"As an executive leading significant change and transformation it requires backbone, confidence and laser focus on where you spend your own time and that of your team. When transitioned from my big company corporate life at Microsoft and Direct TV to be the CEO of Wanted Analytics I knew I had to call Val as the only leadership expert I wanted to work with in Los Angeles.
What I find most valuable about Val is her honesty - that she doesn't mince words or tells you what you want to hear. Val is a role model to other executives because she manifested a concept into a thesis into a business. Through her own work and will. She has truly carved a unique worldview for leaders that everyone in business can benefit from.
I was so confident walking in as CEO on day one, and I couldn’t have done that without Val. The stock price rose 37% in my first three months; we didn’t report earnings during that time, so the growth was all from the investors’ confidence in me. That is huge. I gained the confidence to conquer my fears in communicating a difficult and unexpected leadership change to the team. By being Thoughtfully Ruthless, I didn't lose a single person in 10 months, which was just the stability the business needed."
CEO, Wanted Analytics
"Val delivers tremendous value through her executive coaching and consulting. During her time as a consultant to the Jive marketing organization, she coached my direct staff of VPs to become more effective leaders. She also played a major role shaping the effectiveness of the overall marketing business. She has a unique ability to link strategy to organizational effectiveness and business performance."
CMO, Jive Software
"I am required to speak in public to both small and large groups. My dislike of public speaking borders on phobic.
I recently had to address an audience of approximately 200 people. I spent the prior day fumbling while going over my speech. I spent an hour with Val the evening prior to my engagement. WOW! She walked through my approach with me, giving me some visualization techniques. She was able to relate to me, my circumstance, my fear, and to help me, what a difference! Val is empathetic, patient, and she just gets it. I delivered my speech flawlessly the next day, and although I cannot say that I was not nervous, my delivery was smooth, and was received exceptionally well by my audience. I am continuing to build off the techniques that Val provided me. Often when dealing with executive coaches, one is subjected to formula driven coaching which is impersonal and unhelpful. Val provides a level of understanding, which is bar none."
Vice President Operations, Tribune Co
"Having published hundreds of best sellers, when I saw Val Wright’s book, Thoughtfully Ruthless, I loved how she focuses on how you manage your time, your energy, and your resources. You never hear anyone talking about energy as an important predictor of success."
Senior Vice President MGM and Creator of the For Dummies Series
"Val is unique because of her compassionate truth-telling, fearlessness and experience working with creative, technical and business leaders in a variety of global companies. She is a true force that unlocks your potential and helps you drive next level results."
Chief Product Officer, Sonos Inc
"Val has fine-tuned her approach over a quarter of a century, which she calls “Thoughtfully Ruthless.” I hired Val over multiple projects to accelerate innovation and growth. Where other consultants come heavy with methodology and process, Val focuses on clear business results. Val helped me rapidly develop and implement a strategy and galvanize my team, which saved us weeks of wasted time and energy. I was one of her clients who encouraged Val to write her first book, I am delighted she listened and leaders everywhere will get to benefit from the brilliance that Val so willingly shares to grow your career, get promoted faster and do what you love with the people you love. What I value most working with Val is her transparency—she is authentic, candid and honest! Most importantly is her keen ability to accelerate innovation through her thought provoking insights!"
Senior Director, Microsoft
"Val has uncanny instincts about how to direct leaders to act and communicate more effectively. She assesses people dynamics quickly and accurately and has the courage to state the truth about what she sees. She offers great, actionable solutions and in our time working together I sought and acted on her advice with regularity. I trust her judgment implicitly."
President, Amazon Fashion
"Val has supported my growth as a Vice President at Starbucks leading a global organization. I have read a lot of leadership books out there and interacted with an insane amount of leadership experts, what makes Val truly unique is her ability to focus on business results, not inconsequential processes, or activities. Having Val as a sounding board and strategic adviser has allowed me to grow my team, create innovative new approaches, and magically create more time while maintaining my energy at healthy levels, a treasured goal of so many leaders managing global businesses. Val’s experience in global companies, her knowledge of multiple industries and her ability transform ideas into actionable real work is priceless. One practical conversation she lead at an executive retreat with my team, took my leadership team from spinning excessively about decisions and wasting endless hours of time, to immediately being able to half the time it took for us to make decisions, we will reap those rewards in recovered hours for years to come.
'How do you manage it all?' is often just targeted towards women executives who are mothers, when actually the opposite needs to happen. As a father to a wonderful daughter and son, I consider the responsibilities to my wife and children just as much of a priority, yet those competing demands are confined to whispers behind closed doors or never uttered. With her Thoughtfully Ruthless guidance, Val has unlocked my ability to be selfish in a sensible way with prioritizing my whole life, not just my business life so I am present at the right time for my family, this has positioned me as a role model for other
executives regardless of gender at Starbucks and beyond."
Senior Vice PRESIDENT, Starbucks
"I had the pleasure of working with Val at Microsoft as we were building the Xbox organization, and her insights, people development skills, and infectious energy were integral to our ultimate success. Her intense focus on structuring people, teams and organizations for success against the task at hand were invaluable during that period, as we were forming, almost from scratch, a division that was very different from the norm at Microsoft. We were also making acquisitions of off-shore development studios at the time, and Val’s deep and varied international experience was critical as we worked to integrate these teams into the broader company. I can’t recommend Val strongly enough, as both a developer of talent and an organizational problem solver. We couldn’t have done it without her!"
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, ELECTRONIC ARTS
"Val understands how to engage and challenge leaders of all levels. Her approach is honest, direct and incredibly insightful. As a result, my partnership with Val has been one of the most valuable experiences of my career."
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, BEJEWELED, POPCAP GAMES
"Val Wright leverages her accomplished career and her sharp insight to help executives successfully navigate big challenges that some of the most recognizable brands in the world have faced. She is able to quickly identify the source of a problem and apply a true 360-degree perspective, empowering executives to lead through the type of transformational change companies expect from a modern leader. Additionally, she provides straightforward and honest emphasis on the common challenge of limited time and excessive demands, helping her clients achieve work-life balance in addition to career success. Val’s book, Thoughtfully Ruthless is the only business book I find myself rereading regularly as a reference for how to achieve the most impactful career and balanced life I can lead."
Vice President Marketing, Jive Software
"Val is an outstanding executive presence on any team. She offers valuable people and organizational insight in the context of the business you are trying to create and excel at. Val has a good sense of the big picture without losing her focus on the right details. She not only identifies opportunities for improvement, she provides sound strategies for delivering against those opportunities."
ASSOCIATE GENERAL COUNSEL, MICROSOFT CORPORATION
"I worked closely with Val Wright while President of Shopbop. Val is a strategic, organizational thinker who excels in her ability to observe effective leadership and coach executives on how they can improve. She has a natural talent at sharing feedback through the extensive use of questions unlocking answers that the coachee/client may already know. With her experience in technology and retail, she has built an intuition that is consistently right and I highly recommend her on developing leaders in fast-growing organizations."
"Val is a pleasure to work with. She does not shy away from challenges and thinks holistically about the entire business to ensure that the right long term decisions are being made. Val does a nice job of asking tough questions, managing the details of a project, and delivering results."
CFO, AMAZON FASHION
"Val recently shared her wisdom with a group of high-level professionals when she spoke at the Association for Corporate Growth’s (101 Corridor Chapter) Annual Women in Corporate Growth Luncheon. Val opened the program with insights from the article Thoughtfully Ruthless (the basis for her newly-published book) and went on to moderate a panel discussion featuring other highly accomplished executives. She had the audience captivated with her thought-provoking, insightful comments while engaging the panel in a lively discussion. The time that Val spent in executive roles at Microsoft, Amazon, and Land Rover give her a base of knowledge and experience that truly makes her stand out. Her ability to talk from actual in-the-trenches experience, not just theoretical ideas, makes here a standout in the world of consultants and advisors. What might be most impressive, however, is that she is a selfless connector who is always looking for the opportunity to help other executives and entrepreneurs meaningfully connect to mutually grow their businesses. That is a rare trait indeed, and is what makes Val the consummate role model for others in the often ruthlessly competitive world of business."
Maureen Corr Whalen
Executive Director, Association of Corporate Growth
"Val’s expertise in the area of leadership and organization transformation has given our audience the exclusive opportunity to grow themselves. Val delivered lectures and e-learning content that were informative and entertaining for our C-suite audience."
Executive Producer, ExecSense, Financial Times
"In a lively, warm, and personal presentation, Val Wright was a compass to the future as she shared key data points and trends that companies should play attention to on the road to success in the 21st century. Her comments about listening to young people in high school as the next generation of leaders was important to executives and business owners who often discount youth as irrelevant. On the contrary, they are future customers and employees and need to be part of every discussion by C-suite executives about how to grow a company and expand market share. It was such a powerful point."
Vice President, Freedom Communications
"We had the pleasure of having Val Wright speak at our annual customer conference. Val was very engaging and created an interactive environment where leaders could reflect on their own company’s goals and strategies to spur growth and innovation. The conversations she inspired continued well after she was done with her presentation."
CEO, Accurate Background, Inc.
“As the Vice President of the CIO Brand for Evanta, Val is requested by our executive communities to speak all the time, because she is right on the mark, no matter what industry you're in, because she is all about leadership.
We are so good about evaluating the people around us, but not so good about looking in the mirror, and shining it on ourselves, and thinking about how we can improve. Val does a great job, allowing us to see some of our blind spots that can help us improve and be better with our teams moving forward. In particular, for a woman in the management ranks in this day and age, the ruthless part, of thoughtfully ruthless, is incredibly important.
Val does a great job of really taking that term down to its simplest form of what it really means, and how we can all be very effective in applying it in our day-to-day jobs.”
Brand Director, Evanta, A Gartner Company
"Val Wright was absolutely amazing as our keynote speaker for our Innovation Conference. I immediately heard from attendees that it was inspiring with great takeaways and I am looking forward to her upcoming book, Thoughtfully Ruthless. It was a really wonderful session."
“We have been fortunate that Val has been invited to speak to a lot of the Evanta executive communities that we serve across the country. One thing tonight that really stood out to me is the importance of understanding how people see you as a leader, being able to define that. Or, the catch phrases that you're known for because once you know how other people see you then you can start to change how they perceive you. Now you can move forward as a leader.”
CIO Content Manager, Evanta, A gartner company
“The exercises were really good to get you out of your normal everyday mindset, to start thinking about yourself and what are you good at and really look inward. It put us on the spot, but it was fun to go through and then listen to other people at the table.”
Vice President, Information security officer, Prologis
“I enjoyed Val's presentation very much at Evanta’s CIO Executive Summit, and I'll be taking her book home and reading it from front to back. Thank you, Val. Thanks, Evanta. The most interesting thing I’ve both seen and read this month has been Val Wright. She gave a presentation at a Gartner Evanta CISO event, and I’m also just starting to read her book. Her guidance isn’t specific to cyber security, but to leadership. The book – “Thoughtfully Ruthless” – is full of fantastic insights that I’ve been able to immediately make use of in making me a more effective executive. One area is around “influence” –find out who is in that circle of influencers, and find out who the “whisperers” to those influencers are. This and many other concepts have elevated my effectiveness as a leader. Today it is rare to find something that can take you to the next level so quickly.”
chief INFORMATION security officer Denver health
Praise for Thoughtfully Ruthless:
"The most interesting thing I’ve both seen and read this month has been Valerie Wright. She gave a presentation at a local CISO event, and I’m also just starting to read her book. Her guidance isn’t specific to cyber security, but to leadership. The book – "Thoughtfully Ruthless" – is full of fantastic insights that I’ve been able to immediately make use of in making me a more effective executive. One area is around "influence" –find out who is in that circle of influencers, and find out who the "whisperers" to those influencers are. This and many other concepts have elevated my effectiveness as a leader. Today it is rare to find something that can take you to the next level so quickly."
CISO, Denver Health
"I could not put this book down. Val teaches us how to be ruthless with ourselves and thoughtful in the way we that deal with others. The chapter about the power of no is the clincher. Val's tips on how to politely decline invitations, unwanted work opportunities or useless meetings, are invaluable. I would recommend this book to anyone with a busy life - from the boardroom to the classroom."
"Val Wright has worked in some of the toughest corporate cultures in business; she’s seen it all. “Thoughtfully Ruthless” acts as a personal playbook to navigate your career in the most competitive of environments by focusing on your strengths and identifying growth opportunities for your company. Essential reading for executives at every level."
Peter R. Moore
CEO, Liverpool Football Club
"Val Wright has always provided the frank, honest, insightful feedback I’ve needed to be a better leader. “Thoughtfully Ruthless” takes that to the next level by focusing on the scarce resources of time and energy that challenge all of us in our professional and personal lives. Val provides the stories and insights necessary to bring her message of empowerment home in an impactful way that should be very valuable for any leader. Robbie Bach, Former Microsoft President, Chief Xbox Officer Val Wright is the real deal, an executive coach who "gets it.” She will change the way you think, the way you perceive challenges, and the way you implement personal leadership. "Thoughtfully Ruthless" is a must for every leader who wants to up his or her game."
Business Development Executive, Ernst & Young
"Thoughtfully Ruthless manages to capture the character of the leaders each of us has dealt with, as well as those we try to emulate. The valuable information within the book, as well as the enthralling way in which it is presented, exceeded all of my expectations, leaving me impressed and motivated to improve as a leader."