What I Do



As a board member and advisor I focus on better decision making. Whether in business or within a family I spend my time on a vast range of issues. These include as examples: 

·      Control issues that may arise surrounding a succession.

·      Loss of identity issues relating to a retirement.

·      Grief from an impactful loss or life event requiring the need to build resilience.

·      Managing emotions, fear and relevance surrounding midlife or retirement.

·      Teaming and collaborating in understanding and working with multiple generations , especially Gen Z and Millennials.

My two practices I have co-founded are MKW Advisors focused on the workplace and Spencer Legacy Group (www.spencerlegacygroup.com ) focused on the Family Enterprise.

My objective is for executives, directors, managers , leaders or family members to learn, develop and deploy the skills to make better decisions to resolve fears, concerns, and challenges. These issues often tug at the heart or tear at the gut, let alone tax the brain. I leverage my knowledge of the benefits of positive psychology to focus on decision making to deepen relationships, rebuild trust, develop resilience to overcome adversity, or improve and develop emotional intelligence. Ultimately an individual, team , family or organization’s well-being is at risk if the right decisions are not made to effectively address issues.

I personally have experienced my fair share of setbacks. In developing my own coping methods and have honed the right objective input that allowed me to make pivotal decisions to move forward and thrive. I apply this insight, combined with my academic and business experiences to help others.

I probe thoughtfully and listen carefully and with empathy in order to provide my objective insights into issues. I am solutions-oriented and believe deeply in the power of learning, creating motivation for action, and am focused on the powerful results, value, and change desired. Whether as a board member or adviser I encourage people to step aside from any preset and preconceived ideas of their world to provide a different perspective to rethink one’s mindset in a more objective way about issues whose solutions may be clouded by emotions.


My Value Proposition 



I have been involved on a vast range of issues and challenges. These include: 

·      Control issues that surround a succession

·      Loss of identity issues relating to a change or loss of position

·      Grief from an impactful loss or life event requiring the need to build resilience

·      Emotions, and fears of relevance surrounding facing midlife or a retirment

·      Concerns in understanding and working with multiple generations , especially Gen Z and Millennials

Through my board work and C suite experience I use my approach to decision making on issues such as strategy, branding, finance and operations

Whether an executive or business leader or member of a family enterprise , I communicate my insights of the complex and sophisticated in a simple and understandable way to guide those that I am engaged with to make the best decisions possible.

My focus is better decision making.-this is my value proposition.


My Focus



I have worked with hundreds of wealthy families, business owners, and organizations of all sizes, types, and cultures. As a trusted advisor or board member I have counselled them or developed their skills through my objective insights to optimize their decision making to overcome challenges they face. This is the value I bring to my clients.

I have co-owned my closely held family business for almost 30 years and for as many years have served clients across the globe and from many cultures as a managing partner (CPA) at Arthur Andersen. I have been CEO of HSBC's private bank in Southern California, managed single-family offices for wealthy families (including as a C suite executive involved in their foundations and business interests) and have extensive experience serving on over 25 boards. 

This experience has shown me how much businesses and families are alike. While each may prosper in good times, all are impacted by conflicts and stress. How we handle adversity and build our resilience is key to how we thrive. Our capacity to approach decision making to resolve business or personal challenges can impact the outcome. My value is to probe and listen deeply. I offer objective insights that can optimize decision making, re-frame the issues, and thus possible solutions that can accelerate growth and guide those that I am engaged with to solutions to the issues that need to be addressed.


Why and how I use Assessment Tools



In growing or managing my own businesses, managing a professional practice, or as a member of a board or a management team, I have found that using assessment techniques such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test, Strengths Profile Tests, and the Thomas-Killman Conflict Mode Instrument Tool, among many, can be valuable assessment tools to help people better understand themselves and others.

Specifically, when properly deployed, they help you better understand your own personality and temperament, learn how to spot and play to your strengths and also how to address, manage and resolve conflicts by understanding how different people approach and handle conflict.

By themselves, assessment tools have value but not as much value as the ability to interpret and explain how to apply these tests so they can be used effectively to manage stress, resolve conflicts, "play" properly and team in business or within a family, and last but not least, assist you to thrive and flourish by enhancing your well being.

When necessary, I team with other professionals who are skilled and schooled in assessment tools and tests to maximize the value and educational content from these tools and tests.