We had the good fortune of connecting with Barbara Randell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Barbara, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
I adore being a Mom, I’m absolutely crazy about my career passion project, Future Image Group, and as it turns out, they are not dissimilar. The day my son came into the world, I made a promise to him: I would always and unconditionally love him, provide a safe, caring and affectionate home, guide him in this thing called ‘life’, help him make sense of things he didn’t understand, help him uncover his own unique gifts and offerings to present to the world, catch him when he stumbled, lend guidance, correct him when he was wrong and aid him in learning the lessons from the mistake, and set and example as a good, kind and empathetic mother without judgement with as much as my 30 years of experience ahead of him would allow. It hasn’t always been easy truthfully, but it has been the most rewarding journeys in my life so far. Working with my clients is powerfully parallel to these core tenants. FIG is the confluence of every single thing I’ve done in my life professionally and personally: my work in the New York fashion industry, the marketing industry in corporate America, legal recruiting, entrepreneurism resulting in two successful companies, years of psychological training, decades of sociological study and yes, being a Mom. What delights me more than anything is utilizing all of the skills, experiences, successes and blunders I’ve experienced, offering that wisdom to my clients to help them shift perspectives in business, to the world and offer third-party, objective, nonjudgemental solutions to their professional troubles based on decades of practice. I can’t describe the thrill of seeing them blossom.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
For 15 years, I worked as a legal headhunter and during this time began noticing a dramatic and alarming trend: people seemed to be losing the ability and skill to pursue, develop, nurture and sustain interpersonal business relationships. Upon further investigation, I discovered that researchers at institutions such as M.I.T., Harvard, and the University of Michigan, among others, had independently arrived at similar conclusions: we are losing the ability, or even the interest, in connecting person to person, interpersonally and in business, largely because of technology, helicopter parenting and social media. The whole definition of the word “communication” is changing: texting is having ‘a conversation’, connecting with our friends happens online or on social media, personal verbal exchanges – even by phone! – are almost nonexistent. The thing is, we’re human beings and as a species, REQUIRE connection, personal interaction, being seen, recognized, loved and cared for – in person! We require these exchanges to survive as humans. Suicide rates are at their highest rate ever, isolation is systemic and we’re not practicing the interpersonal skills to stem these dangerous trends. I’m of the personal belief that ‘you don’t get to complain about something you’re not willing to do something about’. SO many people were/are complaining that ‘we’re not talking to each other’ but as far as we could determine, no one was doing anything about it. FIG was born. I wrote a curriculum teasing apart the actual components of initiating, developing, nurturing and sustaining actual person to person professional relationships: actions, skills, challenges, road blocks, fears and reasons as to WHY we’re losing these skills and abilities and what we can do about it. Relationships are how business gets done. Period. Full Stop. If we don’t know how to build them, we’re in a world of hurt. Has it been easy? Absolutely not. FIG is a completely novel conceptually. Raising the awareness, the imperative and possible ramifications of not addressing these issues has been challenging but not insurmountable. To be sure, some folks just don’t ‘get it’ or simply don’t care, which is fine, but the forward thinking, globally minded companies who understand the essential necessity of investing in their employees – especially our more junior professionals – to help them develop these crucial human and practical skills for the good of the life of their businesses – well – these are the people who keep me going, and they’re out there, I promise, I’ve met them.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in the Capital Hill area right between Cherry Creek and downtown – I love it. Love the vibe, community, the quiet neighborhood with easy access to the bustle. Crazy about Pablo’s on Washington – my neighborhood coffee shop and hangout, Cherry Creek Grill and Cucina Colore are two favorites for drinks and meals and, of course, always the mountains. I was a big skier before my back surgery, which put a bit of a kibosh on that activity for awhile, but still adore the mountains, the towns, the shopping, the restaurants, hotels (especially in Bachelor Gulch!) and communities of mountain life. If people are visiting during the Frozen Dead Guy Days in Nederland, that’s always on the itinerary.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Without a doubt, my mentor of 40 years, Dr. Mio Fredland, who sadly died last March. She taught me everything that is the foundation of the woman I have become, the mother I am and the professional I’m still becoming, through her love, unwavering support, delivering hard sometimes painful truths and even then, I knew they came with love and to help me be a better person. I miss her every single day but she lives on in me and by extension, my son.
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