Photo by Richard Kelly
Photo by Richard Kelly
Photo by Richard Kelly.

Tacy Byham is CEO of DDI, an award-winning leadership consultancy that helps the world’s most successful companies transform the way they select, develop and accelerate leaders. Her new book, Your First Leadership Job—written with co-author Rich Wellins—was published in 2015. Tacy also advocates for mentoring and other issues facing working women, speaks on the topic #LeadLikeAGirl for global corporations and serves on the board of City Theatre Company. A single mom, Tacy lives in Mt. Lebanon with her 15-year-old son, Spencer.

Monday, January 11

8 a.m. check-in call with DDI’s Managing Director for Greater China. It’s our biggest operation outside of the US, and we will debrief about my December trip, speeches and client visits.

Tacy and Spencer on Mother's Day
Tacy and her son Spencer

Author chat on my new book, Your First Leadership Job, with Oracle’s book group. It is a Skype call and will include a Q&A with questions like: “What should new leaders consider before jumping in?”

Lunch at PapaGallo in Bridgeville. Amazing place and Chef Len Spampinato only serves breakfast and lunch. It is a favorite destination of the Pittsburgh Penguins (and a good luck breakfast stop on game day before they moved to the North Hills). I am meeting with my social media coach and working on DDI’s social media presence on LinkedIn and Twitter. Then back to the office for a parade of meetings.

Pilates at Touchstone Pilates in Mt. Lebanon. I’ve found I need to turn my brain off and I just love my group mat class. That being said, I end almost every evening reviewing emails from the day and getting ready for the next. There’s never enough time. After dinner is typically my second shift, just like everyone else!

My son, Spencer, age 15 ¾, is off to driver’s ed at Mt. Lebanon High School. Fair warning—you need to get off the roads come March!

Tuesday, January 12

I am honored to have been asked to provide the “Briefnote” for the Leadership Pittsburgh reunion luncheon. People join Leadership Pittsburgh for the connections—personally and professionally—all to create a better Pittsburgh community. I will be speaking on the importance of leadership and the downside of our relationship with technology, Facebook and emoticons. My speech is entitled “The Era of Empathy.”

Wonder Women group with their bags from the ToonSeum.
Wonder Women group with their bags from the ToonSeum.

Dinner with work colleagues at Poros in Market Square. It’s a birthday group and we call ourselves the “Wonder Women” because we are constantly jumping into the fire. We meet quarterly for a fun meal at a new Pittsburgh restaurant. I am looking forward to seeing three pieces of sculpture by artist August Vernon (née Andy Mays, Lebo ’86) that are on display at the restaurant.

Wednesday, January 13

At the airport Hyatt to attend meetings with DDI’s top talent. The focus is on acceleration and growth and it’s a boot camp format. I will play the role of a CEO decision-maker for a fictitious client and listen to, then critique, the sales presentations of the teams. High pressure but high results.

Brainstorming session with colleagues on neuroscience and leadership.

LEBO Fit DANCE, a Zumba-like evening of fun and lots of steps for my Fitbit. The teacher is a Mt. Lebanon HS alum who has just returned from 15 years living in France. The class is full of alums from my HS class, and that makes it extra fun.

Home to son, au pair, dog and two cats. Cook, then watch TV while checking up on emails from the day for a couple hours.

Thursday, January 14

Tacy shooting a video for the Are You In The List Awards.
Tacy shooting a video for the Are You In The List Awards.

Video shoot in my office for the India Award’s program “Are You In The List?” (yes, that’s what they titled it in India). Are You In The List Awards is a People Matters-India initiative in association with DDI which presents a platform for HR managers to showcase their potential and get recognized as the “Emerging Future HR Leaders of India.” I can’t be there in person to tee up the awards night, so we made a video of me instead. Gotta have a bit of work-life balance.

Swoop through Mt. Lebanon on the way home to pick up a framed picture from Create A Frame Handworks Gallery.

Takeout from Sesame Inn—fabulous that in Mt. Lebanon we can now order a combo of sushi and Chinese to make the whole family happy.

Friday, January 15

Swing through La Gourmandine to pick up goodies for the Friday office shared breakfast.

Tacy speaking on LeadLikeAGirl at Chatham.
Tacy speaking on LeadLikeAGirl at Chatham.

Dress rehearsal at the office for an upcoming Ted-like talk I am giving at the LEAD2016 summit in Nashville on February 3rd. I am giving a 15-minute version of my speech #LeadLikeAGirl, and it will be broadcast globally. We coach leaders that they need practice and feedback, so I am putting myself under the gun to improve the presentation. I will be sharing the stage with Sister Helen Prejean (of the movie Dead Man Walking), Jim Kouzes, Stephen Covey and others.

Out for the evening with friends: City Theatre is taking over the Carnegie Science Center for a special 21+ night of space-themed fun including a planetarium show, rides on the zero-gravity simulator and explosive demonstrations. The cast will read a scene from the new world premiere play, Some Brighter Distance, Clare Drobot (City Theatre’s director of new play development) will lead a panel featuring astronomers, and our trailer will be on loop throughout the space so that everyone in attendance gets pumped for the show. (Note: drinks and snacks will be available. Tickets are still available and are only $10).

Off to Lawrenceville to try one of the new top rated restaurants per Zagat—we have reservations at Morcilla, since we loved Cure. It’s sure to be great.

Saturday, January 16

Spencer with Tacy's new book
Spencer with Tacy’s new book
Spencer with Tacy’s new book

On Saturdays at 1 p.m., I am taking Brazilian dance lessons in Bloomfield, with a Brazilian friend and others who want to learn. Who knows how we’ll do as we are just starting out.

My son Spencer is on the high school tennis team and will be at the Mt. Lebanon Tennis Center in the bubbles.

In the evening, I am attending a party hosted by a neighbor at Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville.

Sunday, January 17

Spencer and the Southminster Youth group will make breakfast at the Men’s Center and Shelter.

Lunch with my son and parents at Bakn in Carnegie.

Home for the evening watching Downton Abbey, of course!

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.