Kiernan speaking the language of success

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Sue Kiernan launched her second career 10 years ago when she founded Centered on Success Inc., a business coaching, training and consulting company.

Her background, she felt, prepared her well for her new role.

With 25 years as a speech and language pathologist, Kiernan — who has a master’s in communication disorders — saw “a lot of miracles.” Technology has given people who were severely communication-impaired the ability to communicate.

Kiernan has had a taste of adversity herself.

During her senior year in college, her mother died. The oldest of nine children, Kiernan moved back home and commuted to college while helping care for her younger siblings.

“When hard things happen, you either collapse under it, or you keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going,” Kiernan said. “I’m grateful to both my parents for all the values they taught me.”

Recently, Kiernan was named 2009 Mentor of the Year by the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce Rising Professionals group.

How were you able to leverage your skills in language pathology in your new career?

Coaching was a great opportunity to take my skills in communications and transfer them to helping others. The stuff that disconnects people is miscommunication. Neurological disorders, such as cerebral palsy, make it challenging or impossible to communicate.

What interests you most about communication?

At the end of the day, communication is about being able to have a voice in the world. We all want to be heard. And having a voice — literally or figuratively — is to be able to be heard in the world. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to take what I know about communication and use it in a related way.

What qualities do you value most?

Integrity — and by that I mean walk your talk; selflessness, more focused on the good of others; and courage — being willing to take a risk and step out of your comfort zone.

What are the challenges in your job?

Being “Chief of Everything.” While I enjoy and thrive in the freedom that my entrepreneurial environment provides, I’ve had to learn to do many things that aren’t necessarily my strengths — such as being my own IT department — while being patient with the learning process.

What makes you happiest?

It’s an amazing time to be alive; we’re really living in a time of change. I’ve been blessed with so many opportunities and good things in life. It’s not really about me — it’s about how can I serve. Most of us are happiest when we know we’re doing something that makes the world a better place.

And spending time with my grandson gives me a reset button on my perspective. If you spend an hour with a little child — everything is OK. We do ourselves a favor if we see life through simpler eyes.