• Leadership & Culture Coaching for Startups & Investors

  • Who Am I?

    Janine Davis, PCC, Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator

    My Superpower

    My superpower is working with Founders and Executives by using creativity (intuition) + structure and frameworks (logic) to realize purpose, objectives and potential. I work well with people that mean business and are ready to do the work necessary to reach their goals. I tend to go deep and try to get to the essence of the leader or company.

     

    It's not about me telling you what to do (Mentoring), nor doing deep dives into your past (Therapy). That said, where you are now and where you are going is inherently predicated by who you have been and where you came from. In fact, unearthing those hidden gems is sometimes the key to removing obstacles that have been silently blocking your progress for years. There will absolutely be times when realizations come through in coaching, with deep connections to your past. But rather than digging deeply into that past, we will use those realizations as a launching pad towards effecting change.

    My Clients

    I've had a broad and deep career spanning both large global organizations and early stage startups. Here's a list of some of my coaching clients: Slack, FabFitFun, Techstars, Hello Sunshine, Hallmark Labs, Fair.com, Visa, Radiology Partners, Signal Sciences, Cricket Health, Manufactured.net, Boxfox, Oblong Industries, HUM Nutrition and many more.

    How I Coach/Who I Coach

    I'm very proud to be a Partner with Evolution, which does leadership and culture coaching for startups and high growth companies such as Slack, Fair.com, Change.org, LinkedIn, and many others. We follow the model of I/We/It - we coach the leader (I), the team/company (We) and integrate that into the operations of the company (It).

     

    I'm also a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator, allowing me to bring the work of Brené Brown to companies ready to lead through the strength of vulnerability. The most significant finding from Brené’s latest research is that courage is a collection of four skill sets that are teachable, measurable, and observable. The Dare to Lead™ program focuses on developing these courage-building skills through workshops, trainings, and coaching to help individuals, teams, and organizations move from armored leadership to daring leadership. Click here for more information on this powerful program.

     

    To dig a little deeper into what drives me....

     

    My ideal Executive Coaching clients are those that are natural evolvers. Those committed to being the best leader they can be, so they can in turn support the creation of the most inspirational companies and teams.

    Transformational Values

    What informs my approach to coaching?

    • Understanding what makes us who we are puts us in a position of choice about our actions and reactions
    • Sustainable change comes from making foundational shifts in the belief systems underlying our current actions and results
    • Aligning our actions with our core values is essential for fulfillment on all levels - individual, relationships and system-wide
    • Leaders are more effective when they integrate their personal and professional identities. We are humans at home. We are humans at work
    • Leadership requires being intentional about your words and your actions
    • Leaders who model humanity allow their employees to be human
  • Services

    Executive Coaching

    The challenges of being a startup leader are unique - you face burnout, difficulty in transitioning from being a founder to a leader, being accessible to your crew as the company scales, balancing family life with startup life, etc. Leadership coaching provides 1 on 1 support for you to evolve as a leader.

    Dare to Lead™ Programs

    As a certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator, trained directly by Dr. Brené Brown, I'm able to work with organizations to create daring leadership through tailored programs that can be delivered in 2-days, 1 day or in modular sessions over time.

    Culture Creation & Integration

    Co-creation of your culture and integration into the fabric of your company, so it becomes its essence. This starts with a clear foundation of your values, mission and vision, upon which to build actions that allow you to walk your talk.

    People Processes

    This is the more consultative arm of our services, where we provide concrete input and advice on how to do Employer Branding, Hiring, Recruiting, Onboarding, facilitation of Feedback Channels & Mechanisms, etc.

    Leadership Offsites

    Sometimes getting the leadership team out their normal everyday environment allows deep, transformative and collaborative growth. There is no cookie cutter offsite - we will work with you to customize the most impactful experience.

    Leadership Training

    Poor leaders are one of the most common reasons people quit. We create customized workshops and training programs to bolster your leader's awareness and abilities in order to lead powerfully and effectively.

    Venture Capital Portfolio Talks

    VCs wanting to expose their portfolio companies to culture and leadership coaching have brought us in to do informative and experiential workshops and presentations.

  • Based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown, Dare to Lead™ is an empirically based courage-building program designed to be facilitated by organizational development professionals. Brené is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work.

     

    She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy, and most recently completed a seven-year study on courageous leadership. She is the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and Dare to Lead, which also debuted at #1 on The Wall Street Journal and Publisher’s Weekly lists.

    The most significant finding from Brené’s latest research is that courage is a collection of four skill sets that are teachable, measurable, and observable.

    • Rumbling with Vulnerability – facing your current reality with courage 
    • Living Into Your Values – identifying and operationalizing your values so the walk is being talked
    • BRAVING Trust – creating or strengthening relationships using the seven elements of trust
    • Learning to Rise – evolving and rising from life’s inevitable failures and challenges 

    The Dare to Lead™ program focuses on developing these skills through workshops, trainings, and coaching to help individuals, teams, and organizations move towards daring leadership. If any of these characteristics ring true for your organization, Dare to Lead™ could be transformational:

    • Lack of psychological safety
    • An executive team that lacks trust and alignment towards a common goal
    • Low innovation
    • High turnover
    • An inability to have the tough conversations often necessary in the course of leadership
    • A disconnect between the walk and the talk

    As a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator, I'm honored to have been trained by Brené directly, and to have the opportunity to bring her incredible work into organizations. The program is flexible and modular. I will work closely with leaders to determine the key issues at stake and a program that best addresses those issues. The experience is deep, fun, real, interactive, illuminating and impactful. Programs are designed to leave participants with tactical approaches they can put into day to day use to start leading bravely immediately.

  • Case Studies

    Here are case studies representative of the breadth of work I do....

    Culture Engagement

    I did a comprehensive culture engagement with a B2C subscription model eCommerce company. They were at $11M in revenue, just got their first institutional round, and were about to scale rapidly. I worked with the team on a phased approach to rolling out culture. Phase 1 was defining the culture - what core values drove the company? Phase 2 was integrating those values into the candidate experience during recruitment. Phase 3 was a workshop focused on teaching the crew how to interview for culture fit. Phase 4 was further integration of their culture into the onboarding process.

    Executive Coaching

    I did one-on-one Executive Coaching for the Chief People Person at a Foundry-funded tech startup. This particular client had very strong success in her role and was trusted by the other executives. However, she was feeling a bit flat in her career, and had specific coaching goals surrounding increasing her impact and scope of influence. She was able to identify what was holding her back from her target, and modify the underlying belief, thus allowing her to reach her goals.

    VC Firm Portfolio Workshop

    I facilitated a workshop on Culture and Leadership for a VC firm's entire portfolio of Founders at their annual offsite. Each Founder was able to explore and experience some simple steps to create and integrate their culture, as well as getting a sense of the power of Leadership coaching, and its effect on employee engagement and the bottom line.

    Retention/Turnover - Root Cause Analysis and Exec Offsite

    The innovation division of Fortune 500 CPG/Entertainment company was experiencing extremely high turnover rates. Issues surrounding high turnover are rarely superficial. They tend to be the result of systemic organizational issues around culture and leadership. Through broad intake and analysis of the data, I was able to identify the root causes of the issue, as well as several actionable recommendations to shift the results. I facilitated an Executive Offsite to provide the safe container necessary to present the findings and create a strategy around what can be a sensitive subject. The analysis and offsite "exceeded expectations." They were able to reduce voluntary turnover from 36% to 4.2% in less than 6 months following the offsite.

    Leadership Training

    Co-facilitated a full suite of Leadership Training for over 40 Leaders in a high growth tech company. The program was multi-dimensional, spanning several months. The content and curriculum was bespoke, and delivered through a combination of 3 all day sessions interspersed with small group coaching circles for further integration and support.

    Leadership Team 360

    A profitable B2C eCommerce company was founded by 3 female founders. They bootstrapped and after just a few years, eclipsed their goals, hitting the $5M revenue mark. They were at a growth inflection point and wanted to ensure they were leading in alignment with their values and mission as they scaled. In addition, they wanted to make sure the three of them were in agreement as much as they believed. I conducted 360 reviews of the leadership team, producing an analysis/report of the findings, and next steps in terms of potential opportunities for growth.

    Organizational Analysis

    For a rapidly scaling startup in the Health & Wellness space, I played a key role in the analysis and recommendations surrounding their Organization in the specific categories of Structure, Culture and Talent. This project included the identification of areas for improvement, as well as both quick wins and longer term approaches for effecting change.

    Women's Coaching Circle

    Co-facilitated a women's coaching circle, focused on Founders at Seed/A stage. Circle combined content/instruction around leadership skills, facilitated peer coaching and moderated always-on slack support.

  • Hiring Audit

    How to ensure you're hiring with purpose.

    Hiring is a challenge for every Founder and startup, regardless of your stage. Demand remains high, supply remains low, but the wrong hire can be toxic and costly. Not to mention that unless you’re deliberate about your hiring practices, you might land your reputation in the red zone, limit your ability to innovate, and cost your company tens of thousands of dollars replacing people who walk.

     

    The Hiring Audit offering is ideally suited either to earlier stage companies that want to know best practices to set things up for success from the start, or for organizations where things might be going off the rails, and you want to understand the root causes and how to correct them.

     

    The package includes a deep dive into your current state, as well as detailed analyses, report and recommendations to optimize your hiring process for fit, efficacy and diversity. The deliverable report is tailored to your environment, and addresses branding/reputation, job intake, sourcing, recruiting, candidate experience, skills & culture interviewing, offers/rejections, a bit of onboarding and D&I efforts.

  • Speaking Engagements

    Panels, Speaking, Workshops and other talks around town

    Fundamentals of Culture & Leadership

    2019 - Audience of 50

    Presented on the fundamentals of Leadership and Culture, including some interactive components to facilitate the audience's integration of the content provided. Focus on the nuances of biotech startups.

    Techstars LA - Hiring, Culture & Diversity

    2018 and 2019 - Audience of 30

    Led full cohorts through a presentation and workshop on hiring, culture, diversity, and how to build a team mindfully.

    ScaleLA - Culture & Leadership 101

    2019 - Audience of 20

    Presented on the fundamentals of Leadership and Culture, including some interactive components to facilitate the audience's integration of the content provided.

    LA CTO Forum - Engineering Culture

    2019 - Audience of 80

    Led a presentation and workshop on creating an Engineering Culture within the context of overall company culture, with a focus on increasing retention, productivity and employee engagement.

    Backstage Capital - Metrics and Goals

    2019 - Audience of 10

    Led an interactive workshop on KPIs, OKRs and other performance management/goals approaches for the first LA cohort of Backstage's accelerator cohort.

    Mobile World Conference/4YFN

    2019 - Individual Mentor Sessions

    Served as a Mentor, providing 1:1 coaching to founders, with a primary focus on pitch presentations.

    SAM Precellerator - Leadership & Culture 101

    2018 and 2019 - Audience of 50

    Presented on the fundamentals of Leadership and Culture, including some interactive components to facilitate the audience's integration of the content provided.

    Women Founders Network - Startup Bootcamp: Hiring, People Ops & Culture

    2018 - Audience of 100

    Sat on a 2-person panel, targeted at startup founders, on the topics of hiring, culture, legal pitfalls to avoid and other people ops topics.

    LA Cleantech Incubator - Imposter Syndrome

    2018 - Audience of 80

    Sat on a 4-person panel on the topic of Imposter Syndrome, targeted towards women in tech.

    LMU POWER - Empowerment

    2018 - Audience of 100

    Facilitated break out group on the topic of empowerment.

    The United State of Women - Mentor

    2017 - Individual Mentor Sessions

    Served as a Mentor, providing 1:1 coaching to founders.

    Prelude Ventures - Leadership & Culture Fundamentals

    2017 - Audience of 50

    As part of their portfolio-wide retreat, presented and facilitated an interactive sessions on the fundamentals of Leadership and Culture.

    Broadscircle - Getting to the C-Suite

    2015 - Audience of 180

    Sat on a 4-person panel discussing strategies for women to rise in the ranks to the C-suite.

    U.C. Santa Barbara - Personal Branding and Purpose

    2015 - Audience of 50

    Guest Lecturer in the College of Engineering’s Technology Management program, on the topic of personal branding and purpose for a course focused on entrepreneurism and innovation in tech.

  • Publications

    I love to write!

    My Medium Blogs

    Executive Coaching to all things Hiring

    Access my Medium Blog Here. The newer posts come from my life as an Executive Coach, and focus on leadership, culture, root cause issues of employee engagement and experience going off the trackets, etc. The older ones are a bit more tactically focused on recruiting, careers, networking and other goodies.

    The Startup

    The Leader and the Sharpie

    The Startup, with over 1/2 million Medium followers, published my article on three essential skills that leaders can implement to improve self awareness, EQ and the ability to have tough conversations. To learn about those skills and ways to put them into practice immediately, click HERE.

    Thrive Global

    You'll Never Finish

    A blog post about the fallacy of finishing. (Warning - I'm a bit of a potty mouth in this one....)

    VoyageLA

    My Journey

    The story of my journey from where I started to where I am now can be found HERE.

  • The Imperative for Coaching

    The Head Reason: There are copious articles, studies and models proving the efficacy and impact of Leadership and Culture Coaching. Employee engagement, which is a direct result of strong leadership and a strong culture, is critical to an organization’s long-term financial success. Without those two things, you might see quarterly spikes in financial returns, but over the long haul, you’ll see high turnover, low productivity and decreased profits. Here are some studies to back that up:

    The Heart Reason: Most of us spend the bulk of our time at work. Leaders have the unique ability and privilege to model evolutionary self-awareness, which can impact their entire system of stakeholders. Your role as a leader is to create a culture which supports those stakeholders in thriving, and you do this by developing your self-awareness, walking the talk, and providing compassionate and meaningful feedback. This will allow each stakeholder to shine in their own way, for the good of the overall system. Your stakeholders, in turn, raise the overall consciousness of our species, to bring it into better balance. As our world wrestles with volatility of the disconnect between consciousness and technical capabilities, inner and outer balance is more necessary than ever. Here are a couple of articles on the heart side of coaching impact.

  • Testimonials

    Amanda Farrand - Hello Sunshine

    Vice President, Brand Partnerships

    "Put simply, my experience working with Janine has been incredibly transformative. I walked into our relationship with 4 set goals I wanted to work towards, and through our conversations, her insight and inquisition, she’s taken me beyond my expectations. If I had strategic business questions, she had insight. If I had leadership questions, she had examples. But she’s also helped me reframe my life so that my work fits more appropriately within it. If you're ready to level up, tackle new challenges or understand yourself and your talents more clearly, Janine is your person."

    Chris Coleridge - HUM Nutrition

    COO & Co-Founder

    "Janine has played an important role at HUM helping us to define our culture and then live it for real. She has put together several excellent and involving workshops for our team, including both recruiting and interviewing best practice. Janine has developed valuable insights for us, that are forming a foundational part of how we define ourselves. She is also fun and easy going to work with, and I thoroughly recommend her."

    Sabena Suri - BoxFox

    CSO & Co-Founder

    "I worked with Janine on an Executive 360 consulting project, where she provided a comprehensive overview of my leadership performance (along with my two cofounders). It was the first time we did something like this, so we weren't sure what to expect. It ended up being an invaluable exercise for us. Janine's energy and enthusiasm for what she does was apparent through our various meetings and phone calls; she gathered raw feedback from our team and delivered us with not only actionable insights but also a comprehensive action plan for how we can improve moving forward. Whether you're a new founder or seasoned business executive, I cannot recommend her services enough! It's no surprise she's an expert at what she does and I'm so lucky to have discovered her"

    Gareth Linnard - Hallmark Labs

    People Operations Leader

    "I was lucky enough to be introduced to Janine by a mutual contact. Her ability to quickly establish understanding of our business combined with a depth of knowledge in tech leadership, recruitment, consulting and exec coaching, was impressive and an ideal fit for purpose. Janine worked painstakingly to identify the right approach for us. Including 1:1 intake interviews and engaging group discovery around various areas, to root cause analysis and presenting relevant and valuable workshops plus individual coaching. By leveraging and building on her work, we have seen very positive and tangible business outcomes. The combination of Janine's professional skill, innate empathy, ability to engage her audience and polished delivery, made partnering with her an absolute pleasure!"

    Harlan Gleeson - Gallery Skan

    Partner

    "Janine has been an invaluable resource to me in my new career. With a steady hand she has guided me to real results to our agreed upon goals. As a real treasure in the community here in Los Angeles she has helped not only with my needs as a my coach but as a resource to connect with others. Of the many great qualities Janine has the one I benefit from most is her talent for listening. Her ability to understand and hear beyond what I am saying is remarkable. To have help to cut thru the “noise” and see the forest for the trees has truly been valuable to me. Thank you. I look forward to continuing the process."

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  • Team

    Janine Davis, PCC, Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator

    Executive & Culture Coach

    I’m a Hudson-certified Executive Coach whose coaching practice spans 1:1 Coaching, Training/Offsites and Culture initiatives. I also do People Operations and DEI consulting. These efforts help leaders walk the talk, through integrating their culture and values into their organization’s operational fabric.

     

    I am a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator, allowing me to bring the work of Brené Brown to companies ready to lead through the strength of vulnerability. The most significant finding from Brené’s latest research is that courage is a collection of four skill sets that are teachable, measurable, and observable. The Dare to Lead™ program focuses on developing these courage-building skills through workshops, trainings, and coaching to help individuals, teams, and organizations move from armored leadership to daring leadership

     

    I’ve had two previous career iterations that set the foundation for my coaching practice. I founded and exited an Executive Tech & Product recruiting agency focused on startups. Before recruiting, I was a hands-on technologist, having started my career at Accenture (Andersen Consulting), then moving on to become the VP, Technology for TBWA Chiat/Day Inc. Advertising (an Omnicom company), and finally leading software engineering efforts at DirecTV. I have a B.S., Math from UCSB.

     

    I tend to get involved in lots of extra-curricular activities. I’m a Mentor for Techstars, Backstage Capital, ScaleLA and SAM. I sit on the board of Women Founders Network – we’ve been doing a yearly fast pitch for women founders since way before it was trendy. One of the highlights of my career was to be a Mentor at the United States of Women, seeing myself on the same speaker page as Michelle Obama! I’m a proud native Angelino, and though I have clients in other cities, I’m #longla all the way.

     

    I speak around town on topics such as Imposter Syndrome, Hiring for Culture Alignment, DEI and Leadership & Culture 101.

     

    Love dogs. Hate beets.

     

    Additional Certifications: ICF-PCC, Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator, EQMentor, Conscious Business, Listening To Bodies (Somatic Coaching), Intro to Racism: Difficult Conversations

      Lorai Harris Jones

      Director of Operations

      Lorai Harris Jones has over 13 years of Operations experience in the Human Capital Industry. She has helped support large scale, national client relationships as well as remote workforces. She’s managed various administrative transitions and successfully maintained efficiency in all aspects of day-to-day operations. Lorai prides herself on putting 110% into everything that she does. She has a knack for solving problems and handling situations in a way that that exemplifies excellent customer service. Client satisfaction is her key driver and number one priority, and she has had countless accolades and compliments to that effect.

       

      Lorai was born in Boston, but raised in Los Angeles. She has a B.S. in Sociology, and has always been keenly interested in helping non-profit causes. She is very passionate about joining forces with organizations whose primary focus is animal welfare, child sex trafficking, victims and families of domestic violence, and advocating for the rights and protection of the elderly, specifically in nursing and convalescent homes

      Lorai loves interacting with people, watching episodes of Little House on the Prairie and spending time with family and friends. (* Yes, you read correctly, Little House on the Prairie!)

       

      Lorai supports Elemental by keeping our Founder's life in order & our clients happy!