Saran Traore: Finding Alignment Between Your Work And Your Desired Impact Is The Key To Success

Leadership is a cornerstone of any company or organization’s success. To effectively lead others, aspiring leaders must invest in both personal and professional development. They also must be incredibly self-aware of their own strengths and growth areas to better serve the people that are affected by their leadership. Saran Traore is a certified expert in coaching and leadership development training. With over a decade of experience leading people and departments with measurable results, she has turned her attention to helping develop the leaders of tomorrow through her company, Elev8. Through various partnerships with different companies, Saran is actively involved in coaching thousands of leaders around the US and is looking to redefine career success and leadership through her unique focus on aligning purpose, profit, and passion. In this article, we will explore Saran’s journey to becoming a successful leader and share some of her valuable insights for improving leadership skills.

The Fast Track To Success

Saran spent the beginning of her career on the fast track to success. Working for companies such as Avalere Health, AstraZeneca, and The Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Saint Joseph’s University alumni quickly made a name for herself while helping build measurable results for the companies that hired her. Her list of accomplishments includes leading a multi-generational team to increase performance and employee engagement, being the first African American woman under 30 to join a national field team of managers under two years in the organization, and pioneering a new strategic leadership role within an organization. With her success and experience, she was no doubt on her way to serving as a C-suite executive – however, her life took a sudden detour. “We got the news from overseas that my mom was terribly ill. This  forced me to slow down and reconsider my priorities, as I take my role as a caregiver very seriously .” Up until that point, she had been running high on ambition, hard work, and dedication to positively impacting the lives of patients. And although she was climbing the corporate ladder, she knew she was missing something. “I was lacking clarity and I did not even realize it. I felt like I was being pulled in hundred different directions between my love of career and my love of family as a daughter and mother”. None of those directions felt like they were pulling her where she was supposed to be, so she took a step back and examined her passions, her strengths, and her areas of opportunities, and realized she was headed down a path that was not aligned with her priorities or sustainable at the rate she was going.

Stepping Into Alignment

A natural-born communicator, a lover of people, and a drive to engage with peers while finding solutions to perceived needs, Saran realized she found ultimate fulfillment and alignment when she was helping others find their path to success. “Everyone’s path looks a little different and I love helping people  find what works for them as an individual.” She quickly turned her ambitions and dedication to a new career path – coaching other up-and-coming business leaders and professionals. “At first, I started working one on one with various leaders, but I quickly realized I needed and wanted to do more.” With her purpose aligned with her skills, she quickly formed partnerships with various organizations in industries spanning from commercial real estate to healthcare. The result? “I am on my own journey of self-improvement and fulfillment, but I am also able to share with others and help them along the way.”

Self-Awareness Is The Key

From teaching communication skills, conflict resolution, and shifting limiting beliefs with daily strategies, Saran has a myriad of techniques for helping her clients unlock their desired potential but it all starts with her clients gaining an understanding of themselves. Saran referred to a quote by Daniel Goleman when asked about her emphasis on developing self-awareness.

“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand if you don’t have self-awareness if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”

Naturally at the root of all that she teaches and coaches on is one basic principle – self-awareness. “At the start of an engagement with a client, we ask a lot of questions. We want to gain an understanding of what they are looking to achieve, but we also want them to understand themselves with more clarity.” A common observation that she sees is that there is often a dissonance between who a person wants to be and who they are today. This dissonance, or conflict, often leads to a lack of clarity in a person’s current and future path. “If you want to be a CEO, but you don’t yet have the leadership skills needed to get there, you will always be in conflict with yourself and the environments you are in towards that goal. My job, through high-impact dialogue, is to help you find a balance and alignment between where you are and where you want to be.” By finding that alignment, she is then able to help a client start learning and practicing the skills to mitigate against barriers that are preventing them from the success they are seeking. Whether you are a tenured CEO or just starting on your path to leadership, Saran believes that everyone has room for growth – and the key to that growth is feedback. “Feedback is very important, even vital. Aligning the intent of who you want to be with the impact you actually have on others is very important in the journey of self-improvement, leadership, and results.” She continued to state that there is “no room for ego” for feedback that supports developing your leadership abilities.

Practical Steps to Success

If you are looking to develop your leadership skills and emotional intelligence abilities, to advance in your professional career, or you simply want to become a better communicator in your workplace, Saran has several tips to start that process. “Surround yourself with inspiring people, find books you enjoy on personal growth, partner with a coach, create an actionable strategy, and set small e goals along the way to the bigger, attainable goals.”

If you’d like to learn more about Saran and how she is helping the next wave of influential leaders, you can visit her website at

Written in partnership with Tom White