A Love Letter to Xponents

Birthday Cake Profile

Eleven years ago today, I founded and incorporated Xponents!

I didn’t purposefully set out to start Xponents on Valentine’s Day. The truth is I realized that it was Valentine’s Day as a bit of an afterthought. It just happened to be my official last day of work, and in turn, the day I formally submitted the paperwork to incorporate in the State of Colorado.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to start a business about bringing values, vision, and purpose to work. A business dedicated to loving what you do.

Like so many other love affairs, we have had our ups and downs. I refer to my work as a love affair, because it is one of my most important relationships. We spend a lot time together, Xponents and I, often more time than I spend with my other key relationships! For the most part, that time is precious to me and deeply satisfying.

I love what my company represents. I love the people I work with.
I love my customers.

My relationship with the company is complex, and I imagine this is true for many entrepreneurs. When I decided to start Xponents, I designed it around what was most important to me. The name represents my love for solving problems and my belief that when we support others in self-actualizing we make a profound and exponential difference in the world.

The exponential equation:  Unleashing the power of others.

The business is an integral part of who I am, what I stand for, and the work I am best suited to do. Down to the colors in the logo and the way the “X” in Xponents represents a person multiplied by a higher power, it is all deeply meaningful to me.

Sure there are times that my love gets demanding and wants more from me than I want to give. I have had to practice setting good boundaries, just like in all healthy relationships. There have also been times that I questioned if we still belonged together. Had the relationship run its course?

Through the good times and the bad, I never stopped loving this special entity called Xponents.

Happy Birthday Xponents!



P.S. Do you know what Xponents wants most for its birthday?
Facebook likes!


The Coactive Nature of All Things

Coactive – a definition:

  1. A relationship or alliance with active collaborators
  2. Joint action
  3. Any relationship between organisms within a community
  4. Ecology any of the reciprocal actions or effects, such as symbiosis, that can occur in a community.

snowToday I strapped on my snowshoes, crossed the road, and stepped into the meadow.  The thick fog prevented me from seeing where land and sky met.  It was a cool white dreaminess that melted all the meadow into oneness.  There was a quiet about the place and all the parts were so perfectly complimenting each other that I couldn’t see their individual nature.

The six inches of fresh snow was texturally like powdered sugar and white sandy beaches all rolled up into one.  There was a moment when my foot connected with the virgin trail that I felt sad to deflower the path and yet elated to be the first one to experience this sweet bliss.

I came upon a tree, and the tree immediately demanded my attention.  It was a grandfather tree, a Ponderosa Pine, but much larger than what is typical.  In addition to its size, it had two large limbs that had grown enormous and straight out from the trunk.  When I walked up closer, it had the mark of old fire, the kind left behind by a lightning strike.  Out of the damage, a stronger version of the branch had emerged.

I admired the heavy snow cover on the pine needles, flocking like I had never seen before.  While some of the trees had this heavy frosting of snow weighing down their branches, others had a fine dusting of ice depending on their proximity to the hill side.  As I moved in close to examine the needles I could see that they were decorated with tiny ice crystals left behind from the fog.  The ice was growing outward in hundreds of unique prisms encasing each needle.   The relationship between tree, moisture, and temperature resulted in an exquisite collaboration.

There was another odd phenomenon I noticed today.  There were two very large bushes growing side by side.  Their branches were reaching upward and outward toward the sun, as you might expect.  But some of the branches in the center were curled toward each other, weaving inward and down as if reaching toward connection.  It made me think of individuals who are separate and yet recognize their interdependency on each other.  What other explanation is there?

We can learn from nature about coactivity.  When we actively come together and create from each other we develop stronger, more beautiful, outcomes.  It is always my intent to be coactive in my personal and professional life.  Some days I do a better job than others.  But when I need to be reminded, take me out with the trees, and the air, and the wind.  They make blending the best parts of themselves look easy.

HighResolution_Warnke_ DebSiverson20121208-9332-Edit
Deb Siverson is a seasoned executive coach, certified as a PCC through the International Coach Federation.  If you want to schedule time to discuss how you or your organization can increase engagement through the development of the leader within contact us now.

Does Your Vision Add Value?


You must give birth to your images.

They are the future waiting to be born.

Fear not the strangeness you feel.

The future must enter you

                        long before it happens.

Just wait for the birth,

For the hour of new clarity.

  Rainer Maria Rilke

This January has been busy with updating budgets and marketing plans.  It has been a time of deep reflection and challenging our thinking.  The Xponents team has been consistently and carefully considering and creating the future.  We have been revisiting the Xponents vision and asking ourselves, is this still viable?

At Xponents we elevate individuals, teams, and organizations above self-imposed limitations to recognize their limitless potential through honoring and unleashing the unique talent, values, vision, and purpose inherent in all.

I have been holding this vision for more than ten years.  I wonder at the start of a new budget cycle, is my vision still something I am called to do?  Are others as inspired as I am by the power that exists when we see and are seen for the seeds of greatness we possess?  Am I being self-indulgent, or is this work we do adding value to our customers?

Today during our morning meeting we were discussing our value proposition:

  • What problem does our product or service solve?
  • Exactly who are we solving the problem for?
  • What are the key benefits of our products and services?
  • How are we different from our competition?

Here are some of the things I have been thinking about.

What problems do we solve?

Often our customers come to us to grow leaders.  They ask us to educate and build awareness so that leaders transform performance by going beyond managing results and instead lead people to greatness.  The business problems they want to solve are weak sales or service performance, issues with productivity, low team member engagement, challenges due to conflict and collaboration, or lack of alignment around goals and strategies.

Who are we solving the problem for?

Our ideal customer is in a mid to large corporation or a government agency.  We hold a GSA Schedule, and have done work in a variety of government agencies.  We like to think we attract Senior Business and Learning Professionals who are progressive and understand the link between business results and human performance.  We believe these individuals recognize the value of having a different kind of conversation in the workplace which stems from knowing the formula for developing authentic trust and connected and transparent relationships.

What are our products and services and their key benefits?

We solve these business problems with out of the box and customized products and services that develop leaders and teams to balance a drive for results by being caring and connected to others.  We say our mission is:

Designing, developing, and delivering cutting-edge, experiential leadership development products and services that have a dramatic, transformative, and lasting impact on performance.

This means we provide consulting services, coaching services, and workshops that focus on developing leadership skills, such as emotional intelligence, coaching skills for managers, and collaboration and partnering.

While there are many benefits that our customers experience, the three key benefits are:

  • Our products improve performance by defining what success looks like and we support you in developing the map to get there.
  • Our products are designed to create sustainability through an emphasis on systems thinking and change management methodology.
  • Create reliability and repeatability by deepening individual awareness of strengths to leverage and obstacle to manage.  We link awareness to action.

What makes us different from the competition?

At Xponents, our vision is not only about Leadership Mastery of the soft skills.  We stand for transforming organizations by transforming the conversations that happen in the workplace.  We believe that organizations that are leadership centric are employee centric, and customer centric.  You might say that we are people centric.  When we truly care about others success then everyone wins…especially the shareholder.

If you are longing to have a different kind of conversation in the workplace, call me at 303-238-9733.  Let’s talk about it.

Deb Siverson is a seasoned executive coach, certified as a PCC through the International Coach Federation.  If you want to schedule time to discuss how you or your organization can increase engagement through the development of the leader within contact us now.

Why Us? Why Now?

At the start of every New Year, it is a good idea to ask yourself some tough questions, such as: Why me?  Why us? Why now? Why am I doing what I am doing?  Does it serve my purpose? Does it make the best use of my talents and skills?

If you are making your way through life without listening to the beat of your own heart and the ebb and flow of the world around you, it might be time to slow down and take stock.  While this is true for individuals, it is just as important for businesses.  As I asked myself this question during our planning process this year, it caused me to go back to the very start of Xponents and consider whether the reason we came into existence is as relevant today as it was back then.

Almost eleven years have gone by since I started Xponents.  I had spent the first twenty years of my work life in a corporate environment in financial services.  As an accounting major in college (before discovering I didn’t want to be an accountant) I always loved numbers and what they represented.  I liked diagnosing performance outcomes with the correlating behaviors…and I had a passion for bringing out the best in people.  I learned intuitively that when you see the greatness that is in others they respond in a way that lives up to how they were seen.

When I initially started to develop the brand, the word exponents kept bubbling up for me, the perfect descriptor for the power that is in people when they rise above self-imposed limitations.  It also represented to me the idea that transformation is always about growing toward something.  Finally, it meant the exponential difference that we can make when we are aligned around a common purpose and our collective success.

I believe that we need leaders who coach others to reach their highest potential as much, if not more, than we have at any other time in history.  At Xponents, we are called to be part of the movement from productivity based to transformational coaching in organizations.  We have never strayed from that mission.  We stand on the brink of a New Year poised to make a bigger impact than in years past.

Share your thoughts and comments with us on what is needed next to deepen the impact of leadership and coaching in 2014.  Call us at 303-238-9733.  We want to meet you there.

If you like this blog, I think you will like my book The Cycle of Transformation. Available now!

Deb Siverson is a seasoned executive coach, certified as a PCC through the International Coach Federation. If you want to schedule time to discuss how you or your organization can increase engagement by having a different conversation at work, contact us now.