We had the good fortune of connecting with Nancy Parsons and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nancy, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
Outsiders are often unaware of how CDR Assessments are so different from the popular inventories such as MBTI, DiSC or even Strength Finders. These are styles or strength identifiers which tend to be shallow or provide generalized groupings rather than the individualized, deep and robust results each person receives with their CDR Assessment results. We measure personality character traits to a detailed level (7 scales, 42 subscales), inherent risks for derailment (11 scales) and one’s drivers and reward, or motivational, needs (10 facets, 50 sub facets). Further, most have yet to learn about our newly-released, CDR-U Coach, the AI virtual avatar coach that offers personalized debriefs of one CDR Assessment results available 24/7. CDR-U Coach provides a keen sense of self-awareness that all employees need, particularly those earlier in their careers. Until now, this type of deep assessment and self-awareness coaching has only been available for executives and select top leaders. CDR-U Coach is a scalable solution designed to reach all levels of employees, college students and veterans who are transitioning to civilian careers.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business partner, Kim Leveridge, Ph.D. and I, developed our CDR 3-D Suite Assessments in 1998 and these go deeper and are more relevant to performance and career success than any available. We focus on individual differences and telling people the truth. We don’t blow smoke or sugar coat results, we help people to understand their unique gifts, talent, gaps, risks for derailment, and intrinsic motivation which we call drivers and reward needs. This amazing mix of measures provides the individual fingerprint for each person. Helping each leader and individual become keenly self-aware is the key to their success and happiness. I love this work and the difference we are making in people’s lives. It has not been easy growing and running a business all of these years. There are parts of it I love (the client work, the creative projects, etc.) and parts that are tedious and tough. I also enjoy the freedom that comes with running your own business as I raised four kids while running CDR. I wasn’t above having the kids help with “mailroom” or proofreading duties when they were in middle school. There, of course, have been many sacrifices, both from personal time and financial standpoint over the years. I think my passion for helping more and more people has kept me always pushing forward and staying upbeat to make a difference. In my mind, I am always looking forward. Of course, there are days or moments that can get you down too. I’ve actually learned that failure is part of the journey and that these setbacks are normal which is, at first, hard to take when you are naturally competitive. Fortunately, there are many successes along the way too. I have always had a strange sensation in the back of my head that we will make that difference and I remain energized to make sure we reach that goal. It is a bit odd, at this point in my career, many of my friends think I should be pulling back, but I am pressing forward. It was as if my last big or notable birthday kicked me in the butt as I realized I have much to do, so I am now accelerating forward rather than coasting down. My most important lessons learned, stick to your vision and mission and go for it. Don’t let up, keep moving forward despite setbacks. Protect your intellectual property. Learn to pivot, seek advice, and try new approaches when some fall short. Stay true to your dreams. What I want the world to know about the brand is that while we are not the most well known, our assessments and virtual CDR-U Coach are unmatched. CDR-U Coach is the first of its kind AI type coaching experience, debriefing the CDR-3D Suite results. It is so personalized – no two are the same! With our assessments, coaching, and CDR-U Coach, we can equip your leaders and employees to become keenly self-aware to perform best, develop in the most productive ways, and to assure that their careers are on the right track. Last, our assessments are also an enterprise-wide solution and once employees are coached, organizations can use their data for succession planning, team development, custom training and more. CDR, alone, brings a top-to-bottom talent development solution for organizations with our assessments, live executive coaching, and CDR-U Coach!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite event is the Houston Rodeo, but of course, that is only in March. They have the best performers and I love the mutton busting. Unfortunately, since COVID, things have changed this year. The Houston Zoo is always great. Actually, we live in Ft. Bend County and I enjoy going to the antique and unique stores in downtown Rosenberg, TX and they remain open. There is even a fabulous unique floral shop and local art gallery there too. We love biking and we have many miles of trails near us, so it is great. Also, the grocery stores are amazing here too and I enjoy cooking so this is a real plus! There are so many wonderful restaurants and our local favorite in Richmond is the Ramble Creek Inn on Hwy 99. Their shrimp and grits are divine! Galveston is definitely worth the trip too! We have a very diverse community and everyone is so friendly and that is probably what I love most.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband, Bill Parsons, deserves a huge shoutout. He’s always been my rock and supporter (besides the love of my life.) I co-founded CDR in 1998 and through the ups and downs and tough times, he has never waffled in his support for what we do at CDR. For the last several years, I have worked on the concept of CDR-U Coach which was a client request (US Army Civilian University), then we moved to Texas due to his job and my focus was rebuilding my team here. He kept reminding me, don’t give up on your multimedia coach. He knew we were really onto something special and greatly needed. The most ironic thing that recently happened is that he actually took CDR-U Coach about a month ago and had his own personalized feedback. Keep in mind he is a physician and medical director at a Fortune 50 Company and when he was listening to his avatar coach feedback, I happened to walk into the office. He hushed me away as he didn’t want me to hear his coaching feedback. I silently chuckled as I am the author/coach behind the feedback – though I don’t know one’s individual feedback and scores. Good news — he found his results insightful and helpful! I would also give a shout out to Kimberly Leveridge, Ph.D. my business partner in CDR Assessment Group. She and I developed our assessment tools in 1998 and ran the business for about 14 years after which she left our full-time business to help non-profits and remains as our chief scientific advisor/consultant. Without her as my business partner, I would not be here today. Together, with our vision to revolutionize leadership, we developed the best, deepest tools on the market to help leaders become acutely self-aware so that they could reach and sustain new levels of success and happiness. Even though she isn’t in the day to day any longer and I still hear her Kim’isms in my head from time to time. She had a great wit and would make humorous comments that I replay in my head when I deal with similar tough situations today. I am thrilled Kim is a business partner (CDR Companies) going into the new CDR-U Coach initiative and it is humbling to continue forward with such a top global thinker on our team. There is one other very important person who also supported the development of CDR-U Coach. Christine Klatt our VP of Business Services here in Stafford, TX, and another CDR Companies business partner. She was also pushing me to get CDR-U Coach done, despite my vacillation of focus on writing books and my chasing other shiny projects of the moment. She, like Bill, knew this product (which I had sketched out and could see in my mind) was revolutionary and would be a game-changer in the talent development industry. Her calm persistence was instrumental because I am not the easiest to corral. Once I go forward, I am pretty good at accelerating results in hyper-production mode; however, I often get bogged down in a variety of ongoing projects. Christine was the project manager for CDR-U Coach and did an extraordinary job. Without Christine and Bill, CDR-U Coach would have probably still been on the drawing board inside my head.
Other: www.cdrassessmentgroup.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancyeparsons/
CDR Assessment Group