Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Otto Laske, CEO of Laske and Associates LLC, located in Gloucester, MA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My customers are organizations and institutions whose leaders understand the importance of paying attention not only to Job 1, the work assigned but also to Job 2, contributors' personal development. They have absorbed adult developmental research since 1975 that shows the dramatic change of their contributors over their lifespan in terms of emotional intelligence and, in particular, the development of complex thinking (called dialectical thinking). These clients only engage evidence-based coaches and consultants rather than management fashions.

Tell us about yourself

Working in organizations in 1980, I noticed the absence of supporting employees, even at the highest level of work complexity, not just in their learning but their adult development. I took up developmental psychology studies at Harvard to develop evidence-based dialogue tools for use in coaching, consulting, team development, and leadership development, synthesized by me around 2000 in CDF, the Constructive Developmental Framework, now taught by me internationally, including in Chile, Japan, and Malaysia.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is my students, who work internationally as I do. As a business owner, my accomplishment is to have introduced tools for understanding organizations' "hidden" social-emotional and cognitive dimensions.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The hardest thing in my consulting business is to show and then convince people that the way the world shows up for them is a developmental issue having to do with their own emotional, psychological, and cognitive development. As their developmental profile changes over their lifespan, so does the way the world shows up for them, as well as the world itself that shows up for them. Rather than being slugged along by the changing fashions of management ideology, these people follow their own drummer, knowing that the many models 'out there' are not the territory that they are working in.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Today or yesterday, what matters is being critical of your own 'worldview' and the ideologies you unconsciously follow and take the risk to perfect your own mind before trying to influence others' minds. This is no longer learned in management schools or at universities as job training institutes. Therefore, you need to seek out the opportunities for mental growth that exist rather than counting on skills and experience.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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