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Meet Mark Fenner of Rise Performance Group in Coppell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Fenner.

Mark, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
October 5th, 2011, the day Steve Jobs died was the day that changed my life. I happened to be in San Francisco that day and was traveling up the 101 towards San Francisco and the radio kept playing the 2005 commencement speech that Steve Jobs had delivered at Stanford University. In that speech, Jobs was encouraging these young graduates to do what they loved. He said, “…for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? And whenever the answer has been “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” After hearing those words, I literally pulled my car off the highway on the first exit I could find, looked in the rearview mirror of my rental car and asked myself, “Mark, if today were your last day, would you want to do what you are doing?” My answer was not just no, it was hell no.

Four years earlier, I thought I had a dream job, great leadership team, an inspiring mission and we were winning. Then, the great recession of 2008 changed all of that. The company I worked for was acquired and when I heard those words from Steve Jobs, I knew I was working for a leader I did not respect, lacked the sense of purpose in the work I once had and was not happy. I had always taught my employees that if you are not happy, you either need to get happy or change.

I immediately dialed my wife and told her I was quitting my job and when I returned home we would immediately start looking for a business to acquire or start.

I went on to start Rise Performance Group on December 6th, 2011, resigned from my senior leadership position and have been reinventing myself ever since.

I started with a partnership with Profiles International offering assessments for hiring and leadership development. In January of 2013, I became a John Maxwell leadership coach and in 2017 became a Scaling Up coach. I have been fortunate to work with some of the most successful entrepreneurs and investors in the metroplex.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The biggest challenge was overcoming my fear of public speaking. I would literally break into a cold sweat when I would get up in front of people to speak. This was particularly troublesome since my career was going to rise or fall based on my ability to speak in front of crowds. Additionally, the stress associated with speaking would cause me to lose sleep.

I struggled with limiting beliefs, wondering if I was qualified to offer the coaching, training and consulting I wanted to deliver.

Work-life balance has been a challenge. When I am stressed, I work. I get up at 4:15 am and go to bed at 10 pm. In the early days, I worked almost every moment. Today, I am adding more balance to my life.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Rise Performance Group – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I am a Scaling Up – Mastering the Rockefeller Habits Certified Coach. I work with CEOs and their leadership teams using this proven methodology to help them improve their performance by working on four decisions a company must get right to scale up, people, strategy, execution and cash. I deliver on this by helping them create a one-page strategic plan and then operationalizing the plan so it can be executed.

I implement a quarterly planning rhythm with my clients that consists of planning the quarter, executing the quarter, evaluating the results, rinsing and repeating.

I also have leadership development programs. These start with programs to hire A-Players, engage them in the culture, performance manage and development them into the next level of leadership.

I am most proud of the types of clients that have been attracted to my work. They are not only extremely successful in their own right, but they also take great pride in making a positive contribution in their communities and developing future leaders who can make positive impacts.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am working on a book called Cadence Leadership – Creating the Habit of Leadership. I am continuing to build my team of coaches and trainers who can help me impact even more companies and individual leaders. Finally, I am always exploring new and creative ways to deliver our services. Look for more virtual training and engagement options in the future.

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