lisa gates

I help unapologetically ambitious women master their leadership story, amplify their influence, and move mountains.


A Stand

I wholeheartedly take the stand that it’s time for women to stop twisting themselves into pretzels to conform to gender expectations. In fact, it’s time for the patriarchy to start conforming to us. We have a planet to save.

A Superpower Statement

I help ambitious women master their leadership story, amplify their influence, and rise up.

As a leadership strategist and coach, I am committed to helping women be seen, heard, promoted—and rewarded—as the agents of change the workplace and the world is dying to see. And all of it requires fearlessly owning your leadership story and grabbing control your narrative.

A Story

With a career that spans marketing and public relations to freelance writing to acting and improvisation, I have learned a thing or two about interviewing, pitching, negotiating, and storytelling.  

Years ago I was interviewing for a new business coordinator position at a well-known PR firm—before Google and smartphones and all the ready access to information that might help me interview better. My future boss asked me, “Do you have a story from your work or life and you think really conveys who you really are as a person?”

I was completely unprepared for that question. I paused. Fumbled around. And then I told him a story about how I convinced my high school board to allow girls to wear pants (yes, we’re talking old days). I thought I gave a riveting performance, but my boss said, “Now, tell me that story one more time and invest it with the characters and conflict.” And so I did, even sneaking in an imitation of the principal’s nasal twang.

At that point I was thinking, I’m an actor, I know I nailed it. But he asked me to tell the story yet again, and “this time, don’t make yourself the hero of the story." Tell me about your missteps on the way to success.” And so I made a bit of a mess, but eventually I put a period on the last sentence and to my surprise, he hired me.

Weeks later I was sitting down with my boss and I asked him why he made me jump through all those story hoops. He said, “Well, first of all, I wanted to see if you could think on your feet. And second, what we do here when you really get down to it is tell stories--brand stories, customer stories, human stories. I wanted to see if you had the makings of a good storyteller because that’s what will make you valuable and promotable.”

Boom. A lesson definitely learned.

The Usual Stuff 

I am a certified co-active coach with training in mediation, negotiation, Crucial Conversations, and Strength Finders. I have a degree in theatre and a minor in journalism and have performed in countless plays, torn up the boards in several improv troupes, and participated in storytelling events for over 35 years. I was co-founder of the negotiation consulting company She Negotiates and I’ve authored several online courses available at LinkedIn Learning, including Asking for a Raise, Negotiation Foundations, Conflict Resolution Foundations, Coaching and Developing Employees, and Coaching for Results.



Up, Sideways, Out ?

Sign up for our updates and we'll send you a super useful guide: "Should I Stay or Should I Go Now:
The Take No Prisoners Guide to Controlling Your Career."

No spam, no mam.