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Success Stories

Take a non-negotiable approach to doing just one thing: lead without permission.

Gutsy Leadership - it's a mindset thing.

Sohah Iqbal, Interventional Cardiologist

Marisa recently led a training seminar for the NYU Community of Women in Medicine. What impressed me most about Marisa was her ability to swiftly shift the whirlwind energy of the room as attendees entered carrying all their stresses, insecurities, and expectations, and shifted it to a powerfully focused energy. Through an effective 2 hour session she was able to help participants reconsider their purpose in their every day and tap into their unique value. On a personal note, Marisa helped me realize my uniqueness. I had always been someone who kept her head down and did what was expected of me and what I expected of myself, but now realizing what I personally have to bring to the table has helped me recognize my strength and power.

If you have any questions regarding the value of Gutsy Leadership programs, reach out. l would be happy to talk to you more about it.

Sohah Iqbal, Interventional Cardiologist New York University Langone Medicine Center. Assistant Professor of Medicine, NYU School of Medicine. The Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology
Harriet Khataba

Since working with Marisa as my business coach, I am more confident within myself , in my business and all the skills which I bring to the table and now have an increased client base. I have established a clear schedule and system with my work. She has guided me in establishing my own coaching programmes which at one time seemed impossible. Marisa is not only passionate about what she does, she is extremely enthusiastic about helping women in what they have set out to do; she listens and understands your business and caters to your needs which makes it so enjoyable working with her. She is full of knowledge and wisdom in vast areas in business.

The most significant improvement is my productivity – I am more productive now with my time and achieve more results in everything I undertake.

If you have any question regarding the value of In Our Shoes programs, please call or e-mail me. I will be happy to talk to you more about it.

Harriet Khataba Her Story Matters
Nell Acosta

I approached Marisa Santoro to conduct a Gutsy Leadership workshop for my company, American Express Open’s  women’s interest network. Marisa delivered a powerful session to a standing-room-only audience. She made us aware of everyday subtle actions and words we use that diminish our appearance of confidence in the workplace and taught quick fixes to turn that around immediately after the training. She taught us to break the “perfection paralysis” cycle and to “speak without apology.” There were so many questions in the room, we ran out of time and Marisa was kind enough to regroup in the lobby for those who could stay late. I highly recommend her workshops to anyone and am so thankful for her work with our team!

Nell Acosta Senior Manager, American Express Open
Dr. Dorothy Fink, finkd@georgetown.edu

Marisa, thank you! I have seen incredible results by setting boundaries in my practice and saying NO where I need. I absolutely needed this course. I’m now setting up expectations with patients, creating and setting my office policy and training my staff  – editing all our emails based on your advice. Marisa helped me through a difficult transition in my job.  She guided me to find the right words to discuss my resignation.  It’s hard to be a woman and balance the alpha and beta in your job.  I’m a beta at heart and have a hard time not being walked all over at work.  I also have trouble asserting my alpha side at work and getting respect.  Before working with you Marisa, I was a complete pushover at work. Then I started standing up for myself in ways that I never thought possible.  The 3 most significant improvements I made were in my new job, a new approach to interactions with my boss. A new approach to emails. New approach to setting boundaries with patients.  If anyone questions the value of your program, please contact me. I’ll be happy to talk to them about it.

Dr. Dorothy Fink, finkd@georgetown.edu Endocrinologist, NYU Langone
Lauren Hincks

After participating in a Gutsy Leadership seminar, I have stopped apologizing!  Before receiving this invaluable training I would apologize when meetings ran over or other events beyond my control.  I now state the situation and move on. I also learned how to not spread myself thin concerned about all of the things I need to get done.  Instead, I now focus on what I am doing at the given moment and work on other things after – prioritizing! It is more impactful to be deeply rooted in a few small things and be really good at them than to be a part of a lot of things to contribute and make a difference.

Lauren Hincks Senior Marketing Analyst, American Express
Kia, Impactful Strategist for Education Initiatives

The Gutsy Leadership System™ is a gift that keeps on giving! What began as career coaching to accelerate growth and breakthrough to the next level is now a lifestyle! The ability to work with Marisa and network with an extraordinary community of risk-takers and change agents is priceless. Thank you, Marisa; I am growing gutsier by the day. Before working with Marisa, my career was decomposing. Marisa’s perceptive conversations, accountability, and tough love provided the spark needed to resurrect suppressed goals and dreams. There is now momentum in my career and personal life; new ideas and opportunities are presenting themselves all the time. The three most immediate improvements in my career after working with Marisa for three months are as follows:

A change in Mindset, embracing transcending beliefs about my gifts and talents.

An increase in Visibility via first-class, poised communications; authentically speaking my truth (in person, telephone, video chat, email, resume, LinkedIn, speech, presentations) and projecting my value and expertise to anyone in any setting.

A revamping of and an increase in my Pipeline leading to new and exciting people, philosophies, and professional prospects.

I will cheerfully speak with future village members on the value of the Gutsy Leadership Academy.
Kia, Impactful Strategist for Education Initiatives, kbrwnddly@gmail.com

Kia, Impactful Strategist for Education Initiatives lisaksaunders1@gmail.com
Faith Meyer Yeung

Marisa, I’ve listened to the Gutsy Leadership recording a few times since being introduced to you and your work and I’m certain I will listen to it a few more times! You really gave a ton of high yield info; I need repeat listens to digest and benefit from it all!

 

Also, thank you for sending all the gutsy tools on mantras. I hadn’t thought of employing them to help me continue to face the things I’m working on personally and as a leader. I am incredibly grateful!   And you were so right: now that you’ve made me more aware of some of the other speech qualifiers I’ve been using — even something as seemingly innocuous as saying what we’re going to do and then asking, “Sound good?” — I’m SO much more aware of them. I even made myself a little high-yield checklist with your tips on it so I can help myself stand in my power and value.

Faith Meyer Yeung Chief Operations Officer, Med School Tutors
Dimple Gupta

Incredible session on Gutsy Leadership! The content was extremely relevant, timely and I so valued the action-oriented recommendations Marisa laid out – gutsy tools I can implement immediately. Thank you!

Dimple Gupta Digital Marketing, American Express
Hillary Ginsberg

In just one session with Marisa, I was immediately more aware of how I was unintentionally diminishing my own assertiveness in conversations and over email. I quickly realized the impact of small upgrades in my communication on my level of authority. Corporate America can be very competitive, especially for women wanting to advance, and anything we can do to set ourselves apart and prove our worth and authority should be valued and implemented. Gutsy Leadership will have a lasting impact on how I lead and express myself moving forward.

Hillary Ginsberg Global Merchant Experience and Coverage Business Analyst, American Express
Sultana Ahmed

In a Gutsy Leadership workshop, Marisa delivered powerful self-awareness exercises and everyday tweaks we can make in our interactions to demonstrate our value and worth.  As women, we can be our own toughest critics and we all share setbacks in our careers where we questioned ourselves, cast doubt in our potential and hit roadblocks when expressing our opinion. This workshop opens a path towards shifting that mindset to develop the confidence to discover your worth, value and  take the appropriate steps to own your narrative. Marisa empowered everyone in the room with actionable ways to persevere, advance with our value and stay true towards our authentic selves.

Sultana Ahmed Senior Marketing Analyst, American Express
Stephanie Shaw

Enrolling in a Gutsy Leadership course, heightened my awareness of the value I am placing on myself with language in external communication as well as internally to myself. I learned how to confront fear of rejection and was introduced to tools that will help me overcome my fear of speaking up. The most signficant results were how I can be assertive from now on and conscious of my language which has been devaluing me as a professional, until now. Thank you Marisa!

Stephanie Shaw NYC Department of Transportation
Judith Miller, Global Talent Development and Acquisition

Marisa, thank you! The time you took to share your talent and accumulated knowledge was well received by all. I am so thankful. I now have mechanisms that I can implement immediately to help me transition to the next phase of my professional development.

Judith Miller, Global Talent Development and Acquisition S&P Global
Lisa Saunders, Owner: Big Picture Italy Training and Travel of Italian Language, Wine and Culture

Working with Marisa completely changed my mindset, helping me tap into the value I wasn’t recognizing and unleash my potential as an entrepreneur. Before working with Marisa I literally had no idea what to do with my professional life, it felt pointless and hopeless. Since beginning her courses, she has helped me pinpoint where my passions and talents are the strongest with strong guidance to keep me on track. She also helped me prioritize my time and energy, worry less about stepping out on my own and feel comfortably confident “in my shoes”. If interested in learning more, get in touch.

Lisa Saunders, Owner: Big Picture Italy Training and Travel of Italian Language, Wine and Culture lisaksaunders1@gmail.com
Jenny Wang

Marisa, since the Gutsy Leadership coaching, I have begun communicating in the right way for myself.  Before I would use speech qualifiers that took away my authority.  I no longer seek permission on behalf of others. When I write e-mails, what I communicate makes sense and validated from me, by me. I learned being a leader is someone who walks into any room and makes everyone feel inclusive, wanting to speak and share openly with others.  Thank you Marisa!

Jenny Wang Operations Engineering Business Analyst, American Express
Alex Woo

Learning from Marisa, I saw how with slight actions, we as women can step up and better empower ourselves by building a strong personal brand. Another big takeaway for me was sifting through the qualifiers I use where I kept thinking “Wow, yeah I do that…”. A lot of it,  I didn’t even realize until I truly stopped and thought about what and how I write my emails from now on.

Alex Woo Senior Manager, American Express
Smeetesh Kakkad,

I am grateful to you for your having led our November Women’s Leadership event in London. The feedback I received from all of my Salans colleagues has been tremendous, and there has been talk of holding another with some of our clients in attendance at some point in the future!

Smeetesh Kakkad, Managing Partner for Salans LLP, London

Watch Video above.

Kia Brown-Dudley, Corporate Social Responsibility Leader, Connecticut

Joann Wasserman

I am an entrepreneur who needed an accountability coach who truly understood my business goals. Marisa is driven to make you succeed – it’s her passion! She is confident, focused and has exceptional leadership skills. Marisa exceeded my expectations and continued to follow up even after our coaching sessions. I would highly recommend her and would further the conversation by telephone for any additional questions!

Joann Wasserman Town Residential
Reema Albahri, Civil Engineer in Business Development at HAKS, New York

The strategy and direction I received from the Gutsy Acceleration Breakthrough course, had me make the mental shift to perceiving my value as being equal to those I work and build my confidence. Your message truly resonated and instantly motivated me to apply your tools immediately. I started rethinking how I phrase my emails at work, and I have been catching myself before I use words which have been minimizing me. Since this program, I have also been actively pushing myself to speak my views at meetings to be heard, and it felt great. These simple tweaks have been effective in building my confidence this past week and I already see a positive change in how my colleagues have responded!

In Our Shoes gives me a sense of relief to know I’m not alone in this confidence struggle, and great appreciation for your workshop that helped me network with other women who can relate. The sense of community is an incredible tool that motivated me to proceed further in taking gutsier action.  Being a female civil engineer in a heavily male-dominated industry is not easy to stay mentally and emotionally strong.

Reema Albahri, Civil Engineer in Business Development at HAKS, New York reema.albahri@gmail.com
Dora Raine-Islamovic, Atlanta

I work in an industry that is not always the easiest to obtain a job if you are not being referred, and is extremely competitive. I knew I needed to step up my game to catch the attention of recruiters to stay in the 100k salary range. I had the awesome opportunity to meet Marisa at a business event in Stanford, CT. Once she told me about her company, In Our Shoes, I knew I had to work with her. Marisa’s unique ability to prepare you for those 6-figure positions, resume format, style is paralleling. Within a week of submitting my resume, I was receiving emails and calls for interviews! Thank you Marisa for your brilliance and the endless encouraging talks which prepared me for where I am today.

Dora Raine-Islamovic, Atlanta

Thank you for doing what you do. I was able to access the “Find Your Voice: Speaking Without Apology” and it hit the mark. I felt that you understood what I have been experiencing, and provided  great suggestions for moving forward. The online Gutsy Leadership Academy you created has given me the much needed opportunity to learn and be inspired. Looking forward to hearing the other courses that I signed up for and the ones to come.

Teresa OB/GYN Physician NYU Langone
Yolanda Padilla, Project Manager in Healthcare, New York

Marisa helped me bring out my inner leader I always knew was there, but felt stuck. I feel I can achieve anything I set my mind to. Putting my authority into words and on paper was a struggle. I always felt like I was asking a favor when I needed to hold people accountable for their deliverables. My language is now more authoritative and directional with improved results. Her guidance has helped me not only create a plan to obtain my dream job but continue to take the steps towards making it a reality.

Marisa, when I sat in the room with you, I felt such positive energy. I felt I wasn’t the only woman who has experienced that “lowest rank on the totem pole” feeling. I felt like I could conquer all of the insignificant feelings I experience at work. I am so empowered! I put the “gutsy word strategy” into play the day after your seminar and WOW did it make a difference in next steps for my team. I am working on my Gutsy Freedom Form and can’t wait to join the school! Thank you!

Yolanda Padilla, Project Manager in Healthcare, New York
Irene Ross, Health and Wellness Consultant, New York

MY HERO! Can’t believe it! I got a teaching gig and they have me in the instructors catalog already. The teaching will begin sometime in May and, at that time, they tell me, there’ll be a major promotion–plus, that’s when you’ll see the catalogs in those little street boxes. I started to look at the list of instructors and started to think things like “oh, they’ll never want me…”. Marisa, it’s like you have no filter for the words “I can’t. What an inspiration you are to me.

Irene Ross, Health and Wellness Consultant, New York
Ginny Couvillon

Thank you! The seminar was excellent, as was the powerful message you left. It was incredibly empowering to have that positive reinforcement of some of the natural tendencies we as women have, things that are so natural to us, but that we can often forget. Following your gut is something that came right through for everyone at UBS.

Ginny Couvillon Chief of Staff, UBS
Allison Cummings

The Gutsy Leadership Acceleration course reminded me of my strengths and my purpose and truly emboldened me. I want to thank you for helping me to put myself out there again.  This was incredibly valuable for me to not forget who I am. Before taking this course, I felt like I forgot myself and went along with the flow of things. I now recognize how I can take back my control of what’s possible – truly this is what this course has given me. Thank you!

Allison Cummings Project Manager, UBS
Kara Kent, New York

After working through the Gutsy Leadership strategies in Marisa’s program, I was hand-picked my Apple in 3 weeks, flown out to their headquarters in California for an interview!I used all of her suggestions, developed my resume and signature speech for the phone and in-person interviews all based on her approach and followed her tools exactly. This was all-new information to me! Her system for helping me raise my confidence and potential worked like a charm. I feel like a million bucks. I was able to incorporate so many parts of her Gutsy Leadership System into my career while still being very authentic and true to myself. If you’re looking to get out there bigger, feel empowered in your career and personal life and get visible quickly, you’ve got to get a copy of her self-study program or sit down with her, today.

Kara Kent, New York
Lisa Rubinstein

After attending your seminar, the advice and tools you delivered in just two hours was life changing for me. It will not only accelerate my career but help my clients as well. Thank you!

Lisa Rubinstein rubili@aol.com

Say "Hello" to this new Outlook Group Leader and Mid-Tier sales analyst. Looks good to be full-time by February! Marisa demonstrates emotionally intelligent leadership through conducting workshops, her articles and through mentoring and coaching career development. In less than 90 days, I am already experiencing new levels of support at work and through my network and in turn, leading and influencing others. Thank you, Marisa and In Our Shoes! "

Ruth Larsen, Wisconsin

I learned so much about how to get the vision in my head and in my heart out to become a reality. You are an amazing Coach and a natural at helping others. Thank you so much for the knowledge and positive energy you share. I am so humbled and grateful for your time, your experience, your knowledge, and generosity.

Denise Williams, New York City
Nicole Newcomb

Thank you for facilitating such an outstanding event. Everyone has been emailing a ton of great feedback! Slalom Women Connect looks forward to partnering with you in the future! Send pics and video when you have time. Nicole Newcomb, Director of Recruiting at Slalom Consulting, New York

Nicole Newcomb Slalom Consulting

I met you at the Slalom Women Connect We spoke of femininity in the work place, and working with Foreign v. US based clients. I want to thank you for the presentation, it was very empowering. Sylvia Ayass, Attorney (Family, Business and Investigator Immigration), New York

Sylvia Ayass, Attorney (Family, Business and Investigator Immigration), New York
Sharon Li

Speaking with Marisa and other like minded gutsy women was a breath of fresh air. Sometimes, we get caught up by the busy day to day lives that we don’t have a chance of sit back and reflect what we have done and where we want to go.  Talking to other gutsy women enable me to step out of my own career shoes and step into their career shoes.  I was able to analyze a career situation from a different perspective and come up with creative solutions that I could not come up with on my own.  It is also inspiring to know that there is a sisterhood of career driven women out there who are willing to share their career and life stories openly and honestly.

Sharon Li Vice President HighBrook Investment Management, New York
Jen Weitsen

“I attended Marisa Santoro’s last event with her group – In Our Shoes in August and it was outstanding. Tomorrow night she is hosting a Mastermind in downtown Manhattan from 6pm – 8:30pm.  I had the pleasure of meeting Marisa last month. I was so happy I went because not only was she super approachable and genuine BUT the group of women that attended her event were top notch.
Marisa asks that all women who attend wear a pair of red shoes to show our POWER! But if you can’t, NO BIGGIE! As Katy Perry sings, “…Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR!” –

Jen Weitsen
Luba Shklovskaya

I attended two In Our Shoes events. I came accross the group at the time I was looking for a job and felt lost. It was one of rare occasions when I felt safe to ask questions like “how to survive a job loss” and “how to negotiate a salary”. It was helpful to get an honest perspective from other women. The meetings energized me for days! I am looking forward towards the next one!

Luba Shklovskaya

Thank you so much for hosting the Mastermind event last night. It was truly one of the better networking events that I have attended in a long time. Many of them are wine and cheese get togethers which are lovely and can also help build and sustain new contacts. But what I really like about last nights event was that there was a tangible goal and it compelled us to talk to the entire group about a range of issues!

Eileen Sullivan, Vice President, Fixed Income Sales, New York
Jeanne Peterson,

This was an inspiring and life-changing event for me. I am a better and stronger person for it and am not afraid anymore of pursuing the things which are important to me, no matter the odds. Before, the gatekeepers to my fulfilling my dreams would always keep me at bay and in the shadows; Marisa has shown me that I should strive to be the best I can be instead and let my inner light shine through!

Jeanne Peterson, Managing Director for Granger Smith Consulting
Chini Perera,

Through Marisa Santoro’s inspiring direction and business experience straddling both a successful career as an American woman leader in corporate as well as her growing a sought after organization as an entrepreneur, I was drawn to her given my own career background. I too came from a professional corporate world (in the UK) and cut over to being a small business owner in New York. Marisa has given me much needed input on my signature speech, helping me frame a consistent “voice” in business. I thoroughly enjoyed her “gutsy moves for women” programming, it opened up much possibility for me and has helped me form complementary partnerships I hadn’t considered before especially coming from the UK to the States to start a new venture! I look forward to learning more of future Dream shoe seminar programming!

Chini Perera, Founder of Mom to Moms Advisors, New York

Thank you for speaking at the Qliktech global Business Discovery Tour! Your hard work, preparation and fantastic presentation contributed to one of the best Qliktech global events to date.

Forbes’ top-ranked IT software firm Qlikview

Marisa, you have truly been an inspiration to me and your words resonate deep within me. They affirm that my actions as a woman and as a human being do count for something and that I am justified in fighting for the things which are important for me – family, career, well-being. Attending your seminars and tuned into your articles reminds me that I am not alone in this. Hundreds, thousands of sister-souls are behind me, empowering me, supporting me and loving me. Thank you for helping us, one soul at a time!

Jane Peters, New York
Ana Isabel Agorreta,  Senior Engineer for T-Mobile, The Netherlands

I am in the crossroad of “reborn” my power to pursue my dreams, but the way is long and tough. After so many years of protecting myself to avoid being hurt, not showing my real potentiality, my light is deeply hidden , just a little flame that only fires in short snaps triggered by external means as music. You cannot imagine how your work is helping me.

Ana Isabel Agorreta, Senior Engineer for T-Mobile, The Netherlands

Marisa, I had the privilege of hearing you speak at the HopHIV/Qlikview event at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. Women, like yourself, are inspirational and motivating!

Nora Nikci, New York
Christina Zona, Ballroom Dance Instructor, Philadelphia

I enjoy your articles, interviews and videos so much. But what really stands out for me, is what you have accomplished because of your great passion. Hope to get to an event in New York soon!

Christina Zona, Ballroom Dance Instructor, Philadelphia

The Salans women are still glowing from your event which everyone found absolutely inspirational; they loved the way in which you conducted the event and felt truly empowered by you. I feel sure we will have the chance to share events again and very much look forward to meeting you and working with you again in the future.

Sophie Palmer, Senior Associate for Salans LLP, London
Marianne Brown, Founder and Director for All Speech Matters, London

It was so different to be part of a positive network in London and I hope to link in with a few of the ladies again. You were brilliant! Lovely to meet you and thanks for a brilliant seminar on Saturday.

Marianne Brown, Founder and Director for All Speech Matters, London
Karen Bacellar, Actor and Writer;  Student at University College of London

I just wanted to thank you again for last night’s event. It was very inspirational to meet and share stories with all these unique women. I shall let you know when I am in New York in January!

Karen Bacellar, Actor and Writer; Student at University College of London
Inge Woudstra, Founding Director of Mums and Careers, London

Thank you so much for a fantastic event. You are such a natural, inspiring and enthusiastic presenter it really sets the tone for the event. The design of the event works very well for networking, as you meet so many people, but also you get inspired to ask them for what you really want. As a result it probably is the most effective networking event I have been to.

Inge Woudstra, Founding Director of Mums and Careers, London

Just to say thank you for a wonder and inspiring event. It lifted my spirits.

Vivienne Aiyela, London

The event was wonderful Marisa, thank you for coming to London and sharing this amazing evening with us!! It was a brilliant experience!

Diana Marcela, London

Thank you In Our Shoes for supporting the New York City Chapter of @IAAP! We loved your delivery of “Successful Women know their Worth” programming!

Dianne Richards, NYC Chapter President IAAP

Thank you Marisa for being the catalyst with your brilliant idea! What an inspiring group! What a wonderful response to Marisa’s clarion call (an urgent or inspiring appeal to people to do something).

Christine Marsh, International Speaker for women, London

What a fantastic event Marisa ran last night, attended by so many inspiring women! Salans are in their infancy with their Women’s Network, this month we will be putting together plans for a 2013 programme, which I will be promoting to include events like this. These events are important to business women, and will strengthen the support.

Charlene Singh, Business Development and Marketing for Salans LLP, London

It was a superb event and I have met so many wonderful, inspiring women. Thanks to you Marisa.

Tara Saili, Solicitor for Salans LLP, London

Thank you for a really impactful evening, you truly exceeded my expectations. I learned so much from the women in the room and was inspired to be both better at sharing my successes and offering my assistance. A true win-win. It was wonderful to walk a mile in your shoes for the night.

Cherryl Martin, CMO for Elexu, London

What amazing comments! I agree with all of them. Very inspiring and entertaining events from Marisa. Great work and direction. Not to mention all of the amazing, strong, determined and independent women who attended the In Our Shoes event! Women on Top!!!

Kate Nightingale, Style and Fashion psychologist, London

Very inspiring event this evening with In Our Shoes talking about the @UpperStreetShoe story, and hearing from so many wonderful women. Thank you so much for inviting me to speak at your event. I really enjoyed it. It’s so great that you were able to bring this together in London, a real testament to you!

Julia Grinham, founder of Upper Street Shoes, London