Dr. Angelique Adams is the founder and CEO of Angelique Adams Media Solutions, LLC (AAMS), a consultancy committed to helping scientists and engineers become influential leaders. She discovered that her true calling is developing people, not products, after more than 20 years of leading corporate innovation. Angelique has been sought out as a professional mentor and coach for most of that time, particularly for diverse technical talent. For that same period, she’s been frustrated by the lack of role models, tools, and counsel for the people she supports. So, she decided to design and create her own solutions.
Angelique wears multiple hats as the founder of a new business. She creates and implements the business’s strategy, provides guidance on the content strategy for her keynotes and courses, and personal coaches her clients.
Motivation to Become an Entrepreneur
Dr. Adams’ choice to leave her corporate job and establish her own business was based on two inputs. First, she was extremely successful in coaching her own scientific and engineering personnel to success. Second, she received early market feedback that her knowledge and approach were in high demand when she started getting reviews from her first career guide for women in technical fields. She states, “With those two pieces of information in hand, I decided to leverage my many years of experience bringing new products and processes to market to bring AAMS to market.”
AAMS; A Success-Driven Coaching Practice
AAMS has grown substantially in its first year. The team went from having one book and one keynote to developing several training and coaching products and becoming a sought-after leadership consultancy for corporate technical leaders and hard-tech founders.
- For tech founders and executive leaders: Dr. Adams provides one-on-one executive coaching. Through that process, clients discover the power of having a trusted advisor with a C-suite perspective. They learn to boost their emotional intelligence to become a top talent magnet. Clients master the art of executive communication to influence investors and stakeholders. Dr. Adams also focuses on mindset and self-care, so clients escape the regret of losing valuable time out of their life to the day-to-day emergencies of their job.
- For emerging leaders: AMMS’ group coaching solutions provide clients with quick clarity on how to design a lucrative and meaningful career. It also assists in helping them discover the senior leader’s perspective on hiring and promotions and how to take advantage of it–immediately. Clients master the steps one can follow to maintain their confidence in any situation.
“My clients learn to deliver results and develop people simultaneously.”
Using Her Challenges to Inspire Others
Angelique has first-hand experience with the difficulties of being underrepresented at work. She had a successful career in the metals and mining industries, most recently working as Chief Innovation Officer at a multibillion-dollar European steelmaker, despite being scoffed at by academics when she told them she wanted to seek a Ph.D. She describes, “When I told professors that I wanted to get a Ph.D., they all laughed at me, except one, who took me on and became my mentor. He and I are still close friends to this day, over 20 years later.”
Her consulting approach includes sharing many of her own challenges throughout her career. There have been occasions when she has doubted herself or spent the evening curled up in a ball weeping about a significant challenge or failed opportunity. She asserts, “When I realized that I wanted to pursue my vision of developing purpose-driven, inclusive science and engineering leaders, I had to decide if I was OK with telling my full story.”
Angelique has found that marketing her business has taken her outside of her comfort zone. She notes that she is an introvert and has been able to have a successful career working behind the scenes. She says, “Not many underrepresented people who have gotten as high up the corporate ladder as I have, are willing to share so openly about their challenges”.
When others tell Angelique they want to work with her because she is so approachable, she feels honored because she has created a judgment-free zone by discussing her personal challenges, proving she made the correct decision.
A Success Journey
Angelique recalls that when she had her first job interview outside of college, she stayed at a hotel for the first time. She kept the little shampoo bottle for years since the scent reminded her that she was embarking on a new career. That was the first time, according to Angelique, she exceeded her own expectations.
Since then, Dr. Adams persevered, trying to climb the corporate ladder and succeeding. She reflects, “It wasn’t until over 20 years later that I looked up from my career path and thought to myself, I wonder what you can do if you actually define your own vision. And that is what I am doing now. I have a dream of helping 10,000 scientists and engineers become results-oriented, purpose-driven, inclusive leaders.”
For Dr. Adams and her clients, success means achieving three things: (1) being respected for your work, (2) being paid what you are worth, and (3) having those things without sacrificing the values, relationships, and projects you care about most.
Dr. Adams’ approach to leadership development is a proven pathway to help clients achieve it. Angelique’s methodology is based on her own experience and those of other successful leaders. She has had the opportunity to interview dozens of leaders in multiple industries for her books. She also studied the latest leadership strategies as part of her Executive MBA at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at the College of Executive Coaching. She notes, “People come to me when they have achieved 2 out of the 3 ingredients of success and are desperate to attain the third. That missing third element is different for everyone but in all cases, I create a judgment-free environment for them to take a systematic approach to define what is missing, develop a plan to go after it, and overcome obstacles that might get in their way.”
Redefining the Consulting Space
In two unique ways, Angelique Adams Media Solutions is revolutionizing the leadership consulting industry. The first way is with the people that it helps. The team specializes in working with scientists and engineers in top leadership positions who hold postgraduate technical degrees. They are well-versed in their field, but they are frequently lacking in leadership skills such as executive communication, delegation, and emotional intelligence. As a former Chief Innovation Officer, Angelique knows firsthand the challenges of making the transition from subject matter expert to leader. She is dedicated to assisting people with not only learning the necessary skills but also discovering the unwritten “rules of the road” of the system that is preventing them from progressing.
The second way is in the firm’s coaching approach. It collaborates with clients to co-design experiments that help them collect data on the behaviors that get them closer to their goals and interpret the results. Angelique states, “By framing the coaching relationship in this way, we immediately put our clients in a place of confidence. As technical people, we understand experiments and hypothesis testing. However, now we are experimenting on ourselves and trying new leadership behaviors that will help us be more effective.”
Additionally, the You’re More Than a Diversity HireTM book series fills the gap HR, well-intentioned mentors, and general career publications leave for those underrepresented at work. Angelique synthesizes the most actionable advice from successful diverse insiders. She began the book series with women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. She addresses pressing topics such as how to command respect at work, how to develop a career roadmap, and how to handle haters who judge you for pursuing a career you love, based on her own 25 years of experience and insights from over 80 women across a broad range of industries, working on four continents. She is presently focusing on women executives in the college athletics industry. She shares, “I’ll end the series when smart, talented, trailblazers no longer feel underestimated, sidelined, and overwhelmed.”
Living Her Values
Angelique is a child of a military family, so she moved around all the time. Up until last year, she was still somewhat of a nomad, splitting her time between the US and France. She mentions, “I am happy to be 100% in the place I call home, Knoxville, TN.”
Angelique lives in Knoxville, TN with her husband and 2 children. Jim and she met in graduate school at Penn State, where they both earned their Ph.D.’s in Fuel Science. She says, “He’s a world-renowned researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In August 2021, we celebrated being together for 20 years!” The couple has two wonderful children, Seth and Sophia. She shares, “We are in the “chauffeur” stage of parenting our middle schoolers, shuttling them to and from school and their various activities. Seth is into robotics and Sophia competes in archery.
For Dr. Adams, the projects she cares about most involve her community. Angelique is proud to serve her community on the Boards of Directors of three very important local non-profits, The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley, The Muse Knoxville, and The Knoxville Entrepreneur Center.
A Future Vision for Angelique Adams Media Solutions
In the next 6 months, Dr. Adams will be launching an innovative, new membership site. It will be designed to help scientists and engineers achieve their personal definitions of success based on her proven 3 Pillars of Leadership Success in the Sciences and Engineering: Prove Your Performance, Nurture Your Network, and Master Your Mindset. The new site will provide expert training, executive coaching, and a support community.
Her vision for Angelique Adams Media Solutions, LLC is to become the global destination for leadership development for scientists and engineers.