Don Shelby, center, posed with Jodi Harpstead and me at the LSS Gala this September. Jodi is the speaker at the Good Leadership Breakfast on Friday, November 18.

Don Shelby, center, posed with Jodi Harpstead and me at the LSS Gala this September. Jodi is the speaker at the Good Leadership Breakfast on Friday, November 18.

There are specific people in our lives that change our trajectory. Jodi Harpstead is one of those people for me – and I’m so happy she is the closing speaker of the 2016 Good Leadership Breakfast Series on Friday, November 18.

Will you join us?

Possibilities in Seven Fs

The first public discussion about the Seven Fs was at the suggestion of Jodi Harpstead – who was then the VP of Development for Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS). My co-author Tim Schmidt and I shared the Seven Fs framework with Jodi during an LSS Board meeting and a vigorous discussion ensued. It ended with her suggesting we be the keynote speakers for the LSS statewide manager meeting – the subject was The Seven Fs: faith, family, finances, fitness, friends, fun & future.

As a result of that first speech, Tim and I created a pact: “Someday, we’re going to write the book on the Seven Fs,”  Tim declared. And here we are today – finishing the 7th year of the Good Leadership Breakfast, and hosting our 56th meeting. All organized and motivated by the discussion around faith, family, finances, fitness, friends, fun & future. Jodi helped me see new possibilities for my life – who has done that for you?

Success and Significance

Jodi is now a grandmother, a role that helps bring a deeper meaning to The Seven Fs in her life.

Jodi is now a grandmother, a role that helps bring a deeper meaning to The Seven Fs in her life.

Jodi Harpstead is living one of those “pinch me” storylines. After starting undergrad at Michigan State University as a music major, she pivoted into an MBA which helped her launch at Medtronic. Her career was a magic carpet ride during the high growth years. “In the early high growth years at Medtronic we all got to try new jobs, it was thrilling!” she laughed.

But the death of her father and grandmother in the same year caused her to reflect and pivot: “My grandmother died at age 90, I was 45 at the time and it caused me to wonder…am I halfway done?” she shared. Her New Years Resolution was to leave Medtronic and search for a new way to change the world. “Walking out of the company, without a job…was one of the greatest feelings of my career.” 

Breakthrough Goals

While exploring new opportunities, she and her husband Stan purchased a plot of land in Iowa which held a world-class trout stream. Together, they began working on their fly-casting and restoring the property. The purchase was part of her ability to see the possibilities for her own life.

Jodi and Stan restored the round barn on their property into a charming guest house.

Jodi and Stan restored the round barn on their property into a charming guest house.

One of her most valuable lessons came via a leadership consulting firm who taught her the power of breakthrough goals. “One year we blew out our sales goals by an astronomical margin, all because we learned how to set breakthrough goals,” she smiled. “Breakthrough goals are so large that we don’t know how to do it, don’t know if it’s possible, but if we could do it, it would be a huge breakthrough for us personally and professionally.”

And so it’s no surprise that the high-performing culture at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota is also fueled with breakthrough goals. “It’s the secret sauce to our leadership around here,” she explained.

So is it any wonder that I chose Jodi Harpstead to be the closing speaker for 2016? Will you join us?

Good leaders help others see the possibilities in their lives. And they set breakthrough goals that change their lives personally and professionally.

Please share with me: Who helps you see new possibilities?