From Strategic Planning to 1:1 coaching, I help you clarify what "success" means to you and figure out the best way to achieve it. Here are examples of who I help:
Your small business is obviously critical to you but also to your community and our overall economy. If you are stuck or operating below your fullest potential, so is your community… so let’s change that! How do you define “success” for you and for your small business? What is in the way of that success? What are you not doing that would propel you to greater success? What should you focus on for the next few years? Where do you feel a bit stuck, lost, or confused? I can help you sort through these to gain clarity and then develop a plan to get you to breakthrough.
Schools and Districts
Education is foundational in all societies, and schools are central to our communities. In “Good to Great”, Jim Collins mentioned that “we don’t have great schools because we have good schools.” The fact you are reading this is proof you want your school or district to be great… and I can help. Let’s start with an initial conversation about how you define “success” and the major obstacles that stand in your way.
Church or Denomination
Religious organizations play an integral role in our communities. For many, they are central to their life, joy, and relationships while for others; they are often leading contributors to helping the less fortunate in the area. Leading these organizations brings special challenges as “success” is not measured by revenue or profits, much of the work is completed by unpaid volunteers, and there is typically less organizational management experience. I spent four years as an Executive Pastor and served on multiple leadership teams and boards; I understand the joy and challenges of leading these organizations. I would love to help you drive a clear understanding of what “success” is for you and provide insight on how you can get there, recognizing the constraints you have. Let’s start with an initial conversation about how you define “success” and the major obstacles that stand in your way.
Douglas MacArthur said, “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others.” This quote has stuck with me through my years leading in both corporate and nonprofit settings. I understand the emotional roller coaster caused by leadership and the desire to improve. There are many variations of successful leaders so the most important questions you can ask yourself are “What kind of leader do I want to be?” and “What do I consider success?”. Let’s start with an initial meeting so I can hear where you want to go as a leader; from there I will propose a path forward to bring you closer to the leader you envision.
Having an unbiased third party help you sort out the complexities of life can add huge value but is often not utilized by those who could use it the most. I am encouraged that you have taken the step to explore this, and humbled that you would consider me to help you sort out some of your life’s complexities or to help you achieve the great things you are dreaming of. Let’s start with an initial meeting so I can understand the guidance or insight you are looking for; from there I will propose a path forward which often will include discussions for greater clarity and ongoing coaching.
Fully Custom Solutions
I love helping people and organizations reach their full potential. You are reading this because your need doesn’t fit neatly into one of the other options. That is not only cool, it’s exciting. Let’s start with an initial meeting so I can understand what you are looking for and see if there is a way I can help.
Speaking that Transforms & Inspires
I have had 140+ opportunities to share my knowledge, experiences, and insights in a variety of venues and with a variety of audiences. Click below to see the talks I am prepared to modify to transform & inspire your group.
Defining YOUR Success: Lessons from the Cheshire Cat
"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there" was the heart of the exchange between the Cheshire Cat and Alice in Lewis Carrol's "Alice in Wonderland".
In this talk I encourage and equip people to figure out their ultimate "why" which leads them to what they are ultimately trying to do in their life, small business or nonprofit.
Growth thru Focus: The Clarity-Driven Success Framework
Successful individuals and organizations have a clear definition of purpose, aligned strategies & resources, deep ownership & engagement, effective execution, and intentional self-evaluation.
In this talk I present my "Clarity-Driven Success" framework and equip audiences to apply this in their specific situations.
Reflections on Rwanda: How an hour weaving changed my life
In 2009, I co-founded (and still serve as volunteer Executive Director) a nonprofit working in Rwanda, Africa. I have learned so much (both research and first-hand) about global poverty, disease and suffering; and also what can be done to alleviate it. I have engaged deeply in determining solutions, but also engaged deeply in the people and stories of those who are living this out day after day.
I would love to inspire your group by sharing about my experiences in Rwanda, the impact we have made toward self-sustainability, and the personal impact it has had on my life.
In Search of the Black Rhino
Hope and anticipation are both exciting and excruciating. In this talk, I tell the story of waiting for a Black Rhino in Kenya and how it parallels our individual and organizational visions of success. Audience members will be challenged to identify their Black Rhino, acknowledge the emotions of hoping for it to emerge, increase gratitude for those who are with them in the “jeep”, and encourage them not to miss out on everything else that is happening while they wait for the Black Rhino to emerge from the bush. The talk resonates with individuals while also building a sense of unity and togetherness. Conversations among team members will begin to use common language such as Black Rhino, riding in the jeep together, sharing binoculars, and driving through the Serengeti.
Spiritual Threads: How questions unraveled my evangelical shirt
My spiritual journey has been far from typical (if there is such a thing). I moved from a completely uninterested teen to a leader in the conservative evangelical church for 20 years to having a complete deconstruction of my faith to a place of an emerging renewed spirituality. The past few years have brought a new perspective of my spirituality and reconciling it in my day to day life.
I share my story on a podcast called "Spiritual Threads" and I would be happy to share my journey with your church or other group as an encouragement for those wrestling with spiritual questions.
Although not working at a church, I am a licensed pastor who has performed several weddings. My style is fun and engaging, with the goal of inviting all attendees into the celebration. My focus is on each person getting married and their new life together; I weave in stories from their lives and try to reflect their personality as much as possible.
Finding your community sometimes means expanding your network.
$20 to participate in four monthly sessions (March thru June 2019)
Zoom video conference (no download required)
Life as an Enneagram 5
Steve Fredlund is an Enneagram 5 (investigator & observer); the only one he personally knows. This means he struggles to be understood and is longing to build community with others who are feeling stranded on their own Enneagram island. This group will talk about what it means to live life as a 5 and how we can extract greater joy and experiences from the world and people around us; and maybe help those we love to understand us a bit better. We will gather once per month by video for 90 minutes. • 4th Wednesdays: March 27, April 24, May 22, June 26 • 7:00pm – 8:30pm Central Standard Time
Leading a small church is exciting but has many challenges not faced by larger nonprofits or for-profit organizations. Steve Fredlund has significant experience in small church and other nonprofit leadership, including currently leading a nonprofit he cofounded in 2009 doing humanitarian work in Rwanda. Steve’s education includes an MBA with emphasis in nonprofit leadership. This community gathers virtually once per month for 90 minutes. • 3rd Thursdays: March 21, April 18, May 16, June 20 • 10:00am – 11:30am Central Standard Time
Spiritual Threads: Wrestling as a Former Evangelical
Steve Fredlund is a former Executive Pastor, board member, church planter, and denominational leader within the conservative evangelical church. There are many wonderful people still practicing that form of worship and these meetings are not a place to focus on our issues with that perspective. Instead, this community is a safe place for former or struggling conservative evangelicals to discuss our spiritual journeys and wrestle with remaining questions and struggles. We will gather once per month by video for 90 minutes. • 3rd Wednesdays: March 20, April 17, May 15, June 19 • 6:00pm – 7:30pm Central Standard Time
Sharing my thoughts & insights on critical topics.
Shaun Johnson, The Big Band Experience & Tonic Sol-fa
Steve has certainly changed my life and its purpose. He is the rare individual who navigates complex topics with ease… who can impart groundbreaking ideas with charm and subtlety, allowing participants to remain open to his unique message. I’ve personally witnessed a “cold room” become charged with purpose, due in no small part to delivery as well as sheer force of personality. I’ve observed Steve in front of hundreds of strangers, in formal rounds and in small peer groups and noticed in each a man who masters the resonant art of communication with an unparalleled grace.
Laura Smith, HR Consultant
Steve is a charismatic visionary who has an amazing ability to listen, question and utilize his great sense of humor to lead others to new perspectives and positive results. I have known Steve for more than 25 years, he is a natural collaborator, who consistently ensures that each individual feels their frame of reference is respected and valuable. He knows how to share his intelligence, love of learning, analytical and strategic skills in an interesting and fun manner. There is a Chinese proverb that immediately brings Steve to my mind, “When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.” Steve is a builder of “windmills”, a builder of ideas and actions that transform minds, people, and produce results. I strongly recommend Steve to any organization that needs assistance with ensuring positive transformation, change and innovation.
Shannon Kirkeide, Anoka-Ramsey Community College
Compassion, wit, and an incredible ability to listen and communicate — Steve never ceases to amaze me with his ability to genuinely and deeply connect with people. His integrity, honesty, and inspiration are palpable when he speaks, which establishes a sense of trust and motivation for his audience. Steve is an incredible speaker and a deeply compassionate soul who views the world through a large, wide-angle lens.
Stacey Nelson, St. Francis School District
I have seen few with Steve’s unique ability to take complex issues with many layers, drill down to the core, and walk people through a step by step plan to reach their objective. Steve’s gift for analytics allows him to take large concepts with overwhelming amount of data and find meaning at the core. His charisma and sense of humor make him interesting and fun to follow as he helps you find meaning in the sea of data. Steve has a likable personality people are drawn to.
Greg Carlson, Executive Director at Presbyterian Homes
It has been my pleasure to know and work with Steve for many years on a personal and professional level. Beyond demonstrating the highest levels of professional competency and integrity, Steve’s leadership skills and lifelong learning commitment are apparent. He has consistently demonstrated the unique ability to serve strategically with a true spirit of service to others. The proven result is consistent long term organizational success with each endeavor. I have the highest regard for Steve in all respects.
Greta Nelson, Parent Educator
My experience working with Steve Fredlund has always been positive. Steve combines the analytical, the practical and even the humorous in a masterful way. He is about acurate data points, answering the deep why questions, as well as sharing practical application. Steve has a great public speaking style that takes systems thinking and complicated processes and makes them digestible for the listener. I highly recommend considering Steve Fredlund for your organizations analytical needs.
Tom Paustian, VP Derivatives Portfolio Manager
Steve is a rare talent. In an increasingly complex world, Steve has an uncanny ability to separate the signal from the noise and let the data and facts tell the story. Moreover, the clarity with which he delivers information to a broad range of audiences is superb. Having a short conversation with Steve on a complex topic, you will walk away feeling like an expert.
Chris Gorton, Experience Studies Analyst
Steve Fredlund is a reliable problem solver. He is both creative and analytical. He enjoys trying new things, but will put in the research ahead of time, and isn’t afraid to ask questions, and get advice along the way, to increase the chance of success. With his actuarial background he can dig into the nitty gritty, and is very detail oriented, but also does well working with the big picture in mind. Steve is an excellent communicator. He is especially adept in group discussions and interviewing, and has years of experience speaking in front of large groups, on podcasts, and the radio.
Mark Coughlin, Immanuel Church
I have had the privilege of working with Steve Fredlund in many settings – large groups, small groups, cross-cultural settings and one on one. Steve constantly brings excellent content. His warm, friendly style engages with audiences of all ages. He’s comfortable talking with a group of national leaders in Rwanda, Africa or training a group of Our Response volunteers in East Central Minnesota. With natural leadership and an easy smile he makes the necessary inroads required for passing along important information. If you are looking for a speaker who knows how to deliver, Steve is someone to seriously consider!
Bob Johnson, Our Response
Steve Fredlund is a gifted leader, visionary and organizer. I saw him begin a ministry from scratch that impacted the lives of hundreds of children in Rwanda. I highly recommend him as a speaker, coach and consultant.
Mark Radeke, Our Response
Steve puts his passion into action. He has an ability to energize a group of people together who share a dream and begin a movement that turns the dream into a reality.
Jody Thone, Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
Steve is an engaging speaker who brings a strategic, hopeful perspective to audiences. His enthusiasm and hard work created an impactful presentation for our Annual Conference.
Meet Steve Fredlund
"When we engage, I will bring my full energy, background, integrity, experience, and passion for problem-solving."
My 30 years of corporate experience has been primarily in analytical functions, including more than 20 years of staff management experience including four Fortune 500 companies (Allianz, Medtronic, Thrivent, 3M). I am a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a mathematics undergraduate, and hold an MBA with emphasis in Nonprofit Management. I am co-patent holder on an industry leading retirement income solution, started and led capital markets hedging programs, started and led an HR workforce analytics department, and am certified in Strategic Workforce Planning by the Human Capital Institute.
In late 2009, I co-founded a non-profit called Our Response, focused on uniting East Central Minnesota to respond to global poverty, disease & suffering. Under my volunteer leadership as Executive Director, we have raised more than $2 million and have taken four trips to Rwanda, each life-changing for each team member. I have also worked as an Executive Pastor, served three church leadership teams, served on six nonprofit boards, and helped several nonprofits develop a clear and compelling vision.
From individual meetings to full auditoriums, one of my strengths is communicating complex concepts simply. Included are more than 140 public speaking engagements, covering topics such as leadership, communications, insurance, actuarial analytics, clean water, global poverty and my own spiritual journey, I am able to communicate clearly to all of your stakeholders. I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in business, finance, investments, and organizational architecture.
I am honored to be a husband since 1991 to Tracy and father to three grown children: Christopher, Ryan and Annie. I love playing and teaching poker (recpokertraining.com) and am a huge sports fan, specifically Minnesota teams (making my fan-hood far more difficult). I have a number of great friends and extended family who I love hanging out with, especially when having discussions that could change the world; but I need down time to re-energize. I am an INTP on the Myers-Briggs, a “5” on the Enneagram, and my StrengthsFinder top 5 are Learner, Relator, Achiever, Strategic & Self-Assurance. I have learned a lot about my passions and personality; which has led me to this exciting adventure of consulting, coaching & speaking.
For most of my adult life, I was a leader in conservative evangelical churches. I worked as an Executive Pastor, helped start a few churches, and served on boards of churches and even the denomination. About the time I started my work in Rwanda (2009), my wife and I began having questions about our faith we just couldn’t reconcile; they were questions that were not welcomed by church leadership. We struggled for a long time with these questions before I ultimately resigned my staff and board positions. For about 6 years, we dropped out of the church scene altogether while our faith was being deconstructed; asking authentically all our questions. In early 2017, we finally felt safe enough to return to a church; a church that welcomed and celebrated our questions. I have described my faith deconstructions as similar to an unraveling shirt; you start pulling on one thread and before you know it you don’t even have a shirt. If you want to follow this process, check out our podcast (Spiritual Threads) or connect via Facebook group (Spiritual Threads) or Twitter (@unravelingshirt).
Influence & Commitment
My local, regional and national connections, including business and nonprofit executives, are a valuable resource for me to serve you. These include about 1,800 LinkedIn connections and 1,800 followers on other social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). I also host two podcasts (one also available on YouTube). When we engage, I will bring my full energy, background, integrity, experience, and passion for problem-solving. I’m a bulldog for clarity, and my passion is helping people and organizations gain clarity and achieve breakthrough.