FrUn Featured Member: Samantha Dillenback, Fractional COO

What is your full name?

Samantha Dillenback

Please share a brief overview of your professional background and your current role as a fractional leader?
I’m a Fractional COO who has been bringing order to chaos for more than a decade. I’m industry agnostic, though I thrive with established teams of remote-first SMBs on the east coast. My clients are all across the board - leadership development, evaluation, production, retail, legal, and large appliance repair. At the core, they’re all teams of people trying to work together effectively within a business with a mission.

What do you consider your strengths?
While I’m a digital native, my primary focus is people-centered systems. Leadership development, communication, and accountability are the secret to effective operations.

What inspired or led you to pursue a career as a fractional leader?
I fell into the fractional world. I started as a consultant while being a full-time COO. Working with a wide variety of industries and humans was an exciting challenge and I love that being a Fractional COO allows me to succeed with a team in a more meaningful way than when I’m simply a consultant.

How do you determine if a fractional engagement has been a success or not?
My favorite benchmark is when clients say “I wish I had met you 3 years earlier.”

Fractional leadership often involves working with different industries and teams. How do you adapt to new environments, and what have you learned from these diverse experiences?
It's important to balance my own experience and knowledge of business operations with the industry experience and knowledge of the clients. In the early stages, communication, research, and asking a million questions are all an important part of the process. I remind myself that there's always more to learn from the work I am doing and also from the clients I am working with.

What advice would you give to professionals aspiring to become fractional leaders?
Being a fractional leader means being a COO (for me) while also running a business. It’s both. I learned how to be good at my area of focus in a fulltime role. I practiced the business side as a consultant with short term projects. When I felt like I was ready, I went all-in on fractional. It’s a bit like patting your belly whilst rubbing your head - but that’s what I like about it.

Where can readers learn more about you?


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