Holly Agnes Higgins is a business consultant, executive coach, development teacher and writer who has helped thousands of people create the life they’ve always wanted to live both professionally and personally. This includes being empowered, valued, respected and trusted – generating greater happiness, success, meaning and fulfillment. Ms. Higgins has Masters degrees in business and transpersonal psychology and specializes in development training, culture work, employee engagement, executive coaching and designing and implementing programs to help managers become better mentors to their millennial workforce.
As I shared on the homepage of this website, everyone has unique gifts and talents to contribute to the world. For me, that has always been clarity and communication. If someone is willing to receive help and will give me one hour, I can always get to the bottom of whatever is going on and then communicate it in such a way that is empowering and actionable. I do this in business, as well as in people’s personal lives, and it is my greatest joy.
I first discovered this talent when I was a sales representative fresh out of college. I discovered that my buyers valued the insights and clarity that I could provide on whatever they shared far more than my business acumen. This held true in graduate school for business, as well as my first job in Silicon Valley. Technically, I was hired as a product manager for a Fortune 100’s corporate service division focusing on Test & Measurement, but in reality I ended up working to heal the rift between headquarters and the US service centers, rebuilding trust and creating organizational alignment.
This trend continued throughout my work in this division, so much so that I decided to leave the business world and focus on coaching individual clients full time. I earned a Master’s degree in Transpersonal Psychology, expanding my skill set so that I could help my clients spiritually as well as psychologically. I also became a certified hypnotherapist. But to my surprise, I really missed the corporate world with its teamwork, collaboration and endless opportunities to solve problems at a group and organizational level, as well as individual. I returned to the business world and very quickly realized that everything I’d learned was a tremendous asset. Within a very short period of time, I was leading the company’s efforts in rich media advertising, winning awards, speaking at conferences and leading the effort to invest in breakthrough technologies – even though this was a new field to me. The fundamentals of success apply anywhere, regardless of the job.
As had happened to me throughout my career, at a certain point in time a business mentor within the company said that my coaching and development skills were needed even more than my strategic alliances skills. I had wanted to get back into coaching and development so when this mentor was promoted to Vice President, I presented a proposal to create a position that had never existed before as a Performance Champion. He hired me immediately. As part of this work I created the “Coaching Corner”, providing development coaching and training for our division. But the column was quickly picked up by the company’s portal, reaching over 100,000 employees and becoming the highest read feature.
The response from employees was astounding. The company was going through immense organizational change, including the erosion of its culture, and people used the information in the column to take personal responsibility for upholding the company’s values, values that had been in place for over 60 years: trust and respect for the individual; performing with high levels of achievement and contribution; uncompromising integrity; teamwork; and flexibility and innovation.
But over time larger forces came into play, including the merger with another company, and my mentor/Vice President told me that it was musical chairs time and that if a person didn’t have a position that tied directly to the customer their job was at risk. Given the success I’d experienced as a performance champion, I wanted to continue this work so I left the company and started my own consulting business. I was quickly hired by my previous employer’s Strategic Change Office to create employee engagement programs as a method of rebuilding the culture. I consulted for my former employer for almost seven years, creating, managing and continuously innovating two very successful engagement programs.
At the end of 2008 two forces collided, inspiring me to pursue a dream I’d held for years. I’d already been teaching development classes outside the corporate world, but had wanted to do this full-time, including offering courses online. With the advent of the Great Recession and my corporate client’s decision to stop funding these engagement programs, I launched into teaching and rebuilding my private coaching practice. This resulted in the online workshops, classes, guided visualizations and blog that I offer through this website, “Living a Magical Life with Holly,” helping people to be empowered, valued, respected and trusted so that they can generate greater happiness, success, meaning and fulfillment in their lives.
I’m also now in the process of bringing these worlds together, doing culture work, executive coaching, employee engagement, development training, and designing and implementing programs to help managers become better mentors to their millennial workforce. This is a group of people that I have a particular passion for working with. Some say they are entitled, but in my experience they are empowered. They want meaning and purpose in their work. They want continuous feedback rather than annual reviews so that they can maximize their contribution. They want to be developed so that they can realize their strengths. They want to be engaged so that they can have greater impact. And they want to work for companies that are making a difference in the world.
But it doesn’t stop there. Millennials also want to know how they are contributing to making that difference, which speaks to a high level of personal responsibility. By 2025 this group will represent 70 to 75 percent of the US workforce. Given their pursuit of meaning, purpose, contribution and excellence, companies who know how to work with millennials will have a very bright future indeed.