I love learning and I’m passionate about sharing what I learn.
If something has made a difference in my life—professionally or personally or both—I want others to benefit too, so they have the tools, mindsets, and confidence they need to step into the leadership role they were always meant to play. Which is why I love leading workshops and webinars for The Get Real Project.
Clients tell me I blend curiosity, energy, and humor with experience and insight to help them see and address whatever is getting in their way.
I have spent over 25 years in consulting helping clients tackle their most complex and daunting challenges—including leaders and teams across the US Federal Government, non-profit organizations, and commercial industry. When I’m not leading programs for The Get Real Project, I am a leadership development and strategy consultant and executive coach in Washington, D.C.
I have a B.A. in Foreign Affairs and Spanish from The University of Virginia and a Masters Certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University. I also hold certifications in team effectiveness, organizational culture, and leadership development tools like DiSC, The Leadership Circle Profile ™ 360 and Culture Survey tools, and the Drexler/Sibbett Team Performance Indicator.
When I’m not working, you can find me dreaming about, researching, and planning my next vacation (My goal is to visit all 50 states by the time I turn 50 and all seven continents by the time I turn 70!) or hiking with my very stubborn yet loveable black lab, George.
My Get Real Services
I specialize in leading three of our signature programs: Being a Trusted Advisor, Trust-Based Selling, and Trust-Based Consulting. I coach participants on specific ways to apply what they have learned to real-world situations.
I am also a professional speaker, delivering presentations on trust-related topics such as leading with trust, the dynamics of influence, and dealing with conflict.
My Trust Temperament™
What Clients are Saying
“I would put Cate among the top three instructors I’ve experienced in my 40 years in the industry. Cate was a complete professional and her positive enthusiasm was infectious and made this class valuable and a joy to attend.”
, Being a Trusted Advisor immersion program, 2014
Who I’m Reading/Following
- Next Big Idea Club
- Bob Anderson, Scaling Leadership
- Brene Brown, Dare to Lead
- David Epstein, Range
- Psychology Today
- Neuroleadership Institute
My Get Real Story
I had a team of four consultants working on a long-term project with an important client, “Mike,” who valued seeing the same faces year after year. In the course of three months, the entire team turned over. I had to deliver the bad news as each team member departed. Each time I had an answer ready for how to solve the problem, yet I could sense Mike’s agitation building with each encounter.
After several turnovers, and Band-Aid fixes, Mike opened up and vented to me his frustration. I immediately responded as any “good” consultant does: with a solution! To which he responded with even greater irritation and annoyance. I finally realized what was needed and changed my approach. I listened, and then listened some more, and still more, as Mike expressed his concerns and aggravation. He concluded with, “I know you are doing all you can. I just had to get that out.” He was still unhappy and yet we were able to move forward together.
Once things were more stable with the team, I brought up the possibility of phasing out our support so he could bring in a more reliable contractor. Turns out he didn’t want anyone else—he wanted our team.
My key takeaways: Listening is anything but a “soft” skill; it’s a critical business skill and a way to recover trust in the face of challenging circumstances.
Getting a Little More Personal
Words people often use to describe me
Witty, curious, fun-loving, good listener.
What inspires me
The confidence and courage of people (especially children) who have dreams and drive and who haven’t learned to be fearful!
What brings me joy
What anchors me
Time with family and good friends or a good snuggle with George, my black Lab.
What drives me nuts
Hypocrisy, wastefulness, slow drivers.
My guilty pleasure
True Crime Podcasts.
A favorite quote
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are”—Anais Nin
What I can’t do without
Having family and friends nearby, being of service, and weekend trips to Target for all the “essentials.”
My secret ambition
To own a villa in Tuscany or a house on the cliffs of the Italian Riviera.