Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group & President, Corporate Division

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Bio:

Beth first experienced the value of The Handel Method on a phone call with her younger sister, Lauren Zander, when she was deeply affected by the rich value of her sister’s coaching. This was the first time that Beth truly understood and recognized the genius of Lauren’s methodologies. Combining Beth’s leadership and initiative with Lauren’s innovative approach and vision, The Handel Group LLC was born.

Beth, assisted by her executive team of Presidents and Managing Partners, has developed The Handel Group into a company that now comprises Corporate Consulting, Private Coaching, Educational and Product Divisions. Beth is a masterful coach and personally coaches our most senior executive clients as well as leads corporate seminars on a variety of topics. She is also a featured Executive Coach on businessweek.com where she writes articles and appears in educational videos, discussing topics that relate to leadership development, organizational integrity and other corporate issues.

 

How did you get into the coaching industry?

Oh, that’s a great story about me and baby sister – she’s 11 years younger than I am. I was living in California with my now ex-husband and my daughter.  And I was two years into a new job where I had just produced the biggest sales they'd had in 18 years, and the company was speaking about possibly making make me the President. But the truth is, I was already bored - I missed my family, and I wanted to raise my daughter on the East Coast. I had heard that my younger sister, Lauren Zander, was a good coach, so I called her for advice. And at the time, that wasn’t typical – since I was older, I hadn't really grown up with her, and I thought of her by her nickname, “Baby Lauren.”  This was my little sister who took five years to go through college, during which we were all praying she'd turn out. But after 20 minutes on the phone with her, I said, "Does Daddy know you're a genius? And how much do you charge?" We laughed. Lauren gave me homework, and two weeks later I got on the phone with her for another twenty-minute conversation that altered me profoundly. I was like, "You're kidding me!" Within five months, I moved back to New York, and she got me a job, but it didn’t pan out. So now I have a husband, a two and a half year-old daughter, and no job. And I'm crying to my sister, saying, "The only one I want to work with is you, why don't we just build a company around you?" She says, "Sure, but that's going to take a few years, that's not tomorrow." And I'm like, "I need a job!" And she says, "Okay, give me 24 hours." Twenty-four hours later, we started the Handel Group, and I officially entered the coaching industry.

Tell us about The Handel Group. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?

Most people don't realize that they're only a few steps from becoming deeply, wildly, happy in every area of their lives – from their career, to their second career, to marriage and family - anywhere.  I was one of those people, and that’s what made Lauren’s coaching so genius for me. She invented the Handel Method as a system for showing you what’s holding you back, how to clear it out of the way, and create whatever you need to make your dreams come true.  And it so rocked my world - I’m a builder, so I realized I wanted to build a company that delivered the Handel Method to the world.  Today, the company has four divisions:  The first is Education – we teach The Handel Method in more than 20 programs, including our flagship program at MIT, where we’re so proud to have been teaching our “Design Your Life” course for 10 years.  We’re also in Stanford Business School, Columbia and NYU, among others.  We have a Life Coaching division that serves 500-1000 private clients monthly, a Corporate Division that includes clients like J Walter Thompson, The World Bank, Sony/BMG, Grey Advertising and The US Administration for Children and Families, and a Media Division that is slated to launch our first-ever digital coaching program later this year.  In all four of our divisions, our vision is to use the Handel Method to elevate Personal Integrity and inspire conscious living. 

What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to THG's success?

To date, our marketing has been word of mouth – we’ve built the Handel Group by creating great relationships, rocking our client’s lives and businesses, and committing ourselves to making their dreams a reality. In terms of partnerships, we’ve got some genius leaders that we couldn’t be more proud to create with, including Dr. Mark Hyman – a functional medicine expert who is revolutionizing the face of medicine, and Elena Brower – a spiritual leader and master yoga teacher, whose work is deeply profound and magical.  And of course, we have a fan base in our clients, with whom we are continually collaborating to create new opportunities for growth.

What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?

We are noticing an increased demand for coaching - people are starting to understand that creating results isn’t just about hiring the best people with the right experience, you’ve got to really invest in your team - in their happiness and relationship to themselves, their team members, and everyone in their lives.  At the Handel Group, we believe, happy people produce extraordinary results.  If you can teach people how to connect to deep happiness, they are more powerful leaders, executives, and individuals.  We capitalize on this trend by doing what we do – providing a powerful set of tools to teach people how to stop settling for “good enough,” and get to work designing the career and life of their dreams.

Life Motto/ Handel Group's Motto?

My life motto is one of the many Handel Group mottos, “Maybe it’s You.” Most human beings think when there’s a result they want, but can’t produce, it’s somebody else’s fault – your boss, your kids, whoever, we are big on blaming.  We think, “if only my boss, boyfriend, wife, mother would X, I would be so much better!” We get ourselves off the hook for our part in our failure, and guess what?  We never create the desired result!  If, on the other hand, we say to ourselves “Maybe it’s you,” we cast ourselves in a much more powerful role – that of creator, or the author of your life.  And that makes it way easier to go to work on yourself – you can’t change your boss, boyfriend, wife or mother, but you can change you, and how you experience those people.  

Your greatest success as Co-founder/Vice Chairman of The Handel Group?

My greatest success is the extraordinary team of people who work WITH US – we have an incredible group of Executives and Coaches who share our mission to change the planet, to elevate Personal Integrity and conscious living, all of whom practice the Handel Method in their own lives.  And to work and create with people who share the same mission, who deeply care, and whom I deeply love - there’s nothing like it in the World!

Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?

Write out your dream for whatever it is that you are building – get it down on paper in a way that inspires you, and even scares you a little.  Then every single day, make sure you are taking actions consistent with making that dream a reality.  Use that document to make yourself accountable for bringing your vision into action, and for measuring your progress.  And pay very close attention to your Inner Dialogue – that little voice in your head that talks to you.  If it’s not consistent with what you’ve written, if it doesn’t believe in your vision, you’ve got to flip it.  Most of us don’t realize that our actions are consistent with that voice, so if it’s telling you any part of your dream isn’t going to happen, guess what?  It isn’t going to happen!  This is where coaching can really help – cause that voice can be really hard to flip.  We help you see what it’s up to, and give you the tools you need to get it working in service of your dream, not against it.

How do you motivate your employees?

In exactly the same way as I recommended for the entrepreneurs – each of our Executives designs their Strategic Objectives for the year, and reports monthly on their progress towards that vision.  Then everybody, including me, is required to be inspired every single day, accountable for putting that vision into action.  And if you find yourself out of alignment, the rule is that you have to get to somebody on the team, and get yourself coached to figure out where you are getting in your own way (remember – “maybe it’s you!).  This creates an environment where we are deeply connected to each other, and the results that the team is producing for the year.  And the combination of connection and accountability produces motivation that rocks.

One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?

Dr. Mark Hyman’s Wholefoods Protein Shake with blueberries.

What literature is on your bed stand?

I’m not a “read before bed” person.  Before bed, I hang out with my 13 year-old daughter, and play cards, or watch a show.  But I do like Mystery Novels.

Role model - business and personal?

My role model for both business and personal is my sister, Lauren Zander.  I am the best Beth I’ve ever been because of her commitment, and because she never stops fighting for me to be extraordinary.

Current Passion?

Horseback riding – my daughter got me into it.  I got on my first horse 6 years ago when I turned 50, and I’ve never gotten off!

Favorite travel destination?

Costa Rica – the howler monkeys, being in the rainforest, it’s a magical place.

What's next for The Handel Group?

It’s a long list, but what we’re really excited about is the launch of our first digital coaching product – there’s a video program called Design Your Life and an audio program called How to Be Free.  It’s a chance for us to bring the Handel Method to a bigger audience, and to share our tools for honing what we believe is the most critical skill any human can have  - the ability to create to deep happiness.

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