Unleashing Potential with Kelli Klindtworth


Dr. Kelli Klindtworth, a principal in our Portland office, recently received a Doctor of Education in Transformation Leadership from Condcordia University. We connected with Kelli to learn more about what inspired her to earn this degree, what she learned from the process and how she hopes to use her degree in the future.

Congratulations on earning your Doctor of Education! What inspired you to pursue this degree?

“At first, formal education was a bit of a hobby. I enjoy learning new topics and in new ways. After obtaining two master’s degrees (MBA and Master of Arts in Education Leadership), it made total sense for me to take it to the next level. The Doctorate of Transformational Leadership program was particularly relevant as it blends the three things I am most passionate about: education, business and leadership.”

What do you hope to accomplish with this degree?

“My professional career is largely focused on transformational change. This degree validates my expertise and allows our clients to know that they are getting a high level of both practical experience and academic expertise.” 

How did North Highland support you through your educational journey?

“I  started my studies prior to coming to North Highland. I remember that in one of my interviews with the firm, the North Highland interviewer and I talked about my academic ambitions. That evening, she sent me a piece of thought leadership that was exactly in line with our conversation.  That was honestly the deciding factor for me to join North Highland - knowing that I would come to a firm that was already thinking about the big ideas – transformation and change – and where my pursuit of more knowledge would be valued.”

What was the most challenging part balancing of client work, firm commitments and your educational demands?

“Being a doctoral candidate, a parent and a full-time traveling consultant is probably not something I would recommend to many people. The only way it was possible for me to ‘do it all’ is because North Highland created the space for me to continuously apply my learnings to my work. The cycle of learning and application made it easy for me to stay engaged across both my studies and my client demands and feel like I wasn’t being pulled in many directions. Instead, everything was interdependent and aligned.”

What new perspectives from this experience will you apply to North Highland?

“I learned that transformational leadership centers around four I’s: 

  1. Inspirational motivation: building of commitment to excellence and achievement
  2. Idealized influence: setting an example for others
  3. Intellectual stimulation: encouraging creativity and innovation
  4. Individualized consideration: building strong relationships throughout the organization

Everything that I learned and worked for results in my commitment to being transformational leader for North Highland and for our clients.”