Professional coach and business performance expert Mary Ann “Skipper” Singer once led a group of successful professional women through the New Orleans cemetery, suggesting they think about more than the historic markers.
It was a moment intended to spur the women to consider what their own eulogies would say.
A native of New Orleans, Singer is using her former hometown as the venue for a coaching experience designed to help women connect with each other and themselves.
“Most people at the funeral don’t talk about that you increased ROI by 20 percent,” said Singer, who instead urges people to think about the bigger picture. “What’s the impact that you want to have?”
She is bringing that perspective to Baltimore on March 26 for The Daily Record’s second annual Women’s Leadership Summit.
Singer is leading the workshop, “ReStart, ReFuel and ReInvent: How to Lead a More Purposeful Life.”
“In the summit they’ll get a taste of what it’s like to restart and will walk away with tools that will get them thinking for themselves what’s possible and then really have the courage to go make it happen,” said Singer, whose company, Synergy Consultants, LLC, has offices in St. Petersburg, Florida, Columbus, Ohio, and Baltimore.
Her own life change
Singer had a career in commercial real estate and was an active volunteer with community organizations when she decided 15 years ago to pursue her passion to become a coach.
She started out by helping organizations motivate volunteers and later businesses. She later focused on helping clients, in the private and public sectors, work to optimize individual ability, team dynamics and organizational efficiencies.
She is accredited and certified by The Coaches Training Institute and is recognized as a professional certified coach through the International Coach Federation. She has also been trained as an organizational relationship systems coach.
It took courage to leave her career with all of its benefits and perks and start coaching, but now Singer says she has freedom, flexibility, choice, energy and passion in her life. That is the type of courage she hopes she can help her clients find.
“You have to have the courage (to think) that the door’s open, and you have to have the courage to keep walking through the doors,” Singer said. “I never look back. People always say to me: ‘What if it doesn’t work out?’ I say well, what if it does?’”
For Singer, reinventing doesn’t always have to mean a big career shift; sometimes it means a shift in habits.
“One woman from our ReStart program transformed and was so much more joyful after the program that her best friend told me that she could see a complete shift in her friend and how she was behaving and engaging with life. Her whole energy had shifted,” Singer said. “Several spouses also noticed shifts in their partners when they returned because they were more playful, less stressed and felt more freedom. “
Having been a past president of the Junior League and having worked in male-dominated fields, Singer is passionate about helping women in particular become powerful and have a voice.
Last month, she spoke at a conference in Texas for women in the power industry. Later this year, she will be leading a program in a women’s conference for the Cleveland Clinic.
“I love working with women to collaborate and to really create what they envision,” she said. “It’s amazing when you get a group together how supportive they can be and how much fun they have.”
Her next “ReStart New Orleans” trip will bring together women from all over the country April 19-22.