My team struggled. My team was exhausted, yet together we transformed the others’ lives. My teammates were confused. We were asking big questions and we were challenging each others’ mindsets.

Nicole mentioned that we were discussing things her mother, her boyfriend, and her closest friends never asked? What were we doing?

I had no idea. I had never done this before. But I began to realize I wanted to spend my life creating great teams, that created this greatness through these conversations.

Shortly thereafter, I had the opportunity to climb Mt. Rainier with 12 executive coaches. As I was climbing, they were asking me questions that rattled my soul.

Asking me things like…

“Are you 100% satisfied with your professional life, your romantic life, with your current level of performance?”

“Are you engaging 100% in what you are truly passionate about?”

“Are you taking enough risks, or have you created a life where you are too comfortable?”

These guys were in my face. They were confrontational. They were rigorous. I wanted them to go away.

Yet, I discovered at that moment that I must become a leadership coach.

I left Mt. Rainier a different person than when I came…

I knew that the corporate world needed conversations like these to build their strongest teams, to challenge their teammates to take greater risks, and to create relationships of trust where people are committed to each others’ professional and personal success.

The corporate world needs help learning how to really lead. They need help engaging employees, strengthening teams, and creating authentic relationships.

I left the corporate world, went to coaching school and founded the Simon Leadership Alliance. Within 18 months, I was doing what I love to do best…build strong, unbeatable teams made up of hungry, voracious, young energetic leaders.

I love the dynamics that occur in team development and specialize in making teams stronger, more effective and more productive than when I met them.

Over the years, I’ve developed a reputation for coaching with rigor and compassion

The way I challenge leaders and teams, some, even many may not like.

Has it been a smooth road?
Not a smooth road. I left Nokia in 2002. I was fired. No warning. I decided that after devoting seven years of my life working weekends, spending weeks in distant countries, working across multiple time zones, building a kick-ass team, and then being fired, that I could not go back to the corporate world again.

I was schooled (JD/MBA) in how to work in a corporation, not be an entrepreneur. I left Nokia without one client. In 2002, barely anyone had heard of a “coach,” and I decided to become an entrepreneur and start a coaching company!

My first major client was a commercial real estate brokerage. In 2002, I did not know what those four words meant. From 2004-2008, the bulk of my business was, and still is, commercial real estate.

In 2008, the market tanked, and I lost all of my commercial real estate business!

What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
My leadership development company is focused on building “teams that crush it” in commercial real estate, travel nursing, and technology. My passion is to create energy around teams that are transformational, energetic, raw, and fun. My belief is that since most people do not frequent a church or synagogue, are away from large families, and do not learn leadership, values, and ethics in school, then it is business’ responsibility today to create the environment where individuals learn how to live and become their full potential. I see the new covenant being, if I give you my heart and soul, then you must develop my heart and soul.

Our team experiences are experiential, challenging, fun, and transformational. As an improviser (I have performed at The National Comedy Theatre for five years), I believe that the relationship only happens when you are put on the spot to be your truest self.

I am proud of the fact that the top commercial real estate brokers in San Diego went through a Leadership Development program in 2004-2008, designed and led by Todd Salovey and myself, and lead the industry and the communities they live in.

I am also proud of the fact that the leaders at SONY Playstation and HOST Healthcare are making a difference in their companies, and are sparking the next generation of leadership development amongst their peers.

What sets me apart is the raw truth that I demand from the individuals in my program, and the experiences that we create that transforms who they are at work and at home.

I am particularly proud of the transformational teamwork we do with the FreshBiz Experience, which was developed in Israel. It is a board game that in just a few hours has you make a breakthrough in how you build and strengthen relationships and your ability to collaborate at work.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Our city is built on the backs of entrepreneurs. Most entrepreneurs have a leadership coach to guide them to build their companies. San Diego is the perfect place to spark and provoke our next generation of leaders.

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