Harvard Club, New York City
Marisa Santoro is an American career leadership trainer and coach recognized as a global leadership expert for the Gutsy Leadership method, making a business paradigm shift of how to develop leaders of influence. She empowers workplace professionals, practice owners, sales agents, physicians and small business owners to move into higher levels of leadership roles across corporate and the health care, real estate, education, music, writing and coaching industries.
Former IT Executive on Wall Street, Marisa has a 21+ year corporate career and is a recent honoree of the “Women of Influence” award by New York Business Journals given her years of heart-centered mentoring and leadership programs for women in the workplace. She is the creator of The Gutsy Leadership System TM and founder of In Our Shoes TM, a professional development training and collaboration platform consisting of self-paced online courses and live training delivered through The Gutsy Leadership Academy TM, an online leadership school which promotes a global community for professionals to share their same struggles in a trusted safe environment. She is also a Success Principles TM trainer of Jack Canfield's, teaching a life transformational step-by-step blueprint on how professionals can achieve success across all areas in their lives. These success principles are the same personal development principles which continues to help hundreds of thousands of people achieve success in their lives.
Marisa is also a national career columnist for American Business Journals with articles published in 43 cities across the US, cited expert for women’s leadership in the Huffington Post and motivational speaker.
She has served as a founding member of the Leadership Advisory Council for Forbes’ top-ranked Swedish firm Qlikview, sat on the board of directors for the Manhattan chapter of the National Association for Female Executives , has obtained the sponsorship of New York University’s Women’s Initiative programs leading events for their female alumni and worked with organizations helping them kick off their own internal women’s leadership movement such as New York Life Insurance , UBS, Allianz Global Investors, global law firm Salans LLP at their UK headquarters and Consulting magazine’s top ranked firm to work for in the US: Slalom Consulting and many more organizations making strides to elevate women towards more leadership.
Delivering an authentic professional training program and toolkit, In Our Shoes education is a compilation of everything Marisa has learned from raising her own rank through Corporate America, going up, down and sideways, growing her own business and heart-centered coaching of professionals throughout her career.
You were an executive on Wall St., how did you become a Leadership Trainer and Confidence Guru?
"To answer this question, it’s probably best that I share with you a defining moment that brought me to where I am today, training on exactly what to do to get unstuck and take the reigns of your life, going after what you want.
The defining moment in my life took place when I was swapping in and out of shoes balancing the career, family and home fronts on what felt like steroids. I wore the shoes of a female executive on Wall Street in an abrasive environment, a girl geek immersed in a male-dominated field of technology, a survivor of multiple layoff cycles during two desperate periods in the rocky financial services industry while losing my father in hospice care, had just begun my divorce and slipping into the single mom shoes. I turned to having an assertive gutsy attitude suppressing a knee-jerk reaction to spiral into fear mode. I looked back at all I was most proud of and repackaged myself, reinvented myself and took on more challenging roles giving me new leadership opportunities I never would have received had I not changed my mindset. It was also at that time that I began coaching others to help them either keep or find new jobs quickly and found I discovered a new expertise I never knew I had and which I absolutely embraced for being of service to others. I followed my gut and began a professional development education platform. How I created consistent results in my career and business was by continuing to apply a series of essential practice-building steps that had always worked for me. Since then I’ve worked with private clients, spoken in front of countless groups inside companies motivating and teaching the steps they need on how to get out there, lift their self-confidence, speak comfortably to anyone in any setting and advance to the next level in their career or business. I never saw this work in my future, but when it came knocking I listened to my gut and never looked back.
When you pull a mirror out and look back at your little wins, you shift to a different level and become very focused on what you want. You become what I call “end-game” oriented; by hook or by crook you get what you need by being non-negotiable about the way you want to feel. I figured out there are systems which could keep me raising my game receiving the things that I wanted. There wasn’t a secret sauce, I had cracked the code several times on how to move ahead ask for what you want and get it; it didn’t have to be stressful or take so long. I have since made a commitment to empowering professionals, showing them how they too can advance in their career or business.
It takes seconds to convince yourself that something isn’t going to work for you. That you’re not good enough. That if it hasn’t happened yet, it never will. Sound familiar?
“I have worn the shoes of being challenged as a woman in technology, working on Wall Street, as a committed working mother, surrounded by only male colleagues, surviving every financial services widespread layoff cycle and economic downturn while being a single mom and only breadwinner. Don‘t strive for perfection. Roll up your sleeves, push forward and go with your gut, even if you don’t know exactly the “how”, you’ll find a way.” – Marisa Santoro, Founder of www.InRShoes.com and The Gutsy Leadership Academy.