Katharine Halpin CEO The Halpin Company Leadership Interview

Welcome to Business Innovators Magazine…Please introduce yourself and a brief thumbnail sketch of your background.


KH: Hello, my name is Katharine Halpin, I spent 150-years as a CPA and was always frustrated by the people issues.  If you have people, you have people issues.

In 1995, I launched a new business, The Halpin Companies, Inc. to facilitate growth and acceleration initiatives within organizations of all sizes and levels of complexity by focusing on getting the right people in the right roles driving the right results.

BI: What would you say is the area in business that you are most passionate about and why?

KH: Growth and acceleration of businesses.  I get excited about building wealth for people at all levels; shareholders, executives, management, and front-line workers.  Our economy critically needs us to grow productivity and profitability quickly.  I love seeing this happen.  My goal is for everyone I touch to make more money and work fewer hours.  It has proven to be a sustainable by-product of client engagements since 1995.

BI: How are you different than your competitors?

KH: I walk my talk with my methods around self-leadership.  Most facilitators (McKinsey, Booz Allen, etc.) are focused on ‘canned’ solutions.  They can’t even get the right people in the right roles on the consultant teams much less within their client organizations.  They also scapegoat random folks in their clients’ organizations.  I help leaders bring out the best in each and every team member, so trust and mutual respect are built; not scapegoating, blaming and victim mentalities.

BI: Please tell me about any recent business accomplishments that you are most proud of and why?

KH: Growing a business from an $8 million to a $25 million organization by helping the leadership team get the right people in the right roles right away.  The founder of this 40-year old professional services firm was undermining his Junior Partners in every client meeting.  I helped him ‘play bigger’ by engaging his people more effectively.  We also got the right people in the right roles quickly.  30% of his Junior Partners (the poor performers) self-selected out of his organization within 60-90 days.

BI: What Leadership qualities in Leaders do you most admire and why?

KH: Authenticity – willingness to be honest, forthright and vulnerable

Vulnerability – willingness to ‘own’ his or her growth and development opportunities (I don’t believe in weaknesses – I believe when we get ourselves in trouble it’s because we get the volume turned up too high on our strengths – we have to be willing to tell the truth about our strengths (gifts) and gaps.

Inclusiveness – being willing to include all levels of stakeholders in a thoughtful process to prepare for decision-making.

A thoughtful approach to decision-making – ensuring well-thought processes for making strategic decision-making.

BI: What has been a key element of your success?

KH: Ability to create an environment of safety and authenticity so people can get the tough issues out on the table in ways that encourage, engage and energize everyone.

BI: What are some of the business projects that you are currently working on that you are excited about and why?

KH: healthcare integration and alignment – healthcare is in a total state of disruption.  Costs must be contained; productivity must be increased, and revenue has to come from a variety of sources.

BI: What are 1 or 2 things you would like to say to a prospective client who stumbles across this interview?

KH: Do you want to make more money?

Do you want to grow your organization exponentially but strategically?

Do you want to accomplish the above with less stress, less intensity and without a personal toll on you and your team?

BI: Do leaders want to grow their people and their organization or do they want to continue to rely on strategies of hope? 

KH: It gets down to being in a reactive mindset or a proactive mindset.  What do you want? Reasons or Results.  You get to choose.

BI: To wrap this up, what are you most excited about in the upcoming months in your business?

KH: Potential to impact healthcare in the volatile environment caused by Health Care Reform, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

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