As a child, what did you want to become?
Secretary of State
Your best experience as a leader:
Taking an idea no one initially believed could happen and having the team create & nurture it to come alive.
Nº1 Free time activity:
Wandering Aimlessly – walking, on a bike, hiking, mode of transportation doesn’t matter.
ThinkHuman CEO Meredith Haberfeld has 15-plus years of experience as a consultant to fast-growth organizations—think Spotify, Goldman Sachs and SoulCycle. She’s conducted original research on employee engagement, but she’s best known for her intuitive and transformative work with executives, entrepreneurs and their teams. Meredith teaches at top educational institutions (Pace University, Equinox Fitness, The Esalen Institute and others) and is a frequent expert for media outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, CNBC, CNN, Forbes and MTV.
Meredith’s professional journey, though, began with a degree in molecular biochemistry from Reed College. It seems an unlikely start for a corporate change agent, until you consider her thesis topic: the impact of stress hormones on the health of brain cells. Meredith has long been fascinated with the inner workings of the human brain and how environmental factors can impact performance. Or, more importantly: How the right environmental factors can inspire excellence.
But she yearned to move past the Petri dish and into a career that’d create positive change in the real world. So she moved across the country, to New York City, armed with ambition, passion and a plan to become vice president of a company within two years. “No one ever told me that wasn’t possible, so I just did it,” she explains.
As senior vice president at Paradigm Direct, Meredith managed a team of more than 60 employees and helped grow the firm into a $200 million company. The “on-the-court MBA” she earned during those years has been instrumental in Meredith’s consulting work: she understands firsthand clients’ challenges and organizational structure.
Meredith began consulting for outside organizations because she wanted to share her discovery that, with the right culture, leadership and tools, companies can unleash quantum possibilities both internally and in the world at large. She took a break from corporate work in 2001 in order to work with and study the human brains driving business. “I wanted to understand what motivates individual human beings, not just organizations; and how to cause profound behavior and paradigm change on a personal level,” she says. During that time, Meredith achieved life coach certification from the International Coaching Federation and worked with hundreds of individuals, couples, families and professionals on a one-on-one basis.
Meredith co-founded ThinkHuman (formerly known as the Institute for Coaching) in 2008. She’s advised in the development of life coaching education at MIT and has served as a trusted advisor to entrepreneurs and senior executives at institutions such as Johns Hopkins University, Forbes, JP Morgan Chase, Credit Suisse, FuseTV and the World Health Organization.