By Nina Polien Light | Photo by Gery Petrof
“As a child, I practiced my English to ensure I didn’t have an accent,” she says. “I’d watch soap operas and The Electric Company and mimic what they said and how they said it.”
That drive to excel eventually propelled her to a successful 10-year stint in corporate human resources, a six-year gig in leadership development within a consulting firm, and the 2003 launch of her own business, The Career Group. Over the years, however, she found herself outsourcing career coaching work to concentrate on executive coaching, training, leadership development, and attorney training. The business moniker confused potential clients.
Then, last winter Olbinsky was selected to participate in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program.
“Part of the program was creating a growth plan for my business, and that’s when I decided to reinvent my business,” she says.
Today the renamed Pivot Growth Partners focuses on all aspects of people development. That includes executive coaching, leadership development, career coaching, training, talent consulting, and emotional intelligence. The Solon-based company offers in-person coaching at the client’s workplace or site of their choosing (usually for large groups or teams) or telephone coaching.
“My typical client is an organization that believes in developing its people in some capacity,” Olbinsky says. “We go into an organization to learn about what they do, their strengths, and their challenges as a team. Then we address those in developing their people. What distinguishes us is we include follow-up sessions with participants to ensure the learning sticks.”
One-on-one executive coaching involves assessments, exercises, and homework. Meetings are frequent to ensure accountability. Often, the goal is for managers to lead and communicate with their teams more effectively. This is important because senior-level executives typically do not have the mentorship opportunities that were available to them earlier in their careers.
Olbinsky, who has a broad professional network, appreciates her own group of mentors, who include other business owners and former colleagues. Early on Olbinsky learned the importance of networking. Today she serves as membership chair of John Carroll Entrepreneurs Association and belongs to the Society for Human Resource Management and HR Leadership Group of Northeast Ohio. Surprisingly, she claims to be an introvert.
“One-on-one conversations are more comfortable, so that’s what I do,” she says of networking situations. “It’s less about how many people I talk to. It’s more about having one or two meaningful conversations. If I go into it with that thought in mind, I’m fine.”
Despite 40- to 60-hour workweeks that include travelling once or twice a month, Olbinsky encourages other women to create a business plan, amass finances to fall back on, and follow their passions.
“Never in nearly 12 years have I had a minute when I’ve said, ‘I wish I hadn’t done this,’” she says of launching her own business. “I’m fulfilled every day and I feel like I’ve made a difference in people’s lives.”
For more information: pivotgrowthpartners.com