In the beginning, I didn’t just speak. It was my clients asking me to consult and train and coach who broadened
my expertise, inspired my leadership,
and launched me on a global path to
It was also the Power of One.
I’ve been lucky. The day I left a solid
job with a top company to start my own
business, I took with me a wealth of
corporate experience—years of working
with really smart people in a high-per-formance culture and knowledge gained
from amazing small-group meetings. You
couldn’t say I was unprepared.
Still, I had butterflies.
Then a good friend told me about the
Power of One.
“Don’t worry about having 12 clients
tomorrow,” she said. “Get one—and
do an exceptional job, and word will
It was an Aha! moment. And it
became a basic building block in
my business model. To this day,
I have never made a cold call. I
stay laser-focused on exceeding
customer expectations and rely
on my clients and extensive
network to refer clients to me.
Now, after operating my
own company for two decades,
I know the crucial value of another
essential element: credibility.
What gave me credibility, and got me
hired by companies such as Microsoft,
wasn’t platform skills alone. Clients
respect the fact that I cannot only speak
and consult on strategy, but that I have
worked in a variety of leadership positions,
delivered key messages, and coached and
BY RITA BARRETO CRAIG, SPHR, CSP
trained thousands. In my 23 years in the
corporate world, working in HR and completing multiple leadership rotations, I
learned that every job was about engaging
people and building a positive culture. But
I can’t focus on everything.
So my business model was built by
taking the areas I loved and was knowledgeable about and focusing on those:
¢ Serving on the Florida Commission on
the Status of Women gives me credibility when I deliver keynotes to women’s
¢ My work with the first company outside
of Japan to win the prestigious Deming
Prize for Quality equipped me to develop
strategic business plans.
¢ A passion for respect in the workplace,
and my time serving as a corporate EEO/
Affirmative Action/Diversity Officer and
on the state Civil Rights Commission,
resulted in lots of keynotes, consulting,
and training in the area of preventing
sexual harassment and other forms of
discrimination in the workplace.
Today, I focus on creating additional
success for every client, but I always
remember the Power of One.
Rita speaks, coaches, consults, and trains in the leadership space. Her very
visible involvement in leadership roles in her home state of Florida has helped
her build her skills while being a servant leader.
If you want to attract
and retain top talent,
CSP, is the person
to call. Recognized
with a Lifetime
Achievement Award in
human resources and
appointments, she is known for expertise
in leadership, building kind, respectful
work environments, and strategic thinking.
OF THIS MODEL
Going from a
sta; to being an
required lots of
wanted to stop in,
chat on the phone, or
take me out to eat. I
found it very quickly
expanded to 12-hour
days, and weekends
Being protective of
my calendar became
If you’re leaving a
corporate job, as
I did, you might feel
that you’ll no longer
be in the know.
Don’t worry. You
just have to find
new resources. My
approach and advice
is to commit to
reading a minimum
of five sources of
information each day
to stay relevant.