Q&A with Birkman CEO Sharon Birkman and Amy Shepley, Third Generation Birkman International Leader
What is the most valuable thing you've learned about each other through The Birkman Method?
Sharon: Even though Amy and I have been around The Birkman Method our entire lives, the insight we gained from our new mindset report, known as the Perspectives Report, was transformative in shining a light on something that was never really understood by either one of us. Amy and I are so very similar according to the data in our Signature Report, and yet there was always something that was not lining up. We would both look at our Birkman Signature Report and think, "we look so similar from our Components, but we feel so different from one another." We couldn't quite understand where our differences played out. Our Perspectives Reports show where we differ, and it's so enlightening.
Amy: Right, we love that Perspectives provides a new way of looking at the same Birkman data points for a more in-depth look into who we are. We always assumed our differences were just a mother-daughter dynamic, but now we have data to show that we have two totally different mindsets driving our view of the world. Our significant differences in behavior finally make sense. This is something that everyone notices, especially us! I think it affirms that if we can have that kind of "aha moment" about our relationship after 17 years working with personality data, this product has the potential to transform lives.
Sharon: Exactly! We now look at our differences from a new viewpoint and with a much greater understanding of where the other is coming from. We now appreciate each other in a whole new way.
You've learned a lot about your differences! Despite that single significant difference in mindset, what about your personalities make you work so well together?
Amy: I think it's the fact that we have similar personalities, but they come out in totally unique ways. Sharon will tell the stories and the metaphors, and then I provide a more blunt, candid perspective. I think people really enjoy how our differences in mindset play out in public! We have a very different facilitation, but what we really connect through is our high interest in aesthetic. We both care about how Birkman is represented, and we take a true interest in our brand. The big motivator and connector for us is that we have the honor to work here and carry on the Birkman legacy. We have so much gratitude to just be a part of this company and hear how it impacts lives. When we hear positive feedback, we love to think that Granddad is with us beaming with his bright, wide smile.
Sharon: Absolutely. I think we both feel the pride of the legacy. I experience no greater joy than receiving feedback that Birkman has bettered someone's life or company. To Amy's first point—we really balance each other out. Amy is the Yin to my Yang. We are similar enough from a Component standpoint, but our contrasting mindset provides a healthy level of balance between us. Our common goal of continuing my father's legacy is the driving motivator for both of us and this connects us through any situation.
What are you most excited about for Birkman's future?
Amy: I'm most excited about the addition of the Perspectives Report and the new ways that we're categorizing Birkman data. It has been such a personal eye-opener for me, and I hope others will be just as excited. I love that we are bringing new lenses into our understanding of our personalities. I love that we now have a five-dimensional way to look at a person. Reputation, Personality, Perception, Mindset, and Motivation provide you with a more complete picture of an individual.
Sharon: Me too! And I'm super excited about the 2020 Birkman Conference in our home state! We have so many brand-new, technology-driven products that we'll be rolling out, along with some exciting announcements you really won't want to miss out on! From the vantage point of my long tenure, I truly believe we're in our most innovative years yet. We can't wait to share where we are and where we're headed. If you thought New Orleans was an innovative conference, 2020 will blow you away!