Meet the Team
Mark Sobol, CEO Longwave Partners LLC
One day in my 3rd grade science class, Mrs. Ashcraft mentioned that in 5 billion years our sun would burn out and life on earth would become impossible. Walking home from school that day, and deeply troubled, all I could ponder was “what can we do?” At home, I sketched rockets capped with TV cameras for hours, figuring that we’d better get busy finding another place to live. When my rocket design was ‘perfected’ late in the evening, I wrote a letter (#2 lead pencil; school notebook paper!) sharing my concern and explaining my idea. The very next morning, that letter was in the mail addressed to James Webb, Administrator, NASA. What followed was the most kind and encouraging response from him, inspiring me to keep on with my interest in solving tough problems and making a difference. My future was made clear to me all those years ago with his uplifting note.
Since 1981, I’ve had the privilege of being a trusted advisor and thought leader to the senior leaders and governing boards of American public institutions and American and international technology, energy, financial services, health, and manufacturing businesses – in over 50 countries across the globe.
The Predictive Success Project
The Predictive Success Project (PSP) offers organizations an extraordinary competitive advantage. This proprietary process evolved over three decades helping good organizations to become great and the profound learnings that emerged through Mark’s experience with the Deepwater Horizon recovery – and along the way it has enabled them to flourish through the most challenging circumstances. It’s the best way he’s discovered to keep the world from spinning away from organizations and – on an ongoing basis – to sense how we must evolve them before risks and challenges become painful and substantial. This transformational approach, “leaves no stone unturned” in the quest to accelerate performance and staying power, driven by the understanding that all elements of organizational life are connected and need to be seen and worked with in an integrated manner for the greatest positive and lasting benefit. PSP, a better way to – on an ongoing basis – to:
- Identify exceptional organizational strengths to aggressively develop for the future
- Reveal unseen patterns of critical operating challenge all across your organization
- Prompt action before challenges become dilemmas and before strengths atrophy
- Enhance collective intelligence, insight, capability and alignment across your organization
Strategy + Change
As co-author of the seminal book on visionary leadership (The Visionary Leader), Mark has served as strategic adviser, organizational development expert and executive coach to corporate leaders and governing boards of global business, public agencies, and non-profit organizations — building organizations lifted by vision, strengthened as communities, and more capable of anticipating and responding to the future. His work:
- Accelerates the development of purpose-driven organizations in their quest to become more impactful, sustainable, and admired
- Equips leaders and their organizations to better navigate complex, large-scale transformations
- Enhances core competitiveness
- Brings lasting progress while meeting the needs of key stakeholders: customers, employees, investors, and the communities in which they operate
Accelerated Leader Development
For over 30 years, Mark has focused on accelerating the practical aspects of senior-level leadership. He works side-by-side with leaders; coaching, mentoring and consulting them to improve their personal effectiveness, the impact of their entire leadership system, and organizational performance a whole – all solidly linked to corporate strategies and performance objectives. Typically, Mark works with leaders responsible for bringing about significant operating change; leaders who must deepen their impact to match the scale and complexity of the challenges they face. Mark’s work with senior to upper mid-level leaders promotes:
- Deeper personal awareness and purposeful growth
- Greater individual leader and leadership team influence, interdependence, and measurable impact
- Enhanced leader and leadership team cohesion, alignment, and performance
- Better and more sustainable organizational results
- Hudson Institute of Coaching Coach Certification, 2015
- The Fielding Graduate University, M.A., Organizational Design and Effectiveness, 2000 – 2001
- John F. Kennedy University, Integral Theory, 2008 – 2009
- Former Members of Congress, Advisory Board Member
- Worldwide Association of Business Coaches Expert Panel Member, International Certification Program
- 2001 Fielding Grand Rounds Winner
- 2007 Linkage, Inc. ‘Leading the Global Workforce’ – Best Practice Award Winner
Leading the Global Workforce
Co-editor and contributing author of Leading the Global Workforce and its predecessor, Best Practices in Leading the Global Workforce, a book that includes full case studies of the world’s best global organizations that have achieved results in developing their global workforce. Trends and research are provided within the book on the behaviors and competencies that are most widely demanded within organizations as well as the profile of a best practice champion. The case studies were chosen for their innovation of design and include how strategies were created, aligned, implemented, sustained and evaluated within the organization. Mark’s chapter features “Verizon Dominicana — Global Best Practice Case Study Summary.” It outlines a strategic business transformation where local leadership teams built a strategic competitive advantage that delivered positive financial results in the most challenging of economic times.
Best Practices for Succession Planning
Co-editor of Linkage’s Best Practices for Succession Planning provides the ultimate guide for planning, developing, implementing, and sustaining succession planning in any organization. This must-have book provides step-by-step instructions, practical advice, templates, and tools from some of the world’s best companies. The book offers the case studies, strategies, and proven tools needed to create a solid succession plan that will enable organizations to examine leadership competencies and determine the steps needed to close leadership gaps. The book contains best practices and profiles what leading organizations—Bright Horizons, CIGNA, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Merrill Lynch, Purina, and Unilever—are doing to plan for succession and develop talent. It also includes a new methodology for succession planning, strategies for leadership progression and development, innovative tools, and a comprehensive resource guide.
The Visionary Leader/The Mission-Driven Organization
Co-author of The Visionary Leader, and its final edition: The Mission-Driven Organization, published by Prima, an imprint of Random House. In today’s highly competitive world, the top-down power structure that defines so many organizations is outmoded. That’s why savvy business leaders are exploring a new streamlined approach that strips away bureaucracy and allows communication to flow freely. Organizations everywhere have found that this horizontal structure spurs creativity, empowers employees, encourages learning, and increases customer satisfaction. The book shows step by step how to reinvigorate your company with this new way of thinking. Editions of the book have been published in North America, India, Mexico, and Singapore. It is required or optional reading in organizations such diverse groups as Church governing boards and the US Army War College.
The Handbook of Online Learning: Innovations in Higher Education and Corporate Training
Contributing author in The Handbook of Online Learning: Innovations in Higher Education and Corporate Training. Mark’s chapter tells the story of an executive team in a large telecommunications firm, their journey, challenges, and triumphs. He chronicles the development and use of an online learning environment for the acceleration of their leadership development.
Bob Bunshaft, Co-Founder + Principal
Transforming business by revealing the best in us
I know there exists a humanity that we all share; one that holds the best of us but does not always find expression. Finding this expression has never been more urgent for our world, country, business and personal well-being. Revealing and actualizing the expression of this potential for achieving excellence in both business and behavior fuels my love of service to businesses and other organizations.
My rich career spans mass merchandizing, operations, retail, direct marketing, database marketing and entertainment industries. I held key executive roles at Rhino Records and the Warner Music Group, and was President of Pacific Arts Publishing. I left corporate life to pursue my passion working with executives and teams to discover and engage the very best of themselves. Everything I do begins with a baseline of individual awareness, behavior and its resulting impact. I work at the intersection of vision, strategy, leadership and team effectiveness.
My education and additional training includes an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina and an MBA from the Boston College Carroll School of Management. I’m a Certified Hudson Institute Coach, Organization and Relationship Systems Practitioner, trained in Line of Sight for Strategy Alignment, TLC and Authentic Leader, Harrison Assessment, Total SDI and Personal Strengths Coach, Strategic Intelligence, and Bates ExPi.
Hon. Larry LaRocco, Former Member of US Congress, 1991–1995, Co-Founder + Principal
Championing the greater good
I wish every kid could grow up having a paper route. I had two: Phoenix and San Francisco. As I collected monthly fees, I vividly remember the range of cultures through the fragrance of different dinners. Knocking on each door told me that life was diverse and interesting. My keen sense of curiosity about the lives of people started in these early years. I carried this curiosity with me in how
I approached my campaign for Congress. To get to know more about the people I would serve, I spent a week in 19 different counties doing different jobs. I worked in a nursing home, milked cows in a dairy, worked in a sugar beet plant and was a garbage man. This enabled me to see, hear and experience a bit of their lives. This deep dive taught me many things that I took with me to Washington.
I’ve balanced over 30 years of experience at the intersection of financial services and public policy. The early part of my career was split between working in financial services and as a senior assistant to a U.S. Senator. Then, after spending 8 years as an executive in a securities firm, I ran for and won a seat in the U.S. Congress. I proudly served on the House Financial Services Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee. Since leaving the Congress, I’ve served as president of the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress, focusing on international diplomacy. I now help a diverse range of clients build relationships and find champions in the legislative and executive branches of government.
I have an undergraduate degree from the University of Portland and attended Stanford University Institute of TV and Radio. I have an MS from Boston University and studied at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. I also served as a military intelligence officer in the US Army from 1969–1972 attaining the rank of captain.
Dr. Raul (Rudy) A. Reyna, Co-Founder + Principal
Bringing compassionate leadership, advocating for equality
At a young age, I developed a love for playing the trumpet. Growing up in a Barrio my parents couldn’t afford private lessons. But the band director offered us a significantly reduced rate because of our economic situation. This early exposure to music — and compassion — helped form who I am. Years later, at the end of my senior year, that band director commented to me, “Raul, you could have taken the trumpet section to another level if you had taken a more active leadership role.” It was the first time that I could see myself as a leader.
From my earliest memories, my parents, who barely had a 2nd grade education, instilled in me the idea that I needed to go to college, though none of us knew what that meant. This contrasted with the message I got from society that people of my background were generally illiterate, and fueled my drive for learning. I achieved a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, a Masters in Computer Science, and ultimately a Ph.D. in Educational Administration.
Another person to open a door for me was my math teacher. While attending an inner city high school in the mid-1960’s, I asked her, “what is a computer?” She became my advocate by obtaining access for me to use a university’s equipment. This changed my life, leading me to start my software engineering career at Bell Telephone Laboratories and ultimately becoming President of the Southwestern Bell Foundation. In 2003, I moved to the University of Texas at San Antonio where I directed and managed a national K-12 STEM Education program where I introduced new approaches which positively impacted thousands of students.
My leadership experience in everything from technology based corporate work to the non-profit world, supports my work at Longwave where I help organizations prosper through unconditionally accepting and valuing all their people and the perspectives they bring, independent of all that differentiates us. My quest has always been to be an advocate for equality and for life-long learning leading to operational excellence.
Tova JohnPress, Principal
Waking consciousness to ignite transformation for the greater good
My passion and the central focus of my life is how human beings can develop their wisdom and personal effectiveness. After decades of contemplation and deep personal inquiry, I feel called now more than ever to help others identify and transcend issues that limit their efficacy and impact. As we awaken to our greater potential, we are called to reexamine who we are, what we are doing and why. When individuals and organizations become fully awakened to their impact on the world in various spheres and continue this ongoing inquiry over time – relationships, organizations and the planet can flourish. I am here for those who choose the bold, radically candid, and compassionate conversations that often materialize as a means to this end.
I have dedicated my efforts in the last 15+ years to working with C-Suite leaders and top teams – coaching Presidents and CEO’s, inviting rigorous levels of inquiry, maturity and ownership that guide wise decision-making and influence others. Some examples of my diverse clients include Pixar Animation, Quicken Loans, Thor Industries, Wells Fargo, MUSC and the Notre Dame EMBA Program.
My history includes graduating summa cum laude with my BA in Psychology from Wheaton College and spending the early nineties immersed in the field of Autism working with the most severe population on the spectrum. The thirst for deeper meaning and the ability to “touch” lives then led me to become a licensed body practitioner in private practice. As the call to serve grew still louder from within, I began designing and delivering organizational leadership programs and working within systems to create sustainable change. Today I am a founding partner at JohnPress Leadership Advisory and Sr Consultant for a global leadership firm. I am certified in the 360 Leadership Circle Profile™ and the Leadership System™. Additionally, I am co-creator and facilitator of The 8 Gate Matrix™ a leadership coaching platform that elevates the executive coaching profession in service of generating more impactful client results.
Timothy JohnPress, Principal
Creating new possibilities that bring forth the best of humanity
I am deeply inspired by people with the zeal and will to courageously pursue their highest aspirations. I am equally curious as to why others succumb to the contagion of the status quo. This learning fuels my passion for people and compels me to awaken the innate potential patiently waiting within each of us, unleashing it to create more conscious, sustainable, and successful organizations.
I have a diverse career spanning technology, hospitality, education, and consulting. Key roles have included field engineering for top secret communication systems in the U.S government, semiconductor engineering, Martial Arts and Yoga instruction, political advising and leadership consulting to senior leaders at Google, MasterCard, Marriot, the University of Notre Dame and University of Texas. Today my work as a consultant and advisor is focused on leadership excellence, high performance teamwork and organizational strategy. I am also the creator and founder of the 8 Gate Matrix™ Unified Coaching System, a bold and powerful process that accelerates transformation and results.
My education includes an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering, Coach University graduate and Master Level Certification in multiple eastern disciplines such as Tae Kwon Do, Tukong Martial Arts, Yoga, and Ipsun Tai Chi.