This post is part of a series of getting to know members of our outstanding Fascinate Certified Advisor (FCA) team. Our FCAs are expertly trained to coach individuals and groups on how to use Fascinate to improve communication and build better relationships, while embracing our core message: Different is better than better.
Jes DeShields first took the Fascinate Test when she saw Sally Hogshead speak at a National YMCA conference in 2013. Discovering her Archetype led to some deep self-reflection, but when she started leaning into who she is at her highest and best, her career trajectory changed. She explains, "it made it easier to live in alignment with my values when I showed up in my life as my authentic self."
Jes is the founder of Crescent Leadership and an Instructor at Cornell University’s Executive Leadership Program. She has over 20 years experience in dynamic organizational settings. Her background includes a history of developing people, products, and programs through effective, strategic planning and relationship-building. An FCA since 2021, she is equally comfortable with one-on-one executive-level coaching and large group presentations and facilitation.
Here are some excerpts from a recent exchange we had with Jes, about how she uses the Fascinate Test in her leadership coaching.
What surprised you most when you discovered your Fascinate Archetype?
My Fascinate Archetype is the Victor - Primary Prestige, Secondary Power.
The intensity of my Prestige Advantage (off the charts) did not necessarily surprise me. What surprised me most was coming to terms with the fact that my Prestige Advantage is embedded in my long history to trying to please everyone and be perfect. This has been both exhausting and disappointing.
I have become super self-aware when I dip into my Prestige Double Trouble. Now I understand that my best self comes from balancing my Prestige with my Power.
What is your Anthem, and how has it helped you grow your brand and your business?
My Anthem is Uncompromising Thought-Leadership.
At Crescent Leadership, we co-develop unique solutions with our partners. We never provide a cookie-cutter approach. We get in the trenches with our clients and every engagement is customized to their specific needs.
Our stance on being "uncompromising" is that we will not take a job for the sake of simply getting a paycheck. If we don't believe we can effectively solve our client's problem, or they are asking us to do something we know will not move them forward, we decline the work. We are playing the long game and work with clients who want to build enduring organizations alongside us.
In what ways does Fascinate help engage groups/teams?
Earlier this week, I posted a quote from our Leader-First® research: "Organizational behavior is collective human behavior."
If you want your organization to perform and achieve results, you have to create the right conditions for your people to thrive. The first step to doing that is to understand the talented people working for you. Once you understand that, you can create the right recipe for success, no matter what challenge you have to overcome.
How can the Fascinate System help people navigate today's business and social climate?
To answer this question I have to share a story. We talk about competition, commoditization, and distraction as the significant threats to our relevancy. Earlier this week, I was competing for a large contract with two other Leadership Consulting Firms. The space of Leadership is highly commoditized. In order to stand out in this crowded space, we can't focus on being the best. While I stay aware, I honestly don't care what my competitors are doing anymore. I spend 100% of my time focused on how Crescent Leadership can provide a unique experience for our clients.
We will not win every contract, and that is OK. But we will win those where our philosophies on building enduring organizations align. That is how we disrupt the leadership space. That is how businesses can use Fascinate® to navigate the external challenges they face.
How is the FCA Coaching Program different from other certification programs? What advice would you give someone considering certification?
Unlike other programs, the FCA Program encourages you to embrace and utilize your differences both personally and professionally. It begins with a deep dive into your distinct Advantages and helps you craft your personal Anthem.
As a coaching or consulting tool, the Fascinate System is incredibly versatile. The FCA Program provides the training, resources and support you need to be able to adapt the benefits of the system for your clients in any speciality or industry.
Learning is ongoing. As a Fascinate Certified Advisor you are part of an exclusive, dynamic community who supports and inspires each other. We offer monthly mastermind calls, an annual FCA summit and you’re always welcome to observe future training sessions as a courtesy.
My advice would be to jump in with both feet. The water is warm, and it will be one of the best decisions you make for yourself and your clients.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about your business, mission, or your relationship with the Fascinate System?
I teach in the Executive Leadership Program at Cornell University. When I teach Leading with Credibility, I often get the question from our students, "should I answer these questions based on my personal values or my work values?" I have to remind them that we only have one set of Core Values, and they should be the values that guide all of our actions and decisions.
At Crescent Leadership, our Vision is To Restore the Distinctive Nature of Leadership. The most important advancement we can make in achieving this Vision is to get more Leaders to show up to the workplace as their authentic selves and to live and act in alignment with their Core Values.
Fascinate® helps us shine a light on our authenticity, that might sometimes get lost in the pace of the world these days.