By Morag Barrett
You’re in for a treat this week. Consider this episode a double-feature as I am joined by Julie Metty Bennett and Rachel Kuntzsch! They’re the real deal and a great example of making co-leadership work. They are the President and CEO of Public Sector Consultants (PSC). Their leadership is fueled by their passion for a world that transcends partisanship and is shaped by rigorous research and thoughtful discourse. (Read more about them here!)
Let’s dive in.
The Origin Story
Let’s start with Rachel. Back in elementary school, Rachel wanted to do something in the medical field. Talk about a shift! The thing that didn’t change? Her desire to help people. Her career path was less than straight, but do any of us really have a straight and narrow career path?
Julie, on the other hand, wanted to be a teeny bopper. Wait, what? Well, A&W had drive-ins with roller-skating waitresses, and that was the coolest thing to little Julie. Turns out, she is definitely not a roller-skating waitress.
Who Runs The World? Girls.
So, how did these two cross paths? The upbringing of both of these fantastic women contributed to their career choices. For Julie, finding the middle ground and keeping people happy is a perfect fit for the bridge-building that occurs within public policy. She discovered her passion for mediating and creating equality to be a great asset.
For Rachel, she discovered during undergrad that the medical field was NOT for her. Turns out, Rachel’s mom played a great influence on Rachel going down the business path. Opportunities presented themselves and before long, they found themselves needing to make a change. Turns out, that change was each other. (Kind of sweet, don’t you think?) They got to know each other through shared relationships with other women-owned small businesses (Girl Power, Happy Hour - if you know, you know).
The Secret Sauce To Great Company Culture
It’s no secret that we all crave a great company culture when looking at potential jobs. PSC contributes its culture to its mission statement.
“Improving the quality of life for residents of Michigan and beyond through the development and implementation of innovative, actionable public policies.”
Now apply that to the inner workings of their company. Improving the quality of life for all people includes your employees. Practicing what you preach is crucial to creating a great company culture.
Research shows that mergers and acquisitions have a pretty low success rate. So, how did these two make it work? For Rachel and Julie - it was a long dating period before getting “married” so to speak. That’s not to say there weren’t common merging issues, but their core values were aligned and their mission was shared. Being able to set your solo-leadership aside and recognizing the power of partnership is key when transitioning. Everyone is different. Everyone has different personalities that come into play. Anticipating that learning curve will help you monumentally if you’re considering a company merger.
Want to know more of their secrets to a successful co-leadership story? Well, you know what to do. Check out the rest of the interview below!