Meredith Sadoulet is the founder and CEO of ProFound, a new startup that officially launched in January 2023. ProFound is building a professional network among leaders, executives with disabilities, and accessibility advocates. Leadership coaching is a cornerstone of the services that ProFound provides to its members.
Read Meredith Sadoulet’s inspirational story about what led her to coaching, why she chose the ACT/Brown program, her relationships with the cohort and faculty, the challenges she faced, and how she overcame them. You can also listen to Meredith telling her story in the recent webinar by clicking here.
What led you to the program?
So, I started my career in Finance and Strategy, working at Lockheed Martin and then General Electric. Then, I shifted to HR with the Bank of New York Mellon. There, I was in charge of leadership development globally before my role expanded to Recruitment and DEI strategies. Later, I landed a job at Comcast where I led talent strategy for the enterprise. I was a big fan of coaching, and I saw it transform people into better leaders and improve business outcomes. Plus, I was lucky enough to have a coach myself. It was included in my offer package, and it was a life-changing experience at Comcast.
The product concept I brought in was related to accessibility, and I was able to launch it through our corporate accelerator. It was a case study in action for me and changed my life. I decided to leave my corporate career and start a company that focused on disability inclusion, an area of work that was meaningful to me. My youngest son was diagnosed with autism when he was six, and since then, I’ve been learning and growing a lot around advocacy and getting involved in a lot of different ways.
Why did you choose the ACT and Brown’s Leadership and Performance Coaching Certification Program?
When I decided to start my company, to be completely honest, I didn’t have a fully-formed vision. However, I knew that coaching would be a key component of it. After researching different programs, the ACT Brown program stood out to me for several reasons:
- The program has a strong commitment to social impact. In my cohort, there was a diverse group of individuals who were all trying to make a positive impact in some way, beyond themselves and beyond just having a coaching practice. They were also considering how coaching could be used to do good in the world.
- Another aspect of the program that appealed to me was its thoughtful design, as well as the incorporation of neuroscience. The ACT and Brown program combines different teaching approaches and is designed to encourage natural connections with fellow participants.
Describe the relationship that you formed with your cohort.
Everyone in my cohort had aspirations for personal change and development. There were people in corporate roles who loved what they were doing but wanted to become more effective leaders and have a greater impact within their organizations. Others were starting a new phase in their career or making a drastic career change. The common thread throughout the entire cohort was that everyone wanted to make some kind of change, big or small, in their lives with impact and intentionality.
The program brought real coaching topics and opportunities for growth, which fostered incredible bonding experiences in such a short period of time. Practising coaching allowed us to get to know each other quite deeply. Some of my peers from the program are now coaching clients within my new business network.
During the program, I was very attentive to making coaching as inclusive and accessible as possible for everyone. I discussed approaches, language, and technology with my cohort to ensure that no one is left out of the coaching practice and that everyone feels included. This topic generated a lot of interest within the cohort. Many members are now coaching as part of the business that I’m building, continuing to get their coaching hours, building their client bases, and supporting impact around disability inclusion.
Describe your relationship with the faculty.
I was impressed by the faculty at ACT and Brown. Robin Rose from Brown has a long-standing relationship with ACT, and she’s an outstanding coach. I also had the opportunity to work with other coaches with different backgrounds, experiences, and styles, who were all fantastic. Additionally, there is the Alumni Coaching Exchange (ACE). I took advantage of this opportunity and I’m still working with an ACE coach. He had a background in entrepreneurship, so we immediately connected since I’m pivoting my career. Our first conversation was smooth and comfortable, and our relationship continues to grow.
Another aspect worth mentioning is the growth mindset among the faculty. During the program’s introductions, I talked about my intention around disability inclusion, and what touched me was how curious the faculty was about it. The relationship is symbiotic, where we learn from the faculty, but they also make it clear that they learn from us and our experiences.
Share any challenges you had during the program and how you overcame them.
In the program, we will learn about something called the ‘inner critic’, which was my biggest hurdle. Although I knew that I wanted to do the program, it represented a significant amount of change in my life, and I was walking away from something that was comfortable and very familiar to me.
The ACT program represented so much change that it was scary – I remember the first assignment was to find a coaching client, and my inner critic was so, so loud, it would say “What if no one agrees to be a client, how will you continue with the program? Is this really right for you”? However, the staff and my cohort were there to support me through these moments. We often coached each other through those fears, and we come to realize how much they are holding us back!
A Leadership and Performance Coaching company focused on developing exceptional leaders, helping leaders become Aware of their impact so they can make better Choices leading to Transformative results.
Our commitment to transformative learning, innovation and diverse thinking, and making an impact in the world is at the core of what we do. We are a family-owned, service-driven company who partners with the Brown University School of Professional Studies, organizations and government agencies to deliver our life changing programs.
ACT, in partnership with Brown University School of Professional Studies, an international leader in executive education, is excited to offer ACT’s ICF accredited Leadership and Performance Coaching Certification Program. ACT shares Brown University’s mission to develop reflective leaders, to effect change in the world, and to improve human welfare. https://actleader.com/
Read other articles
- The Importance of a Professional Certification in Coaching: Top 5 Reasons (plus a Bonus Insight)
- My Coaching Journey with Meredith Sadoulet
- My Coaching Journey with Rodric Lenhart
- Executive Coaching vs. Leadership Coaching: How To Decide on the Right Path For You
- The Power of Staying with Discomfort: Coaching to Build Awareness and Choice