In a world of over seven billion people, we at times may feel pretty small and insignificant, with so many people and so many ideas, how are we supposed to step up, make an impact and create change? Well, it all begins with getting out of your own head, which is one of the biggest challenges as a human. However, on the other side of mental roadblocks and self imposed mental roadblocks lies a life of success, happiness and fulfillment.
So, how can individuals master such a skill to live a better life? And how can businesses help their teams master this skill to become not only more happy and fulfilled, but more productive as well? Well, for some, they need to spend years studying & educating themselves, for others, working with a professional seems to be more effective as it saves time and energy.
Enter Melissa Stires, an extremely decorated and experienced life/business coach who has worked with and alongside celebrities, world leaders, C suite executives and many many more who has now dedicated her life to helping to empower others to achieve their dreams in both life and business. Today we are lucky enough to have a few minutes with Melissa to learn more about her, what she does for people and businesses, and how we can take her lessons and apply them for a better, more fulfilled life.
Hey Melissa, thanks so much for taking the time to be here with us today, you have such a remarkable story; for those that may not have heard of you, can you give us a quick introduction to who you are and what you do?
Thank you! For sure, I am a Life and Leadership Strategist & Coach, a twice Certified Advanced International Protocol Officer, and an accomplished event, marketing, and nonprofit executive with experience in the corporate, tech, and government sectors.
What did you do before this and how did it lead you to what you do currently?
I come from very humble means. I was a scholarship student at my alma mater the University of Florida with a major in Public Relations. From there I shot up to Washington, DC working in non-profit communications. From that role I was recruited to be the Sr. Director of Events at George Washington University.
Initially I was brought on to plan and execute high-profile events and that rapidly transitioned into serving as traveling Chief of Staff and protocol expert for the President and other C-level leaders.
I managed multi-million dollar budgets and staffing for 60+ delegations to 30+ countries. My role and “other duties as assigned” kind of snowballed from there. As member of both the President’s Senior Leadership Team and the VP’s Cabinet, advised top leadership on organizational effectiveness, process improvements, and cross-functional collaboration.
Eventually, I found my way back to Florida, but still worked remotely in DC for another four years until I finally put both feet on the ground to jump-start a development program for a State University. I now run my own company helping others. My main offerings are: Keynote speaking and MCing events, 1:1 coaching, group coaching, customized learning and development training, and protocol and international/cultural relationship training.
That’s incredible! Who are some of the most memorable people you were able to work with?
Launching the first ever GW Global Forum allowed me access to some incredible minds and leaders such as General Colin Powell, Lee-Myung-Bak, who at the time was President of the Republic of South Korea, and Former First Lady of Haiti, Elizabeth Preval.
I would say a few personal highlights were coordinating and staffing a meeting with Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah in her palace in Jordan. Being hosted by His Highness, Al Abdullah Emir of Kuwait and escorted around the incredible country by his fantastic team was just incredible. I mean my list goes on and on, I feel so lucky as I relive these moments as I am sharing them.
What type of people/businesses do you typically work with?
My work is broad in scope and applicable to just about anyone. My joy comes from consulting leaders and emerging leaders, men and women in the corporate, tech, nonprofit sectors both individually and in group/ leadership settings. My vast experience and background allows me to effectively move the needle for others through consultations, speaking engagements, etc.
How do your speaking engagements benefit the audience?
I am a small-town girl at heart, I have a very energetic, down-to-earth approach. I am all about audience engagement and using this toolkit of skills I have honed globally for 20 years to demystify the international, high-profile, high-pressure, and virtual working worlds. As well as tackle everyday challenges such as confidence, imposter syndrome, change management, and all types of learning and development scenarios.
9 times out of 10, when I am working with leaders, it is not the technical stuff they are struggling with, it is all in the area of mindset and strategy. I like to help people find the answers that are already in place but being blocked by fear, ego or other self limiting beliefs. This allows those I work with to be more effective, more productive, and most importantly, more fulfilled.
Can you give us an example of that?
Of course! I will let one of my corporate clients speak for themselves:
“Melissa’s enthusiasm for all she does is infectious. Her positive attitude, coupled with excellent organizational skills and keen event presentation style are award winning. She is such an asset in a high-pressure situation — keeping calm, putting others at ease, and executing plans to get the job done. When the inevitable mini-crisis or surprise occurs, Melissa takes it all in stride and creates a win-win for all involved, delivering results. While many people can ‘get the job done’, few can do it with Melissa’s panache. She is an absolute delight to be around and an indefatigable evangelist and champion of the causes she endorses”. – Wendy R.
How many events have you spoken at and how many people have been impacted by your seminars?
That is so hard for me to quantify because truly I have been on the stage since I was two years old. I was a singer in my former life and from there moved into the world of speaking and training. I think it is safe to say I have spoken at more than 500 events, to audiences as small as a few people up to as many as 10,000. No matter the size of the room my energy and my intentions remain the same, to deliver results and have the attendees leave the room better than they entered.
What is your purpose/goals with Stires Consulting – why do you do what you do?
I am going to sound super cheesy, but this is so true. I believe my “why” is to see leaders and those aspiring to lead live L.I.T. lives. AKA Living lives of (Leadership, Influence and Transformation). My passion is to empower people and help them win in business and in life. I know what it is like to be held back from the lies embedded in my brain. My biggest pet peeve is wasted potential. I hate seeing people stuck in their past, in their heads, frozen in time so they cannot move forward in their future. My purpose is to eliminate this roadblock, and allow leaders to reach their full potential.
Why should someone have you speak to their company/at their event?
That depends on the goals of each company/event. However, I have traveled around the world to learn and understand other cultures and relationships and have garnered my own super power packet of best practices through my experiences working directly with world leaders. I provide implementable systems, structure, and strategies to all my clients. Be it in a keynote form, training form or one on one coaching.
Tell me more about the 1 on 1 work you do, who are you working with and what are you doing for them?
Simply put, I help my clients assess their own definition of success, co-design their success goals and partner with them to ensure these goals are achieved at the client’s pace and timeline. The majority of my clients are business leaders, executives and entrepreneurs. They do not have time to play around, and quite frankly they don’t even have time to eat lunch.
I design a program with them in mind, because I once was where they are and understand how to effectively move the needle. Some areas we focus on are how to Build Influence and Trust, Initiate Change, Conflict Resolution, Change Management and Team Leadership. But I also dive into the deep inner work that includes gaining self-awareness, vision alignment for both your personal and professional life, and my favorite building true and lasting confidence! There are so many pathways with one on one coaching, it is hard for me to sum up because it is one of my greatest passions.
This review from one of my coaching clients Brittany really touched my heart and I would love to share it with your readers. It speaks to the breadth of my coaching as I worked one on one with Brittany both in her personal life as she was making some major relationship moves as well as her professional life. “Melissa leads with the very qualities she inspires in others: compassion, authenticity, and grace. Melissa’s positive energy is unmatched, and her passion for people is infectious: she will motivate and entertain any audience. I cannot thank her enough for helping me find my voice and inspiring me to become the leader – and woman – I am today.”
Not only have you worked with some renowned individuals and spoken all over the place, but you’ve also been on some pretty incredible podcasts, which were your favorites so we can have our viewers listen in?
There’s so many, I’ll just list a few recent ones:
SmallSmallBusinesspodcast.com/ episode 50
Jonathan Tony Podcast on Apple episode 21
The Happy Entrepreneur show
The Comeback Champion Summit
SHE Empowerment Conference
Deeper Women Lead Conference
Uplifting Happiness and Wellbeing Summit
Deeper Women Teach
Wife Boss Academy Masterclass
CASE Leadership Training
What’s the best way for people to get in contact with you?
You can also learn more at www.stiresconsulting.com.
Life is short, too short to let our own mind get in the way of our happiness and fulfillment, we can achieve anything we put our mind to, so long as we dont let it control us as well. What an amazing story, Huge thanks so much to Melissa and all our amazing viewers for tuning in, we hope you enjoyed this week’s interview! To inquire about Melissa’s services you can get in contact with her using the resources she shared above.