Eric Powell, Director of Partners in Performance, 10 Most Empowering Leaders of 2023

Eric Powell
Partners in Performance

Eric Powell, Director of Partners in Performance

Doing The Lord's Work

Eric Powell, the Director of Partners in Performance, is driven by faith. A leader with deeply held beliefs, Eric feels Jesus Christ, the Lord, is the most outstanding leader who has helped the troubled and offered more than imaginable to those suffering. He says, “I’ve had many role models and mentors throughout my life – my parents, siblings, coaches, and others -- but the one constant has always been Christ, our Lord. His teachings and principles have profoundly influenced my leadership journey.” The Lord’s unwavering commitment to serving others, leading by example, and putting the needs of others before His own has been a roadmap in Eric’s leadership philosophy, which is simple -- Eat last, wash your feet, and leave people better and together. What does that mean?

“Eat last” means sacrifice and help others be success. “Wash feet” references Christ’s act at the last supper, where He showed that a leader must serve in order to lead. Most call it “servant leadership”. “Leave people better and together” challenges us with two questions – Are people better or worse than as a result of you? Are people together or not divided as a result of you?

Through this philosophy, Eric strives to emulate The Lord’s compassion, empathy, and selflessness in his interactions with his team, clients, and community.

However, Eric states he would be remiss if he did not mention the transformational leader, Nehemiah, who led a starved, desperate, and isolated people to get up daily and rebuild the walls of ancient Jerusalem. He navigated social, political, educational, and economic challenges to close the gaps in the wall, but more importantly, a way of life.

“I mention Nehemiah because he is the model for our ministry (, where I have been coaching and equipping leaders since 2010 – leadership, faith, and purpose,” elucidates Eric. “Nehemiah had six key qualities that make him a transformational leader, and these qualities are the basis for our 360 reviews. I have helped hundreds of leaders from all walks of life transform their leadership by looking in the mirror (at the “whole” leader, not just the leader at work but also outside of work), understanding and accepting their gaps, and closing them.”

Armed with this brilliant mindset, Eric is helping his company in its new wave of growth. The core behind Partners in Performance’s success as a firm is their ability to unleash potential and deliver lasting impact. One of the critical things Eric tries to do in this pursuit is elevate conversations from tactical implementation to the long-term impact the company’s suggested changes and strategies will deliver for the client. Comfortable wearing hi-vis with steel-toed and suits with R. M. Williams, they help clients improve bottom-line results, from increasing throughput in a mine, recovering or compressing capital projects schedules, to reducing emissions in hard-to-abate industries.

By elevating these conversations to look beyond quarterly revenue and discussing things like how their changes lead to better behavior and a more substantial business culture, one where solutions are prioritized so a business not only finds solutions on their own in the future but can effectively implement them without having to call the company (or any other consultant) is critical. “That is what lasting impact means. Now, on a technical level, this involves higher emotional intelligence and EQ. Elevating a conversation like this isn’t easy. Often, when our team is called in, things can be bad,” he shares. “Decreasing revenue, poor plant operations, you name it. You have to ensure stakeholders not only buy-in to the solution as a long-term fix, but you need them to own it. That is why we often have repeat customers, but rarely for the same issues.”

Partners in Performance’s willingness to work with clients as true partners and understand their problems makes them revolutionary. They believe the true power in any business is the people and the ability draw out their potential, coaching and empowering them to achieve lasting results beyond what they thought possible. Founded on this principle, they strive to the change the 'wiring' of an organization to make results stick. This is the key to whether a strategy will thrive or struggle. Successful organizations link their strategy with the desired values and behaviors necessary to achieve lasting impact and change. Our wiring approach makes the strategies actionable and possible.

Their name says in all – Partners in Performance. Partners in Performance strive to drive performance and make meaningful and lasting change happen through authentic partnership with their clients. This noble purpose drives the everyday activity of the firm. They embrace the responsibility for their impact on people and the planet and take proactive steps to improve the health and wellbeing of their people and the communities they work in. In many cases, their projects impact these communities immeasurably, often just keeping jobs in unserved communities. Specifically, they are doing some incredible pro-bono work around the world. In North America, Partners in Performance recently partnered with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sicangu Co) in North Dakota. This tribe is one of the most economically challenged communities in the US and was at an economic crossroads. They depended heavily on federal funding and had a history of failed projects led by external parties whose interests did not align with the tribe. “Our team, composed of Jonathan Scarlett, Chris Millican, Cornelis Groesbeek, Greg Maud, and Shamsa Hidayat, helped the tribal leaders build a 10-year economic development roadmap to reverse this trend of economic decline and lift the tribe out of economically challenged conditions,” says Eric. “The impact of this roadmap would double their economic growth rate, increase tribal income, and provide new jobs that would also diversify their economy. This work was truly a noble purpose!”


Partners in Performance


Eric Powell
Partners in Performance


An agile, fast growing international management consultancy, the firm is a leading global player in driving operational excellence for complex organisations. The hardest challenge faced by senior executives with any change initiative is to make it last. By working as true partners with our clients, Partners in Performance enables lasting change in organisations; delivering both commercial impact and inspiring people to transform their behaviours.

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