meet Lynn Almoro
no coffee, no workee
Lynn Almoro has mentored and coached countless professionals and students to successfully navigate through new (and often challenging) chapters of their careers and lives.
She is a mom (to teenagers!!!), a wife, a seasoned executive and an entrepreneur. She knows the importance of work-life integration. She understands the many speed bumps and the brick walls along the journey.
Experience has taught her that mistakes and setbacks give wisdom; they have been essential ingredients to every milestone of success she has reached.
She brings mindful passion in her coaching, and makes it a priority to give practical tools and guidance for immediate action and impact.
Getting to know Lynn - Q&A
Question: What's the "Reader's Digest" version of your background?
Answer: First, I'm a very proud mom to my teenage son and daughter - and I have come to accept that the rewards of parenting are given in small doses....the big kahuna will come much later, so I have to be patient. I am a wife constantly working to be a better partner - marriage is a lot of work, and you get what you put into it.
I earned my degree in Computer Information Systems and have been fortunate to be able to put it to good use in my career. I started out as a programmer (aka software engineer) and spent several years in technical domain of databases, digital platforms, big data, artificial intelligence; then I crossed over to the "business" side where I learned about process design, business architecture and self-service, digital customer experience optimization. I am very fortunate to have the blend of technical and business experience - it's very handy when I moved to solution architecture and large-scale enterprise architecture. Executive leadership has been my role for the last 10 years and has given me a lot of space to learn about myself and grow as a leader and as a human being. Details of my experience here.
All that to say - I've enjoyed all the the various roles I've had in my career and my life. Most recently, I'm exploring paths of new purpose to have an even greater and meaningful impact to the world.
Q: Why are you passionate about coaching and mentoring?
A: I like the feeling of making a difference from the (good and bad) lessons I've learned - in a way it's redemption for my mistakes. It also gives me great meaning and purpose in the exponential effect it has. For every individual that I help - there are other people in that person's life (family, friends, and co-workers) that I hope is positively impacted by the improved version of that individual. That helps me sleep better at night.
Q: If you could go back and change 3 things to make today better, what would they be?
A: First - I wish I had learned about the practice of mindfulness at a young age. I am convinced that my journey in life would have less suffering if I had started my mindfulness practice as a child...but I'm glad that we (my husband and kids) are doing it now.
Second - I wish that I had better discipline in taking better care of my health. I don't consider myself severely unhealthy today, but I didn't prioritize my health into my daily habits...so I'm having to over-correct now so I can get to my ideal healthy state and be able to sustain it.
Third - I wish I learned and maintained an artistic skill like painting, playing an instrument, creating songs, writing poetry...something that keeps the creative side of my brain active. I am now dabbling in some writing - we'll see how it goes.
Q: What has been the most challenging obstacle you've had to overcome?
A: Being a single mom while maintaining a career as a woman in a male-dominated environment. I learned a lot about myself in those years. When I look back, I made a lot of mistakes that made me a better parent and a better leader in the subsequent years. One thing I don't regret is putting my family first before my career.
Q: What are you vulnerable to?
A: Desserts - I love many sweet foods that have coconut, mango, or pineapple.
I also have a dependency on coffee - I'm vulnerable to lack of it.
My husband and my kids - when they request something from me, it's hard to say no.
I used to fall into the trap of "good" shopping sales...not so much nowadays - there will be another one, and I'll buy it when I need it.
Q: Who have been the people that influenced you the most?
A: My husband and my kids. They are the primary reason for why I do things the way I do...even with all the imperfections I have to fill my role as wife and mom. They keep me grounded - I may be boss, vice president, chief, and all that at work, but when I get home, I am "Momma" and "Honey" -- and I am very happy with that.
Maureen Bussoletti was my boss for many years, most of them were formative years in my career. She was my guide and compass when I'm lost, the tough love when I needed it, the soft hug in times of pain, my coach and mentor, my advocate and sponsor, and most of all my friend.
Ash Gupta was the President and Head of Risk and Information Management at American Express. Through his example, Ash influenced my values as a leader and as a human being. His trust in my perspective (even when he didn't agree with it), was enough recognition that no monetary reward could ever replace.
Okay, warning...I'm going to get a bit cliche next...
The people that I've had an opportunity to lead, coach, and guide (most of them were in my career at American Express). Many of them have been on the receiving end of my flaws and mistakes. Throughout all those years, they have gifted me their patience and acceptance...and most importantly gave me the resilience to grow because of their encouragement, support, and inspiration in their own desire to be better.
Q: From the people that know you well, what would they say about you?
A: My husband would say I'm stubborn, strong-willed and affectionate. My kids would say I'm a pretty cool mom, easy to talk to about "most things", very giving, strict when I need to. My friends will say I'm reliable and can be counted on for the truth even if it hurts and I give useful advice. The will also affirm that I'm addicted to coffee, shoes, and shopping, and I need to make more effort to stay in-touch.
People I've worked with would say I'm high energy and passionate, love to talk (too much sometimes) and share information, good coach who provides honest feedback and useful advice, look out for their best interest, approachable and grounded, not hierarchical, get cranky without her coffee, can visit my office when they need snacks or aromatherapy, work a lot of crazy hours, and would like to see me out on the floor mingling more, loves drawing architecture stuff on the white-board, powerpoint queen.
My bosses (present and past) would say I make principled decisions, I stay on top of industry and technology trends and like to share/educate them, I'm high energy and passionate (sometimes need to temper it), I try to avoid business travel, I'm too busy and my calendar is full, attentive to details big and small, powerpoint queen, and I should take more vacations
Q: What are some of your pet-peeves or things that annoy you?
A: Long lines, poor service, bad coffee, very loud commercials/ads, pretentious and materialistic attitudes, bad driving directions from Siri
Q: When you're not working, what do you spend your time on?
A: This is not in the order of importance.
House chores - ugh! My husband and I go on a date (usually involves sushi, fruity alcoholic drinks, dessert, a movie, and the rest is none of your business ;-) We play (board/card) games as a family and I "attempt" to play video games with my kids - we enjoy playing rock band and Wii sports. I also spend quality time with our 2 cats (their breed is Ocicat and require a lot of human attention).
When the weather is nice, I like to hike the mountains around Phoenix - there are many trails of various range of difficulties. I also workout at least 5 days out of the week (6 days if I'm feeling motivated) -- admittedly, I've only started a regular workout discipline in July 2018...before that - walking and running to meetings were the most workout I had.
I enjoy cooking and experimenting with different recipes and giving it my own twist. I love watching movies - big fan of Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Avengers/Marvel, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Jack Ryan movies, Da Vinci Code series....I could go on and on. I also binge watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
My husband would also want to make sure I mention that I like shopping on my spare time.
I like to read (books/articles) and watch videos about technology, leadership, parenting, mindfulness, travel, health, and occasionally some fictional books.
I don't like work travel, but I love personal travel for vacation (Big Island Hawaii is our favorite), for concerts (yes, we don't mind flying somewhere to watch a good concert), or a quick weekend getaway.
Hang-out with friends. Whenever possible, I include friends in other activities like hiking, movies, shopping, dining, concerts...etc.
I know this is a lot...believe me, it's not a reflection of the amount of free time I have :-)