Michelle Alana

When I was 22 years old, I walked away from my dream job. At the time, I was a professional singer, a dream that had begun when I was cast in my first school musical in 2nd grade, and that I had somehow made happen by the time I was 15. I was one of those rare people living their childhood dream, and yet… I had this sneaking sense that there was something else for me to do.

So I got curious and designed an experiment – for one year, I would not take any professional singing jobs. For one year, I would see what life was like in the “real world.” I felt terrified of finding out who I was without the safety I found in this identity as a singer. Being a singer meant I was someone special, and I wasn’t sure I had much to offer without it.

But something extraordinary happened. I joined an experience design firm that flew me around the world, designing games to deepen connection and relationship between coworkers. I designed programs that helped people see one another beyond their surface-level identities as Tanya in Accounting or Josh in Marketing. I loved this work and was so committed to the company and the team that within four years I was promoted to Managing Director and Interim CEO, running a $5M P&L and leading a team of 20. 

I had no idea what I was doing. But through instinct, an open mind, and a great set of coaches and mentors, I grew revenue, doubled profit, and drove the highest engagement and retention in the firm’s history. 

Eager to take this love of leadership to larger organizations, I got my MBA from Stanford Business School and continued learning rapidly at Boston Consulting Group, where I became an expert in Consumer and GTM Strategy. This led to the leadership team of Levi Strauss & Co., where I built the first Marketing Ops team for the Americas region and then led Strategy for the $2BN Americas business. Curiosity was the thread that moved me forward and drove my success – curiosity about the business, the people reporting to me, my peers, my boss, and myself as a leader.

Now, as an executive coach and strategy advisor, I move fluidly with my clients between conversations about the most critical business issues and the most pressing interpersonal challenges. With curiosity, we open up new ways of leading that are more effective and significantly more rewarding.

Today, I’m also the mom to a four-year-old who is the main audience of my singing, and who – only about half the time – responds with “Mama, stop singing I don’t like that sound.”

What Clients Say
“Working with Michelle has been a transformative journey, profoundly impacting my leadership skills. Her unique blend of approachability, compassion, and strategic insight has not only unlocked my potential but elevated me to new heights as a leader. Michelle masterfully balances being supportive and challenging, empowering me to become the best version of myself. Truly, her guidance has been invaluable.”
Jason Silverstein, Figma
VP, Sales
“Following our acquisition by Siemens, we wanted to refresh our leadership approach to meet the broader expectations of our parent company. Michelle and Doug were the change agents that helped align our team and create our high performance interaction model. As a result, we are more focused and we are operating at a much higher level than before. ”
Kevin Kemmerer, Brightly
“Michelle’s infectious compassion and professional expertise make her a powerful coach. She has been instrumental in guiding me to discover my leadership style. She helped me develop tangible goals rooted in a profound understanding of my strengths and growth areas, supercharging my capacity for success.”
Martine White, Stellar Health
VP, Operations
“Michelle is an absolute professional who is so in tune with me and can see my strengths but also see the areas that I can further enhance. Not only does she actively listen but also challenges me so much that I am always looking forward to our next session. Her commitment and honesty are unequivocally amazing….you will feel like you are the only executive she is working with.”
Ricardo Vasquez, United Collection