Monday, September 27, 2010

Interview with Andria L. Corso: Principal Owner of C3 – Corso Coaching and Consulting and Executive Leadership Coach Talent Solutions Consultant

Andria Corso is an award winning Human Resources leader with over 15 years experience working with clients to develop leadership skills and talent strategies that that align with business strategy and drive results. She is an organizational and leadership development coach and strategic HR consultant with areas of expertise in career and leadership development, talent and succession management, and executive coaching. Currently the Principal Owner of C3 – Corso Coaching and Consulting, an executive coaching and strategic Human Resources consulting firm that specializes in creating performance excellence solutions to companies through coaching, leadership development and strategic HR solutions, Andria is also the author of From Gatekeeper to Trusted Advisor: Success Strategies for Today's HR Professionals, which will be published in 2010.

With a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Hofstra University and a Master of Science in Human Organization Science from Villanova University, meet Andria L. Corso.

Will: Who is Andria L. Corso? Why leadership and talent development? What about those disciplines speaks to you?

Andria: I started my career over 15 years ago in Human Resources and found that leadership and talent development were the areas of HR that I am most passionate about. Developing the talent in an organization for future leadership positions is key to the success of the business so that is where I decided to focus my work -- career, talent & leadership development.

Will: Congratulations are in order. On November 1, 2010, your first book, From Gatekeeper to Trusted Advisor will be released. What compelled you to write the book? What is The Bridge Model ™? And what do you want people to away from the book?

Andria: Thank you! I decided to write the book several years ago after seeing an article in Fast Company Magazine titled "Why We Hate HR". As an HR leader, I knew that we, in HR, can do much better (and we are doing much better) than that article (and many others) claim. The Bridge Model is what the book based off of and is a set of principles that provide information on the behaviors and practices required of HR professionals to support clients in reaching greater success. I interviewed close to 100 HR and business leaders across industry for the book and it contains numerous examples on how each of the Bridge Principles can be applied successfully in organizational settings. My hope is that after reading the book, HR professionals (or business leaders who have HR teams) will walk away with a set of useful tools and a lot of great information on how HR can be trusted advisors in the businesses where they work.

Will: What were some of the jobs you had before you started Corso Coaching and Consulting, and how did they lead you to the decision to strike out on your own?

Andria: I worked for 15 years in HR inside Fortune 500 companies -- 11 of them were with Lockheed Martin Corporation in a variety of HR leadership roles. My last role within Lockheed Martin was leading Talent and Leadership Development and Executive Coaching for the Corporation. After having great fun and success in that role in such a large corporation, I decided it was time to go out on my own so I could expand my reach and be able to coach a wide variety of leaders and individuals and help them reach their highest potential. I am most passionate about helping others reach their career and leadership goals and also about having strong positive influence as an HR leader and this is why I decided to go out on my own - so I could do this in a much broader fashion than I could while inside of a corporation.

Will: What are some of the services Corso Coaching and Consulting provides? What do you look for in a client? Are there individuals or companies you won’t work with?

Andria: Our company provides leadership and career coaching for leaders and individuals who are looking to advance their careers and grow their leadership skills. We also provide HR consulting in the areas of HR team development and talent and career development solutions for midsize and Fortune 500 companies. Whether our clients are individuals or organizations, we look for those who are looking to grow, stretch, and learn so that they are able to reach their highest potential.

Will: We see examples of failed leadership everyday across every field. Why do some leaders get it and some don’t?

Andria: My belief and my experience has been that the leaders who get it are those who want to get it. They are the ones who want to make a difference and have a true desire to lead so that they are creating positive impact and generating positive results. They take the necessary steps to be impactful motivating leaders. It starts as a drive and desire from within and then carries on from there -- those are the leaders who "get it".

Will: What role does talent play in leadership? Are leaders born or are they developed?

Andria: I believe and have experienced that there are certain personality types that are naturally drawn to leadership whereas others are not; however, there is also an environmental factor that plays a big role in leadership; that is, for leaders to be effective and successful, they need to be in an environment that fosters and develops leadership characteristics. So, I believe leaders are both born and developed because although it starts with an internal drive, even those who might not be as naturally inclined to be a leader can flourish and be successful as one if they are in the right environment where they can grow and develop.

Will: Strong and effective leaders seem to always have this larger than life brand, even if they were/are soft-spoken. How do you define personal branding? Is it a part of your coaching process?

Andria: My definition of personal branding is that which distinguishes someone and helps them stand out from the crowd -- it is that which expresses someone's unique value. And yes, this is a big part of my coaching process. As people are working to develop their career or advance their career and enhance their leadership skills, they need to be differentiating themselves and demonstrating how they are unique and what value they bring that is different from everyone else. As part of the coaching process, I work with my clients to define their unique value and develop their personal brand. Doing this always supports them in career growth and leadership development.

Will: You and I met or connected via Twitter. How is social media affecting how Corso Coaching and Consulting conducts business? Where do you see social media taking talent and leadership development?

Andria: Social media is a huge platform with which to make great connections with peers, colleagues and clients. This has had a large impact in how our company conducts business because without it, we would not have the opportunity to have such a broad reach to not only share valuable information, but gather valuable information.

I believe social media is impacting talent and leadership development in that it enables individuals to quickly share knowledge and wisdom with each other. It creates learning cultures both inside and outside of organizational settings which fosters talent and leadership development. Inside of organizations, HR leaders are looking for ways to facilitate more effective learning which can readily be done with social media so this assists in building a strong learning culture. As an HR consultant and a coach who works with individuals on leadership development, I strongly encourage my clients to use social media to tap into the vast amount of information that social media presents, as well as to use it as a vehicle to keep well connected and networked with their colleagues and peers. This all lends itself to the ability to better cultivate leadership and talent development.

Will: Andria, I appreciate you taking the time out of your schedule to do this interview. Do you have any final thoughts?

Andria: Thank you for this opportunity to share my background and insights with you and your readers. The greatest pleasure I get from my work is the ability to engage and interact with people and support them in reaching their career goals. If anyone is interested in hearing or learning more, I hope they'll reach out and email me or visit our website. It would be my pleasure to hear from them!

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