Cathy Lieberman, CDL Business Consulting
Written by Rena Henderson Mason, Bold Agenda
Our “Five Questions” series highlights the expertise and individuality of our member consultants. Members are interviewed by an ACN peer. We hope this series will reveal the breadth, depth, and overall expertise of our membership!
Walking Through an Open Door
Cathy Lieberman’s entry into consulting started in 2010 after a frustrating job search during the economic downturn. A new door opened when the headmaster of an independent school contacted her to facilitate a financial planning session – she walked through and hasn’t looked back. Since that initial engagement, Cathy has applied her corporate and non-profit experience to engagements that focus on executive search, executive coaching and strategic organizational change. Her focus is on driving performance of organizational leaders.. The collaborative aspect of consulting with organizational leaders was a new experience, and she found it to be most rewarding: “I realized I can do this, and I’m good at it! Serving nonprofits is my passion – consulting provides another opportunity to give back.”
Authenticity is key for Cathy. She prides herself on serving as a trusted advisor to clients through authentic relationships. She uses active listening and appreciative inquiry to help clients identify their needs and what will work best for their organization. Her primary goal is to understand what an organization is struggling with, and why – and then to work with them help them develop a long-term solution.
Last year, Cathy added executive search and executive coaching services to her practice. Viewing coaching as a powerful leadership development tool, Cathy believes that it allows her the opportunity to make a real difference with her clients. Whether it’s helping individuals identify the root cause of a problem or teaching them a new tool or skill, coaching has become a new passion. In March, Cathy will receive a Certification in Learning and Organizational Change, and next year she expects to receive certification in Organizational Leadership and Coaching.
Why She Does What She Does
Cathy believes that the unique role of an independent nonprofit consultant affords her the ability to provide organizations with an independent perspective, to enable them to tap into the latest concepts and methodologies, and to expand the capacity of their overworked staff to impact their mission.
Indeed – one of her best days as a consultant followed a presentation to the Board of a client in Boston. The Board told her they received more value than they had expected – Traveling back to Chicago, she couldn’t help but feel grateful for the reminder of why she does what she does!
When She’s Not Consulting…
When not working as a consultant/coach, Cathy enjoys her role as ”Grammy” to Julia, age 5 and Charlie, age 2, and Olivia, who just arrived in February. Being an independent consultant allows her the flexibility to be “on call” when her children need her help.
Cathy lives in Chicago and one of her favorite restaurants is Farmhouse located in both Chicago and in Evanston with its locally sourced food and warm hospitality.
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