Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in leadership development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michael Leytem, Founder and CEO of Catching Leadership, located in Cedar Rapids, IA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Catching Leadership is a talent management and leadership development consulting firm that provides professional services and executive coaching to organizations seeking to strengthen their workforce. Our customers vary from startups to Fortune 100 companies and span across a wide variety of industries.

Tell us about yourself

I have always loved people, the human mind, and nature. These passions led me to study Industrial-Organizational Psychology and begin my career as a consultant helping organizations attract, develop, and retain their talent. After traveling for over a decade and observing all kinds of organizational challenges, I realized that there had to be a better way to teach the principles of leadership development beyond the dated methods corporations had used traditionally. This realization motivated me to author the book "Catching Leadership" which combines elements of psychology, mindfulness, and fishing to guide leaders on a new leadership journey. Bringing this vision to life is what motivates me every day.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Becoming a father. It's been the most important thing I have ever done and has taught me more about leadership than any other course or conference I have attended. If that answer doesn't suffice for non-parents, I would say authoring the book "Catching Leadership," hosting in-person Fly Fishing Leadership Retreats, and building a team of dynamic professionals would be next.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Patience. You have to give yourself a long runway in order to be successful. There are many days that I wish people would get back to me on a timeline that fits my needs as a small business owner, but I have to understand that they live and operate in a different work world than I do. Having faith in yourself during the ups and downs requires patience and perseverance as an entrepreneur.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Always be kind to people and give them the benefit of the doubt.
  2. Model the level of transparency and trust you expect from your team.
  3. Pause and give yourself credit often. Starting and sustaining a business is not easy. Few people will ever know what it is like to be in your shoes. Give yourself grace and acknowledgment for walking the walk regardless of how long it takes to reach your goals.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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