Hardworking. Compassionate. Insightful.
Cheryl is Blue Beyond’s CEO. She founded the company in 2006 and has been working in the field of consulting for 25 years. She graduated from Anderson University with a B.A. in Psychology and Religion and an M.Div with an emphasis on Theology, as well as a PhD from Claremont Graduate School in Philosophy and Religion. Cheryl spent nine years early in her career at the American Electronics Association — the leading industry association for high-tech companies at that time. She worked with executives from tiny startups to large established companies and came to understand how businesses really work. This work also gave her a start in entrepreneurship, research, and consulting. Cheryl brings to Blue Beyond expertise in leadership, culture, communication and change, and is complimented most frequently on her ability to build a phenomenal team. Under Cheryl’s leadership, Blue Beyond has won several Gold Quill Awards for employee communications. Cheryl also led work at PG&E with ROI Communications that was honored with two Gold Quill Awards.
What skills and expertise do you bring to the team?
I have over 25 years experience building organizations that thrive—for employees, for customers and in terms of business outcomes. I love helping other leaders do that as a consulting partner and I love the challenge and the “sacred trust” of doing that as the CEO and owner of Blue Beyond Consulting.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
I love the responsibility and honor of helping people and organizations achieve their goals. I love seeing other people be successful—in big ways, but also in the small, daily ways that make up our lives. I love aspiring to be excellent in both the “what” of the work and the “how” of the work—and I love the challenge of figuring out how to do both. I love doing everything I can to make work honorable, fulfilling, and meaningful for people—we all spend so much time at work, every person deserves to feel that their work has true purpose and value.
How does good consulting happen?
Good consulting starts with compassion, empathy and deep listening. Good consulting doesn’t assume that “you’ve got problems, I’ve got solutions.” Good consulting happens when our clients genuinely feel we get their situation and that we are bringing all our talent, experience, creativity and commitment to help them be successful. And of course, all this depends on hiring uncommonly smart, compassionate, self-aware, motivated people to be consultants—like our team at Blue Beyond—and creating an environment where they can do their best work together on behalf of our clients.
What learning experience had the biggest impact on who you are now?
I was very fortunate early in my career to get an opportunity to lead and build something that really mattered. It was a huge stretch assignment and I was successful. I received a lot of acclaim and was riding high. But, the needs of the business outgrew my capability as a leader. I tried to do too much myself, I didn’t resource the business effectively, I didn’t hire the right people, I didn’t learn quickly enough to truly delegate and empower others, I spent my time on the wrong things, and I burned myself out—and everything I worked so hard to build essentially went away. It was a very hard, humbling lesson—but the best thing that could have ever happened to me. That experience forged the bedrock of my values as a leader and gives me so much empathy for other leaders going through similar challenges.
What is your Blue Beyond?
I know it sounds trite, but I am living it right now! To do work I love with people I love is truly one of the deepest joys of my life. And to be able to do it a way that enables the integration and support of all the roles in my life (leader, consultant, entrepreneur, wife, partner, mom, daughter, sister, friend, community member, etc.)—well, to use one of my favorite mid-westernisms…it’s truly an “embarrassment of riches.” I am so, so grateful to my team and to our clients for helping me live into my “Blue Beyond.” I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together next.