Lynne Ingersoll: A Business Owner with Curious, Creative Vision to Support Fast-Growing Companies
Written by Meg Seitz · Photography by Julia Fay
When Lynne Ingersoll received her first pair of binoculars as a kid, she was hooked.
“I loved those binoculars because I was able to see things I couldn’t see before,” Ingersoll remembered fondly. The Hendersonville, North Carolina native and daughter of two travel agents, Ingersoll has remained explorative and curious through her entire life – and career. So much so, she named the consulting firm she founded in 1996, xplor leadership.
The company has a clear brand statement: Leadership is best thought of as a journey that starts, and never stops. You’re always running into the unknown. You’re always learning. And you must travel in order to learn.
Leading up to the time she established xplor leadership, Ingersoll’s career was diverse, yet informative in the sense that each professional experience built on the previous, and all of which then helped shape her philosophy going into xplor leadership.
She launched her career with Tommy Hilfiger, starting as a representative to service retail accounts such as Belk in the Charlotte market. That experience led her to make a big leap – she proposed a communication and learning development role to Hilfiger himself. He accepted. Ingersoll bought a one way ticket to New York City where she worked for the brand for ten years – and worked right next to Hilfiger himself as the company’s Vice President of Retail Development. From there, Ingersoll became the Director of Marketing for Vietri, the mother-daughter led, fine, Italian-inspired dinnerware line based in Hillsboro, NC. Years later, Ingersoll transitioned into a role as a Physician Leadership Consultant with the Center for Physician Leadership, AVP Leadership and OD Medical Group with Carolinas Healthcare System.
As the Founder of xplor leadership Ingersoll thrives working with small to medium-sized companies in a growth mode and building innovative solutions. Some of her clients have included major brands such as: Burt’s Bees, Wet Seal, The MotherVine and licensing agents for Kenneth Cole and Kate Spade.
“There’s just so much to learn from every, single person. My work though is figuring out how to help every, single person produce their best work.”
A career highlight? “I got to take Burt from Burt’s Bees on tour all over the country doing special events,” she recalled.
When all is said and done, what connects her professional experiences in retail, manufacturing and healthcare? Service and communication – both of which are by-products of the power of people to elevate a business, company or brand.
“I’m fascinated with people,” Ingersoll stated. “There’s just so much to learn from every, single person. My work though is figuring out how to help every, single person produce their best work.”
She challenges clients to think about when, where, and how they do just that – produce their best work. (It most likely doesn’t happen when there’s workplace or interpersonal drama or a void in communication, service or leadership.)
As well, she advocates for and supports clients in leaning in and meeting people where they are as well as finding ways to acknowledge the drama, tension or lack of communication, neutralize it, and then strategically redirect the energy.
“And breathe. We’re triggered when we’re not breathing,” she stated. “Take a moment to pause versus reacting so you can choose how you want to respond.”
“Take a moment to pause versus reacting so you can choose how you want to respond.”
Ingersoll is also one of the founding directors of TWIST Conference for Women in Leadership, Queens University of Charlotte’s annual women’s conference. A graduate of Queens’ Master of Science, MSOD program, Ingersoll is a leader on a team responsible for a conference like none other. “It’s an immersive experience limited to 39 people,” she said. “It’s a good blend of learning, taking good care of yourself, and reflection.”
Whether she’s working with xplor leadership clients or planning TWIST, Ingersoll does a lot of it from Hygge. Ingersoll looked for a co-working location for about a year before finding Hygge’s Hill St. location. She became one of Hygge’s first members. So, how’d she find it?
“I was looking for it,” she said with a laugh, meaning she was searching for it out of need.
With a house on a lake, Ingersoll works well from home – expect for one little glitch.
“I have horrible internet,” Ingersoll shared. “So, I can come to Hygge for the connectivity and the collaboration. The people who are here activate and engage my energy and spirit of entrepreneurship.”
Ingersoll believes that the people and community of Hygge are really the power.
“There are kindred spirits here as well as diversity,” she noted.
Kindred spirits and diversity. That is very true.
In saying so, Ingersoll allowed us to see Hygge in a whole new way – good, solid proof that she really does still wear those binoculars every, single day.
Meet the Author: Meg Seitz is the Founder and Managing Creative Partner of toth shop, an agency with one goal: Elevate your brand’s content through powerful writing, creativity, and strategy. She also serves as an Adjunct Professor with Queens University and Founding Partner of the children’s book series, “Bea is for Business”.
She’s an English major with an MBA, so she can talk Homer’s “The Odyssey” just as well as she can talk sunk costs – though she’d much prefer the former.
Meet the photographer: Hi, nice to meet you! I’m Julia. I’m my happiest self when my camera is in hand and I’m taking in this big beautiful world around me! People are my jam and the fact that this job brings so many wonderful people into my life is pretty special.
I grew up performing mostly in front of the camera! Singing, acting, comedy improv – anything on a stage or in front of a lens. The roles began to switch as I entered my freshman year of college and found a creative outlet through photography. My first “real” shoot was when an engaged friend of mine asked me to photograph her and her fiancé. Within moments of getting started, I knew that this was it. Telling peoples love stories, that is what I’m supposed to do! I shot my first wedding at nineteen, and well you know what they say..the rest is history! We’ve been together ever since 🙂