Mary Lee is an expert at seeing what you need, listening to what you want and partnering with you for the freedom of both. Her practice focuses on helping leaders fine tune their emotional intelligence such that they not only can control their negative emotions and thoughts in the moment but are able to notice how they are being perceived by others and know what to do about it. She helps busy executive leaders address what they can’t see to be more connected, confident, strategic, effective, respected, promoted, and hired without exhausting themselves and their relationships on the treadmill to nowhere.
At a certain career level everyone is smart, experienced and highly capable; those traits are no longer differentiators. Unfortunately, at this level there are few supports. What do you do when bureaucracy, personal agendas and posturing are ubiquitous? When doubt shatters progress? When working harder just leaves you more exhausted? Success is freedom not more hours.
Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE is an award winning executive coach, author and founder of MaryLeeGannon.com, a consulting and coaching firm that helps leaders position their 'Leadership Impact' to enthuse transformational change – the same change that took her from welfare to CEO of organizations worth up to $26 million. She helps busy leaders get off the treadmill to nowhere with mindful confidence, connection and calm so they can be more effective, happier and have better relationships with the people who matter while it still matters.
19-Year CEO and ICF Certified Coach: Mary Lee has a unique perspective with 19 years as a CEO and is currently the president of a $24 million organization within a 80,000 employee organization in Pittsburgh and coaches executive leaders to high performance and happiness. She is an International Coach Federation Certified Coach, a Certified Professional Coach by Duquesne University, a Certified Association Executive, an alumnus of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Practices Program and the Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital Coaching in Medicine & Leadership Conference, a scholarship recipient of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute at Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership created at Google, and a member of Pittsburgh Coaches Association. She is the author or two books: Reinvent You – From Welfare to CEO and Starting Over.
Personal Turnaround: Mary Lee’s personal turnaround came as a stay-at-home mother with four children under seven-years-old who endured a divorce that took her and her children from the country club life to public assistance from where she re-invented her life to support her family.
Awards/Recognition: Mary Lee is the recipient of the Honorary Woman of Courage Award by Pennsylvania Women Work, The Lifetime Achievement Award by Pittsburgh Society of Association Executives, The Women of Integrity Award by Pittsburgh Professional Women, The Leading Lady Award by Oakland Catholic and WHIRL Magazine's Women in Business. Mary Lee is the "Mindful Leadership" columnist for Smart Business Magazine and is a former reporter for The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She’s been featured in Money Magazine, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, Yahoo.com, U.S. News and World Report, msn.com, Forbes.com, CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com.
Mary Lee has coached for corporations and individuals from: Google, Merrill Lynch, Amazon, Ford Motor Company, United States Department of Labor, PNC, Adobe, Nokia, Philips, UPMC, Sage Intacct, Mitel, HNTB, United State Postal Service, Channellock Tools, VMware, Talking Rain, Levy, University of Pittsburgh, LOFT, Dick’s Sporting Goods, SAP Ariba, USAA, Allegheny Health Network, BankUnited, Mon Health Medical Center, Ametek, RiseSmart, Sabra, Nebraska Public Power District, Select Medical, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC Law Firm, The United Way, Strassburger McKenna & Gefsky Law Firm, HNTB Corporation, The EMJ Group, Ebb, Allegheny County Medical Society, Clean Slate Media, Mosaic Wealth Consulting, Excela Health, Pittsburgh Promise, Easter Area Adult Services, Bravo Group, The Ellis School, Crime Victim Center of Erie County, Pittsburgh Professional Women, The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, Franklin Templeton Investments, Nuage Networks, Cedar Gate Technologies, Bedford County Chamber of Commerce, Volunteer Administrators of Southwestern PA, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
Mary Lee’s leadership and dedication to volunteer service is evidenced by her tenure on dozens of non-profit boards of directors, specifically in the role of past president of Rotary Club of Fox Chapel Area, past president of Pittsburgh Society of Association Executives, past president of St. Lucy’s Auxiliary to the Blind, 2010 Chairperson of The Medallion Ball, and chairperson of the Development Committee for Healthcare Council of Western Pennsylvania. She has served as a trustee on the boards of Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council, Eastern Area Adult Services, Women’s Auxiliary of the American Cancer Society, St. Margaret Foundation, and Community Organized Representatives for Education under the Association of Retarded Citizens, and Community Swim Club. She has volunteered for POWER, Dress for Success, Society of Children’s Book Writers, editor of her church newsletter and as a Girl Scout Leader for several Brownie, Junior and Cadette troops. Additionally, she has provided pro-bono consulting for HEARTH, New Choices/New Options, Pennsylvania Women Work, Dress for Success, Urban League of Pittsburgh, Employment Advancement Retention Network, Girls Scouts of Western PA, Workquest, One Vision One Life, McKeesport Employment and Training Network.
Download Mary Lee's Flow on the Go Guide - Weekly Planning Tool. You already have a calendar. This is a way to track your daily goals and your well-being.
Erica Clayton Wright
Senior Advisory Policy and Media
U.S. Department of Labor
"Simply stated, working with Mary Lee Gannon was one of the best investments I have ever made in myself. I began working with Mary Lee during a transformational period in my life. It was a decision on my part to take the knowledge, skills and experiences gained throughout my career and focus my energy towards roles that fit my leadership and creative skills while helping others and contributing to my community. Mary Lee provided me with thoughtful insight about myself, taught me to get to the root of my uncertainty by pausing in order to maintain my leadership presence and bring the best out in others. Her program provided me with the tools and resources to position myself to embrace my personal evolution with grace, grit and most importantly greater awareness. One of the most valuable lessons I learned about myself through Mary Lee was the hard work that got me to where I am today is not the skill that is going to take me to where I am going. I also learned that in order to make this transition, I need to dig deep within myself to stay true to my values and boundaries in order to have the freedom to have the career and life I want to have and live.”
“Anyone who participates in Mary Lee’s program will find they can take their leadership to another level. Mary Lee helped me get to the root values of who I am and made me cognizant of how to utilize those values in my professional life. Utilizing Mary Lee’s program, I was able to successfully change careers and am happy professionally for the first time in my life. Additionally, those who are seeking “Emotional Intelligence” need to look no further. You will obtain the techniques necessary to have a high level of emotional intelligence working through Mary Lee’s program. I recommend her program to anyone who is seeking advancement, fulfillment, or a fresh start in their life or career.”
President and CEO
The EMJ Group
“Mary Lee’s method of coaching came to me at a time of critical career decision making. Her process enabled me to step off the seemingly never-ending treadmill of work and home responsibilities and enabled me to take pause, look at myself in a way I never have before.
I’m now able to use her training on a daily basis at both work and home to have that balance restored and allow every day challenges to come to me in an orderly and expected way, without the stress these events cause.
No matter what your career or position, I highly recommend you engage with Mary Lee and give yourself the gift of power over your thoughts, reactions, relationships and centered peace of heart and mind.”
Nancy Cardone Raia
Network Deployment Lead
“Before working with Mary Lee, I was completely stuck and unhappy. I felt like things were never going to change and I was unsure how to make things different. I also wasn't sure I was good enough to make a change and do something different. Luckily after working with Mary Lee for a few months, I regained a sense of self-worth, figured out what career path would make me happiest and determined a way to get me to my next step. A month ago I accepted a senior consulting position with a major international enterprise software player.
I went from being unhappy and stuck in a specialized industry to working for a well-respected company in a position with limitless possibilities.
This is the happiest I have been in years and I owe it all to Mary Lee. If you are in a similar position and are unsure how to make a change, consider working with Mary Lee. Not only is she extremely experienced and knowledgeable, but she truly cares and wants to see her clients succeed.”
Kelly Singh, CML
Director Finance, USAA
San Antonio, TX
“Mary Lee's program is truly effective. Working with Mary Lee, I was able to identify blind spots and roadblocks that were otherwise not visible to me.
After working with Mary Lee, I have experienced a greater self-awareness and improved self-regulation, and built a larger professional network. These skills are now part of my toolbox and I have used them in some of the most challenging professional situations.
I recommend Mary Lee's program to any leader looking to acquire real, tangible skills to drive them forward.”
Dina L. Perry, MBA
Vice President, Physician Services
Bayhealth Medical Center
"I have been in progressive roles in healthcare leadership for 30 years. Mary Lee helped me secure and thrive in a vice-president role.
I had reached the point in my career where to take the next step in the C-suite, I felt it prudent to partner with an executive coach. Through Mary Lee’s executive coaching program, I received reinforcement of my strengths as a leader and more importantly gained insight into how to eliminate barriers toward taking the next step in my executive career. She provided thoughtful course content, rich with resources that I could explore at my own pace and revisit as I dug deeper into the areas on which I wanted to focus. These resources did not just focus on the “nuts and bolts” of leadership, but probably more importantly the self-care and awareness we all need to be fulfilled, happy human beings. Through those exercises, goal setting with Mary Lee, and practical application with my teams, I was able to hone in on what was holding me back, I implemented daily mindfulness practices, and made some difficult decisions to remove myself from situations my personal life that were starting to affect my wellbeing. There is no doubt that without this exploration I would not now be poised to take on the next phase of my career. Discovery of clarity and owning the ability to control my destiny are invaluable outcomes to having Mary Lee as a coach. I am ready for anything that comes my way!"
Leah Tapp, PE, VMA
Deputy Project Manager Contracts
PM/CM Support Services
“Mary Lee, I wanted to share my perspective on how the coaching process has benefited me. My boss and I have had a couple conversations about coaching since I let him know I had entered your program, and this morning (seriously!) he asked me if I would mind sharing information about how I connected with you and your coaching program. I forwarded one of your recent newsletters with the link for a consulting call. He’s interested and commented that he’s seen a change in how deliberate I am now with how I approach what I work on and how much more intentional I am with my actions and responses. I couldn’t ask for a better validation of the improvements I’ve felt on the inside. I am deeply grateful for the time you took and for your willingness to coach. It is a selfless act to be patient while someone works through their inner grime and gunk, but the results, for me, are nothing short of amazing. I did tell my boss if I ever get the opportunity to do the same for someone else, I’m all in.
When we first connected, I was frustrated with my lack of effectiveness in my position and within my organization. I felt undervalued and couldn’t make the impact I wanted to no matter what I tried. Going through the coaching process with you helped me see that it wasn’t specific behaviors holding me back; instead, I was letting fear and doubt influence my decisions and keep me from building good work relationships. During your program, I received a promotion with nearly a 10% raise and have increased my visibility and leadership potential in my office. Since completing your program, I have multiple opportunities in front of me with significant growth potential, all within my company. I’m excited about the potential I have. Most importantly, my work is meaningful, and I look forward each day to helping others around me feel the same.”
Regional Vice President
"With 30 plus years of leadership experience, I made a leap and released myself from the world of autopilot. Before working with Mary Lee, I was not aware that I had moved through my career in autopilot mode and my identity and self-value was exclusively intertwined with my career success. Now that I have completed the program, it is evident to me how one dimensional the world of auto pilot actually is.
Working with Mary Lee challenged me as both a leader and an individual. The dynamic relationship between our self-talk, self-doubt, and our performance is inextricably linked. She always knew when to push me, delve deeper and always posed thought provoking questions. Mary Lee possesses the ability to assist you to visualize and work from a 50,000-foot view to the meaningful details. I truly appreciated our one to one sessions and conversations working through the material and applying the concepts. Her authenticity, knowledge, and genuine desire to support shines through in these sessions.
The Corner Office Impact Leadership Program has truly changed and inspired me. It has allowed me the opportunity to assess my talents and strengths while making meaningful changes that will impact me both professionally and personally for years to come. Whether you are a new or seasoned leader, Mary Lee and the program will help you to further develop your executive presence and expand your skill set."
Sales Operations Manager
"You know that tread mill that you’re on....well I was running and running on that treadmill and got nowhere. The harder I worked the more miserable I was in my job.
I lost my passion, my drive, my self-confidence, my voice... I knew I was struggling, disconnected, unproductive and negative with my work, with my colleagues. I knew I had to make a change, work on my communication skills, change my attitude, change my life.
Mary Lee and her leadership program taught me how to communicate effectively, gain self-confidence, improve my leadership skills and build my executive presence. I just didn't change my professional career around, I changed my life, my outlook on life. I used the Pause-Cafe moment strategy and was mindful of my actions and other’s actions so I could take control of situations.
Working with Mary Lee was the best decision I made. I recently received a promotion. I now live in the present aware of my behaviors. I listen before I speak and extend compassion to the individuals around me.
Thank you, Mary Lee. I will continue to work on myself and daily practices and goals."
Wells Fargo Advisors
“I highly recommend Mary Lee for anyone who is interested in taking their leadership to the next level – regardless of current responsibilities or title. What I found most impactful was not only how to become more self-aware but how it correlates with the ability to lead. Mary Lee’s genuine nature and commitment to results - combined with her ability to communicate a wealth of knowledge and resources in a concise and personal way, leads to a powerful and life-changing experience.”
Vice President of Human Resources
Quick Med Claims
"Working with Mary Lee has been inspiring, energizing and delightful. She possesses a wealth of wisdom to help leaders reach their full potential.
Her Corner Office Impact Leadership Program has been beneficial in so many ways but the greatest takeaway for me was helping to further develop my emotional intelligence skills which has produced fantastic results. I now have the ability to communicate more effectively, coach my team in such a way that inspires them to perform at their best and has assisted with building trust. I would highly recommend her program!
When I began working with Mary Lee I was a Director. One day I met with a former boss for a project we had been working on where she told me that this had been a breakthrough year for me, and I had achieved “executive presence!” Amen! Ultimately, I was able to achieve a Vice President role in a leading organization. Mary Lee, Thank you for all your wisdom, guidance and support!"
Kristy DiGiacomo, MBA
Inside Sales Supervisor
"For months, I had followed Mary Lee's posts and sound advice through LinkedIn. As a mid-level sales and marketing professional with an MBA, I found myself in a place of confusion and a clouded vision of where I was in my career, where it was that I desired to be and how in the world to get there. After an initial consultation with Mary Lee, I knew that she had the skill set, experience and know how to help me untangle the confusion. Upon completing the executive coaching program with Mary Lee, the fog has cleared, I know exactly where I am in my career and the next steps that need to occur. Thank you Mary Lee for setting me straight on the path to success, personally and professionally! I would encourage any level professional who is searching for ways to improve to contact Mary Lee Gannon, you will be glad you did!"
Senior Project Manager and Communications Director
Jones Petrie Rafinski Corporation
South Bend, IN
“It’s up to you whether or not you are ready for a life-changing experience, because Mary Lee coaches only those who have their ‘moons’ aligned (mind, body, and spirit) and are prepared to make the life changes in discovering their best self!
How? Read, Listen, Practice, and Believe in all the exercises. There are no shortcuts or quick fixes. If you cross the finish line, you will be a different person to your business, your family, and most importantly to yourself; you will also be among the respected team of successful executives who understand the commitment required to be an effective leader and serve others. Mary Lee works and lives daily by the very principles she coaches, so you are getting firsthand professional advice towards achieving your professional goals. I write this not to tell you my success in the program, but to hopefully touch those future executives who wish to make the world a better place. This is not a road many choose to take, but the rewards are priceless.
I chose to commit to the program and the results not only included a new executive position and great job opportunity, but it also improved my family and personal relationships. Commit to yourself, your family, and your business colleagues, then bring on your “A” game! Good luck!”
Customer Documentation Engineer - Senior Technical Writer
Nuage Networks - Nokia
San Jose, CA
"I have always been a conscientious person who wants to do the right thing. I continuously make adjustments as I get things done. Mary Lee has helped me get through some challenging situations where I could lose view of the big picture and become frustrated with something out of my control. After working with her, I am calmer, more resilient, and more connected with others in all aspects of my life. And I was able to secure a new role in an organization more aligned with my values working with Mary Lee."
President and CEO
“Mary Lee is able to go 30 thousand feet in the air and look down at a situation to correctly and properly ascertain what is really going on and make the most thorough and thoughtful recommendation(s) for her clients. I would highly recommend Mary Lee in any professional capacity. She is an asset and strength to any team or individuals who may hire her.”
Easter Area Adult Services
"Mary Lee facilitated a strategic visioning session for our agency’s Board of Directors. This was one of the most engaging board meetings that I have had in my 25 years of nonprofit management experience."
Former Executive Director
Nonprofit Leadership Institute, Duquesne University
“Mary Lee Gannon has developed a well-earned reputation as an exceptional Servant Leader. Her vast (and highly successful) senior level experience, strong interpersonal skills, tireless work ethic and overall commitment to excellence have provided her with the skills to offer powerful, results-oriented coaching and consulting. Highly recommended!”
“Going into working with Mary Lee, I felt unfulfilled in my work and powerless. During our time, we set goals to realign myself and develop myself professionally. Mary Lee not only showed me the tools I needed to find a more successful position, which I secured, but aided me in becoming a composed and thoughtful leader. The exercises and methods I’ve learned not only helped me in the moment, but taught me that I already have inside myself what I need to shine and succeed.”
Maria S. Allshouse, CFT, SFN, ISSA
Manager, Marketing Campaigns
Dick’s Sporting Goods
“Mary Lee's coaching is heartfelt, engaging and effective. Here is what has changed in my career, business and personal life since I began working with her: · I have strengthened my leadership skills and continue to be recognized as an effective leader to my team and collaborative areas. · I’ve proposed changes that would have never happened otherwise. · I am able to quickly shift my mindset when my negative thoughts get the best of me. · I am able to succinctly describe what my team does and why it is important. · I more confidently participate in large group discussions. · I have learned how to practice gratitude. · I have learned the effectiveness of practicing mindfulness and how powerful just practicing it for 10 minutes a day can be on a daily basis. It refreshes your mind and reboots it. · I have been able to self-reflect and realize how truly accomplished I am both personally and professionally. · I have gotten the confidence back to revisit owning my own small business. · I have put together a solid roadmap for the year and I am off to a great start.”
Pittsburgh Promise Graduate
Full Scholarship Recipient
University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering
"What I learned from Mary Lee is that I don’t need to feel overwhelmed by my story. I’ve also learned some skills to help myself grow and become a better more confident version of myself. Coaching with Mary Lee helped me realize that there is no need for me to feel ashamed/guilt in my past. It is up to me to own it. I don’t need to feel the need to share my story with everyone, but I don’t need to completely envelop myself in it. I can share whenever I am ready.
I’ve slowly begun to figure out who I am and where I want to be. I felt like previously I held a lot of things in too, but I’ve begun to journal a lot more. Also, I’m learning to speak with more confidence. I still need to make progress in this area. I commit to more actively journaling and watching my diction as I speak, i.e. more actively replacing my ‘sorrys’ for ‘excuse me’ and speaking with more confidence. Also, instead of shying away from opportunities, I will put myself out there more often and go about making more friends.
Overall, I just want to build my brand. I think Mary Lee was a great coach. Her coaching provided just the right amount of encouragement as well as advice as to how to improve. I didn’t feel as if she tiptoed around anything. I think the only limiting factor was really amount of time for coaching. This was a very new experience for me, thank you!"
Anita Buzzy Prentiss
Founder, Buzzy Beauty and Buzzy Photo
“Here is what has changed in my career, business and life since I started working with Mary Lee: - I can better articulate what my business is- my “brand”- what makes my business stand out and why. - I have been enjoying my work so much more because she has helped me identify where my passions and interests lie. I have given some real thought to what my ideal day looks like, and she has helped me figure out how to create it. - I have been taking better care of myself- getting enough rest, spending quality time with people I love- balancing it out by good work habits- paying attention to what my priorities are. - I have let go of some fear- I am ok with having conversations about topics where I’m not sure of the answer. Mary Lee asks me questions that make me think about everything a little differently. I trust that I can work through problems and ask help when I need it. - Mary Lee has really helped me to clarify what my true objective is. - My business has grown, and I am generally happier in all areas!”
Roseanne R. Wholey
President Roseanne R. Wholey and Associates Physician Coding/Billing/Collection
"I met Mary Lee Gannon several years ago when I began chairing large events for a major organization. Mary Lee was an executive board member and immediately struck me as a competent, confident, caring woman who was above all of the drama. If ever an issue would arise everyone would naturally look to Mary Lee for her opinion. She could immediately command the attention of the room, encourage the women to think clearly about the issues, and work towards an intelligent solution. She continues to be highly respected by everyone in the organization. In 2013 Mary Lee was one of the most effective presidents the organization ever had. She began her year by hosting a Board Retreat so that we knew the qualities of an effective Board and the significance of our role within the organization. She brought us out of the stone ages with regard to technology and she coordinated a complete upgrade of the website. If ever a hostile discussion would arise, I would watch in awe as she would allow for all sides of an argument to be heard, defuse the conflict, and then focus on assessing the pros and cons of the situation to make an educated decision. Her calming voice and respect for all opinions made everyone feel as if they had been heard. I later found out about Mary Lee’s past as a stay at home mom with 4 children who went through a divorce and ended up on public assistance. She had to re-invent herself to support her family. I heard about her struggle to climb the ladder of success to become the president of a major hospital foundation – a $24 million organization – as well as launching MaryLeeGannon.com to pass along her knowledge to help people trust their abilities and exceed their own expectations. It is her mission to help people thrive. The fact that she overcame such hardship, and the fact that she is now helping others, caused me to respect her even more. In 2015 when I was president of this organization I could not have made it through the tough year if it were not for Mary Lee. I felt a sense of security having her as my coach – my sounding board for problems and to gently nudge me in the right direction. She taught me how to let go of my anger at those who were working against me and to move on in a productive manner to be an effective leader. She taught me to let go of the bad things, to establish and work towards my goals, and to have some fun in the process. I found her humor to be the highlight of every bad day. I consider myself to be very lucky to have had Mary Lee as my personal coach – on my side at this very hard time. If I had Mary Lee Gannon as my life coach every day of my life I could probably be president of the United States."
Crime Victim Center of Erie County, Pennsylvania
"Mary Lee Gannon inspired our board to look at our services in very different ways than we were used to. She guided us through challenging exercises to help us understand what the outside view of our organization was (what the general community may think we do) and how to begin the necessary steps to either confirm that image or to change the views not in line with our goals, vision and Mission. Mary Lee left us with challenging homework, a defined plan stating who is responsible for each area or goal and an excitement to go beyond our current boundaries – real or imagined."
Why Leadership Impact Direction from Mary Lee? Because you and your team may not hear the right message from constituents, address what's at the heart of their needs or execute effectively when they are on autopilot. Complacency is where innovation takes a back seat to routine, where listening is not hearing, where discomfort spurs retreat to the safe zone versus a breakthrough to reinvention. Mary Lee’s mission is to wake you and your team up from autopilot so you can notice the formative moment, ask the mindful questions, demonstrate empathy and position your unique Leadership Signature to transform the world instead of just flying around it.
What are the bottom line takeaways from a presentation or coaching with Mary Lee?
1. First you will wake up from autopilot to eliminate the head trash that holds you back from your leadership impact.
2. Secondly, she will show you how to be more confident and establish the presence necessary to influence decisions.
3. Third, she will walk you through the action steps for a clear line-of-sight with self-awareness and in particular how to position your unique value to enthuse a movement that matters.
4. And ultimately you and your colleagues will generate your own Leadership Influence Signature to knock on the door of success and step inside instead of waiting on the front porch for an invitation.
Contact Mary Lee to set up a complimentary strategy session. It's time.
You will be sent an email with a link each time Mary Lee Gannon updates the Executive Coach's Blog. It's great to have you with us!