Unearth and Leverage Your Brilliance

Thinking It Through Brilliantly

What is a Thinking Partner?

Thinking Partner

Thinking Partner - Myths and What It Really Is

Great question! A Thinking Partner is someone who helps you to think things through. And yes, that someone should be smart, experienced, and trained. Before you run the other way because of the myths surrounding this, let's take a look.

The myth is that coaching is for the weak (except in athletics it is GREAT) and that no self-respecting executive or leader needs it or would embrace it.  Who wants to be beaten up by some coach, have their feet held to the fire for accomplishing a goal you set in a moment of being overly ambitious or having to explain why something didn't happen? Yikes.

I get it. I'm a recovering Ph.D. Chemist (is recovery really possible? just kidding....) and I had not ever thought of being "coached." But what I do is very different from this myth. Yes, I am a certified executive coach, and I was trained in Harvard breakthrough coaching methods. Yet, what I do is based on so much more. It is based on years of thinking through various challenges. It is based on years more as a business leader, being in the hot seat myself.

I'm your Thinking Partner.  And no matter how technical or Subject Matter Expert-ish you are, I'm sure you have no problem with collaborating with a Thinking Partner. My clients tell me all the time "I never thought of hiring a coach but you are so different." Yeah, no cheesy coaching stuff here. They even say I'm smart. (Try me and form your own opinion.)

Great Thinking Partners

  • Have systematic tools and processes
  • Use experience and intuition to help you crystallize and refine your thoughts and plans
  • Are outside of your organization and typically have no direct stake in your business
  • Don't have preconceived notions about you, your business, your staff, and what is possible or impossible in your business or industry
  • Bring fresh eyes and hence new perspectives
  • Offers these new perspectives to you at the appropriate time, not as truth but as a potential contribution to discuss and evaluate
  • Offer resources and ideas based on their own experience when needed and appropriate

Business owners and executives often engage certified executive coaches for this purpose. And by the way, Steve Jobs had a coach, and so did Jeff Bezos, Larry Page of Google, and a long list of impressive luminaries. Maybe it isn't such a bad idea after all?

What is a Brilliance Thinking Partner?

Brilliance Thinking Partner

Thinking Through Your Brilliance

A "Brilliance Thinking Partner" is a Thinking Partner who is experienced in the mapping, extracting, and systemizing of brilliance. As we said elsewhere, "brilliance" is all critical expertise your organization needs to operate successfully, not just the knowledge that can be patented, trademarked, or copyrighted.

You are too close to yourself to see all your brilliance and take advantage of it.

Top-Notch CEO offers Dr. Stephie (and soon additional coaches) as your Brilliance Thinking Partner. Dr. Stephie has many years of experience as a Subject Matter Expert, Executive, and Entrepreneur. She has grown and turned around companies. She is trained in Harvard breakthrough coaching methods. And she is the Creator of the Brilliance Extraction System.™

As your Thinking Partner, Dr. Stephie and her coaches are the glue that makes the Brilliance Extraction™ System so successful.
We bring Fresh Eyes, accountability, and step-by-step progress. We know how to extract knowledge from you or your key people. We even extract knowledge from you that you forgot you had.

What are the Objectives?

There are seven objectives we pursue as your Brilliance Thinking Partner:

  1. Preserve your intellectual capital through our Brilliance Extraction System™ – creating structures such as processes, systems, and training that make growth scalable
  2. Speed up your organization’s growth and sustainability
  3. Support your experts in leveraging their expertise and taking the most profitable initiative
  4. Advance subject matter experts into effective, extraordinary leaders/ managers
  5. Ensure the team’s efforts are focused on the company’s mission with corresponding actions
  6. Develop staff in conventional and remote offices
  7. Turn around expertise-driven companies or departments/ team within them

Our mission is to future-proof your expertise-driven business or organization.

Brilliance Thinking™ is Joint Thinking with Measurable ROI

Together, we convert your intangible brilliance into tangible results. Leverage your expertise and make it immortal.

Our Specialty

Subject Matter Experts

Leaders Who Are Subject Matter Experts

We specialize in advancing the success of subject matter experts who are leaders, managers, and key personnel. We work with both highly experienced as well as emerging leaders.

We focus on two keys:

  1. It is crucial is to capture your organization's unique knowledge and systematize it, so that the rest of the team can use it now and well into the future.
  2. Furthermore, everyone benefits from coaching, as a sounding board, for leadership grooming, or for both.
    • As a top leader, you benefit because it can be lonely at the top. Everyone around you has their own opinions and agendas, and the team lacks the fresh eyes you need for the next breakthrough.
    • Your key people deserve to be recognized for their unique knowledge. It pays to give them the support to bring that expertise to an even higher level of impact and success.

Both keys enhance business income, value, and sustainability. These are crucial to your business.

Trained in Harvard Breakthrough Coaching Methods

We work with
• Experienced leaders giving them an unbiased sounding board and fresh eyes
• Promoted managers and leaders who will gain faster traction with top-notch coaching

"Coaching" has become a term that can mean so many different things. It all starts with who is doing the coaching, and what is their coaching training, their business experience, and their philosophy about bringing either of these to the table to help you achieve your goals.

This is important to know:

  • Some coaches offer their coaching services without having had any systematic training whatsoever! This is, by the way, currently perfectly legal.
  • Other business coaches have credentials from an accredited coaching training organization.
  • Yet, even accredited business coaches vary greatly in their actual business experiences. The level of actual business experience business coaches have can range from
    • None - other than running their own coaching practice
    • Experience as a seasoned executive
    • Having been a CEO of leading a small, midsize, or large company
    • Having successfully turned around companies

We have been systematically trained in Harvard breakthrough coaching methods. We bring them into play from the perspective of having been in a lot of the situations you might be facing, as a top leader, executive, or subject matter expert coming to grips with how to be even more successful in business. And yes, we have even turned around companies in economically depressed times.

Meet Dr. Stephie

Meet Dr. Stephie
Dr. Stephie Althouse

Dr. Stephie’s Bio and Track Record

  • Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1994
  • Award-winning innovator and scientist
  • Recognized as Most Promising Innovator Under 35 by MIT Technology Magazine
    • Won two Technology of the Year awards
    • Extensive executive experience in corporations, ESOP companies and as an entrepreneur
  • Founder of Top-Notch CEO and ESOP.io
  • Authority in business turnarounds, for example,
    • Increased revenue by 41% in a high-tech company during a bad economic downturn
    • Turned around a company in the construction industry in 6 months
    • Implemented ownership thinking in a newly employee-owned company in 6 months
    • Solved succession challenges when the groomed successor was not the right choice
  • Author of “101 Quick Tips for High-Talent Companies” and "101 Quick Tips for ESOP Leaders” – ask us for a complimentary copy or go to TopNotchCEO.com and ESOP.io to download it
  • Certified Executive Business Coach using breakthrough Harvard coaching methods (Harvard Institute of Coaching)
  • Dr. Stephie has lived in Germany, Tennessee, Louisiana, Illinois, and California before becoming a Texan
  • She speaks fluent English and German

What Makes Us Different

What makes us different

5 Important Differences You'll Want to Know

Difference #1: We Focus on Leveraging Your Expertise and Give You More Freedom

The old model of using expertise no longer works. It causes companies and their leaders to "miss the bus" and fall behind in a time when change is more rapid than ever before. We use the new model of vigorously leveraging expertise. We focus on what you want to achieve, and on how to make the most of your expertise.

We also "uncuff" you from spending a lot of time managing your expertise and the ideas you already thought of. We give you back time to think of new ideas. That is time you likely want because you are creative and innovative. It is also time you need because without new ideas organizations go extinct sooner rather than later.

Difference #2: We Make Your Expertise Immortal

As Dr. Stephie says on our homepage, do not take your expertise, your passions, and what makes you tick, to the grave. Leverage it, protect it, make it immortal. Your expertise becomes building blocks for the future.

Difference #3: We Understand You

You have a lot of expertise in your head. With that comes a lot of responsibilities. You have ambitious goals and visions. We understand what drives you, motivates you, and makes you "tick."
We love working with smart, creative, focused people who demand the same in their executive business coach.

Difference #4: You Get Results Fast

Our philosophy for business coaching is to get quick results. How?

We don't waste time on fluff! You’ve worked hard. Besides your expertise, your mindset, habits, leadership abilities, and business skills, are critical. Working together, we leverage those skills to enhance the results you are seeking now.

Our clients tell us that we are “insightful” and “out of the box thinkers”. They say we are fast to spot the essence of challenges, opportunities, and avenues of action. That speed allows us to fast-track the process from analysis to strategy, to action. Results come fast.

During our years of work as executive business coaches, we see our clients grow within a short time. Business revenues go up. Careers advance. Direct reports are happier and work together with greater synergy. Challenges that have plagued clients for years melt away. New opportunities develop, people are happier, vacations get taken with peace of mind, legacy emerges.

Expect breakthroughs because our proprietary methods make them inevitable. The bottom line is we support you in hitting your revenue and profit targets.

Difference #5: You Get Long-Lasting Success and ROI

As a leader, you are not just concerned about success in the here and now but also for the longer term. That is critical for future-proofing your company. Anything else puts all your company’s growth and sustainability and hence your stakeholders at great risk.

How Do I Try Out A Brilliance Thinking Partner?

conversation with Brilliance Thinking Partner

Get 30 FREE Minutes with Dr. Stephie

Brilliance Thinking™ is a conversational process. Let's find out what your goals are. We can begin to map out which brilliance you have (or someone on your team) that you want to protect, leverage, and make immortal.

We invite you to take advantage of a complimentary 30-minute Brilliance Thinking conversation with Dr. Stephie.

During this conversation, we'll talk about whatever is important to you. If you like, we can begin to map your brilliance using our Brilliance Mapping Tool.
In any case, you will gain critical insights and value you can use.
Then you have the experience and information you need to decide how to proceed.

Try Dr. Stephie as Your Brilliance Thinking Partner

It is easy. Contact us. Let’s chat for 30 minutes. It is important to know that we connect well and that we are the right fit for you.
No strings attached. It’s that simple. Go for the gold.