Impact-driven leaders like Ellie Shefi are empowering individuals and organizations to bring needed change to the world of business.
As an advisor and strategist for individuals, Ellie helps her clients, including six-, seven-, and eight-figure entrepreneurs, build aligned businesses and become global brands.
And in her work with organizations, she’s a complete contrast from the usual (and old-style) consultant types who look at the bottom line and pay lip service to “employee contentedness.” While many competitors have been schooled in “best business practices,” she’s lived them. Not a white horse who’ll come in and dictate how employees should feel from the top down, Ellie Shefi helps management to cultivate employees from the bottom up. It’s a revolutionary, but necessary, change.
She helps create organizational cultures where diverse employee experiences and ideas are welcomed. When she’s finished, all oars are rowing in the same direction. The workforce knows and feels that the bottom line is a byproduct of their personal development.
It’s the intersection of humanity and high performance. It’s a holistic approach that only a person with significant advocacy, business, education, and legal backgrounds—like Ellie—can offer.
Featured in this Women’s Day Special Edition of CIO Women Magazine is Ellie Shefi—one of ‘The Most Admired Women Leaders In Business – 2023.’ Ellie is a speaker, strategist, consultant, corporate trainer, and trusted advisor to governments, universities, NGOs, corporations, and entrepreneurs. Here she shares wisdom and insights gained through her decades of experience as a leader who creates impact through the empowerment of others.
A Leader for All
“My mission and vision is to change the world and to empower others to do the same!”
For many years, Ellie Shefi was happy being a force for good “behind the scenes” as a staff attorney in the judiciary, an advisor to universities, and an advocate for many human rights-related causes. But a 2019 cancer diagnosis spurred an even stronger desire to be a force for good as a visible woman leader.
She decided to come out from behind the scenes.
“I said to myself, ‘No more playing small. I am going to step out from the shadows, use my voice, and step into the full embodiment of who I am meant to be.’”
But how? She began writing books, speaking on stages, and being more of a media presence. She stepped up her individual advising and consulting and began globally advising governments and NGOs on criminal justice reform, civil rights, and human rights issues.
Now she is bringing her education, entrepreneurship, advocacy, and legal expertise to HR departments and C-Suite executives.
“I realize that I am uniquely qualified to help businesses and individuals navigate and best position themselves in a new business era.”
Business is changing, but with that is a tremendous opportunity to build better company cultures and more diverse and inclusive environments. Ellie Shefi recognizes that there’s now a chance—and a responsibility—for business to do better, and she’s using her voice and her expertise to make sure leaders have the best training and tools to get it right.
Strategist, Consultant, Corporate Trainer, and Trusted Advisor
“I help organizations optimize their culture and individuals expand their influence.”
Through her consulting company, MTC Consulting, Ellie helps corporate HR departments and C-Suite executives, as well as governments and NGOs, to optimize their operations, mitigate their risk, modernize their organizational culture, and strengthen their bottom line by truly developing their people to build world-class teams.
She offers assessments, audits, and strategic plans, plus full implementation assistance that includes workshops and training for HR and executives, as well as ongoing quarterly assessments and refinements. Her goal is to help organizations build an inclusive, aligned, and efficient company with optimized operations.
For entrepreneurs, authors, and speakers, Ellie develops, delivers, and leads international courses, training, workshops, retreats, and masterminds.
‘Monetize Your Expertise’ is Ellie’s proprietary system for building an aligned business, increasing impact and income, and becoming a globally-recognized brand.
‘Best-Selling Book Bootcamp’ is a week-long intensive where Ellie works directly with authors to write their manuscript and create a customized monetization plan for their best-selling book.
‘Monetize Your Message’ is a program for aspiring speakers to further amplify their message. In it, Ellie helps speakers craft their signature talks, confidently connect with and captivate their audiences, and get booked on media.
‘Master the Media’ is a one-of-a-kind program where Ellie guides individuals step-by-step to get results from interviews and media appearances so they can establish themselves as the go-to-expert in their field.
Ellie Shefi also owns a full-service, independent publishing house—Made to Change the WorldTM Publishing. It is the vehicle through which she helps mission-driven individuals to use their voice, share their message with the world, and build their brand. Ellie and her team help entrepreneurs, leaders, and experts publish best-selling books which, in turn, prompts their invitations to keynote speaking engagements, TV appearances, and podcast interviews.
“The best-selling books that we consistently produce are fundamental to successfully building our clients’ brands so they can scale their income and impact.”
Ellie also leads the ‘Sedona Sisterhood Retreat’ where women leaders exchange ideas and insights as well as decompress and recharge with an aligned group of high achievers. It’s a safe space for women leaders to gather with peers and just BE … a place where they needn’t lead or have all the answers.
What the Future Holds
“I intend to further consult and advise organizations on optimizing their teams and operations. I will continue to work with companies that are committed to bringing in modern and progressive organizational cultures—those that believe in people over profit, and those that are willing to innovate, optimize, and align with their mission, vision, and values. With my insights, these companies can cultivate symbiotic and long-lasting relationships with their workforce, resulting in a litany of benefits, including greater profits.”
Ellie is deeply invested in helping more people use their voice. She knows that business is on the precipice of change, and it’s a key time for people to show up, stand up, speak up … to use their voice and be the instruments of that change.
In order to facilitate those opportunities, she is increasing the number and types of programs where she can guide her clients through writing and publishing their best-selling books, become sought-after speakers, and share their expertise through media appearances.
Ellie Shefi is a beacon for women to step up and lead from the front.
“We women leaders need to collaborate rather than compete. We need to extend our hand out to one another and help each other rise.”
She emphasizes that women leaders in every industry share a duty to mentor the next generation and share a responsibility to create positions and create opportunities rather than wait for something to come along. It’s time for women to build their own tables rather than wait for an invitation to sit at one.
“Be the leader you would want to follow!”
According to Ellie, a successful woman leader should bring to her business compassion, integrity, and authenticity at an overarching level. From these guiding principles, she would ideally structure and manage the business with inclusivity, alignment, empathy, and an ability to lead by example.
An impact-driven team-builder and cheerleader, she would create collaborative spaces where people are seen, valued, and celebrated for their individual gifts. Likewise, she would put people over profits, direct the business to be socially responsible, and mentor and cultivate other leaders within.
On Confronting Gender Biases
Ellie Shefi has confronted gender-related biases at micro levels. For instance (and probably familiar to many of our readers), because she looks young and is female, she’s often mistaken for a secretary or a student or an employee. Consequently, she feels that she must continue to amass numerous and prestigious accolades because men, in particular, don’t take her as seriously without them. She still finds that even having 30+ years of experience, she has to prove herself and her expertise to men more than men have to prove it when they speak to each other.
As frustrating as that can be, it pales in comparison to how proud Ellie is to be achieving her goals as a woman who plays very visible leadership roles in many traditionally male-dominated fields—business, law, and consulting/advising.
“And I do it on my terms!”
Now that Ellie’s voice is being heard, she uses her leadership stature to empower other women to have their voices heard.
She notes that the deeper she got into her career, the more she realized that women often felt like they did not have a voice or could not use it. So her focus is to help them find, claim, and use their voice through her parallel roles of coaching, consulting, and corporate training. She believes that every person has a voice and can use it to advocate for themselves, their families, their communities, and their missions. But for many, it is not modeled nor encouraged.
“I use my voice to guide others to use theirs. It’s a ripple effect.”
Ellie’s Many Accolades
Ellie describes being sworn into the United States Supreme Court Bar by her childhood hero, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as a definite “pinch me” moment! Becoming a trusted advisor to governments, universities, NGOs, and nonprofits has also been a pinnacle achievement, and is a responsibility she doesn’t take lightly.
“I am honored to be a leader stewarding change in constitutional rights, civil rights, human rights, and prison reform issues.”
In addition to being one of CIO Women Magazine’s “Most Admired Women Leaders In Business 2023,” Ellie Shefi has been named one of the “Top 10 Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2023” by Entrepreneur magazine.
Last year, she was included in MAXIM’s “10 Most Inspirational Business Women of 2022” and CIO Views’ “10 Most Inspiring Business Women of the Year 2022.” And she was selected as the “Discrimination and Human Rights Lawyer of the Year 2022” by the Women in Law Awards! Being inducted into the National Academy of Best-Selling Authors and receiving both the Quilly Award and the Impact Award have also been capstones for her literary works.
“These awards show that I’ve effectively used my voice for causes that I champion—doing good, ethical business, and successfully advocating for positive changes across all industries for human and civil rights. Receiving these awards reminds me of the importance of stepping up and speaking up, and it spurs me on to continue to do so!”
Beyond all the accolades and achievements, the true pinnacle for Ellie Shefi as a woman leader has been getting to facilitate and witness the moment when the women she coaches, mentors, and advises become clear on their vision, their mission, and their purpose.
“I never tire of watching women step into their power and use their business, their voice, and their life as a force for good.”
Ellie’s Advice to the Women Leaders of Tomorrow!
Ellie’s aspirational advice is to embrace the one life that they have—their one chance on this Earth—and to make it count! Do something they truly love … build a business and a brand that aligns with their values, their vision, and their mission in life. And if they are stuck on whom to help or how, they should remember that they are most powerfully poised to serve the person they once were, so they should look back through the challenges they’ve overcome and recount the steps they took to navigate them and start there.
Her pragmatic advice is to seek out other women leaders. Success takes a village and it’s important to find an aligned tribe of women who they can journey alongside. And, of course, if Ellie’s work aligns with the vision of tomorrow’s women leaders, she wants them to reach out! She and her team want to work with them! They want to help cultivate even more women-owned and women-led businesses.
She encourages rising women leaders to embody the principles—like authenticity, transparency, inclusivity, social responsibility, and balance—that will attract and retain the top talent who also embody those principles. She emphasizes that a true leader should be willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with other women leaders and use their voices to advocate for themselves and others.
Together, women leaders can make a bigger impact and create well-rounded organizations that best serve their wider communities. As Ellie says, “Let’s do it!”
To connect with Ellie Shefi and learn more about her work, please visit ellieshefi.com