The Company

The Need

Founders of Lenity, Dan Roach, Kristin Newland, and Marcus Hite, had no plan when they acquired the book of business in 2010. Or rather, their plan was simply, “Don’t die!” given what much of the industry was still dealing with coming out of the great recession. In 2014 Lenity seemed to be stabilized and even growing, however, they felt that outside expertise was needed to provide guidance to ensure their key decisions on how to scale the business were sound. Having never hired outside consulting before, they soon found out how challenging it can be to find the right resource.

Their first two attempts at engaging a business consultant were unpleasant and ended up being “a lot of money for nothing.” Needless to say, when the partners were referred to Rick, they were still very skeptical of not only consultants in general, but whether professional coaching was really needed at that point. “We knew we were doing something right because we were still afloat after a few years and the bank accounts looked good,” Dan relayed. “But I think in the back of our mind, we realized that we didn’t know what we were going to do next.”

Lenity Architecture

The Solution

In spite of their reservations, the partners decided to retain Rick’s services because of the referral and having had an opportunity to attend a few workshops Rick had delivered on business leadership, deciding that engaging with a consultant was worth one more try. Understanding their prior history Rick patiently approached the situation, not with some complex business plan but rather by solidifying the confidence the partners had in themselves and their abilities to lead the business first. In particular, something that Kristin had not shared with anyone was that she’d never received a formal degree in business and was self-conscious about it. When it was shared with Rick, he encouraged her to, “recognize what you’ve achieved in the business so far and how you got here. You don’t need a degree to tell you how competent you’ve already proven yourself to be.” Rick’s method of instilling confidence in what they’ve already accomplished instead of telling them what they “should be” doing was instrumental in the founders acknowledging the success they had created while recognizing the work still needed to be done. This proved to be invaluable to the partners both in their professional and personal lives, and in their trust with Rick.

The Value

In addition to building confidence, Rick also helped build something else crucial to Lenity’s success: unity in the workplace. 

Over the past seven years, there were multiple instances where the stress of growing the business led to tension, disagreements, and clashing personalities. There were moments where, depending on how the issues would be handled, could make or break the company. Rick guided the team through those difficult trials and “helped facilitate wins” for all parties. According to Dan, “Had Lenity not had Rick’s counsel, we wouldn’t have gotten through it.” 

This work by the leadership team also fostered a desire within the company and its employees to learn how to have hard, but necessary, conversations while seeking to learn from other perspectives. It helped the company learn the balance of firmness and directness with respect and compassion.

“Rick is the one that made me comfortable with my success and where I’d taken my career.”

- Kristin Newland, Co-founder

“Rick has an uncanny ability to get to the nut [of an issue], and in a way that keeps the team working together.” 

- Dan Roach, Co-founder  

The Results

In 2021, Lenity achieved one of the key objectives it had hired Rick to assist with in successfully transitioning the business to the next group of shareholders. Dan, Kristin, and Marcus were able to exit the business with the confidence that the hard work and dedication they had maintained, along with Rick’s help, allowed Lenity to become a more people-oriented company that has given room for the employees to grow and “fulfill their own vision,” in how the company succeeds. 

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