It’s not your everyday HR team, but Leadership Arts Associates is redefining what it takes to foster new energy in the workplace.
Samm Smeltzer and MaryRose Ritter worked in traditional human resource jobs in York and kept finding the same issue: a gray approach to the job with employees who get upset when the HR rep comes around.
Samm felt stuck, but one day her husband suggested, “Think about what it would be like to do it on your own.” She leapt with the advice and started Leadership Arts Associates in 2014.
She created the business to fill a gap in the city, to break the status quo and show other businesses there’s another way of doing human resources.
“I just kept having this feeling like there was something more,” Samm says. “It’s amazing the skills and talents we have locally, but there’s also this untapped potential.”
Leadership Arts Associates takes a more colorful route to helping businesses. It’s more than the boldly colored North George Street office.
MaryRose is the more traditional of the pair, but there’s nothing cookie-cutter about her work. Each plan is tailored to the individual. She enjoys doing the little things – like attending company functions, even though she’s not required – to achieve success.
“It’s not you and I, it’s we,” MaryRose says. “I want to become an arm of their employees and become part of their group and culture. I’m not just showing up when things are bad.”
Samm takes a holistic and modern approach to her work, specializing in leadership development through workshops and coaching. Sometimes, she says, it’s simply guiding leaders to best attack stress with everything from yoga and reiki – a Japanese healing technique – that they do in-house.
“Even 15 minutes of allowing someone to just chill out and take stock of what’s happening is helpful,” Samm says. “We want to help people reach their potential.”
Article Written By: Anthony Machcinski, Our York Media
"Most of the time, when we consider ourselves and others, we are looking at only parts of people. Parts are often mistaken for wholes. Ideas are viewed as complete when they are incomplete. Relationships are considered well formed when they are insufficiently formed. Values are taken for final statements when, in fact, they are only beginnings. Were these parts recognized for what they are, and were we to work toward their completion- were we to keep 'becoming' as individuals- we would be better off as persons, as corporations, and as institutions."
- Max DePree, Leadership is an Art
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