Solving Problems and Helping People Thrive
Zelma Lansford works internationally in individual and organization development. She earned a bachelor of arts degree, masters in special education for the gifted at UT Chattanooga and a doctorate at the University of Tennessee. She was an adjunct professor in the UT System, teaching Industrial/Organization Psychology, while working for the Tennessee Valley Authority. In the first part of her career, she developed the early learning and elementary curriculum at Chattanooga’s Saint Nicholas School where she served as head.
In a consulting business, Dr. Lansford has served a wide range of international businesses, health care, and manufacturing clients along with the National Park Service—from Yosemite and the Statue of Liberty to the Division of Fire and Aviation Management in Idaho and Washington, D.C. She was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to serve on the National Park System Advisory Board, where she served from 2018 to 2023.
Today, Dr. Z continues a long career of supporting professional development, both in-person and via technology. From facilitating off-site conferences to individual sessions. She uses her many years of experience in various companies and with different cultures to help people and organizations become high performers, whatever their areas of endeavor. Zelma is as passionate at helping the CEO with a strategic plan as she is at writing and talking about how to enhance the influence and joys of grandparenting.
“My success in life as a manager, husband, and father has been greatly aided by what I learned from Dr. Z—not just about facts and information, but about myself and behavior.”
Dan Bennewitz, Global Vice-President of Lonza Chemicals
“Zelma has the empathy and intelligence to read a human situation accurately and the knowledge and tact to do something about it effectively.”
Walter Smith, Vice-President of Health & Wellness Technology at Walmart, Formerly Partner Software Development Engineer at Microsoft
Zelma would love to hear from you at email@example.com
Successful organizations must have leaders who are thriving—not just surviving. Zelma’s unique approach and years of experience help people in leadership positions to increase their skills and enhance their value to the organization. Leadership has sometimes been defined as “taking people where they don’t yet know they want to go,” referring to both the destination and influencing capabilities of the leader. Helping leaders articulate their organization vision is the first step in strategic planning, the process of clarifying how teams can work collaboratively to achieve purpose, productivity, and success.
Dr. Z helps leaders refine their clarity and confidence. Today’s leaders, however, must extend their skills beyond goals, strategies, and financial prowess. In addition to navigating relationships, from hourly employees to board members and investors, an effective leader must be a highly skilled communicator. Not only is this essential in building the trust of clients, customers, or suppliers, it is a necessity for maintaining an engaged workforce of high performers. In informal discussions, or in video conferences, Zelma helps leaders learn how they can use their interpersonal skills to enhance organization effectiveness. By increasing leader awareness of daily opportunities to support and inform the organization, leaders can have a direct impact on the focus and commitment of their teams.
Whether on video, in a formal conference room, or at a quiet off-site session by the lake, Dr. Z ensures everyone’s comfort and ease at pursuing leadership issues. Often neglected because of time and travel, settings that remove everyone from the daily tasks and interruptions allow executives and managers to concentrate on “the big picture” and long-term opportunities. Such sessions are not only crucial for focusing on the future, they also support relationships and build trust among the key people in an organization.
When organizations that have failed or achieved less than their potential are analyzed, the two common missing pieces are often the lack of trusting relationships among the decision makers and the lack of long-term strategies. Using her very easy, but persevering manner, Dr. Z is skilled at helping groups move beyond the barriers to achieve these fundamentals. Such leadership development sessions contribute to the organization and its participants’ success. The content of these learning sessions is always motivating, enjoyable, and with a direct application to success within the specific situation.
After decades of traveling from Boston to Bangkok, conducting leadership development and off-site sessions in groups and for individuals, the pandemic forced a creative approach to continuing the work of enhancing leader potential. Even Zelma has been surprised by just how effective video conferencing can be when well-planned and executed. This technology allows executives and managers to experience the same opportunity for self-awareness, leader skills, how to communicate and engage employees, along with other knowledge and behaviors necessary for success in today’s challenging environment.
This up-close and personal development no longer necessitates travel or special circumstances. Instead, technology can make professional growth effective and readily accessible. All of the elements that have made Zelma’s support so valuable and unique are still a part of the personal experience, but without the expense and inconvenience of ever leaving ones own workspace. (And no masks, or sanitizers needed.)
Utilizing the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI),® in leadership development sessions, each individual receives personal, confidential, and effective feedback, along with related materials. Since teaching graduate classes, Zelma has been an enthusiastic proponent of Carl Jung’s ideas about personality. Finding the MBTI® to be the most thoroughly researched and best key to unlocking and using Jung’s concepts, Zelma has utilized the many resources of the MBTI® in helping people understand themselves and how they can interact with others more effectively. There are no “right or wrong” answers in this inventory. Instead, it is merely a tool for better understanding our preferences and how that can help us improve how we work with others.
The Center for Applications of Type recognized Dr. Z as a Master Practitioner who has written considerably about the use of the MBTI.® Also certified to administer Step II, the instrument that examines the 16 preference facets, she was in the original group to be certified to administer Step III. Although the MBTI® is available online, having Zelma facilitate the experience is cost effective and adds to the overall value of Type exploration.
Click here or on the logo to read more about MBTI®.
Working With Groups
Whether needed to be a meeting facilitator, a guide for succession planning, or a coach for enhancing teamwork, Zelma’s quiet and non-threatening approach can accomplish the task. At the end of an intense problem solving session, one participant commented that “Dr. Z tactfully surfaced the issue that all of us knew was a barrier, but were reluctant to confront. Because of her, we left with a solution, not another avoidance—and she did it without making anyone uncomfortable.”
With the current emphasis on teamwork and collaboration in the workplace, it is sometimes necessary to give groups a boost by helping them explore their priorities and develop the culture that will enhance productivity and job satisfaction. Dr. Z is highly skilled at helping people recognize their assets and increase their effectiveness in working together.
Dr. Z on Workplace Improvement
Have you ever wished you could wave a magic wand over your workplace and instantly make your job more enjoyable? Then, join Zelma Lansford on her journey with a CEO to find how three simple practices can make a magical difference in the organization’s culture. Her conversation and illustrations will show you how three key strategies can easily, cost effectively, and quickly turn your workplace from one that makes it challenging to get the job done to a place where you love to do your best.
Dr. Z on Grandparent Relationships
In this compelling and informative conversation about how to be influential in children’s lives, from the nursery to college and beyond, Dr. Lansford weaves knowledge from being the head of a private school and working internationally with outstanding leaders, with her own experience as a grandparent. These observations lead to the intriguing perspective of looking beyond the toys and treats to what it is that grandparents ultimately want to achieve.
Grandparents are a valuable resource of experience and joy that can be unleashed with just a few insightful cues. In this book, there are tools for teaching self-discipline, understanding children’s different personalities, and “planting the seeds” that will help young people avoid the ghastly and life altering traps of addiction. An exciting array of activities and ideas encourage the reader to build strong relationships with youngsters, encouraging them to grow into healthy, confident adults. Whatever the age, circumstances, or family dynamics, this riveting conversation holds the potential to enhance any grandparent relationship.
Click here or on the book’s cover to see more info, a preview of the book, as well as some reviews from readers on Amazon