Turknett Leadership Group: Empowering Growth and Unleashing Potential in People, Teams, and Organizations

Turknett Leadership Group: Empowering Growth and Unleashing Potential in People | The Enterprise World

In today’s fast-paced and competitive business landscape, many organizations and their leaders struggle to recognize and capitalize on their full potential. As a result, they often fail to meet market demands and fall behind their competitors. To address this issue, leading consulting firms like Turknett Leadership Group (TLG) provide tailored services and solutions that empower people, teams, and businesses to thrive.

With over 35 years of experience, Turknett has impacted thousands of clients across the United States and around the globe. As a leader in the field of leadership development, TLG focuses on coaching, organizational culture, learning and development, and strategy, underpinned by behavioral science. The company prides itself on delivering personalized services, adhering to the philosophy, “large enough to serve you, small enough to know you.”

The Birth of Turknett Leadership Group

Lyn Turknett, who holds a master’s degree in sociology, and Bob Turknett, a licensed psychologist, co-founded Turknett. Although the couple had some experience in leadership and organizational development, their true journey began in 1987. During the American Psychological Association meeting in Atlanta, they encountered Rich Hagberg, a Silicon Valley-based leadership consultant specializing in assessments and coaching.

Intrigued by Hagberg’s approach, Bob traveled to California to learn more about his methodologies and assessments. This meeting marked the beginning of a 20-year partnership, which lasted until Hagberg’s firm was acquired by Accenture. Subsequently, Bob & Lyn developed their own unique assessments and methodologies.

Overcoming Obstacles

Like any successful business, Turknett faced numerous challenges in its journey. One initial hurdle was educating potential clients about the value of executive coaching, which was not well-known at the time. Additionally, understanding and implementing software and computer systems posed a challenge. Fortunately, the Turknetts’ sons Rob and Josh possessed strong computer skills and played a vital role in helping the company adopt and utilize new technologies.

Another challenge for Turknett was establishing connections within the business community. To overcome this, the Turknetts supported various associations, such as the Rotary Club, which allowed them to give back to the community while expanding their network. They also joined nonprofit organizations aligned with their passions and professional associations that connected them to the HR community. By immersing themselves in the business world and staying informed through publications like the Wall Street Journal and Fortune, the Turknetts were able to lay the foundation for TLG’s continued success.

Turknett has grown from a small venture into a leading consulting firm by empowering people, teams, and organizations to unlock their full potential. Through tailored services, a strong commitment to the community, and a focus on continuous learning and adaptation, TLG has emerged as a major force in the leadership development space.

The Leadership Character Model: Developing Holistic Leaders for the Future

In 1995, Bob and Lyn introduced the Leadership Character Model, emphasizing that leadership is rooted in character—what you are rather than what you do. As good leadership becomes increasingly vital at all organizational levels, it is essential to develop and nurture leadership character in individuals throughout their careers.

Integrity forms the foundation of the Leadership Character Model, which is depicted as a scale balancing respect and responsibility with a base of integrity. Turknett’s President and CEO, Tino Mantella, highlights the importance of today’s leaders striking this balance. The respect aspect encompasses qualities like empathy, humility, emotional mastery, and lack of blame, while the responsibility side includes self-confidence, accountability, courage, and focusing on the whole. This model serves as a valuable framework for individuals at all stages of their leadership journey, from new entrepreneurs to seasoned CEOs. “Whether you are starting a company as a new person or you are a CEO, you can use this model as a guide,” adds Tino.

Diversifying Services and Adapting to Change

Under Tino’s leadership, Turknett has diversified its solutions and increased its use of technology to reach clients globally. The company has also emphasized the diversification of its coaches and consultants, adding over 25 professionals from varied backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, and language proficiencies. This experienced team enables TLG to address a wide range of issues for companies of all sizes in the leadership development space.

TLG boasts a remarkable 90% client retention rate, demonstrating the effectiveness of its services in fostering the growth of individuals and organizations. The company’s Net Promoter Score of 80 places it in the top 1% of service providers nationwide, reflecting the high regard clients have for TLG’s personalized approach and impact. “Anyone that uses us can see the results in terms of the growth of their people,” mentions Tino.

As leadership shifts toward a younger generation, Turknett remains attuned to the evolving dynamics of leadership development. While still grounded in the Leadership Character Model, TLG understands the needs of today’s purpose-driven leaders and ensures they have opportunities for growth and learning. This approach addresses the current trends of “The Great Resignation” and “quiet quitting” among professionals seeking purpose and growth.

“If they don’t have opportunities to learn and there is no purpose, they are probably going to move on. And that’s part of that great resignation and quiet quitting that people talk about today,” says Tim Huff, VP of Leadership Development, Turknett.

To address these trends, Tim led the development of a program called Manager2Leader, which helps individuals transition from individual contributors to leaders with increased responsibility. This program focuses on communication, feedback, motivation, and vision, equipping participants with the skills they need to advance in their careers.

Preparing Young Professionals for Leadership Roles

In today’s competitive job market and near-zero unemployment, young professionals must be ready to assume higher-level roles. TLG offers a range of workshops and programs, covering topics such as executive presence, time management, and conflict resolution, to prepare emerging leaders for success in their organizations.

Turknett believes that leadership is a choice, not a title and that the Leadership Character Model is for everyone. The company has expanded its leadership programs and offerings to accommodate individuals at all stages of their journey, from entry-level to the C-Suite. By making leadership development more accessible, TLG aims to help individuals identify their leadership strengths and contribute to building a culture centered around leadership character, regardless of their position within an organization.

A Growing Team: Expanding for the Future

As the company has experienced rapid growth over the past few years, Tino realized that in order to sustain this momentum, TLG needed to strengthen its team of certified professional coaches. Within a span of three years, Turknett successfully assembled a team of over 30 coaches, each possessing professional certifications and diverse backgrounds. This strategic move has enabled TLG to tackle bigger projects and played a significant role in its global expansion.

Meet Some of Our Experts:

Dr. Michael Sessions

At one point in his career as a professional Psychologist, Dr. Michael Sessions had never even heard of executive coaching. After one fateful encounter with Bob and Lyn Turknett, that all changed. Over twenty years later, Michael explains how his partnership with Turknett has had a lasting impact on not just his professional life, but his personal life as well.

“Looking back on my time with TLG over the past twenty years, it’s been a remarkable addition to my life, as a professional and somewhat as a person, and it has shaped the way I think about people in their interactions with other people. My clinical practice early on was the primary influence on how I approached coaching. And coaching has significantly altered, in some ways, the way I think about clinical practice.”

Dr. Patricia Thompson

Dr. Patricia Thompson has been a Senior Consultant with Turknett for eight years. Patricia is a Ph.D. psychologist who blends psychology with business practices to help her clients reach their fullest potential. She has been consulting with CEOs and senior executives of organizations ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies across North America since 2004. Patricia is passionate about helping her clients reach their goals and truly enjoys the relationships she builds along the way.

Something I really enjoy about coaching is the trusted relationships that I can build with my clients,” says Patricia. “They gain an outlet to be able to open up to an objective party whose goal is to simply help them reach their goals and to grow. I also really like seeing people get wins as they accomplish their goals and the confidence that they can gain as a result.

David Dorn

David is an executive coach and leadership development facilitator. He brings experience from successful careers that vary from entrepreneur to engineer to an educator. Since 1996, he has collaboratively supported clients globally as they develop into the leaders they choose to be. David views the coaching relationship as a collaborative partnership that combines the wisdom, skills, and experience of both parties to envision an improved state and define the steps to achieve it.

David meets people where they are. For more than 25 years, in several different countries, he has been teaching experts to listen, learn, and evolve. He firmly believes leaders are not born, they are developed. David equips leaders with the tools and training they need to develop other leaders.

Vicki Abelson

Vicki is a professionally certified coach and has a true passion for people, evidenced by her career in the healthcare industry. Beginning her career as a Medical Records Clerk, she quickly advanced in her career until she became the Director of Finance. She loved every minute of her time in the role. As she grew in her role, she began to lead teams, providing a unique opportunity to pour into others under her. It was during this time that Vicki discovered she had a true interest in leadership development. 

Vicki went on to earn her coaching certificate through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC) in 2019. Since then, Vicki has made a remarkable career transition, leaving her 15-year career in healthcare for an entrepreneurial journey in leadership development as a certified business coach.

Dr. Barbara Reilly

As a subject matter expert and business advisor to HR and business leaders, Barbara brings over 20 years of progressive management/leadership experience and a proven track record of developing and executing successful HR, Talent, and Culture shift initiatives that support broad-scale organization transformations. Dr. Reilly has been a part of the Turknett Leadership Group for decades. She lives and breathes the Leadership Character Model, championing leadership character and helping her clients leverage the model as a guiding framework.

I’ve grown up with leadership character to the point it’s a part of my DNA and how I think about leadership,” explains Barb. “So much so, It’s like a second language to me. You might say I speak another language like German or French; I speak leadership. The specific dialect I speak is leadership character. When people say the values that are important to them as a leader like accountability, integrity, or kindness – I will immediately dissect that and place it into the Leadership Character Model. It’s the way I frame the world as people talk about leadership and how they show up as a leader. The Leadership Character Model is a grounding framework in my life.

Embracing Innovation and Technology for Accessible Leadership Development

To accommodate the varying schedules and learning preferences of clients, Turknett has adapted its services to meet their needs. By engaging in conversations with clients and understanding their goals, TLG can design tailored programs that are both flexible and effective. TLG is also developing programs that make leadership development more accessible to employees who are not in senior leadership roles.

One such program is the brand-new Foundations of Leadership Character Journey built on the innovative Rali platform. Participants journey together through several modules where they discover their leadership strengths and areas for growth while developing their own roadmap for ongoing development. The program is 100% online and self-paced, enabling users to move through the gamified content on their terms. TLG’s expert coaches provide periodic support and seek ongoing feedback to gauge its impact.

Embracing Technology and Virtual Solutions

In TLG’s first 33 years, there was a strong belief that coaching and training needed to be conducted in person. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the company to quickly pivot and offer virtual coaching and training. Turknett equipped its coaches with the necessary technology to make this transition, and as a result, the company has been able to serve clients in various countries around the world.

TLG’s swift and successful adaptation to virtual offerings contributed to its significant growth over the past few years. The company’s hybrid client solutions have enabled it to stay ahead of the curve and navigate any challenges that may arise, including potential lockdowns.

Catering to Diverse Client Needs

TLG’s commitment to being “large enough to serve you but small enough to know you” allows it to address the unique needs of its clients without bureaucratic hurdles. For example, the company designed a program for a cohort of Spanish-speaking leaders and middle managers working in energy plants, providing them with Spanish-speaking coaches and staff.

Encouraging Personal and Professional Growth

Turknett fosters a culture of learning and growth, empowering TLG’s staff to pursue personal and professional growth. While TLG provides coaching for many of its clients, some of TLG’s staff undergo coaching as well. The company also utilizes assessments to understand the leadership styles of its team members to identify areas for improvement and ensure they are most effective in their roles.

Impact and Evolution of Turknett’s Solutions

Leaders play a crucial role in shaping employees’ experiences at work, and TLG’s programs aim to foster growth in both leaders and employees. This contributes to more fulfilling work experiences, increased profitability, and overall organizational success.

Over the years, TLG’s programs have evolved in response to technological advancements and the rise of virtual delivery methods. However, the company’s core focus on human development has remained constant, as it continues to help individuals learn and grow.

“But at the core of it all, it has remained quite the same, because we dealt with human beings then, and we are dealing with them now who need to learn and grow” .


Exploring TLG’s Solutions 


Bob and Lyn Turknett were trailblazers in the coaching industry in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Today, Turknett has established itself as a top-tier professional coaching company, offering a range of highly customizable coaching programs to its clients. Among its most sought-after programs is the Executive Development Program, which has been proven to assist executives in enhancing their leadership skills and successfully navigating the unique challenges they encounter.

I engaged with TLG about 4 years ago for my own executive coaching, said Scott Deviney, President & CEO of Chicken Salad Chick. “We were growing very rapidly, and I was looking for my personal growth to become a level-5 leader. I was able to dive into myself and understand what would help me be a stronger leader, but also where my potential pitfalls were as a leader. For me personally, being very aware to force myself to be even more vulnerable than before has helped me become a better leader.”

TLG features several other coaching programs, including CEO Coaching, Group Coaching, for in-tact teams, Coaching for Personal Change, and so much more.


TLG is widely renowned for its extensive work in organizational culture that spans several decades. For any organization, it is crucial to identify its core identity before charting a path toward the desired outcome. This necessitates the alignment of its values, beliefs, and norms with its actual practices. TLG has an array of powerful tools at its disposal, such as engagement surveys and organizational assessments, that enable it to gauge the existing culture and collaborate with clients to determine the culture that is best suited for success. By leveraging the principles of change management and behavioral science, TLG assists clients in enhancing their effectiveness and implementing cultural norms.

Leadership Learning & Development

TLG is a specialist in developing leadership pipelines and provides an extensive range of leadership development initiatives and programs that cater to leaders at all levels of the organization. Manager2Leader and Foundations of Leadership Character, both highlighted earlier, are among the most innovative programs that TLG offers to cultivate leaders from diverse organizational backgrounds. In addition, TLG provides a diverse set of leadership workshops that focus on developing key skills such as executive presence, conflict management, and communication styles, among others, to equip leaders with the necessary tools for success.

Women in Leadership

TLG has been at the forefront of promoting gender equality in leadership roles. The Women’s Academy for Leadership is an initiative that is dedicated to the development of women leaders within organizations. With a focus on coaching and classes, this program helps women acquire the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in leadership roles. TLG also offers tailored coaching and consulting services that specifically aim to promote women in the workplace.

TLG’s Women in Leadership Signature Series has been running for 20 years and is one of the longest-running programs of its kind in the U.S. The program features a series of events, both virtual and in-person, where successful female leaders share their experiences and insights. TLG also produces podcasts and other relevant content specifically aimed at this audience. Participants in this program can share their stories, network with like-minded professionals, and receive support from a community of advocates.

“I’ve enjoyed the Women in Leadership series,” says Hope Harris, CHRO of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. “I’ve met so many amazing people and attended so many in-person sessions and virtual sessions. I’ve learned so much from everyone. 

It has been a great contributor to the forward movement of my career and has gotten me to where I am today.”


Sometimes, it can be difficult to mesh strategy with reality. Alignment of mission, vision, goals, and objectives in a cohesive direction assures leadership, culture, and resources are congruent and are key to efficient growth and impact. TLG works side-by-side with clients to achieve this common direction. Strategic planning, succession planning, and business agility are just a few of the different ways TLG is helping clients to position themselves for future success.

Looking Towards the Future

As the business world continuously evolves and organizations encounter new challenges, the need for effective leadership remains constant. TLG understands this reality and aspires to provide invaluable guidance to organizations and their leaders as they navigate through unknown territory. The company’s aim is to help them overcome obstacles and achieve their objectives, no matter how complex or daunting the journey may seem.

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