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You are more beautiful then you know.

“I have to spend every remaining second of my life helping people learn how beautiful they are…Most people die before they really learn…”  – Dr. “Chip” Anderson, Strengths-Based Development Pioneer, 2004

The story begins when Marc Otto was struggling as the Executive Director of medium sized non-profit in San Diego, California.  Marc was brought on just before the departure of a long-time and dearly loved Director so his company hired an advisor who introduced Marc and his team to Dr. “Chip” Anderson.  Chip had been a professor at UCLA and was at the time on staff at Azusa Pacific University but he was hired as a consultant to Marc and his team.  Notably, Chip was and one of the early researchers with Don Clifton and helped create the Clifton Strengths Finder Assessment, a tool built on 30 years of research around success.  Marc was skeptical, cautious and worried about being fired with the evidence of his assessment demonstrating that clearly, he was not suited for his administrative role.

On the first day of training, Marc said, “I frustrated Chip with my endless questions, skepticism and he suddenly began to cry.  He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, ‘I have a tumor the size of a football in my chest; I only have six months to live.  I have to spend every remaining second of my life helping people learn how beautiful they are.  Our research suggests that most people die before they really learn how beautiful they are.’ Chip went on to say, ‘In each person is something like a diamond that life and sin and insecurity has covered up.  Our job, my job, is to help people see the beauty in themselves, and others, that has been there all along.’  In that moment, it was one of those rare, life-changing moments; something clicked in my head and my heart and I knew that I needed to listen.  It changed my life and has helped me.  Now, I carry that same mission to help others discover just how beautiful they are and to help them align their talents with tasks that give them meaning.”

The Strengths Consulting Group began as the dream of Marc Otto & Christa Folkers in 2014. It stemmed from the growth of Marc’s own consulting business and Christa’s own visionary executive leadership experience. They dreamed about how they might help people and businesses grow by having healthy leaders, employees and operations.

They said,

Let’s change the world by supporting the right people and the right products/services that have the possibility to make the world a better place.

Let’s shift corporate culture by strategically helping one person at a time within a company

Let’s dare to keep our own health and families our top priority, as a model to the companies and leaders we work with.

Let’s solve business problems by improving relationships.

Let’s help people and businesses live well.

They believed that by improving relationships within organizations, they could increase employee engagement and help companies achieve the measurable C-Suite results they were pursuing. Driving business success through stronger relationships.

Time and again, over their combined 46 years of experience, Otto and Folkers have seen leaders rise, only to fall, to their own defeat and their company’s demise. These are leaders who have fallen, not for lack of accounting skills, a clear plan, a strategic vision, or even passion—rather for lack of clear guidance in the most basic, yet most complex quandary leaders face, “How in the world am I supposed to work with this person?”

What if, they dreamed, we could reverse the outcome of their demise, just by helping them answer this one question, one relationship at a time?”

“The truth is,” they realized, “we can.”


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