Mark Samuel: Helping Leadership Teams Achieve Sustainable, Breakthrough Business and Cultural Transformation

Top 5 Leadership Coaches Leading the Way in 2022

Since 1985, Mark Samuel, the founder and CEO of IMPAQ Corporation, has been developing leaders at all organizational levels to get rid of the typical breakdowns that sap and paralyze businesses. Mark has a long history of success as an authority on accountability, and many Fortune 500 companies’ top executives refer to him as a “practical visionary.” Mark is a highly sought-after consultant who has worked with hundreds of businesses to transform their industries, get rid of toxic work environments, and boost productivity and customer satisfaction.

Numerous businesses, including Chevron Corporation, American Express, Genentech, Baptist Healthcare, Honda Corporation, Texas Instruments, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, AMGEN, The Royal Bank of Canada, Baxter Pharmaceuticals, The University of California at Berkeley, General Dynamics, Michelin, and Siemens, have benefited long-term, profitably from Mark’s work.

Mark is a sought-after speaker whose presentations have inspired audiences at conferences and events in Europe, North and South America, and Australia to take effective action.

Journey as a Business Leader

Mark got his start in business at a young age in a partnership with two other incredible people and leaders who showed him the ropes. Even though he was an equal owner in the partnership, Mark felt like he was an apprentice learning from his mentors.

When both of Mark’s business partners left in 1983 to pursue their individual career goals, he was left to either continue the company or change his own career path. Immediately, he had to assume adult leadership of the company. At the time, Mark’s sole goal was to continue what he had learned from his mentor while attending graduate school at UC Irvine, or in other words, to use his dedication to personal integrity to offer his clients the best service he could.

Following a team-building project with an executive team that, according to their assessments, was extremely successful, Mark underwent his second transformation as a leader. Three months after the implementation, he returned for a follow-up meeting with the CEO and was greeted by several executives who came up to him to thank him for the positive changes he had made in their personal and professional lives. He was “on Cloud 9,” his ego sated by the compliments he was receiving.

However, with one executive, Mark asked, “So how is the executive team doing as a high-performance team?” The response he got was both a surprise and led him to the leader he has become. She said, “The Executive Team is still as dysfunctional as we were before, but we all agree that your program was life-changing for each of us individually.”

In light of the fact that Mark’s goal had been to develop their team, he saw this as a failure and made the decision to either find a way to move forward with producing meaningful and long-lasting results, or to leave his current position in search of one where he could be more successful.

Because of this, Mark decided to disregard everything he had learned in school and instead look for approaches and solutions that worked, regardless of what the general public thought, what was written in current books or taught by, professors, or what was common practice with other consultants. His biggest leadership change to date occurred during that time.

The greatest recognition Mark received came from David Covey, son of Stephen Covey, author of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. David was also the former Co-CEO of Franklin Covey when they expanded internationally to be the largest training firm in the world. Mark recalls, “After reviewing our methodology, he said,Mark, your methodology is the cure for organizational cancer.” Given how many methodologies he has seen in his role as CEO and his work to develop programs like “The Four Disciplines of Execution,” which was just becoming popular as a method to improve organizational effectiveness, his praise was very meaningful to me.

Otherwise, Mark receives recognition from companies that have previously, spent a lot of money on the top consulting firms in the world only to receive mediocre results. With Mark, they manage to accomplish what they believed was impossible in a shorter amount of time. All of this occurrs as employee engagement and morale increases, burnout decreases, and more positive supplier and customer relationships are formed.

Michelin tried using the top consulting firms for two years to centralize their 2,000-person global IT organization without success. The company employed its distinctive strategy of assembling a team of 65 executive and middle managers, which enabled it to complete the transformation in 9 months as opposed to the intended 18 months, while also cutting operating costs by millions of dollars, increasing internal customer satisfaction, and strengthening ties with IBM and other suppliers. One of the many times Mark felt a very high level of recognition was as a result of that outcome.

IMPAQ® Corporation and It’s B STATE® Approach

Mark is founder and CEO of IMPAQ. IMPAQ is committed to helping its clients quickly achieve sustainable breakthrough results while removing any struggle or suffering that may be present as a result of the level of overwhelm, confusion, conflict, or mistrust that is currently present. This unique approach we call B STATE (which is a breakthrough state of doing business).

B STATE raises leaders’ awareness to act with shared ownership to remove any barriers that stand in the way of optimal execution, teamwork, and communication, its distinctive and measurable approach eliminates silo thinking and behavior. This promotes participation and encourages employees at all levels of the business to contribute to a positive customer experience, a vibrant workplace culture, and organizational growth and profitability. A company does this by providing targeted and results-driven leadership development, facilitating change with executive coaching to develop individual competencies, and creating cross-functional leadership teams focused on optimizing collective intelligence and execution.

The Role of CEO

In this role, Mark is in charge of guiding the business toward profitability, opening up the company’s proprietary methodologies to more businesses, and collaborating with other consultants to share its cutting-edge methods for achieving results in order to raise the profession’s credibility and efficacy. Mark accomplishes this by giving keynote speeches, penning books, providing certification programs for trainers, and expanding the company’s global presence through other consulting firms that have obtained licenses to use its B STATE (Breakthrough State) methodology in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Australia. In order to keep up with the evolving business environment, Mark is also responsible for pursuing new innovative solutions.

His typical day involves communicating with clients, the IMPAQ team including his global extended family, as well as potential new clients and consultants. He has also scheduled coaching sessions with clients that begin as early as 7 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. Then, Mark devotes his evenings and a portion of his weekends to publishing books and writing articles for Forbes.

Inspiration to Join the Industry

According to Mark, the business coaching sector supports people’s lives and growth in a variety of ways by interacting with every other industry and living thing. In terms of development, change, and advancement, it is one of the industries that is growing the quickest. In terms of interdependencies and the demand for cross-functional and cross-channel cooperation, collaboration, and alignment, it is one of the most complex industries.

Mark’s purpose and commitment is to have an impact on organizations that want to adapt to change, maximize organizational effectiveness and efficiency, and build a culture of high performance and ground-breaking results. He makes sure that, time and time again, we witness exceptionally intelligent people surpass their own expectations through the inspiring collaboration and teamwork of all those involved.

Challenges are the basis of Every Success

Mark sincerely believes that his success was made possible by those in his field who came before him, and he will always be appreciative. His attachment to his own limiting beliefs and the dogma he was taught by other experts—which in reality didn’t work in practice—have been his biggest obstacles, though. Sometimes, those outmoded ideas or practices restrict what is possible because people may think that if they employ “effective” methods and they fail, it must be the fault of the circumstance, ourselves, or others rather than a problem with the methodology. For instance, it was generally accepted that teams should not exceed 15 to 25 members. However, once they changed the methodology for building high-performance teams, they repeatedly developed teams of 50 to 65 people that produced phenomenal results in a very short time. He shares, “It’s not necessarily ideal or my preference, but desired outcomes drive my purpose, not my comfort level or anyone else’s belief about what is or isn’t possible.”

The biggest difficulties, in Mark’s opinion, have been brand-new, never-before-seen circumstances coupled with limiting beliefs and practices. The most recent instance of this was when the pandemic hit the entire world and the majority of interactions changed to being remote and virtual. Before the pandemic, Mark thought that in-person meetings were the only way to create a cohesive team. He was therefore forced to create a virtual team-building strategy that would still produce the quantifiable results the team had promised its clients. The team overcame the obstacle and the limiting belief to succeed, but it took five months and a lot of help from other people.

Balance comes from the Inside

Mark claims that striking a balance between one’s personal and professional lives is a “inner process” rather than an outcome determined by how others spend their time. In order to be fully present and take full responsibility for everything he does, he tries to give everything he has to whatever he is doing at the time, whether it be work-related or personal, in order to avoid dividing himself and internally causing conflict or inner regret that he is not fully present. He shares, “My family is my most important commitment, with my IMPAQ family and clients being a close second.”

Mark doesn’t look at his role as keeping others motivated. That is an expectation that each person on his team has for their own life. He supports the motivation of others by having the team share their results from current engagements with clients, including the team’s wins, mistakes, and learning. He asserts, “I do this like everyone else, and when any of us develops something new, we all learn and gain from each other. One of the top values that drives who I bring into the IMPAQ organization is a commitment to lifelong learning and team support; this process is by definition motivating for everyone on my team.”

Defining Success

As Mark states, “Success is loving and appreciating what you are accomplishing in order to be of service to others or to have a purpose greater than yourself.” As you evolve through learning, adapting, and growing to become the best version of yourself, he explains, leadership at every level is based on how you are showing up to yourself and others. According to Mark, success is a process that starts from the inside out. It is less about what you accomplish externally and more about how happy, grateful, peaceful, inspired, charitable, growing, and serving you are on the inside.

Plans for IMPAQ Corporation

As organizations are prepared for genuinely transformational change and growth, Mark’s vision for IMPAQ is for it to continue to develop and expand. Not every organization is a good fit for the company’s high-level, consciousness-changing approach and process. Thus, Mark’s goals for IMPAQ are to expand naturally as business professionals become more aware of it and to introduce more consultants to this tried-and-true strategy for both organizational and individual transformation. His ultimate goal is to sell its intellectual property (IP) to a bigger consulting firm that can represent its offerings with the utmost integrity. His vision is that while he is not a marketing and sales expert, another consulting organization with a core competency in marketing and sales will provide greater exposure of B STATE methodology to benefit even more organizations and people than what the company currently serves.

Enjoy the Process of Growing

“Do what you love doing. Create a Picture of Success for what you want to be doing (not just achieving) a year from now and how you will be showing up differently to make that happen. Continue healing any unresolved inner issues that limit your beliefs or cause negative reactions that get in your way of showing up as your best self,” says Mark.  Additionally, he advises aspiring leaders to surround themselves with people who share their passion for success, personal development, and helping others. Most importantly, he advises young people to love themselves—even when they make mistakes or fail—as they go through growing pains and to accept themselves for who they are and what they are meant to be. In order to continue self-actualizing and serving others, he had to gradually come to understand what his innate, natural gifts were.