7 Questions on Leadership with Our CEO

Our CEO Melissa Bouchard sits down with the Clarity Group Global to talk about leadership in “7 Questions on Leadership with Melissa Bouchard”.  In particular she talks about her journey and how to keep pace and lead in an ever evolving technical landscape.   

Fueled by her passion for people, process, and technology, Melissa is one of the driving forces behind the creation of Fusion3. She is responsible for guiding the company’s strategic direction and managing overall operations.

Throughout her career, Melissa has always had a knack for seeing the big picture. With over 10 years of diverse experience in operations, technology, service delivery, and human resources, her deep understanding of business operations has positioned her well to serve as a trusted advisor and advocate to clients.

Melissa has her B.S. in Business Administration. She holds several certifications: ITIL, PHR, and various ServiceNow Accreditations. When she is not at work, you can find Melissa teaching group fitness classes, golfing, gearing up for her next fitness competition, or spending time with her fiancé and two Dobermans lake side.

  1. What have you found most challenging as a leader? 

As a leader, I’ve encountered two significant challenges: navigating digital transformation and effectively managing the accompanying organizational change.

In my role as a trusted partner at Fusion3 and as a senior leader within organizations, it’s all too common to encounter buzzwords like ‘digital transformation,’ ‘AI,’ and ‘agility.’ However, the real challenge lies in deciphering what these terms truly mean for an organization. When these buzzwords enter the conversation, it signals a slew of decisions that need to be made.

One aspect that’s often overlooked is the human element of change. Change is inherently difficult for most individuals, both personally and professionally. Considering that the most valuable asset of any company is its people, it’s crucial to recognize the impact that transformation initiatives will have on them. Without thoughtful planning and consideration for how these changes will affect employees, initiatives are likely to fall short of the efficiency and ROI promised.

In essence, acknowledging the human side of change is paramount for successful digital transformation and organizational growth.

  1. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

My journey into leadership began in the field of HR, where I initially aimed to bridge the gap between people and the broader business objectives. However, I soon discovered my passion for technology and began focusing on enhancing our HR systems and processes. It was in this role that my leadership journey truly took root—not because I held a managerial title, but because I actively collaborated with colleagues across departments to streamline their daily workflows and improve their overall work experience.

Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to embark on a non-linear path that has allowed me to diversify and expand my skill set significantly. I’ve had the privilege of supporting organizations across various domains, including HR, IT, Field Services, Service Operations, and Finance, all through the lens of continuous improvement.

Today, as the Co-founder and CEO of a startup consultancy, I remain committed to my passion for driving organizational efficiencies through innovation and technology. This journey has been marked by a relentless pursuit of excellence and a deep-seated belief in the transformative power of creating synergies across people, process, and technology.

  1. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

In structuring my work days, I prioritize flexibility over rigid structure. I firmly believe that daily habits should align with both short and long-term goals. As such, my routines often adapt based on the specific objectives I’m working towards at any given time.

For instance, if there’s a pressing work priority on the agenda, I may allocate additional time for rest and relaxation to ensure I approach tasks with clarity and focus. Conversely, if I’m pursuing a personal health or fitness goal, I might adjust my schedule to incorporate an early morning workout, thus striking a balance between personal well-being and professional commitments.

In essence, my approach to structuring work days revolves around maintaining adaptability and mindfulness, ensuring that each day is optimized to support my overarching goals, whether they’re professional or personal in nature.

  1. What’s a recent leadership lesson you’ve learned for the first time or been reminded of?

One recent leadership lesson that I have been reminded of is the importance of being open to change and resilient in the ever-evolving landscape of technology and consulting. As a leader, it’s easy to become entrenched in familiar methodologies and approaches, but the rapid pace of innovation demands a mindset of continual adaptation and flexibility.

This lesson was brought into sharp focus during a recent client engagement where our team encountered unexpected challenges that necessitated a departure from our usual strategies. Initially, there was resistance to deviating from the established course, as it required us to step out of our comfort zones and step into unfamiliar territory. However, the team quickly realized that clinging to outdated methods would only hinder our progress and limit our ability to deliver value to our clients’ unique needs. 

Embracing this lesson, I encouraged my team to approach the situation with an open mind and a willingness to explore new possibilities. We embraced agile methodologies, solicited input from diverse perspectives, and remained adaptable in our approach. The result was a successful outcome that not only addressed our client’s immediate needs but also positioned us as innovative problem-solvers capable of navigating complex challenges.

This experience served as a powerful reminder that in today’s dynamic landscape, leadership is not about clinging to the status quo but rather about embracing change as an opportunity for growth and innovation. By fostering a culture of openness and adaptability within my team, I have seen firsthand how we can thrive in the face of uncertainty and emerge stronger and more resilient than before.

  1. What’s one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

While I haven’t encountered a specific book that has profoundly impacted my leadership journey, I’ve found inspiration and valuable insights from various sources, including TED Talks. There is a series of 8 TED Talks that resonated deeply with me:

  1. Inside the mind of a master procrastinator – Tim Urban 
  2. Your body language may shape who you are – Amy Cuddy
  3. How to speak so that people want to listen – Julian Treasure 
  4. What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness – Robert Waldinger 
  5. The puzzle of motivation – Dan Pink 
  6. 10 ways to have a better conversation – Celeste Headlee 
  7. Grit: the power of passion and perseverance – Angela Lee Duckworth 
  8. How great leaders inspire action – Simon Sinek 

These talks not only challenged conventional thinking but also provided unique perspectives on leadership and key insights into human behavior and dynamics – the cornerstone of successful businesses and effective leadership.

Although these are not traditional books, these TED Talks served as a catalyst for personal growth and professional development. They reinforced the importance of continuous learning and seeking inspiration from diverse sources beyond the pages of a book. 

  1. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

My advice to a young leader would be to trust their instincts, cultivate grit and resilience, and actively seek out or create opportunities for growth and success. These principles form the foundation for effective leadership and can help navigate the complexities of the professional world with confidence and determination.

Focus on Your Instincts: Trusting your instincts is paramount as a young leader. While it’s essential to seek guidance and advice from mentors and peers, ultimately, you possess unique insights and intuition that can guide your decisions. Cultivate self-awareness and learn to listen to your gut feelings when navigating challenges or making important choices. Your instincts often serve as a valuable compass, guiding you towards the right path even in uncertain situations.

It Takes Grit: Success in leadership demands resilience and perseverance. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth rather than setbacks. Grit, defined as passion and perseverance in the pursuit of long-term goals, is a trait that separates successful leaders from the rest. Stay committed to your objectives, even when faced with obstacles or setbacks. Understand that setbacks are inevitable on the path to success, but it’s your resilience and determination that will ultimately propel you forward.

Make an Opportunity: Instead of waiting for opportunities to come your way, actively seek them out or create them yourself. Take initiative and be proactive in pursuing your goals and ambitions. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone or take calculated risks. Whether it’s seizing upon a new project, seeking out mentorship opportunities, or networking with industry professionals, be proactive in shaping your own path to success. By adopting an opportunistic mindset, you’ll be better equipped to capitalize on chances for growth and advancement in your leadership journey.

  1. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

One particularly meaningful story from my journey as a leader revolves around the inception of Fusion3 Consulting. I found myself in a challenging environment, working within an organization marked by poor leadership and dwindling employee morale. Despite my best efforts to collaborate with leadership in addressing various pain points and business challenges affecting efficiency, client satisfaction, and morale, it became increasingly clear that actions did not align with the words spoken about wanting to improve and change.

Frustrated and disillusioned by the lack of meaningful progress, I reached a pivotal moment where I realized that mere words were not enough. I resolved to take decisive action rather than passively accepting the status quo. This decision led to the founding of Fusion3 Consulting—a firm built on the principles of proactive leadership, trust, and transparency.

The journey taught me two invaluable lessons. Firstly, I learned that trust and transparency are fundamental pillars in building strong relationships across teams, partner networks, and with customers. By fostering open communication and a culture of transparency, we can cultivate trust and collaboration, driving success and growth.

Secondly, I realized the importance of maintaining professional integrity and refraining from burning bridges—even in challenging circumstances. Despite parting ways with my former organization due to misalignment, our relationship remained intact. In fact, they became Fusion3’s first customer—a testament to the enduring value of maintaining positive relationships and leaving doors open for future opportunities.

This experience underscored the power of resilience, integrity, and the transformative impact of taking proactive steps to drive positive change. It serves as a reminder that meaningful progress often begins with the courage to challenge the status quo and the commitment to lead by example.

Related Posts

About Us

Our team is focused on helping our customers realize the full potential of the ServiceNow platform through flexibility, transparency, and technical leadership.

Let’s Socialize

Popular Post