Linda Saran, MSC

The Ultimate Metric

"When you retire, you won't remember what you did in the first quarter of 1994, or the third. You'll remember how many people you developed-how many you helped have a better career because of your interest and dedication to their development. When you're confused about how you're doing as a leader, find out how the people you led are doing. You'll know the answer."

Larry Bossidy, Former Honeywell CEO and a former General Electric Vice Chairman

As an Executive Coach and Leadership Consultant, Linda has witnessed how her life principle-"to make a joyful difference in the lives of those she touches"-has empowered professionals to fulfill corporate objectives and positively affect the bottom line.

In her work with senior and middle management, Linda has honed executive coaching, leadership, presentation, training, strategic planning and managerial skills throughout a 20-year communications career spanning the corporate and nonprofit sectors.

Prior to joining Wolf Management Consultants, Linda was principal of Saran & Associates, a boutique leadership consultancy tailored to client competencies, challenges and opportunities. For 10 years, the firm served Fortune 100 companies primarily in the financial and health industries, including Accenture, American Express, Citicorp, Bank of Montreal, Harris Bank of Chicago, First National Bank of Chicago, Allstate Insurance, EHS Health Care and EHS Good Shepherd Hospital.

Partnering for Peak Performance

Saran & Associates leveraged Linda's experience as a corporate employee, consultant, and her advanced communications education from Northwestern University, where she also received her undergraduate degree.

Her firm's executive coaching and leadership consulting was transformation-focused. Linda specializes in partnering with clients-one-on-one-to create a tailored program that enables them to reinvent themselves and achieve peak performance. Such transformations have positively affected individual performance and corporate objectives. Her "Managing the Middle by Leading Up and Down" program helps middle and upper-middle managers to:

  • Assess Individual Authenticity
  • Map Navigation Plan
  • Develop Competencies
  • Chart Movement & Progress

Linda's transformation focus targets those professionals who are: a) Committed to transforming their sphere of influence, performance or career; b) Transitioning between positions or careers; or c) High potential/low performers faced with an immediate leadership opportunity.

Illuminating Star Potential

Executive Coaching clients elaborate on how Linda "hits the mark" in her tailored approach to helping them "proactively lead" rather than "reactively manage" their careers in the context of corporate objectives:

  • "I was somewhat skeptical of having an outside coach, but have since found the experience rewarding. The outside view provided by Linda has positively augmented my professional progress. I feel a renewed sense of focus in my career vision. Our coaching sessions forced me to reflect and make action plans. You've got a nice touch when you do this stuff, Linda. It was very, very easy to work with you. I feel greater empowerment in the direction of my career and definitely more focused on the tasks at hand. I have reduced my involvement in many 'operational' issues allowing me to focus on more of the strategic initiatives. Linda helped me to break down strengths and weaknesses to identify opportunities. The identification of specific action steps toward the realization of goals is one of collaboration. I have found that she is relentless in stretching me. That is a good thing!" Manager, Information Technology/Business Integration
  • "It has helped me focus on the 'soft' skills that tend to get overlooked in the everyday business world. Linda helped me to identify the true underlying issue in a situation and made it easier to take action. One of our managers mentioned that he had not experienced such focus on his development in nine years at our company. It has made me more accountable for certain things since I know someone is going to follow up." Actuary/Financial Analyst
  • "My coaching experience, and our partnership, was extremely valuable and I am a better leader today than I was prior to our work. My relationships are strengthening with my peers, and I have expanded my network to others. I can focus more clearly on my sphere of influence than previously. I also feel more balanced and less stressed than before." Regional State Manager
  • "Linda Saran is a personal trainer for the mind. She has a unique ability to quickly help one determine what is getting in the way of obtaining goals. The questions she asks and the technique she uses cause one to do more than just personally reflect. She helps people understand what they really want from their profession (and their life). Then she helps you create a real specific game plan for change. Linda's a coach who makes you feel like she's on the field with you, and that's what makes the difference." Director of Field Operations
  • "You've been a tremendous help. You got me thinking about things. You asked the right questions. This process has been really good for me." Manager, Risk Management

Linda partners with individuals, and facilitates teams, to help them navigate their path through evolving corporate challenges. While the global economy, volatile stock market, cost control concerns and corporate scandals continue to rock corporate America and roll through its ranks, the development of its leadership has become critical to surviving and thriving. Ongoing executive coaching fuels the initial launch provided by training and other development tools. Linda's coaching is personalized, customized and targeted to specific objectives.

Shaping Business through Communication

As a senior business journalist for Borg-Warner Corporation, Linda routinely worked with the CEO and senior management in developing communication strategy.

She wrote news, business, financial and feature stories for corporate-wide management publications circulating to 3,500 managers internationally. Linda wrote executive speeches, and copy for the Annual Report to Stockholders and Borg-Warner Foundation. She also supervised photo shoots for the annual report.

Linda worked with all departments in communicating and executing the corporate communication strategy. While pursing her Master's degree, Linda traveled to the company's six subsidiaries and reported on business developments for diverse industries such as insurance, auto, security, financial and chemicals.

Selling Not-for-Profit Services

Prior to starting Saran & Associates, Linda applied broad-based communications experience-particularly written, verbal, presentation, planning and management-in developing and implementing organizational objectives for the not-for-profit sector.

For the College of Lake County, Linda conducted a Communications Needs Assessment and created a prototype for a new community publication.

At Second Harvest National Food Bank Network, Linda directed all public and media relations, advertising and publications for 200 food banks nationwide.

  • In one year, she brought all communications functions in-house.
  • She pursued and secured a pro bono public awareness campaign including a video, national and local public service announcements for television and print.
  • Linda negotiated with The White House and wrote the script for a television public service announcement with First Lady Barbara Bush.
  • She produced a five-day national conference, procuring underwriting and in-kind donations, and securing CBS' Charles Kurault as keynote speaker.
  • Linda compiled a history commemorating the organization's 10th anniversary, and produced a multi-media slide show and video.

For the Girl Scouts of Chicago, Linda served as spokewoman and handled all media relations during a state-wide cookie tampering crisis that commanded national media attention for weeks:

  • Was interviewed by Dan Rather for his Network Nightly News program.
  • Met early each morning with the Board of Directors to update leadership and develop media strategy for the day.
  • Conducted television, cable and radio interviews, around the clock, for weeks.
  • Directed all aspects of the crisis, while continuing to manage the ongoing communications program.

In her first job with a public relations and public affairs counsel, Linda served as research and creative assistant to the president.

Awards, Achievements & Associations

  • Author of children's book, "In My Dreams.I Do!" available through amazon.com. Pursued and secured underwriting from pharmaceutical company Rhone-Polenc Rorer, for printing. Secured pro bono illustration and design services. Proceeds from all sales benefit The Les Turner ALS Foundation and RAINBOWS, an international grief support organization for youth dealing with the transitions of separation, divorce abandonment or death.
  • Published writer in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Evanston Review, North Shore magazine and Second Wind (columns), a motivational newsletter.
  • RAINBOWS: Member, Governing Board Chair, Marketing Committee
  • St. Mark's Episcopal Church: Member, Vestry Leadership
  • Spencer Loomis Elementary School: Member, School Improvement Committee
  • "From the Heart" CD: vocals, and managed jacket design and photography

Education & Development

  • Bachelor of Arts, Northwestern University
  • Master of Science in Communications, Northwestern University
  • American Management Association, Train the Trainer
  • The Coaches Institute, San Rafael, CA

Linda lives in the Chicago area with her husband and two daughters.

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