The heat is on… do you lead?

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Leadership Speaker Sandi Coryell keep out sign

It rained in LA this year.

Not much. But enough for my roof to fall in. Which meant I began a long term relationship with my contractor, Kevin.

What seemed like a straight forward repair turned into a torturous journey into the underbelly of keeping a house from imploding on itself….and taking my sanity along with it.

I began to hate the sound of my name. For every time I heard it, there was a price tag attached for additional and ‘immediately necessary’ repairs.

Granite slabs breaking on the way to installation. Hardwood floors sized incorrectly. Carpets bleeding from the frothy overflow of the painter’s spray compressor.


Leadership Speaker Sandi Coryell construction hvacr


Not unlike the challenges leaders face everyday, Kevin had a tough job to do. The complexity of solving perpetually sprouting challenges while also juggling the satisfaction of his client and team came at him feverishly. And he had to, hopefully, walk away with a profit to boot.

But Kevin is a professional.

  • Every text or call was returned within minutes
  • Every disaster in the making was met with calm and a fierce determination to resolve it quickly
  • Every looming hysteria that I felt bubbling up inside of me he quelled with humor and respect
  • Every question I had (and there were many!), every request I made, every decision I stumbled through were met with professionalism and patience


Some days I could tell Kevin was overwhelmed. I was bitching at him, a worker didn’t arrive on time, other clients were demanding attention (how dare they!). Even on his worst days, he never made any of it my problem.

He was the solution.

The three months of construction haven’t been a walk in the park. But no matter what catastrophe was in the making on any given day, I trusted that Kevin would solve it. And he did.

The complexity of delivering quality service in the face of ever changing challenges brutalizes leaders everyday. The ones who set themselves apart follow the same basic tenets of leadership that Kevin demonstrates.

Respect, responsiveness, humor, solution focus.


How do your leaders respond to service under pressure?


Contact Sandi to learn more about how to develop leaders who excel under pressure. 

If you’d like to have Sandi speak at your upcoming event, you can reach her at 818-288-3483.

Sandi Coryell is a Leadership Speaker and Consultant who works with senior executives to improve employee engagement, build more collaborative teams, and improve leadership influence.

Sandi Coryell
Keynote Speaker and Leadership Consultant Sandi Coryell works with leaders who want to bring out the best in their teams and themselves so that they can improve their creativity, teamwork, and bottom line. For Speaking or Consulting inquiries, please contact Sandi at 818-288-3483 or email at

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