Salve Success: Lisa Milich ’13 (M), master’s in holistic leadership
Lisa Milich ’13 (M) has always been a different kind of leader, coach and businesswoman. She emerged from a working class, blue-collar background to become the first family member and female to earn a college degree. Much of her earlier career was spent in the corporate sector in marketing, branding and sales for highly-respected global brands, and although this career was rewarding for many years, she always felt a greater calling to make a difference. That yearning drove her to a critical turning point in her life.
“I hit a point when I was really exhausted and burnt out,” Milich said. “As a mom, step-mom and corporate executive juggling life’s demands, I was forced to step back to think about who I was and where I wanted my life to go. I took note of my gifts, talents and abilities and recognized I was a natural coach. The pivot toward coaching allowed me to really start thinking about a new, ever-evolving chapter.”
Milich became certified and began coaching individuals one-on-one, which gradually grew into a side business called Beyond Change Consulting. As the one-on-one coaching took off, her work expanded to groups and teams within all types of organizations – and then to entire organizations. Combining her work with her husband’s natural horsemanship coaching, they founded Freedom Ranch – a private, purpose-driven horse retreat center with a focus on integrative leadership and wellness, mindfulness, equine connection, ancient wisdom traditions, and nature and adventure.
Milich quickly realized that expanding her education would put her on the path she truly wanted. She first learned about Salve Regina’s master’s degree in holistic leadership when she saw a brochure about it at a social enterprise conference at Brown University.
“It said something like, ‘The world needs a different kind of leader,’” Milich said. “That really struck me, because I’ve always been the kind of leader they described. And so, I was like, ‘Yes, that’s exactly it. That’s exactly what the world needs – a new type of leadership.’” She graduated from the program in 2013, and also earned a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in creative and expressive arts from Salve Regina in 2016.
Milich said the holistic leadership program changed her life. It equipped her with the latest approaches to integrative systems thinking and growth strategies and allowed her to deepen her sense of self and become a more conscious and aware person. After all, real leadership starts from within through deep personal growth and transformation.
“It’s very much an inside-out process,” Milich said. “It’s not command and control. It’s really about being able to be present in the moment and show up in that presence in a way that impacts other people. It truly changes the face of leadership.”
Typically, when an organization reaches out to Milich, it’s because they’re looking for coaching, although that’s just one small part of what she actually does. She has worked with a wide range of clients, including notable global brands, mid-to-small size organizations and start-ups across the profit, non-profit and social impact and justice arenas. She brings all of her talents to the mix: coaching, leadership, wellness and business strategy consulting. Milich is also trained in Conscious Business Coaching and is finishing a Certification as a Conscious Capitalism Consultant in April 2021.
“A lot of time, I’m getting hired one-on-one for leadership coaching for emerging leaders all the way up to the C-suite,” Milich said. “For organizations, I’m being called on to do culture shifts. There’s a misalignment with what their vision is and where their employees are disengaged, and so I help bring … conscious business to the platform.”
Milich has no regrets about her valuable time spent learning at Salve Regina, and she encourages anyone who is passionate about leadership to consider the program. “If you believe in community, shared values, creating a world that exists where all people are respected, heard and listened to … this is the program for you,” she said. “You can help build that new world. Our world desperately needs you.”
Salve Success is a series of student success stories periodically featured on SALVEtoday. Check out the tag Salve Success for more stories.