After high school, Robyn Odegaard honed her skills as a numbers junkie in a bank for several years. She was recognized for additional aptitudes and eventually transitioned to the world of computers at the bank and later moved on to project implementation and production support for a subsidiary of one of the Big 3 auto makers of the time.
While successful, she knew in her heart what she was doing was a job and not a career. She was paying the bills and earning promotions but she did not feel she was playing to her strengths since she had not yet identified her passion.
Good to Great
Friends had always told Robyn that she gave great advice and provided clarity in difficult situations. She was operating a perpetual Lucy Booth giving counsel to friends and colleagues who reported that they always knew what to do next after a conversation with Robyn. The big question remained – how to make a living at it!
The watershed moment happened the day a manager entered Robyn’s office followed by an employee in tears. The manager quickly handed-off the distraught employee since he could not handle the situation. Robyn deftly counseled the female employee about resources, options and next steps after she learned that the employee’s boyfriend held a gun to her head for 2 hours and then walked away.
It was then that Robyn realized that she was truly great at understanding complex and highly charged situations and her ability to break them down into succinct, workable pieces. This opened the door for career investigation and propelled Robyn to attend college with a passion to learn more about the psychology of people and how they interacted with others successfully, or not.
The Empowerment of Education
Growing up in rural central California, the oldest of 8 children, going to college directly after high school was not an option despite the fact that Robyn graduated at the top of her class. After 14 years in the corporate world, Robyn was hungry to continue her education and grow her career playing to her strength of helping people tap their potential even more by communicating well.
A lifelong athlete, Robyn was particularly interested in how sports teams worked together, or didn’t, as she witnessed all too often. She earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology and then fast tracked a combined Masters/Doctorate in the Psychology of Organizations with a concentration in sport and performance. She learned that human communication, conflict, and performance are all intertwined. According to Robyn:
“It doesn’t matter if you are trying to achieve the most from your potential in the corporate world, on a sports field, or in life. How we communicate (speaking and hearing ideas) and how we deal with differences of opinion is directly linked to performance and the use of our potential.”
An Opportunity Born Out of Frustration
Synthesizing her corporate, academic, and athletic experiences with strategies akin to organizational development and executive coaching, the newly minted Doc Robyn created a life changing message and success strategy for college students. Her company – Champion Performance Development was born out of the frustration that the needs of college athletes and coaches were not being met the same as they were in the corporate sector for team development and leadership coaching.
Robyn wisely understood that leadership and teamwork were skills that young athletes and college students needed to hone early so they could be well prepared and ultimately more successful in the world-of-work. She is now on a mission to empower students with the skills to address a problem, find a solution, implement it, and move on. Why should these emerging professionals have to wait 10-20 years into their career before addressing these crucial leadership and team development skills?
You Go Girls!
Robyn started her business focusing on the demographic she knew best – female athletes. There was a great need for resources and an opportunity for Robyn to distinguish herself and develop a niche. She knew that women athletes had to function in a team setting and that they were passionate about taking advantage of opportunities to give them an edge. Robyn finds it very satisfying to work with these young women who are hungry for the resources she provides and appreciative about the positive difference it makes in their lives. “Work doesn’t get much more rewarding than that.” Robyn says it also doesn’t feel like work when you are doing what you love.
Stop the Drama
As her speaking and performance development consulting business evolved so did her Stop The Drama! campaign. This platform explains why women engage in backstabbing, gossip, and catty behavior (i.e. drama), and why it was reasonable to communicate that way a few thousand years ago, and why it doesn’t work anymore. Robyn provides the skills individuals and teams need to communicate more successfully and have productive conflict.
She finally discovered what she is really great at and has dedicated her career to make a difference in the lives of as many people that she can. Robyn’s book: Stop The Drama! The Ultimate Guide to Female Teams will be released soon and she has other products in the works to help illustrate her message.
Robyn helped me understand the reality that all teams, even great ones, have conflict. How a team handles conflict determines whether is grows through it or if the conflict ultimately tears the team apart. By teaching individuals how to be proactive and handle conflict, Robyn is empowering this generation of emerging leaders to be successful throughout their adult lives.
A Lifelong Learner
Since her formal college education was something she could not pursue until later in life, Robyn really values education. Always hungry for knowledge she frequently listens to webinars and participates in workshops presented by SCORE and the New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners (NJAWBO) to sharpen her business acumen.
Good old fashioned networking with mentors and business professionals in the know has also been a great resource for Robyn. She sees the classic networking lunch as an investment in herself and her company and also works with a personal coach to help fill the gaps in her business knowledge.
As an entrepreneur, Robyn really enjoys the ability to prioritize what she is most passionate about and strives to make a difference in the world with her business. The ability to set her schedule is also a perk but she says she loves what she does so much that time really does fly and it never feels like work. However, as a solo business owner, Robyn knows the reality of putting in a lot more hours than that of a traditional work environment in a 9-5 setting. Her labor of love takes time and she is committed to making it thrive.
Even though Robyn is thriving in her business now and her speaking engagements are ramping up as she anticipates the release of her new book, the beginning was rocky. When she finished graduate school she remembers the excitement she had to make a difference in the lives of people but she knew nothing about starting a business. The fear was daunting at first but it never stopped her from moving forward.
Learning by doing, Robyn is tackling marketing strategies to figure out what model serves her business best. It’s a bit of trial and error and she learns so much from every professional step she takes. She is so eager to get the message out fast that she has been frustrated by the reality of growing a business wisely in order to build a strong foundation and reputation.
Referrals come in regularly from people who have heard Robyn deliver a keynote or participated in one of her workshops. She speaks to students, athletes, parents, coaches, and faculty and has earned rave reviews from the NCAA Women Coaches Academy and the Academy of Athletic Trainers.
Be the Change You Want to See
Robyn is incredibly passionate about paying-it-forward to the next generation of leaders. She is committed to making as big a positive difference in the world as she can. Her message of communication empowerment for the 21st century will help us deal with conflict and give us the tools for resolution.
A leader by example, Robyn wants to reach every woman (and man who interacts with women) who has a zeal to be more successful. If each person who hears her message takes away only one thing they can implement and use, then she will feel successful.
The reality of running a solvent business is financially scary but Robyn believes that dealing with that fear is worth it since the reward of having a dream and living it is priceless. A competitor and highly motivated and self-directed woman, Robyn is also tackling her fear of making mistakes. She has given herself permission to be human and learning from the mistakes she makes in order to move forward in her business and in life.
Like she tells her clients, “If you stand at a crossroad trying to decide which road to take – you are getting nowhere. Choose one road! If it turns out to be the wrong one, change roads! Then you will know you are moving forward on the right path. Very rarely in life does making a decision mean you are stuck with it.”
I am confident that Doc Robyn will soon become a household name with her inspirational book and speaking tour. She is on a mission to empower others with valuable tools for success in life and the professional world. Robyn is developing a Stop The Drama! boot camp for athletes and coaches. She hopes this experiential learning opportunity will also carry an accreditation that will carry her message nationally about the importance of effective communication and champion performance development.
Check out Robyn’s social media sites below to follow her progress and learn more about how you can Stop The Drama! on your team!
Robyn’s Advice and Action Steps:
Robyn has developed Nine Secrets to Great Teamwork and Seven No Fail Secrets to Stop The Drama! Here are just a few of her strategies – check out her website for the complete listing.
From: Nine Secrets to Great Teamwork
- Set expectations – you cannot expect someone to meet your needs or the needs of the team if you never tell them what those needs are.
- Hold each other accountable – if someone isn’t pulling their weight ask them what you can do to help them step-up to the responsibilities.
From: Seven No Fail Secrets to Stop The Drama!
- Speak from the “I” – own your stuff. No one can “make” you feel anything. You get to choose.
- Allow yourself space to feel – don’t let a conversation run away with you. Feel your emotions and label them before words are flying out of your mouth.
“Have the kind of gusto you see in the eyes of a 7 year old when you ask them what they want to be. That kind of enthusiasm is what will get you through that scary place when you have to let go of one ring in order to reach for the next.” – Doc Robyn
Champion Performance Development http://champperformance.com/
Stop The Drama! Campaign www.StopTheDramaNow.com
Champion Performance Topic of the Week Blog http://champperformance.com/topic-of-the-week