Founder | Ascentim LLC | Towson, Maryland, United States
Lisa L. Baker is a Speaker, Coach, and Career Strategist. She had a distinguished career in corporate America spanning nearly three decades. Lisa has held management and executive positions for several Fortune 500 companies, including Synchrony, Microsoft, Citigroup, and Bank One. Most recently, she founded a life coaching company, Ascentim, to follow her passion for helping others reach their peak. Lisa is passionate about helping professional women who feel undervalued in their careers own their power, communicate their worth with confidence, and crush barriers to achieve the promotions and pay they deserve.
What do achievements mean to you?
My personal definition of achievement has changed since I launched Ascentim. The focus is less on me now and more on the people I serve. When a client has a win, I feel like I have a win too. Coaching someone to their first big promotion, a pay raise, or a seat at the table is what I got into this business for – and I am HERE for it!
What excites you most about the work that you do?
I learned so much in the course of my career, but as I moved up the corporate ladder, I finally discovered my true passion. Helping high achievers, especially women of color, find their voice and own their strengths is my calling. To be able to merge my passion with my career and my business, just like I coach my clients to do, is definitely an exciting thing.
Do you have a mantra or motto that you live by?
My mother always used to say, “It doesn’t cost you anything to be kind.” I try to live my life by those words because it is so very true. We don’t always know what other people are going through; one small act of kindness can completely turn someone’s day around. This goes for both our personal and professional lives. Kindness always counts – and it doesn’t cost a penny.
“Leadership is defined by what we do for the people we lead and how we allow them to shine. In my book, a great leader takes the time to be a mentor or a sponsor and creates new opportunities for the people on their team. In today’s world, it is vital to champion diversity and ensure that women and people of color have a seat at the table. Be an advocate, act in a way that is worthy of respect, and you’ll be a leader..”
— Lisa L. Baker
What makes you yourself?
Every one of us has been shaped by the unique circumstances and experiences of our lives, along with the choices we make along the way. For me, I’ve been at the top – and I know what it’s like to be down and out. I’ve survived career setbacks, bankruptcy, and divorce and found my way to a life of abundance. My secret? Focusing on the three things that lead to success and fulfillment: connections, careers, and finances.
I landed my first job at 15 years old as a cashier at Target, walking to and from work every day. I inherited my father’s legendary work ethic – he worked long hours to provide for our family. He wasn’t around a whole lot, but he never missed a day of work. I had a very humble childhood, and it was important to my parents that we children went further and achieved more. It was essential to them that I stay in school, receive a proper education, and land a “good job.” I hope I made them proud!
I firmly contend that ALL things are possible to those who believe. It takes faith and it takes work, but if you can dream it, you can achieve it. By cultivating an abundance mindset, we are able to do more of what we love, give more of what we have, and find more gratitude in our lives. What we believe affects everything that happens to us because we have the power to make things happen.
Goal yet to be achieved
The biggest goal I have yet to complete is to start a family foundation in honor of my mother and father. My parents were poor with limited education, but they were also hardworking and committed to creating a better life for our family. I am who I am because of their love. Keep an eye out for the launch of The JT & Marion Lester Foundation, coming soon!
Definition of leadership
Leadership is defined by what we do for the people we lead and how we allow them to shine. In my book, a great leader takes the time to be a mentor or a sponsor and creates new opportunities for the people on their team. In today’s world, it is vital to champion diversity and ensure that women and people of color have a seat at the table. Be an advocate, act in a way that is worthy of respect, and you’ll be a leader.
One word that best describes you
Anyone who knows me would say that I am DRIVEN. I am on a mission to help women crash through those glass ceilings. We tend to think we have to be perfect and overqualified to go after what we really want and it’s simply not true. I am passionate about helping women find their power and get what they deserve so they can finally live their lives in abundance.
Most influential book read
I read a lot of books but the Bible remains my number 1. It is my tried and true handbook for life, containing all the guidance, wisdom, and spiritual growth we need. I also love the book Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead by Tara Mohr. She wrote this book for “brilliant women” because she was “tired of meeting women who have important messages to share but whose self-doubt is keeping them quiet.” It had a profound impact on me.
One of my favorite Bible verses is Luke 12:48. “When someone is given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” I have been blessed in this life, and this verse inspires me to use my gifts, talents, and experiences to give back to my clients and to my community.